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Usher L. Burdick

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Usher L. Burdick
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Dakota's at-large district
In office
January 3, 1949 – January 3, 1959
Preceded byCharles R. Robertson
Succeeded byQuentin Burdick
In office
January 3, 1935 – January 3, 1945
Preceded byJames H. Sinclair
Succeeded byCharles R. Robertson
8th Lieutenant Governor of North Dakota
In office
GovernorJohn Burke
Preceded byRobert S. Lewis
Succeeded byAnton Kraabel
Member of the North Dakota House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Usher Lloyd Burdick

(1879-02-21)February 21, 1879
Owatonna, Minnesota, U.S.
DiedAugust 19, 1960(1960-08-19) (aged 81)
Washington, D. C., U.S.
Political partyRepublican
RelationsJocelyn Burdick (daughter-in-law)
Robert W. Levering (son-in-law)
ChildrenQuentin Burdick

Eugene A. Burdick

Eileen B. Levering
Alma materUniversity of Minnesota Law School

Usher Lloyd Burdick (February 21, 1879 – August 19, 1960) was a member of the United States House of Representatives from North Dakota. He was the father of Quentin Burdick.

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Early life and career

Burdick was born in Owatonna, Minnesota, the son of Lucy (Farnum) and Ozias Perry Warren Burdick.[1] His parents were farmers. Burdick moved with his parents to Dakota Territory in 1882. He graduated from the North Dakota State Normal School at Mayville in 1900.

He was deputy superintendent of schools of Benson County from 1900 to 1902. He graduated from University of Minnesota Law School in 1904, playing football as well as teaching school in a business college while attending the university. He was admitted to the state bar in 1904 and commenced practice in Munich, North Dakota.


He served as a member of the North Dakota House of Representatives from 1907 to 1911, serving as speaker in 1909. He moved to Williston in 1907 and continued the practice of law. He was the eighth Lieutenant Governor of North Dakota from 1911 to 1913, state's attorney of Williams County from 1913 to 1915, and served as assistant United States district attorney for North Dakota from 1929 to 1932. Burdick also engaged in livestock breeding and farming and was an author.

In 1911, as lieutenant governor, Burdick presided over the impeachment trial of Judge John F. Cowan, which was the first impeachment trial in state history. Cowan was found not guilty.[2][3]

In 1932, Burdick was elected president of the Farmers' Holiday Association, an association which advocated strikes for farmers, and which took radical direct action against farm foreclosures. Burdick was an unsuccessful candidate for the Republican nomination to the 73rd Congress in 1932, in which he favored Franklin D. Roosevelt to be elected president and the repeal of Prohibition.

Burdick was elected as a Republican to the 74th Congress and to the four succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1935 – January 3, 1945). While in Congress he supported many New Deal programs. He also was supportive of Native American issues. He was not a candidate for renomination in 1944, but was an unsuccessful candidate for the Republican nomination for United States Senator for North Dakota. He was an unsuccessful Independent candidate for election in 1944 to the 79th Congress. Burdick was elected to the 81st Congress and to the four succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1949 – January 3, 1959). He was the only Republican congressional representative to vote against the Communist Control Act which banned the Communist party. In 1958, afraid that he might be defeated for re-election in the Republican primary, Burdick offered to withdraw his candidacy if the Democratic-NPL Party agreed to support his son Quentin as the party candidate. Quentin then received the party endorsement in April, and won the election in November.[4] Burdick voted in favor of the Civil Rights Act of 1957.[5]

Personal life

On Feb. 28, 1958, nearly three years after the death of his first wife, Emma, Burdick—then 79—married his 30-year-old secretary, Jean Rodgers. [6]


On August 19, 1960, only eleven days after his son Quentin was sworn into the United States Senate, Burdick died at age 81 in Washington, D.C., and was interred on his ranch at Williston, North Dakota.


  1. ^ "00049 - Photographs - Archives Holdings - Archives - State Historical Society of North Dakota".
  2. ^ Eriksmoen, Curt (2006-12-02). Eriksmoen, Jan (ed.). "Popularity proves not to be everything for Cowan". INFORUM. Archived from the original on 2022-11-26. Retrieved 2020-10-22.
  3. ^ Blackorby, Edward C. (2001). Prairie populist : the life and times of Usher L. Burdick. Fargo, N.D.: Published jointly by the State Historical Society of North Dakota and the North Dakota Institute for Regional Studies. pp. 87–98. ISBN 9780911042573. OCLC 49623416.
  4. ^ Current Biography Yearbook. 27. New York: H.W. Wilson Company. 1964.
  5. ^ "HR 6127. CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1957".
  6. ^ "Transition," Newsweek, March 10, 1958
Political offices
Preceded by Lieutenant Governor of North Dakota
Succeeded by
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Dakota's at-large congressional district

Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Dakota's at-large congressional district

Succeeded by

Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.

This page was last edited on 21 August 2023, at 03:08
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