Library of Congress
BROOKHART, Smith Wildman (1869-1944)
Senate Years of Service: 1922-1926; 1927-1933

BROOKHART, SMITH WILDMAN, a Senator from Iowa; born near Arbela, Scotland County, Mo., February 2, 1869; attended the country schools in Missouri and Bloomfield, Iowa: graduated from the Southern Iowa Normal and Scientific Institute at Bloomfield in 1889; taught school for five years at Keosauqua; studied law; admitted to the bar in 1892 and commenced practice in Washington, Iowa; attorney of Washington County 1895-1901; during the Spanish-American War served as second lieutenant; resumed the practice of law and also engaged in agricultural pursuits; chairman of the Republican State Convention in 1912; major and lieutenant colonel during the First World War; president of the National Rifle Association 1921-1925; elected as a Progressive Republican to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of William S. Kenyon and served from November 8, 1922, to March 3, 1925; presented credentials as a Republican Senator-elect for the term commencing March 4, 1925, and served until April 12, 1926, when he was succeeded by Daniel F. Steck, who successfully contested Brookhart's election; again elected as a Republican in 1926 and served from March 4, 1927, to March 3, 1933; unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1932 and for election as an independent candidate; foreign-trade advisor in the Agricultural Adjustment Administration 1933-1935; unsuccessful candidate for the Republican senatorial nomination in 1936; practiced law in Washington, D.C., until 1943;, died in a veterans' hospital in Whipple, Ariz., November 15, 1944; interment in Elm Grove Cemetery, Washington, Iowa.

Majority of his papers were destroyed by his family after World War II.

Herbert Hoover Library

West Branch, IA
Papers: 1924-1928. 2 folders. 1950. 1 folder.

State Historical Society of Iowa
Des Moines, IA
Papers: 1922-1932. 1 box. 5 letters (1922-1923) and speeches (1922-1932). Includes official invitations, bills introduced, photographs, and memorabilia. Also a portrait.

State Historical Society of Iowa
Clermont, IA
Papers: 1 letter (1917) in William Larrabee papers.

University of Iowa Libraries
Special Collections Department
Iowa City, IA
Papers: Correspondence in several collections including Milo Reno papers, 1927-1959; and Clifford Thorne papers, 1901-1923.

University of Michigan
Bentley Historical Library
Ann Arbor, MI
Papers: In the Jay G. Hayden scrapbooks collection, 1916-1965.

  • Briley, Ronald F. "Challenge to Normalcy: Four Mid-Western Political Mavericks, 1922-1924.'' Master's thesis, West Texas State University, 1972.
  • ___. "Smith W. Brookhart and the Limitations of Senatorial Dissent.'' Annals of Iowa 48 (Summer/Fall 1985): 56-79.
  • ___. "Smith W. Brookhart and Russia.'' Annals of Iowa 42 (Winter 1975): 541-56.
  • Dennis, Alfred Pearce. "The European Education of Senator Brookhart, along with the Senatorial Reply.'' In Gods and Little Fishes, pp. 26-83. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill Co., 1931.
  • Johnston, Ray S. "Smith Wildman Brookhart: Iowa's Last Populist.'' Master's thesis, Iowa State Teachers College, 1964.
  • Luthin, Reinhard H. "Smith Wildman Brookhart of Iowa: Insurgent Agrarian Politician.'' Agricultural History 25 (October 1951): 187-97.
  • McDaniel, George W. "New Era Agrarian Radicalism: Smith W. Brookhart and the Populist Critique.'' Annals of Iowa 49 (Winter/Spring 1988): 208-20.
  • ___. "Prohibition Debate in Washington County, 1890-1894: Smith Wildman Brookhart's Introduction to Politics.'' Annals of Iowa 45 (Winter 1981): 519-36.
  • ___. "The Republican Party in Iowa and the Defeat of Smith Wildman Brookhart, 1924-1926.'' Annals of Iowa 48 (Winter/Spring 1987): 413-34.
  • ___. "Smith Wildman Brookhart.'' Palimpsest 63 (November/December 1982): 175-83.
  • ___. "Smith Wildman Brookhart: Agrarian Radical in New Era America.'' Ph.D. dissertation, University of Iowa, 1985.
  • ___. Smith Wildman Brookhart: Iowa's Renegade Republican. Ames: Iowa State University Press, 1995.
  • ___. "Smith Wildman Brookhart: The Man Who `Taught the Army How to Shoot.' '' Palimpsest 75 (Spring 1994): 30-45.
  • Neprash, Jerry Alvin. The Brookhart Campaigns in Iowa, 1920-1926: A Study in the Motivation of Political Attitudes. 1932. Reprint. New York: AMS Press, 1968.
  • Russell, Barry Alexander. "The Changing Concept of Iowa Progressivism: Smith W. Brookhart vs. Albert B. Cummins, 1920-1926.'' Master's thesis, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1973.