Senator Theodore Burton

Not open for further replies.

Mark Baber

Jul 4, 2000
The New York Times, 29 October 1929

Ohio Statesman Had Served in Congress for 41 Years--First Elected to the House
Was Among Early Hoover Supporters---President Visited Him in Last Illness at Capital
Special to The New York Times
WASHINGTON, Oct. 28---Senator Theodore E. Burton of Ohio died tonight at 9:50. He did not emerge from the coma in which he had lain since 2 P. M. yesterday. At 9:45 his night nurse noted that Senator Burton’s temperature was, rising and his pulse, until then strong and regular, had become irregular.

William Nelson, the Senator's chauffeur and faithful friend, was sent from the seventh-floor apartment to the lobby to summon by telephone Dr. Robert W. Baker, the Senator’s physician.

Nelson telephoned to Dr. Baker and rushed back upstairs. When he arrived in the Senator's bedroom Miss Grace Burton was at the bedside with the night nurse. Senator Burton’s heart beats were then barely distinguishable and in a few moments the end came.

MacDonald Sent Message

Earlier in the day Senator Burton's physician said Mr. Burton might live for another twenty-four hours, although he had not once emerged from the unconsciousness into which he lapsed at 2 P. M. yesterday after a sinking spell from which it was feared he might not rally.

Opiates had been administered periodically during the day to relieve possible suffering and afford the exhausted body of the Senator as much rest as possible.

Prime Minister MacDonald wirelessed a message of sympathy from aboard the liner upon which he is returning to England.

Body to Lie in Senate

The body of Senator Burton will lie before the rostrum of the United States Senate chamber Wednesday morning during a brief service to be presided over by the chaplains of the House and Senate, according to tentative arrangements made at a late hour tonight. The Rev. Z. B. Phillips, chaplain of the Senate; the Rev. James Shera Montgomery, chaplain of the House, and Dr. Jason N. Pierce, pastor of the First Congregational Church, where President Coolidge worshipped and which Mr. Burton attended, will conduct the services in the Senate.

One Senator and one member of the House will deliver brief eulogies. Senator Simeon W. Fess of Ohio, who talked over funeral arrangements with Miss Grace Burton, niece of the Senator, late tonight, probably will speak for the Senate. Speaker Nicholas Longworth of Ohio may speak for the House.

Preceding the service in the Senate chamber, a short ceremony at Senator Burton's apartment, at 2,101 Connecticut Avenue, to be attended only by relatives and close friends, is expected.

Burial to Be in Cleveland

The body will be taken to Cleveland for the principal service on Thursday at the First Congregational Church, where the body probably will lie in state. City Manager W. R. Hopkins will be asked to take charge of the Cleveland arrangements.

Vice President Curtis is expected to name sixteen Senators who will escort the body to Cleveland, leaving here Wednesday night. Senator James E. Waston [sic; should be “Watson”] of Indiana, Republican floor leader, and Senator Joseph T. Robinson of Arkansas, the Democratic leader, probably will head the escort.

Elected to House in 1888

For forty-one years Theodore Elijah Burton served in Congress with distinction as a Representative or Senator from his native State of Ohio. His reputation was founded upon integrity, his work was marked by energy, and his ability was recognized by friend and foe alike.

Senator Burton was a man of caution, who did not take a stand before be had studied all angles of the situation involved. He was a student of national and international affairs. When real action was essential, he was in the front row.

Mr. Burton was born at Jefferson, Ohio, on Dec. 20, 1851. He was graduated from Oberlin College in 1872 and received the degree of LL. D. from Oberlin and Dartmouth, as well as from New York University and other institutions. In 1875 he started to practice law at Cleveland and in 1888 he was elected to the House of Representatives.
The rest of his life was bound up with national service. He was a member of the Fifty-first and the Fifty-fourth Congresses and of those from the Fifty-fourth to the Sixtieth, inclusive. In 1909 he was elected United States Senator, serving until 1915. Some of the offices that he held in those periods included those of chairman of the Inland Waterways Commission, 1907-1908, and of the National Waterways Commission, 1908-1912; member of the National Monetary Commission, and of the executive committee and executive council of the Interparliamentary Union. As such he participated in meetings at St. Louis in 1904 and later at London, Paris, Geneva, The Hague, Vienna, Copenhagen, Berne and Paris in 1927.

He was elected to the Sixty-seventh, Sixty-eighth, Sixty-ninth and Seventieth Congresses, appointed a member of the Debt Funding Commission by President Harding in 1922 and made chairman of the delegation from the United States to the Conference of International Traffic in Arms at Geneva in May and June, 1925. His last election was to the Senate for the unexpired term ending March 3, 1933. His majority was 572,747.

