Wheeler, Burton K. (Burton Kendall), 1882-1975

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1882-02-27
Death 1975-01-06
English

Biographical notes:

Burton Kendall Wheeler was born in Hudson, Mass., on 27 Feb. 1882 and moved to Montana shortly after his graduation from law school in 1905. He began his law career in Butte, serving as U.S. Attorney for Montana from 1913 to 1918 prior to his election to the U.S. Senate in 1922. In 1924 he ran unsuccessfully for vice-president on the Progressive Party presidential ticket. Wheeler is remembered as one of the most powerful senators in Washington, D.C., in the 1930s. Chairman of the Interstate Commerce Committee and of the Indian Affairs Committee, he personally influenced such key New Deal legislation as the Public Utilities Holding Company Act of 1935 and the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 (the Wheeler-Howard Act). In 1937 he successfully led the opposition to Pres. Roosevelt's attempt to pack the Supreme Court with justices of his own political persuasion. Throughout his years in the Senate, Wheeler consistently opposed war. He supported neutrality legislation in the 1930s, spoke out against peacetime conscription in 1940, fought against the Lend-Lease aid to Britain in 1941, and took an active roll in the "America First" movement. After the U.S. decided to enter World War II, however, Wheeler gave his full support to the effort. He was defeated for reelection in 1946 and practiced law in Washington, D.C., until his death in 1975.

From the description of Burton K. Wheeler papers, 1922-1975. (Montana State University Bozeman Library). WorldCat record id: 154689325

Burton Kendall Wheeler was born in Hudson, Mass., on 27 Feb. 1882 and moved to Montana shortly after his graduation from law school in 1905. He began his law career in Butte, serving as U.S. Attorney for Montana from 1913 to 1918 prior to his election to the U.S. Senate in 1922. In 1924, he ran unsuccessfully for vice-president on the Progressive Party presidential ticket. Wheeler is remembered as one of the most powerful senators in Washington D.C., in the 1930s. Chairman of the Interstate Commerce Committee and of the Indian Affairs Committee, he personally influenced such key New Deal legislation as the Public Utilities Holding Company Act of 1935 and the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 (the Wheeler-Howard Act). In 1937, he successfully led the opposition to President Roosevelt's attempt to pack the Supreme Court with justices of his own political persuasion. Throughout his years in the Senate, Wheeler consistently opposed war. He supported neutrality legislation in the 1930s, spoke out against peacetime conscription in 1940, fought against the Lend-Lease aid to Britain in 1941, and took an active roll in the "America First" movement. After the U.S. decided to enter World War II, however, Wheeler gave his full support to the effort. He was defeated for reelection in 1946 and practiced law in Washington D.C., until his death in 1975.

From the description of Burton K. Wheeler papers, 1924-1947. (Montana State University Bozeman Library). WorldCat record id: 70963686

Burton Kendall Wheeler was born in Hudson, Massachusetts on February 27, 1882 and moved to Montana shortly after his graduation from law school in 1905. He began his law career in Butte, serving as U.S. Attorney for Montana from 1913 to 1918 prior to his election to the U.S. Senate in 1922. In 1924, he ran unsuccessfully for vice-president on the Progressive Party presidential ticket. Wheeler is remembered as one of the most powerful senators in Washington D.C. in the 1930s. Chairman of the Interstate Commerce Committee and of the Indian Affairs Committee, he personally influenced such key New Deal legislation as the Public Utilities Holding Company Act of 1935 and the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 (the Wheeler-Howard Act). In 1937, he successfully led the opposition to President Roosevelt's attempt to pack the Supreme Court with justices of his own political persuasion. Throughout his years in the Senate, Wheeler consistently opposed war. He supported neutrality legislation in the 1930s, spoke out against peacetime conscription in 1940, fought against the Lend-Lease aid to Britain in 1941, and took an active role in the "America First" movement. After the United States decided to enter World War II, however, Wheeler gave his full support to the effort. He was defeated for reelection in 1946 and practiced law in Washington D.C. until his death in 1975.

From the guide to the Burton K. Wheeler Papers, 1924-1947, (Montana State University-Bozeman Library, Merrill G Burlingame Special Collections)

From the guide to the Burton K. Wheeler Papers, 1922-1975, (Montana State University-Bozeman Library, Merrill G Burlingame Special Collections)

United States senator.

