Woodring, Harry Hines, 1887-1967

Alternative names
Birth 1887-05-31
Death 1967-09-09

Biographical notes:

Harry Hines Woodring was born in Elk City, Kansas, on May 31, 1887, the son of Hines and Melissa Woodring. After attending Elk City and Montgomery County high schools, he enrolled in Lebanon Business University, Lebanon, Indiana, where he staved for ten months. Returning to Elk City in the spring of 1905, he accepted a job as bookkeeper in the First National Bank. In 1909, he was offered, and accepted, a job as assistant cashier in the First National Bank of Neodesha, Kansas, a career interrupted in 1918, when he enlisted as a private in the U.S. Army. Assigned to the Tank Training Center, Camp Colt, Pennsylvania, he was later commissioned as a Second Lieutenant. Mustered out of the service in December, 1918, he returned to a career in banking, serving as assistant cashier at the Mid-West National Bank,. Kansas City, Missouri. In 1922, he was named managing director of the First National Bank in Neodesha, Kansas, a position he held for seven years. Woodring became increasingly active in the American Legion after joining Neodesha's Seward-Ayers Post in 1919. In 1927, he was made chairman of the State Membership Committee, and the following year he was elected State Commander. His increasing interest in Legion activities was paralleled by a declining interest in banking, and in 1929, he retired from his career as a banker. In 1930, Woodring, a democrat, ran for, and was elected to, the position of governor of Kansas. In 1932, he was again chosen to be the democratic nominee for governor, but was defeated in the general election by Alf Landon. Woodring was appointed Assistant Secretary of War in March, 1933, a position he held until September of 1936. At that time, due to the death of Secretary of War George Dern, Woodring was temporarily appointed acting Secretary of War. In April, 1937, he was officially confirmed by the Senate as Secretary of War. He resigned from this post in June, 1940, because of an increasing difference of opinion with President Roosevelt concerning Allied rearmament and U.S. military readiness. After the resignation, he returned to Topeka, Kansas. Entering politics again in 1946, Woodring was successful in securing the democratic nomination for governor, but was defeated in the general election by Frank Carlson. In 1956, he again entered the political arena where he attempted to secure the democratic nomination for governor of Kansas. Woodring was defeated in the primary by George Docking, after which he returned to private life in Topeka until his death on September 9, 1967.

Biographical Note Born in Elk City, Kansas1887 Attended Elk City High School; Montgomery County High School, Independence, Kansas; and Lebanon Business University, Lebanon, Indiana1902-1904 Bookkeeper, First National Bank, Elk City, Kansas1905 Assistant cashier, First National Bank, Neodesha, Kansas1909 Enlisted as a Private in World War I and was sent to the Tank Training Center, Camp Colt, Pennsylvania. Commissioned as Second Lieutenant in the Personnel Section at Camp Colt1918 Assistant cashier, Mid-West National Bank, Kansas City, Missouri. Became a charter member of Neodesha's Seward-Ayers Post of the American Legion1919 Managing director, First National Bank, Neodesha, Kansas1922 Chairman of the State Membership Committee of the American Legion1927 State Commander of the American Legion1928 Retired from banking1929 Won the Democratic primary and then was elected Governor of Kansas1930 Again won the Democratic nomination for governor but was defeated in the general election by Alf Landon1932 Assistant Secretary of War1933 Temporarily appointed Secretary of War1936 Appointed Secretary of War1937 Resigned as Secretary of War. Returned with his family to Topeka, Kansas1940 Won Democratic primary for Governor of Kansas but was defeated by Frank Carlson in the general election1946 Defeated by George Docking in the Democratic gubernatorial primary in Kansas1956 Private citizen in Topeka, Kansas1957-1967

From the guide to the Papers, 1887-1967, (University of Kansas Kenneth Spencer Research Library Kansas Collection)


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  • United States. Army. XV Corp Artillery
  • United States. Army. VII Corp Artillery
  • Woodring, Harry Hines, 1887-1967--Oratory
  • United States. Army. 3rd Tank Destroyer Group
  • Governors--United States
  • United States. Army. 2nd Armored Division
  • United States. Army. 2nd Infantry Division
  • Attica, Kansas--Civic improvement
  • Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.)
  • Photography--Portraits
  • Income tax
  • Elections
  • United States. Army
  • Woodring, Harry Hines, 1887-1967--Family
  • Cabinet officers
  • Woodring, Harry Hines, 1887-1967--Relics
  • United States. Army. V Corp
  • United States. Army. VII Corp
  • United States. Army. 1st Infantry Division
  • French language--Grammar
  • Diaries
  • United States. War Department


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