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Notable Graduates

John Wingate Weeks

Member of Congress

John Wingate Weeks
Class of 1881
  • Member of 59th Congress, 1905-1913 - Massachusetts(R)
  • Senator - Massachusetts(R), 1913-1919



John Wingate Weeks was a Republican Representative and a Massachusetts Senator from 1913 to 1919. Senator Weeks was born near Lancaster, N.H., April 11, 1860. He attended the common schools, and taught school. He was graduated from the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md., in 1881. After graduation, he served in the United States Navy as a midshipman 1881-1883. He resigned from the Navy in 1883 and took up the profession of civil engineering.

After that, he became engaged in the banking and brokerage business in Boston, Mass., 1888-1914. He served in the Massachusetts Naval Brigade 1890-1900, acting as commander the last six years. He moved to Newton, Mass., in 1893. In 1898 he was a member of the Board of Visitors to the United States Naval Academy. He served in the Spanish-American War as a lieutenant in the Volunteer Navy in 1898. He was a member of the board of aldermen of Newton, Mass., 1899-1902, and mayor of Newton 1902-1903.

He was elected as a Republican to the Fifty-ninth, and to the four succeeding, Congresses and served from March 4, 1905, until his resignation effective March 4, 1913, to become United States Senator. He was chairman of the Committee on Expenditures in the Department of State (Fifty-ninth and Sixtieth Congresses), and Committee on Post Office and Post Roads (Sixty-first Congress).

He was elected as a Republican to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1913, to March 3, 1919. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1918. He then was chairman of the Committee on the Disposition of Useless Executive Papers (Sixty-fifth Congress). He was appointed Secretary of War by President Warren Harding in 1921, and again by President Calvin Coolidge. He served as Secretary of War until 1925, when he resigned due to ill health.

He died in Lancaster, N.H., July 12, 1926. His remains were cremated and the ashes interred in Arlington National Cemetery, Fort Myer, Va.

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