WATSON, James Eli, a Representative and
a Senator from Indiana; born in Winchester, Randolph County, Ind., November 2,
1864; graduated from De Pauw University, Greencastle, Ind., in 1886; studied
law; was admitted to the bar in 1886 and commenced practice in Winchester; moved
to Rushville, Ind., in 1893 and resumed the practice of law; elected as a
Republican to the Fifty-fourth Congress (March 4, 1895-March 3, 1897);
unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1896; elected to the Fifty-sixth and to
the four succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1899-March 3, 1909); was not a
candidate for renomination in 1908; unsuccessful Republican candidate for
governor of Indiana in 1908; resumed the practice of law in Rushville, Ind.;
elected as a Republican to the United States Senate in 1916 to fill the vacancy
caused by the death of Benjamin F. Shively; reelected in 1920 and 1926, and
served from November 8, 1916, to March 3, 1933; unsuccessful candidate for
reelection in 1932; majority leader 1929-1933; chairman, Committee on Woman
Suffrage (Sixty-sixth Congress), Committee on Revision of the Laws (Sixty-sixth
Congress), Committee on Enrolled Bills (Sixty-eighth Congress), Committee on
Interstate Commerce (Sixty-ninth and Seventieth Congresses), Republican
Conference (Seventy-first and Seventy-second Congresses); continued the practice
of law in Washington, D.C., until his death there on July 29, 1948; interment in
Cedar Hill Cemetery.
American National Biography; Dictionary of American Biography;
Watson, James Eli. As I Knew Them: Memoirs of James R. Watson, Former United
States Senator from Indiana. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill Co., 1936.
Data courtesy of the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
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