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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesMichigan

Edwin DENBY

(1870-1929)

DENBY, Edwin, (grandson of Graham Newell Fitch), a Representative from Michigan; born in Evansville, Vanderburg County, Ind., February 18, 1870; attended the public schools; went to China in 1885 with his father, who was United States Minister; employed in the Chinese imperial maritime customs service 1887-1894; returned to the United States in 1894; was graduated from the law department of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 1896; was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Detroit in 1896; during the war with Spain served as a gunner’s mate, third class, United States Navy, on the Yosemite; member of the State house of representatives in 1903; elected as a Republican to the Fifty-ninth, Sixtieth, and Sixty-first Congresses (March 4, 1905-March 3, 1911); unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1910 to the Sixty-second Congress; resumed the practice of law in Detroit; also engaged in banking and various other business enterprises; president of the Detroit Charter Commission in 1913 and 1914; president of the Detroit Board of Commerce in 1916 and 1917; enlisted as a private in the United States Marine Corps in 1917; retired as major in the United States Marine Corps Reserve in 1919; appointed chief probation officer in the recorder’s court of the city of Detroit and in the circuit court of Wayne County in 1920; appointed Secretary of the Navy by President Harding and served from March 4, 1921, until March 10, 1924, when he resigned in the aftermath of the Teapot Dome scandal; again resumed the practice of law and various business enterprises; died in Detroit, Mich., February 8, 1929; interment in Elmwood Cemetery.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present

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