From the description of Reminiscences of Burton Kendall Wheeler : oral history, 1969. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 309735862

Burton K. Wheeler was born in Hudson, Massachusetts in 1882 and moved to Montana shortly after his graduation from law school in 1905. He began his law career in Butte, serving as U.S. Attorney for Montana from 1913 to 1918 prior to his election to the U.S. senate in 1922. In 1924 he ran unsuccessfully for vice-president on the Progressive Party presidential ticket. Wheeler is remembered as one of the most powerful senators in Washington D.C. in the 1930s. Chairman of the Interstate Commerce Committee and of the Indian Affairs Committee, he personally influenced such key New Deal legislation as the Public Utilities Holding Company Act of 1935 and the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 (the Wheeler-Howard Act). In 1937 he successfully led the opposition to President Roosevelt's attempt to pack the Supreme Court. He was defeated for reelection in 1946 and practiced law in Washington D.C. until his death in 1975.

From the description of Burton K. Wheeler papers, 1922-1975. (Montana State University Bozeman Library). WorldCat record id: 43961407

United States Senator from Montana.

Burton K. Wheeler was born in 1882 in Hudson, Massachusetts. After receiving a law degree from the University of Michigan in 1905, he settled in Butte, Montana, where he worked as a law clerk and established a private law practice. He served as U.S. District Attorney during World War I, becoming involved in controversial loyalty cases. In 1922 he was elected U.S. Senator. He held the seat until his defeat in the Democratic primary of 1946. Wheeler was an early supporter of Franklin D. Roosevelt, but broke with his administration over the "court-packing" case and over neutrality in World War II. Burton K. Wheeler died in 1975.

From the description of Burton Kendall Wheeler papers 1910-1972. (Montana Historical Society Library). WorldCat record id: 42928470

U.S. senator from Montana.

Burton K. Wheeler was born in Hudson, Mass., in 1882. After receiving his law degree from the University of Michigan in 1905, he moved to Butte, Mont., where he worked as a law clerk and in private practice. During World War I he was U.S. District Attorney in Butte, and used the position to try to protect the right to dissent. In 1922 he was elected U.S. senator. He was an early supporter of Franklin Roosevelt but split with him over the "court packing case" and over World War II neutrality. He was defeated in the primary election in 1946 and returned to private practice. He died in 1975.

From the description of Burton Kendall Wheeler papers, 1910-1972. (Montana Historical Society Library). WorldCat record id: 154692294

Burton Kendall Wheeler was born February 27, 1882, at Hudson, Massachusetts. After his public schooling and a period of work in the Boston area, Wheeler attended the University of Michigan. He received his law degree in 1905. In October 1905, he settled in Butte, Montana, and began work as a clerk for an established lawyer. The following year, Wheeler went into practice on his own. In 1910, he was elected to serve in the Montana House of Representatives as a Democrat from Silver Bow County. While in the legislature, Wheeler supported the candidacy of Thomas J. Walsh for Senator. For this support, Walsh arranged to have Wheeler appointed U.S. District Attorney for Montana in 1913. He served in this capacity throughout World War I and was the subject of much controversy for his actions in protecting the right of dissent. He resigned in 1918 to avert a possible Walsh defeat.

In 1920, Wheeler was defeated by Joseph M. Dixon in a bitter campaign for governor, but two years later, he was elected U.S. Senator. He held this Senate seat until his defeat in the primary election of 1946. During his Senate career, Wheeler was a constant foe of the "interests" and was chiefly responsible for the exposure and investigation of graft in the Department of Justice (1924-1925). Wheeler was an early supporter of Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal, and served as chairman of the powerful Senate Interstate Commerce Committee. However, in 1937, Wheeler broke with the administration over Roosevelt's unsuccessful bid to "pack" the Supreme Court. His opposition to Roosevelt was again of major importance as a member of the America First Committee and as a supporter of non-involvement in the European war, which began in 1939. Wheeler, because of his widespread support in the Democratic party, was considered a major contender for the presidential nomination in 1940, until Roosevelt announced for a third term. He was strongly considered as a running mate with Roosevelt that year, but refused to accept the nomination. Wheeler again supported non-involvement in 1945-1946, when he opposed the United Nations and loans to our allies after the war.

