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James F. O'Connor

James Francis O'Connor (May 7, 1878 – January 15, 1945) was a U.S. Representative from Montana.

James F. O'Connor
James F. O'Connor (Montana Congressman).jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Montana's 2nd district
In office
January 3, 1937 – January 15, 1945
Preceded byRoy E. Ayers
Succeeded byWesley A. D'Ewart
Member of the Montana House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Born(1878-05-07)May 7, 1878
near California Junction, Iowa, United States
DiedJanuary 15, 1945(1945-01-15) (aged 66)
Washington, D.C., United States
Political partyDemocratic
Alma materUniversity of Nebraska at Lincoln


O'Connor was born on a farm near California Junction, Iowa, and attended grade school and normal school in Iowa. He graduated from the law department of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln in 1904, was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Livingston, Montana in 1905.

In addition to practicing law, O'Connor engaged in stock raising, ranching, and banking. He served as judge of Montana's sixth judicial district in 1912. He served in the Montana House of Representatives from 1917 to 1918 and was the Speaker of the House.

O'Connor served as special counsel for the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, D.C., in 1918. He also served as member of Park County High School Board for a number of years. Following the death of United States Senator Thomas J. Walsh, O'Connor ran for the Democratic nomination to succeed Walsh in the 1934 special election, challenging James E. Murray and John E. Erickson, who, as Governor of Montana, had appointed himself to the seat. O'Connor lost to Murray, but finished ahead of Erickson. Murray went on to win the general election.

In 1936 incumbent United States Congressman Roy E. Ayers ran for Governor and O'Connor ran to succeed him in Montana's 2nd congressional district. O'Connor won the Democratic primary and defeated T. S. Stockdahl, the Republican nominee, in a landslide. O'Connor was narrowly re-elected in 1938 over W. C. Husband when Republicans nationwide gained eighty-one House seats. He won re-election in 1940 in a landslide against Melvin N. Hoiness, and again in 1942 against F. F. Haynes by a much narrower margin.

O'Connor served as the Chairman of the House Committee on Indian Affairs during the 78th United States Congress, from 1943 to 1945. He defeated Haynes once again in 1944, winning his fifth term.

O'Connor died in Washington, D.C. on January 15, 1945, just weeks after beginning his fifth term. He was interred in Mount Calvary Cemetery, Livingston, Montana.

See alsoEdit


  • United States Congress. "James F. O'Connor (id: O000029)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  • James F. O'Connor at Find a Grave

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Roy E. Ayers
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Montana's 2nd congressional district

Succeeded by
Wesley A. D'Ewart

  This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website

Further readingEdit