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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesMichigan

Gerrit John DIEKEMA

(1859-1930)

DIEKEMA, Gerrit John, a Representative from Michigan; born in Holland, Ottawa County, Mich., on March 27, 1859; attended the common schools; was graduated from Hope College, Holland, Mich., in 1881 and from the law department of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 1883; was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Holland in 1883; city attorney; member of the State house of representatives 1885-1891, serving as speaker in 1889; mayor of Holland in 1895; chairman of the Michigan Republican State central committee 1900-1910; delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1896; member of the Spanish Treaty Claims Commission from 1901 until he resigned in 1907; elected April 27, 1907, as a Republican to the Sixtieth Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of William Alden Smith; reelected to the Sixty-first Congress and served from March 17, 1908, to March 3, 1911; unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1910 to the Sixty-second Congress; resumed the practice of law in Holland, Mich.; manager of the Republican Speakers’ Bureau in Chicago in 1912; chairman of the Republican State central committee in 1927; appointed United States Minister to the Netherlands by President Hoover on August 20, 1929, and served until his death in The Hague, Netherlands, December 20, 1930; interment in Pilgrim Home Cemetery, Holland, Mich.

Bibliography

Schrier, William. Gerrit J. Diekema, Orator; A Rhetorical Study of the Political and Occasional Addresses of Gerrit J. Diekema. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1950; Vander Hill, Charles Warren. Gerritt J. Diekema. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1970.

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

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