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Iowa's 11th congressional district

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Iowa's 11th congressional district existed from 1883 to 1933, when Iowa sent eleven members of Congress to the United States House of Representatives. The district covered northwestern Iowa.


The district was created in 1881 (effective 1883) from a subset of the counties in the old 9th district. From 1883 to 1886, the district included Emmet, Palo Alto, Pocahontas, Calhoun, Greene, Carroll, Sac, Buena Vista, Clay, Dickinson, Osceola, O'Brien, Cherokee, Ida, Monona, Woodbury, Plymouth, Sioux, and Lyon counties.[1] Reapportionment in 1886 reflected the increasing population balance between eastern and western Iowa, causing the district's size to shrink and resulting in a westward shift of its eastern boundary.[2] No new counties were added, and Emmet, Palo Alto, Pocahontas, Calhoun, Greene, and Carroll counties were moved to the 10th district.[2] After 1886, the boundaries of the district never changed;[3] the Iowa General Assembly refused to reapportion its districts until the loss of two seats following the 1930 census left the State with no other choice.

Demographics and underrepresentation

The district was predominantly rural, except for Sioux City, and included counties such as Lyon that were among the last in Iowa to settle. However, by 1895 the District had the second-largest population of any of Iowa's congressional districts, behind only the similarly oversized Tenth District.[4] By 1890, the continued disproportionate increase in the population of the Tenth and Eleventh Districts caused some to predict that the General Assembly would need to reduce the area of each district,[4] but no such change occurred. Meanwhile, between 1900 and 1920, the population of Sioux City more than doubled, exacerbating the problem of underrepresentation. By 1921, the Eleventh District was the most populous Iowa district, with 130,000 more residents than the First District, and over 80,000 more than the population of an ideally-sized Iowa congressional district.[5]

Voting patterns

All but one congressman elected from this district was a member of the Republican Party. The exception, Democrat Thomas J. Steele, was elected in 1914, when he upset George Cromwell Scott (who had barely campaigned that year).[6] Scott recaptured his former seat from Steele at the first opportunity (two years later).

After dissolution

Under the nine-district plan adopted by the Iowa General Assembly in 1931, the boundaries of the old 11th district were preserved as the new 9th district.[7] However, the new 9th district was no longer safe for Republicans, and Democrats Guy M. Gillette and Vincent F. Harrington kept it in Democratic hands. Ten years later, when the 1940 census caused Iowa to lose another seat, the new 8th district included all of the old 11th district's counties, minus Monona County, which was Democratic-leaning in the 1930s. Republican Charles B. Hoeven won every election in the new 8th district (and one further election after a round of reapportionment in 1961 combined the 8th district and six more rural counties to form a new sixth district).[8] Except for two Democrats who first won election in landslide years nationally for Democrats (Stanley L. Greigg in 1964 and Berkley Bedell in 1974), Republican congressmen have consistently represented most counties from the old 11th district since 1941.

List of members representing the district

(District Residence (County))
Party Years Cong
Electoral history
District created March 4, 1883
Isaac Struble.jpg

Isaac S. Struble
Republican March 4, 1883 –
March 3, 1891
Elected in 1882.
Re-elected in 1884.
Re-elected in 1886.
Re-elected in 1888.
Lost renomination.
George D. Perkins - History of Iowa.jpg

George D. Perkins
Republican March 4, 1891 –
March 3, 1899
Elected in 1890.
Re-elected in 1892.
Re-elected in 1894.
Re-elected in 1896.
Lost renomination.
Lot Thomas.jpg

Lot Thomas
(Buena Vista)
Republican March 4, 1899 –
March 3, 1905
Elected in 1898.
Re-elected in 1900.
Re-elected in 1902.
Lost renomination.
Elbert H. Hubbard - History of Iowa.jpg

Elbert H. Hubbard
Republican March 4, 1905 –
June 4, 1912
Elected in 1904.
Re-elected in 1906.
Re-elected in 1908.
Re-elected in 1910.
Vacant 62nd
George Cromwell Scott.png

George Cromwell Scott
Republican November 5, 1912 –
March 3, 1915
Elected to finish Hubbard's term.
Re-elected in 1912.
Lost re-election.
Thomas Jefferson Steele.png

Thomas J. Steele
Democratic March 4, 1915 –
March 3, 1917
64th Elected in 1914.
Lost re-election.
George Cromwell Scott.png

George Cromwell Scott
Republican March 4, 1917 –
March 3, 1919
65th Elected in 1916.

William D. Boies
Republican March 4, 1919 –
March 3, 1929
Elected in 1918.
Re-elected in 1920.
Re-elected in 1922.
Re-elected in 1924.
Re-elected in 1926.
Ed H. Campbell
Republican March 4, 1929 –
March 3, 1933
Elected in 1928.
Re-elected in 1930.
Redistricted to the 9th district and lost re-election.
District eliminated March 4, 1933

See also


  1. ^ "Congressional Map of the State of Iowa - Official Census 1885" (Iowa Official Register 1886 Archived 2006-05-19 at the Wayback Machine at pp. 12-13).
  2. ^ a b "The Congressional Districts," Waterloo Courier, 1886-04-14.
  3. ^ Iowa Official Register 1929-30 Archived 2013-11-12 at the Wayback Machine at p. 3.
  4. ^ a b "Redistricting in Iowa," Dubuque Sunday Herald, 1900-11-04 at p. 11.
  5. ^ Editorial, "A Brilliant Idea," Waterloo Evening Courier, 1921-01-26 at 6.
  6. ^ "How Eleventh Was Lost," The Cedar Rapids Republican, 1914-11-08 at p. 20 (quoting the Sioux City Journal).
  7. ^ Iowa Official Register 1933-34 Archived 2011-07-25 at the Wayback Machine at p. 6.
  8. ^ Editorial, "Another redrawing," Ames Daily Tribune, 1970-07-07 at p. 4 (depicting the 1941 and 1961 district maps).
  • Martis, Kenneth C. (1989). The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.
  • Martis, Kenneth C. (1982). The Historical Atlas of United States Congressional Districts. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.
  • Congressional Biographical Directory of the United States 1774–present
This page was last edited on 4 February 2021, at 16:32
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