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Frank L. Smith

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Frank Smith
Frank L. Smith.jpg
United States Senator-elect
from Illinois
In office
Not seated
Preceded byWilliam B. McKinley
Succeeded byOtis F. Glenn
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 17th district
In office
March 4, 1919 – March 3, 1921
Preceded byJohn Allen Sterling
Succeeded byFrank H. Funk
Personal details
Frank Leslie Smith

(1867-11-24)November 24, 1867
Dwight, Illinois, U.S.
DiedAugust 30, 1950(1950-08-30) (aged 82)
Dwight, Illinois, U.S.
Political partyRepublican

Frank Leslie Smith (November 24, 1867 – August 30, 1950) was an Illinois politician.


Smith was born in Dwight, Illinois, in Livingston County He served as a United States Congressman from 1919 to 1921.


Smith first ran for the Republican primary nomination for the U.S. Senate in 1920. In that first year of suffrage, women's votes were counted separately from men's in Illinois. He was beating William B. McKinley by 27,000 votes after the male votes were counted, but once the female votes were counted, McKinley had won by 11,000 votes. McKinley went on to win the general election as well.

In 1921, Smith became the chairman of the Illinois Commerce Commission, which oversaw utilities in the state. He prepared to run again for the Senate in 1926. At the time, Illinois had no campaign finance laws and Smith collected the unprecedented amount of $400,000 from several wealthy executives who ran public utilities, including $125,000 from Samuel Insull.[1]

In 1926 he defeated McKinley in the Republican primary for the Senate. Smith went on to win the general election held in November of that year, although Julius Rosenwald of Sears, Roebuck & Company had offered him $550,000 stock to withdraw.[2][3]

McKinley, whose lame duck term would normally have extended until March 1927, died in December 1926, so Illinois Governor Len Small (R) appointed Smith to fulfill the rest of McKinley's term, a fairly common practice when the incumbent senator has died or otherwise ceased to serve. But when Smith presented his credentials as the newly appointed Senator, the U.S. Senate voted to not allow him to qualify as a senator, based upon alleged fraud and corruption in his campaign for the full term. In a new special election he tried again to qualify as the elected Senator in March 1927, but was again denied. He finally resigned his seat on February 9, 1928.[4][5][6]

See also


  1. ^ "The (Other) Man Who Tried to Buy a Senate Seat". June 3, 2011.
  2. ^ Ascoli, P. M. (2016). Julius Rosenwald the man who built Sears, Roebuck and advanced the cause of black education in the American South. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
  3. ^ "Gov. Lennington Small".
  4. ^ Frank Lloyd Wright Library, Frank L. Smith photographs, US Senate campaign brochure, accessed September 16, 2017
  5. ^ Senate Historical Office, United States Senate. "The Election Case of Frank L. Smith of Illinois (1928)".
  6. ^ "Congressional Record - Senate" (PDF). January 19, 1927. pp. 1911–1982.
  • "Frank L. Smith, 82, Lost Senate Seat," New York Times, August 31, 1950, p 22.
  • Carroll Hill Wooddy, The Case of Frank L. Smith: A Study in Representative Government, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, 1931.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 17th congressional district

Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Illinois
(Class 3)

Succeeded by
U.S. Senate
Preceded by U.S. Senator-elect (Class 3) from Illinois
Served alongside: Charles S. Deneen
Succeeded by
This page was last edited on 4 July 2022, at 17:56
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