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History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/4/Jonathan P. Dolliver

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JONATHAN P. DOLLIVER


JONATHAN P. DOLLIVER was born near Kingwood, in Preston County, West Virginia, on the 6th of February, 1858. He received a liberal education, graduating from the West Virginia University in 1875. He began the study of law and in 1878 came to Iowa, settling at Fort Dodge, where he was admitted to the bar and at once entered upon the practice of his profession. Mr. Dolliver developed a remarkable talent for public speaking and his services were in great demand in the State political campaigns. In August, 1884, Mr. Dolliver was chosen to preside over the Republican State Convention at Des Moines and his opening address, one of unusual eloquence, was his first introduction to the Republicans of the State. In 1886 he was one of the most prominent candidates for nomination for Congress in the Republican Convention of the Tenth District. In two years from that time he was nominated and elected by a plurality of 5,368. He has been continuously reëlected since, serving up to the close of 1900, when he was appointed by Governor Shaw to fill a vacancy in the United States Senate. Mr. Dolliver has taken an active part as a public speaker in several National campaigns and won a wide fame as an orator and lecturer of unusual power and eloquence. In his efforts to secure justice to the settlers on the Des Moines River lands, Mr. Dolliver prevailed upon President Harrison to direct the United States Attorney-General to begin an action in the name of the Government to forfeit the original grant. The case was tried in the United States District Court for Northern Iowa, where Judge Shiras decided against the Government, which decision was affirmed by the Supreme Court. No other remedy now being left, the settlers at last united in asking for indemnity. Mr. Dolliver thereupon secured the insertion of a section in the Sundry Civil Bill of 1893, making an appropriation for such indemnity and subsequent additional appropriations. Thus a tardy settlement of the long controversy was finally made. In 1902 Mr. Dolliver was elected to fill the unexpired term in the United States Senate occasioned by the death of Senator John H. Gear.