Stephen Benton ELKINS, Congress, WV (1841-1911)
Senate Years of Service:1895-1911
ELKINS, Stephen Benton, (father of Davis Elkins), a Delegate from the Territory of New Mexico and a Senator from West Virginia; born in Perry County, Ohio, September 26, 1841; moved with his parents to Westport, Mo.; attended the public schools and graduated from the law department of the University of Missouri at Columbia in 1860; during the Civil War enlisted in the Union Army as a captain in the Kansas Militia; moved to the Territory of New Mexico in 1864; admitted to the bar in 1864 and commenced practice in Messila, N.Mex.; member, Territorial house of representatives 1864-1865; district attorney for the Territory of New Mexico 1866-1867; attorney general of the Territory 1867; United States district attorney for the Territory 1867-1870; elected as a Republican Delegate to the Forty-third and Forty-fourth Congresses (March 4, 1873-March 3, 1877); was not a candidate for renomination in 1876; moved to Elkins, W.Va., which he founded, around 1890; extensive interests in developing natural resources and industry in West Virginia; appointed Secretary of War by President Benjamin Harrison 1891-1893; elected as a Republican to the United States Senate in February 1895; reelected in 1901 and 1907, and served from March 4, 1895, until his death in Washington, D.C., January 4, 1911; chairman, Committee on the Geological Survey (Fifty-sixth and Fifty-ninth Congresses), Committee on Interstate Commerce (Fifty-seventh through Sixty-first Congresses); interment in Maplewood Cemetery, Elkins, W.Va.
BibliographyDictionary of American Biography; Lambert, Oscar. Stephen Benton Elkins. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1955; Williams, John Alexander. “New York's First Senator From West Virginia: How Stephen B. Elkins Found a New Political Home.“ West Virginia History 31 (January 1970): 73-87.
Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present