Elmer Jacob Burkett (December 1, 1867 – May 23, 1935) was an American educator, lawyer and politician who served six terms as a representative and a senator from Nebraska from 1899 to 1911.

Elmer Jacob Burkett
United States Senator
from Nebraska
In office
March 4, 1905 – March 3, 1911
Preceded byCharles H. Dietrich
Succeeded byGilbert Hitchcock
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Nebraska's 1st district
In office
March 4, 1899 – March 4, 1905
Preceded byJesse B. Strode
Succeeded byErnest M. Pollard
Member of the Nebraska House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Born(1867-12-01)December 1, 1867
Glenwood, Iowa, U.S.
DiedMay 23, 1935(1935-05-23) (aged 67)
Lincoln, Nebraska, U.S.
Resting placeWyuka Cemetery
Political partyRepublican

Early life and career


Burkett was born on a farm near Glenwood, Iowa. He attended the public schools and graduated from Tabor College in 1890 and from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Law in 1893. He served as principal of the Leigh, Nebraska, public schools from 1890 to 1892; he was admitted to the bar in 1893 and commenced practice in Lincoln, Nebraska. Burkett was a trustee of Tabor College from 1895 to 1905.

Political career


He was a member of the Nebraska House of Representatives from 1896 to 1898.



Burkett was elected as a Republican to the Fifty-sixth, Fifty-seventh, and Fifty-eighth Congresses (March 4, 1899 – March 4, 1905); he was reelected to the Fifty-ninth Congress, but resigned, effective March 4, 1905, to become a senator.

U.S. Senate


He was elected as a Republican to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1905, to March 3, 1911. During his term, he served as the chairman of the Committee on Indian Depredations (Fifty-ninth Congress) and on the Committee on Pacific Railroads (Fifty-ninth through Sixty-first Congresses).

Burkett was an unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1910.

Later career


He then resumed the practice of law in Lincoln; he declined the candidacy for Governor of Nebraska in 1912, and was also an unsuccessful candidate for the vice presidential nomination in 1912 after the death of incumbent James S. Sherman.

Death and burial


He died in Lincoln on May 23, 1935, and was interred in Wyuka Cemetery.


  • United States Congress. "Elmer Burkett (id: B001103)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Nebraska's 1st congressional district

Succeeded by
U.S. Senate
Preceded by U.S. senator (Class 1) from Nebraska
Served alongside: Joseph Millard, Norris Brown
Succeeded by