Lowden, Frank Orren

Lowden, Frank Orren,

1861–1943, American political leader, b. Chisago co., Minn. He practiced law in Chicago after 1887 and gained extensive agricultural holdings in Illinois. A leading member of the Republican party from 1900, Lowden served in the U.S. House of Representatives (1906–11) and as governor of Illinois (1917–21). He gained wide notice as governor by his reorganization of the state government and by his effective handling of the Chicago race riots in 1919. A contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 1920, he was deadlocked with Leonard Wood at 311 1-2 votes on the eighth ballot, which enabled Warren G. Harding to gain the nomination. In 1924 he refused to run as Vice President on the Republican ticket, but he remained an influential party leader and a spokesman of the farmer.


See biography by W. T. Hutchinson (1957).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/

Lowden, Frank Orren

(1861–1943) lawyer, U.S. representative, governor; born near Sunrise City, Minn. He grew up in Iowa where he worked on a farm and taught school. Educated in Iowa and then Chicago, he established a lucrative law practice in Chicago, married George Pullman's daughter, and began managing the Pullman railroad industries in 1897. Serving in the U.S. House of Representatives (Rep., Ill.; 1906–11), he worked to reform in the State Department. As governor of Illinois (1917–21), he created a state budget bureau and initiated other reforms. He retired to his farm outside Chicago and declined all offers by his fellow Republicans to run for or accept higher office, although he did campaign for measures beneficial to agriculture and improving public administration. During the Great Depression he favored extensive federal aid to farmers.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.