James William Good
James William Good (September 24, 1866 – November 18, 1929) was an American politician from the state of Iowa, who served in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Cabinet of President Herbert Hoover as Secretary of War. He was a member of the Republican Party.
|50th United States Secretary of War|
March 6, 1929 – November 18, 1929
|Preceded by||Dwight F. Davis|
|Succeeded by||Patrick J. Hurley|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Iowa's 5th district
March 4, 1909 – June 15, 1921
|Preceded by||Robert G. Cousins|
|Succeeded by||Cyrenus Cole|
September 24, 1866|
Cedar Rapids, Iowa, U.S.
November 18, 1929 (aged 63)|
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Coe College (BA)|
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (LLB)
James William Good was born near Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to Henry and Margaret Coombs Good. He studied at Coe College, graduating in 1892. He later studied at University of Michigan Law School, graduating in 1893. He was admitted to the bar in 1893 and commenced practice in Indianapolis, Indiana, the same year. He married Lucy Deacon on October 4, 1894. They had two sons, James William, Jr. and Robert Edmund Good.
In 1896, Good returned to Cedar Rapids, where he continued to practice law. Good served as the Cedar Rapids City Attorney from 1906 to 1908.
Good was a member of the United States House of Representatives from 1909 to 1921, where he represented Iowa's 5th congressional district (then made up of Linn, Grundy, Benton, Marshall, Tama, Jones, and Cedar counties). He became chairman of the House Appropriations Committee in 1919, and continued to serve in that position until the end of his service. He was re-elected seven times, and never defeated. But soon after his fellow Republican, Warren G. Harding, was elected president in November 1920, Good disclosed that he would likely resign his seat in Congress and join a Chicago, Illinois law firm, once Good's plan to reorganize the budgetary process was adopted. Good resigned on June 10, 1921. Republican Cyrenus Cole of Cedar Rapids won a special election to fill his vacancy, and was sworn in August 1, 1921.
In 1928 Good worked to elect Herbert Hoover, a fellow Iowa Republican, as President of the United States. When Hoover took office in March 1929, he appointed Good to be the United States Secretary of War and Good was soon confirmed by the United States Senate. He served in that position for eight months until his sudden death from peritonitis caused by a ruptured appendix.
He died in Washington, D.C. on November 18, 1929, shortly after the Wall Street Crash of 1929, at the beginning of the Great Depression. He was succeeded by the Under Secretary of War Patrick J. Hurley.
- Editorial, "Public or Private Life," Cedar Rapids Evening Gazette, 1921-01-06, at p. 4.
- "Good Resigns House Seat," New York Times, 1921-06-10.
- United States Congress. "James William Good (id: G000275)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
|U.S. House of Representatives|
Robert G. Cousins
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Iowa's 5th congressional district
J. Swagar Sherley
| Chair of the House Appropriations Committee
Dwight F. Davis
| United States Secretary of War
Patrick J. Hurley