Francis H. Case

Francis Higbee Case (December 9, 1896 – June 22, 1962) was an American journalist and politician who served for 25 years as a member of the United States Congress from South Dakota. He was a Republican.

Francis H. Case
Francis Higbee Case.jpg
United States Senator
from South Dakota
In office
January 3, 1951 – June 22, 1962
Preceded byJ. Chandler Gurney
Succeeded byJoseph H. Bottum
U.S. Representative for South Dakota's 2nd District
In office
January 3, 1937 – January 3, 1951
Preceded byTheodore B. Werner
Succeeded byE. Y. Berry
Personal details
Francis Higbee Case

(1896-12-09)December 9, 1896
Everly, Iowa
DiedJune 22, 1962(1962-06-22) (aged 65)
Bethesda, Maryland
Political partyRepublican
Alma materDakota Wesleyan University
Northwestern University
Military service
Branch/serviceUnited States Marine Corps
United States Army
Battles/warsWorld War I


Case was born in Everly, Iowa, the son of Mary Ellen (née Grannis) and the Reverend Herbert Llywellen Case.[1] He moved with his parents to Sturgis, South Dakota at the age of 13. After graduating from the public schools he attended Dakota Wesleyan University and Northwestern University graduating in 1920. During World War I he served in the United States Marine Corps, and subsequently he served in United States Army Reserve and the Marine Corps Reserve.

Immediately after finishing college he began a 15-year career as a newspaper editor. Until 1922 he was the assistant editor of the Epworth Herald in Chicago. From 1922 to 1925 he was the telegraph writer and editorial writer for the Daily Journal in Rapid City, South Dakota. From 1925 to 1931 he was the editor and publisher of the Hot Springs Star in Hot Springs, South Dakota. Finally from 1931 until he entered Congress he was the editor and publisher of the Custer Chronicle in Custer, South Dakota.

U.S. House of Representatives (1937–1951)Edit

Case entered politics in 1934 when he ran for a seat in the United States House of Representatives but lost. In 1936, however, he was elected to the U.S. House and served in it for seven terms. Before the United States entered World War II he was a moderate supporter of isolationism. In 1947–8, he served on the Herter Committee.[2] Case left the House in 1951 when he became a senator.

U.S. Senate (1951–1962)Edit

Case decided to run for the Senate in the 1950 election, and defeated the incumbent John Chandler Gurney in the Republican primary. In the general election he easily defeated Democrat John A. Engel receiving 63% of the vote. In his first term in the Senate he served as chairman of the United States Senate Committee on the District of Columbia from 1953 to 1955, and was a supporter of greater self-rule in the district. In 1954 he served on a committee to investigate censuring Senator Joseph McCarthy. Case was reelected to the Senate in 1956, in a very close race against Democrat Kenneth Holum receiving 50.8% of the vote.

Case was known as a moderate Senator whose main goals were to expand America's road and waterway infrastructure, particularly in South Dakota. Lake Francis Case, along the Missouri River, is named after him, as is a bridge on I-395 in Washington, D.C. Case voted in favor of the Civil Rights Acts of 1957 and 1960,[3][4] but did not vote on the 24th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.[5]

Case served in the Senate from 1951 until his death. He died of a heart attack at the Naval Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, on June 22, 1962. His death occurred several months before the expiration of his second term in the Senate. he was buried at Black Hills National Cemetery in Sturgis.


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Current Biography, 1946, H.W. Wilson Company,
  2. ^ "Final Report on Foreign Aid of the House Select Committee on Foreign Aid" (PDF). Marshall Foundation. May 1, 1948. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  3. ^ "HR. 6127. CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1957".

External linksEdit

Party political offices
Preceded by Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from South Dakota
(Class 3)

1950, 1956
Succeeded by
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by United States Representative (2nd District) for South Dakota
Succeeded by
U.S. Senate
Preceded by U.S. senator (Class 3) from South Dakota
Served alongside: Karl E. Mundt
Succeeded by