Harry E. Rowbottom

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Harry Rowbottom
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Indiana's 1st district
In office
March 4, 1925 – March 3, 1931
Preceded byWilliam Wilson
Succeeded byJohn W. Boehne Jr.
Member of the Indiana House of Representatives
In office
1919–1923
Personal details
Born
Harry Emerson Rowbottom

(1884-11-03)November 3, 1884
Aurora, Indiana, U.S.
DiedMarch 22, 1934(1934-03-22) (aged 49)
Evansville, Indiana, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
EducationUniversity of Kentucky
Cincinnati Business College (BS)

Harry Emerson Rowbottom (November 3, 1884 – March 22, 1934) was an American businessman and Republican politician. He was elected to the United States House of Representatives from Indiana in 1924 and served three terms from 1925 to 1931. He was defeated for re-election in 1930 and subsequently convicted of accepting bribes, abruptly terminating his political career.

Biography

Rowbottom was born in Aurora, Indiana, and moved with his parents to Ludlow, Kentucky, in 1885. In Kentucky he attended the common schools, graduated from Ludlow High School in 1901, and subsequently attended Kentucky State College at Lexington from 1902 to 1904.[citation needed]

From 1904 to 1907 Rowbottom worked selling lubricating oils. He graduated from the Cincinnati Business College in 1907, where he studied accountancy. Following graduation, Rowbottom found work as an auditor in Cincinnati from 1907 to 1910 and Chicago from 1910 to 1912. He moved to Evansville, Indiana, in 1913 and was employed as chief clerk for the Indiana Refining Company from 1913 to 1918.[citation needed]

Politics

Rowbottom was elected to the Indiana House of Representatives in 1918, serving two consecutive terms from 1919 to 1923. His legislative service coincided with the end of World War I and the Red Summer of 1919, which witnessed the rise of the second Ku Klux Klan. Like many prominent Indiana Republicans, Rowbottom sought out the Klan's electoral support and proudly boasted of his membership in the organization.

Congress

With the Klan's endorsement he was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1924, defeating Democratic incumbent William E. Wilson in Indiana's 1st congressional district. Klan-backed candidates won up and down the ballot in 1924, with local Klan leader D. C. Stephenson widely believed to have orchestrated the nomination of the incoming Republican governor, Edward L. Jackson. Rowbottom's victory in traditionally Democratic southern Indiana, coming despite Wilson's eminent public stature and Rowbottom's comparatively poor reputation, was considered as major upset.[1]

Rowbottom was re-elected in 1926 and 1928, serving from 1925 to 1931. He was defeated for re-election to the 72nd Congress in 1930 following the onset of the Great Depression, which was blamed on the Republican Party and the administration of Herbert Hoover.

Conviction and prison

During his final term in office, Rowbottom was indicted for accepting bribes in exchange for appointments to jobs with the United States Postal Service. He was found guilty in 1931 and sentenced to one year and one day in prison. Rowbottom was incarcerated at USP Leavenworth.[2][3][4][5]

Death

He died in Evansville on March 22, 1934, and is interred in Locust Hill Cemetery.[6]

Electoral history

General election 1924[7]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Harry E. Rowbottom 48,203 52.1
Democratic William E. Wilson 44,335 47.9
General election 1926[8]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Harry E. Rowbottom 37,503 52.4
Democratic William E. Wilson 34,061 47.6
General election 1928[9]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Harry E. Rowbottom 49,013 50.8
Democratic John W. Boehne Jr. 47,404 49.2
General election 1930[10]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic John W. Boehne Jr. 46,836 53.9
Republican Harry E. Rowbottom 40,015 46.1

See also

References

Notes
  1. ^ Madison, James H. (2020). The Ku Klux Klan in the Heartland. Bloomington: Indiana University. pp. 121–22.
  2. ^ Madison, James H. (2020). The Ku Klux Klan in the Heartland. Bloomington: Indiana University. p. 122.
  3. ^ "The New York Times - Breaking News, US News, World News and Videos". www.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2022-09-30.
  4. ^ "Final report of the Select Committee to Study Undercover Activities of Components of the Department of Justice, to the U.S. Senate, page 696". U.S. Government Printing Office. 1983.
  5. ^ "Indianapolis Times 16 April 1931 — Hoosier State Chronicles: Indiana's Digital Historic Newspaper Program". newspapers.library.in.gov. Retrieved 2023-09-23.
  6. ^ "ROWBOTTOM, Harry Emerson - Biographical Information". bioguide.congress.gov. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  7. ^ Congressional Quarterly, p. 751
  8. ^ Congressional Quarterly, p. 756
  9. ^ Congressional Quarterly, p. 761
  10. ^ Congressional Quarterly, p. 766
Sources

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Indiana's 1st congressional district

1925–1931
Succeeded by

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