After his defeat for reelection to the Senate by Leif Erickson in the 1946 primary, Wheeler retired to private law practice in partnership with his son Edward, in Washington, D.C. Burton K. Wheeler died in 1975, at age 93.

From the guide to the Burton Kendall Wheeler Papers, 1910-1972, (Montana Historical Society Research Center)

Burton Kendall Wheeler was born February 27, 1882, at Hudson, Massachusetts. He graduated from the Hudson High School in 1900 and worked in the Boston area. Wheeler attended the University of Michigan and received his law degree from there in 1905.

In October 1905, Wheeler settled in Butte, Montana, and began work as a clerk for an established lawyer. The following year, he started his own practice. Wheeler married Lulu M. White, the daughter of John and Elizabeth White, in Albany, Illinois, on September 7, 1907. They had six children: John Leonard (b. 1909), Elizabeth Hale (b. 1912), Edward Kendall (b. 1915), Frances L. (1919-1957), Richard (b. 1920), and Marion Montana (b. 1925).

In 1910 Wheeler was elected to serve in the Montana House of Representatives as a Democrat from Silver Bow County. While in the legislature, he supported the candidacy of Thomas J. Walsh for United States Senator. For this support, Walsh arranged to have Wheeler appointed U.S. District Attorney for Montana in 1913. He served in this capacity throughout World War I and was the subject of much controversy for his actions in protecting the right of dissent. He resigned in 1918 to avert a possible Walsh defeat.

In 1920 Wheeler was defeated by Joseph M. Dixon in a bitter campaign for governor, but two years later, he was elected United States Senator. He held this senate seat until his defeat in the primary election of 1946. In 1924 Wheeler ran as the vice-presidential candidate on the Progressive Party ticket with Robert LaFollette.

During his senate career, Wheeler was a constant foe of the "interests" and was chiefly responsible for the exposure and investigation of graft in the Department of Justice (1924-1925). He was an early supporter of Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal and served as chairman of the powerful Senate Interstate Commerce Committee. However, in 1937, Wheeler broke with the administration over Roosevelt's unsuccessful bid to "pack" the Supreme Court. His opposition to Roosevelt was again of major importance when Wheeler became a member of the America First Committee and supported non-involvement in the European war, which began in 1939. Because Wheeler had widespread support in the Democratic Party, he was considered a major contender for the presidential nomination in 1940, until Roosevelt announced for a third term. He was strongly considered as a running mate with Roosevelt that year, but refused to accept the nomination. Wheeler again supported non-involvement in 1945-1946, when he opposed the United Nations and loans to our allies after the war. After his defeat for reelection to the United States Senate by Leif Erickson in the 1946 primary, Wheeler retired to private law practice in partnership with his son Edward in Washington, D.C. Burton K. Wheeler died in 1975, at the age of 93.

From the guide to the Burton Kendall Wheeler photograph collection, 1909-1958, (Montana Historical Society Research Center)

Burton Kendall Wheeler was born in Hudson, Massachusetts, on February 27, 1882, a son of Asa L. and Mary Elizabeth Tyler Wheeler. Wheeler graduated from the Hudson High School in 1900, and worked in Boston. He received his law degree from the University of Michigan in 1905. Shortly thereafter he moved to Butte, Montana, and began practice there on January 15, 1906, in offices in the Pittsburg Block. Wheeler became active in the Democratic Party and was elected to the Montana House of Representatives during the Twelfth Legislative Assembly in 1911. He was a candidate for Montana attorney general in the Democrats' 1912 convention in Great Falls, but was defeated by Daniel M. Kelley. Wheeler was an advocate of the direct primary election of party candidates and other progressive policies. President Woodrow Wilson chose Wheeler for United States attorney for the District of Montana on October 30, 1913. During World War I, Wheeler was the official representative of the U.S. Department of Justice in the state.

In 1920 Wheeler ran unsuccessfully against Joseph M. Dixon for governor. In 1922, however, he was elected to the United States Senate, an office he held until his defeat by Leif Erickson in the 1946 primary.

Wheeler married Lulu M. White, daughter of John and Elizabeth White, in Albany, Illinois, on September 7, 1907. The Wheelers had six children: John Leonard, Elizabeth Hale, Edward Kendall, Francis L., Richard and Marion M. Burton K. Wheeler died at the age of 93 in 1975.

From the guide to the Burton Kendall Wheeler papers, 1909-1916, (Montana Historical Society Research Center)

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