John J. Blaine

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John J. Blaine
John J. Blaine.jpg
United States Senator
from Wisconsin
In office
March 4, 1927 – March 3, 1933
Preceded by Irvine Lenroot
Succeeded by Francis R. Duffy
24th Governor of Wisconsin
In office
January 3, 1921 – January 3, 1927
Lieutenant George F. Comings
Henry A. Huber
Preceded by Emanuel L. Philipp
Succeeded by Fred R. Zimmerman
23rd Attorneys General of Wisconsin
In office
January 6, 1919 – January 3, 1921
Governor Emanuel L. Philipp
Preceded by Spencer Haven
Succeeded by William J. Morgan
Member of the Wisconsin Senate
from the 16th district
In office
January 1, 1909 – January 1, 1913
Preceded by Edward E. Burns
Succeeded by Robert Glenn
Mayor of Boscobel, Wisconsin
In office
April 1906 – April 1907
In office
April 1903 – April 1904
In office
April 1901 – April 1902
Personal details
John James Blaine

(1875-05-04)May 4, 1875
Wingville, Wisconsin
Died April 16, 1934(1934-04-16) (aged 58)
Boscobel, Wisconsin
Cause of death Pneumonia
Resting place Boscobel Cemetery
Boscobel, Wisconsin
Political party Republican
  • Anna C. McSpaden
  • (m. 1904; died 1938)
  • Helen (Farris)
  • (b. 1899; died 2000)
Alma mater Valparaiso University

John James Blaine (May 4, 1875 – April 16, 1934) was an American lawyer and politician. He was the 24th Governor of Wisconsin and a United States Senator. He also served as Attorney General of Wisconsin and a member of the Wisconsin State Senate.

Early life

Blaine was born on May 4, 1875 in Wingville, Wisconsin. Blaine attended the common schools, and then what is now Valparaiso University in Indiana, graduating from the university's law department in 1896. After being admitted to the bar in Wisconsin, he practiced law in Montfort before moving to Boscobel.[1]


Blaine served as vice-president of a telephone company, and as mayor of Boscobel, Wisconsin, for three one-year terms: 1901-1902, 1903-1904, and 1906-1907. He was on the Grant County Board of Supervisors, and was a member of Wisconsin State Senate (16th District) from 1909 to 1912.[1][2] He served as delegate to Republican National Convention from Wisconsin, 1912 (alternate), 1916, 1920, 1924, 1928, 1932. He was Wisconsin State Attorney General, from 1919 to 1921. He served as the 24th Governor of Wisconsin from January 3, 1921 to January 3, 1927.[1]

In 1926, he defeated the Progressive Republican United States Senator Irvine Lenroot in the Republican primary. He won the general election with 55% of the vote against Democratic, Independent and Socialist Party candidates. Blaine served in the Senate from March 4, 1927 to March 3, 1933. He was the only senator to vote against ratification of the Kellogg–Briand Pact, which was approved 85–1.[3] Blaine asserted that ratifying the treaty represented an endorsement of British imperialism.[4] Blaine crossed party lines during the 1928 presidential campaign and endorsed Democratic nominee Al Smith for president.[5] He later authored the 21st Amendment, which repealed the 18th Amendment, which had prohibited intoxicating liquors.

In 1932, John B. Chapple defeated Blaine in the Republican primary. Chapple was then defeated in the general election by F. Ryan Duffy, as part of massive Democratic victories in the national elections that year. Blaine resumed the practice of law at Boscobel and was appointed a director of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation by President Franklin Roosevelt, serving until his death.


Blaine died of pneumonia in Boscobel, Wisconsin, on April 16, 1934 (age 58 years, 347 days).[1] He is interred at Boscobel Cemetery, Boscobel, Wisconsin.[6]

Family life

Son of James Ferguson Blaine (1827–1888) and Elizabeth (Johnson) Blaine (1834–1903), Blaine married Anna C. McSpaden (1875–1938) on August 23, 1904.


  1. ^ a b c d "John J. Blaine Succumbs to Illness. Passes away Late Monday at Boscobel". The Rhinelander Daily News. April 17, 1934. p. 1. Retrieved April 7, 2017 – via open access
  2. ^ "BLAINE, John James - Biographical Information".
  3. ^ "John James Blaine". Dictionary of Wisconsin History. Accessed Nov. 11, 2008.
  4. ^ "Senate Ratifies Anti-War Pact". The Milwaukee Journal. United Press. 1929-01-16. Retrieved 2018-08-26.
  5. ^ Chiles, Robert (2018). The Revolution of '28: Al Smith, American Progressivism, and the Coming of the New Deal. Cornell University Press. p. 82. ISBN 978-1501705502. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  6. ^ "John J. Blaine". 1996-2014 Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved 29 May 2014.

External links

Party political offices
Preceded by
Emanuel L. Philipp
Republican nominee for Governor of Wisconsin
1920, 1922, 1924
Succeeded by
Fred R. Zimmerman
Preceded by
Irvine Lenroot
Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Wisconsin
(Class 3)

Succeeded by
John B. Chapple
Legal offices
Preceded by
Spencer Haven
Attorney General of Wisconsin
1919 – 1921
Succeeded by
William J. Morgan
Political offices
Preceded by
Emanuel L. Philipp
Governor of Wisconsin
1921 – 1927
Succeeded by
Fred R. Zimmerman
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Irvine Lenroot
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from Wisconsin
Served alongside: Robert M. La Follette, Jr.
Succeeded by
F. Ryan Duffy
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