WATSON, James Eli

1864–1948

Biography

WATSON, James Eli, a Representative and a Senator from Indiana; born in Winchester, Randolph County, Ind., November 2, 1864; graduated from De Pauw University, Greencastle, Ind., in 1886; studied law; admitted to the bar in 1886 and commenced practice in Winchester; moved to Rushville, Ind., in 1893 and resumed the practice of law; elected as a Republican to the Fifty-fourth Congress (March 4, 1895-March 3, 1897); unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1896; elected to the Fifty-sixth and to the four succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1899-March 3, 1909); was not a candidate for renomination in 1908; unsuccessful Republican candidate for governor of Indiana in 1908; resumed the practice of law in Rushville, Ind.; elected on November 7, 1916, as a Republican to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Benjamin F. Shively; reelected in 1920 and 1926, and served from November 8, 1916, to March 3, 1933; unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1932; majority leader 1929-1933; chairman, Committee on Woman Suffrage (Sixty-sixth Congress), Committee on Revision of the Laws (Sixty-sixth Congress), Committee on Enrolled Bills (Sixty-eighth Congress), Committee on Interstate Commerce (Sixty-ninth and Seventieth Congresses), Republican Conference (Seventy-first and Seventy-second Congresses); continued the practice of law in Washington, D.C., until his death there on July 29, 1948; interment in Cedar Hill Cemetery, Suitland, Maryland.

View Record in the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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External Research Collections

Franklin College Library
Special Collections

Franklin, IN
Papers: Letters concerning memoirs in George Denny correspondence, 1932-1942.

Indiana Historical Society

Indianapolis, IN
Papers: 1904-1940. 28 letters.

Indiana State Library

Indianapolis, IN
Papers: Ca. 1880-1920. 2 boxes. Immigration, political papers, school papers, and photographs.
Additional Papers: Correspondence in Clarence H. Smith papers, 1775-1959; Raymond E. Willis papers, 1936-1950; Carlton Buel McCulloch papers, 1933-1946; Will H. Hays papers, 1857-1954; David Curtis Stephenson papers, 1922-1928; John C. Chaney papers, 1883-1942; and Martha Ellis Hopkins papers, 1914-1952.

Indiana University
Lilly Library

Bloomington, IN
Papers: Correspondence in Charles W. Fairbanks papers, 1819-1939.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division

Washington, DC
Papers: Correspondence in Ernest Irving Lewis papers, 1897-1944. Finding aid.

University of Arkansas
Special Collections

Fayetteville, AR
Papers: Correspondence in Republican Party Arkansas State Central Committee records, 1882-1956. Finding aid.

University of Michigan
Bentley Historical Library

Ann Arbor, MI
Papers: Correspondence in Patrick Henry Kelley papers, 1910-1924; and American Council on Alcohol Problems records, 1916-1969. Finding aid.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Watson, James Eli. As I Knew Them: Memoirs of James Watson, Former United States Senator from Indiana. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill Co., 1936.

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