A Lifelong Student

Senator Burton was always a student, and in his boyhood days he took no part in play. Besides three books, “Financial Crisis,” “The Life of John Sherman” and “Corporations and the State," he has contributed a number of articles to many periodicals, notably a series of fifteen studies of politics and economic conditions in Australasia and the Far East.

On his seventy-fifth birthday, Dec. 20, 1926, he was cheered by his friends in Congress and described by Representative Tilson, the Republican floor leader as “our ablest, most respected and most beloved colleague.”

On Dec. 15, 1928, he was sworn in as a Senator, succeeding the late Frank B. Wallis. Last January he urged that the Nobel Peace Prize be awarded to Secretary Kellogg. He took part in all debates, showing tremendous activity until he became ill last September.

Senator Burton never married, and his views on marriage were reflected in an interview given in 1927, when he said:

“I believe I would be a bachelor again if I had my life to live over. No man ever deliberately chose either marriage or matrimony. Circumstances cast the die. Bachelorhood allows a man intense application to any kind of work; the bachelor is more efficient. Why does a man need a wife to have a home?"

He was always against needless expenditure of public money and an arch-foe of the pork barrel. He ridiculed the extravagance of public buildings, saying:

“Magnificent public buildings are erected in small towns and inaccessible county seats not because they are needed, not because the public service would suffer from the lack of them, but because a Congressman feels he should bring something home to his district from the public treasury, to show his constituents that he is alive to their welfare and is alert in Washington.”

An Untiring Advocate of Peace

Senator Burton was untiring in behalf of world peace, and The Associated Press emphasizes this activity in a review of his public service.

At the age of 68, when most men are looking forward to retirement, he returned to Congress to round out an active life by seven years of service in the House and Senate devoted almost entirely to the furtherance of international amity.

By his return to both Houses of Congress the veteran statesman established a precedent. No other American had ever served first in House, then in the Senate, returned to the House and again served in the Senate.

Mr. Burton's second period of service in the House started as American troops were returning victorious from France and a war-weary world was sighing for perpetual peace. He first advocated the abolition of poisonous gas in warfare; then threw his force behind a move to outlaw the aggressor nation in international strife, and, thirdly, clashed with his party leaders in the House in their contest with Calvin Coolidge in 1926 over the appropriation of funds to start the last three of the eight 10,000 ton cruisers authorized two years previously.

In this dispute between the President and Congress Mr. Burton late one Winter afternoon held House members in their seats long after the lights had been turned on in pleading the cause of disarmament as a means of world peace.

He said he was looking out over a horizon far beyond the controversy between the White House and Congress and thinking of other years and to him it appeared a question of whether the most powerful nation of the world was to lead the way in limiting naval power to his mind the aggressive power of any nation.

Mr. Burton lost in this contest, funds were provided, but the goal on which he kept his life, reduction of seapower, was nearer with the great naval powers preparing to gather in a London in January to consider such a step.

Many of Senator Burton's friends have thought that he overtaxed his waning strength in his efforts in both this direction and in taking a leading part in the Hoover for President move prior to the Republican Kansas City Convention.

Mr. Burton was one of those who initiated the Hoover movement for the Ohio delegation to Kansas City. After Mr. Hoover had succeeded in winning many of the delegates, Senator Burton entered the race for the Senate and won by more than a half million majority.


Mark Baber

Jul 4, 2000
Congressional Directory, 62d Congress, 3d Session, December 1912

THEODORE E. BURTON, Republican, of Cleveland, was born at Jefferson,
Ashtabula County, Ohio, December 20, 1851; studied at Grand River
Institute, Austinburg, Ohio, at Iowa College, Grinnell, Iowa, and at
Oberlin College, from which last institution he graduated in 1872; began
the practice of law at Cleveland in 1875; is author of a work on
"Financial Crises and Periods of Commercial and Industrial Depression,"
published in 1902; a "Life of John Sherman" in the "American Statesmen
Series," published in 1906; and of "Corporations and the State,"
published in 1911; received the degree of LL.D. from Oberlin College in
1900, and from Dartmouth College and Ohio University in 1907; was a
Representative in the Fifty-first, Fifty-fourth, Fifty-fifth,
Fifty-sixth, Fifty-seventh, Fifty-eighth, Fifty-ninth, and Sixtieth
Congresses; for 13 years was a member and for 10 years chairman of the
Committee on Rivers and Harbors; was a delegate to the Republican
national conventions of 1904 and 1908, and presented the name of William
H. Taft for nomination for the Presidency at the Chicago convention
in1908; member of the National Monetary Commission; president of the
American Peace Society; was elected to the Sixty-first Congress, but
resigned when elected to the United States Senate by the Ohio
Legislature in January, 1909. His term of service will expire March 3,
Not open for further replies.

Similar threads

Similar threads