William Howard Thompson

William Howard Thompson (October 14, 1871  February 9, 1928) was a United States Senator from Kansas.

William Howard Thompson
United States Senator
from Kansas
In office
March 4, 1913  March 3, 1919
Preceded byCharles Curtis
Succeeded byArthur Capper
Personal details
Born(1871-10-14)October 14, 1871
Crawfordsville, Indiana
DiedFebruary 9, 1928(1928-02-09) (aged 56)
Washington, D.C.
Political partyDemocratic


Born in Crawfordsville, Indiana, he moved with his parents to Nemaha County, Kansas in 1880, where attended the public schools and graduated from the Seneca Normal School in 1886. He graduated from the Lawrence Business College in 1891. He was the official court reporter of the twenty-second judicial district of Kansas from 1891 to 1894, and studied law; he was admitted to the bar in 1894, commencing practice in Seneca; he was clerk of the Kansas Court of Appeals in Topeka and practiced law there from 1897 to 1901.

He moved to Iola, Kansas in 1901 and continued the practice of law. He was county attorney of Allen County and moved to Garden City in 1905. From 1906 to 1913 he was judge of the thirty-second judicial district of Kansas. In 1912, he was elected to the U.S. Senate, and resigned his judgeship in 1913; he served from March 4, 1913, to March 3, 1919, and was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection to the U.S. Senate in 1918. He was defeated by 30 percentage points, the largest loss ever by a sitting U.S. senator not running as a third-party candidate.

While in the Senate, he was chairman of the Committee on Expenditures in the Departments of Commerce and Labor (Sixty-third Congress) and a member of the Committee on Expenditures in the Department of Commerce (Sixty-third and Sixty-fourth Congresses) and the Committee to Audit and Control the Contingent Expenses (Sixty-fifth Congress).

Thompson resumed the practice of law at Kansas City, Kansas in 1919 and moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1923, and practiced law in Kansas City and Tulsa. He moved to Washington, D.C., in 1927, where he continued the practice of law, and died there in 1928, aged 56. He was interred temporarily in Glenwood cemetery in Washington, DC; in May 1928 his remains were transferred to Mount Hope cemetery in Topeka, Kansas.

Electoral history

Senator of Kansas

Senator's election in Kansas, 1912[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic William Howard Thompson 172,601 49.34
Republican W. R. Stubbs 151,647 43.35
Socialist Allan W. Ricker 25,610 7.32
Total votes 349,858 100.0
Democratic gain from Republican
Senator's election in Kansas, 1918[2]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Arthur Capper 281,931 63.69
Democratic William Howard Thompson 149,300 33.73
Socialist Eva Harding 11,429 2.58
Total votes 442,660 100.0
Republican gain from Democratic


  1. "KS US Senate [1912]". Our Campaigns. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  2. "KS US Senate [1918]". Our Campaigns. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Charles Curtis
U.S. Senator from Kansas
Succeeded by
Arthur Capper
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