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Stephen Benton Elkins

Elkins, Stephen Benton, 1841–1911, American statesman, b. Perry co., Ohio. He grew up in Missouri and after the outbreak of the Civil War enlisted in the Union army, although his father and brother were Confederates. Admitted to the bar in 1864, he moved to New Mexico, where he practiced law, engaged in banking, and had a political career capped by service (1873–77) as territorial delegate to Congress. In 1890 he moved to Elkins, W.Va., where he and H. G. Davis founded Davis and Elkins College. Prominent in Republican politics, he was (1891–93) Secretary of War under Benjamin Harrison. As Senator from West Virginia (1895–1911), Elkins, who had extensive railroad holdings, was author of the Elkins Act of 1903 against the system of the rebate, and coauthor of the 1910 Mann-Elkins Act, extending the power of the Interstate Commerce Commission although he did not support the more drastic Hepburn Act of 1906.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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See more Encyclopedia articles on: U.S. History: Biographies


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