Schwellenbach, Lewis B. (Lewis Baxter), 1894-1948

Alternative names
Birth 1894-09-20
Death 1948-06-10

Biographical notes:

United States Senator and Secretary of Labor.

From the description of Social invitations, 1936-1948. (Washington State University). WorldCat record id: 29853954

Lewis Baxter Schwellenbach was born in 1894 in Superior, Wisconsin. In 1902, his family moved to Spokane, Washington. He graduated from the law school of the University of Washington in 1917. During the First World War he served from 1918, as a private in the Twelfth Regiment, United States Infantry, until discharged as a corporal in 1919. During the 1920's, he had an active law practice working with and for labor unions, eventually becoming active in businesses which were owned by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers. He was a director of the Brotherhood Bank and Trust Company. He became the president of Superior Services Laundry Inc., which eventually failed. He unsuccessfully ran for governor of Washington in 1932. He was elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate from Washington State and served from January 3, 1935, to December 16, 1940. He was a delegate to the Interparliamentary Union at The Hague in 1938. He was appointed as District Judge for the Eastern District of Washington in 1940. He was Secretary of Labor from July 1, 1945 to June 10, 1948, and while Secretary, he changed the labor department from a department primarily interested in statistical information gathering to a policy-making department, actively trying to conciliate labor with management and promote a high-wage economy based on unionized labor. The Employment Act of 1946 codified his policy of promoting maximum employment. He also presided over the end of the wage and price controls which had been in effect during World War II. He served as Secretary of Labor until his death on June 10, 1948, in Walter Reed Hospital, Washington, D.C. He was interred in Washelli Cemetery in Seattle, Washington.

From the description of Schwellenbach, Lewis B. (Lewis Baxter), 1894-1948 (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration). naId: 10570822

U.S. secretary of labor, U.S. senator from Washington, jurist, and lawyer.

From the description of Lewis B. Schwellenbach papers, 1916-1958 (bulk 1934-1948). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 79455018

Biographical Note

  • 1894, Sept. 20: Born, Superior, Wis.
  • 1917: LL.B., University of Washington, Seattle, Wash.
  • 1916 - 1917 : Assistant instructor, University of Washington, Seattle, Wash.
  • 1919: Admitted to Washington state bar
  • 1919 - 1921 : Associated with firm of Roberts & Skeel, Seattle, Wash.
  • 1924: Chairman, Democratic state convention, Washington state
  • 1925 - 1931 : Partner, firm of Schwellenbach, Merrick, and Macfarlane
  • 1931 - 1935 : Practiced law alone
  • 1932: Candidate for governor in Democratic primaries, Washington state
  • 1935: Married Anne Duffy
  • 1935 - 1940 : U.S. senator from Washington (resigned Dec. 1940)
  • 1940 - 1945 : U.S. district judge, Eastern District of Washington
  • 1944 - 1945 : Dean, Gonzaga University Law School, Spokane, Wash.
  • 1945 - 1948 : Secretary of labor
  • 1948, June 10: Died, Washington, D.C.

From the guide to the Lewis B. Schwellenbach Papers, 1916-1958, (bulk 1934-1948), (Manuscript Division Library of Congress)


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