Henry C. Hansbrough

Henry Clay Hansbrough (January 30, 1848  November 16, 1933) was a United States politician who served as the first United States Representative from North Dakota, as well as a Senator from North Dakota.

Henry Clay Hansbrough
United States Senator
from North Dakota
In office
March 4, 1891  March 4, 1909
Preceded byGilbert A. Pierce
Succeeded byMartin N. Johnson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Dakota's at-large district
In office
November 2, 1889  March 3, 1891
Preceded byConstituency established
Succeeded byMartin N. Johnson
Personal details
Born(1848-01-30)January 30, 1848
Prairie du Rocher, Illinois
DiedNovember 16, 1933(1933-11-16) (aged 85)
Washington, D.C.
Political partyRepublican


Henry Clay Hansbrough was born in the historic Creole House in the village of Prairie du Rocher, Illinois.[1] Henry Clay, who attended the wedding for his parents Elisha Hansbrough and Sarah Hagan, suggested to them that they name their first son after him, and they did.[2] Henry attended the common schools and in 1867 moved to San Jose, California. He learned the art of printing and worked at the trade in San Jose and later at Baraboo, Wisconsin. He moved to Dakota Territory and established the Grand Forks News in 1881 and the Inter-Ocean at Devils Lake in 1883. He was mayor of Devils Lake from 1885 to 1888 and a member of the Republican National Committee from 1888 to 1896.

Upon the admission of North Dakota as a State into the Union, Hansbrough was elected as a Republican to the Fifty-first Congress and served from November 2, 1889, until March 3, 1891. He did not seek renomination in 1891, having become a candidate for Senator; he was elected to the Senate in 1891 and reelected in 1897 and again in 1903 and served from March 4, 1891, to March 3, 1909. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1909. While in the Senate, he was chairman of the Committee on the Library (Fifty-fourth Congress) and a member of the Committee on Public Lands (Fifty-fifth through Sixtieth Congresses) and the Committee on Agriculture and Forestry (Sixtieth Congress). Hansbrough resumed his former business pursuits in Devils Lake and moved to Florida, New York, and finally to Washington, D.C., in 1927, where he died in 1933. His body was cremated and the ashes scattered under an elm tree on the United States Capitol Grounds in Washington.


  • United States Congress. "Henry C. Hansbrough (id: H000169)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.


  1. Gilster, Ruth, and A. Hahn. National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Creole House. National Park Service, n.d., 3.
  2. Dakota Datebook
U.S. House of Representatives
New constituency Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Dakota's at-large congressional district

Succeeded by
Martin N. Johnson
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Gilbert A. Pierce
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from North Dakota
Served alongside: Lyman R. Casey, William N. Roach, Porter J. McCumber
Succeeded by
Martin N. Johnson
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Adelbert Ames
Most Senior Living U.S. Senator
(Sitting or Former)

April 12, 1933 – November 16, 1933
Succeeded by
Lee Mantle
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