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Merlin Gray Hull (December 18, 1870 – May 17, 1953) was a lawyer, a newspaper publisher, and a member of the United States House of Representatives from Wisconsin.[1]

Merlin Gray Hull
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 9th district
In office
January 3, 1935 – May 17, 1953
Preceded byJames A. Frear
Succeeded byLester Johnson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 7th district
In office
March 4, 1929 – March 3, 1931
Preceded byJoseph D. Beck
Succeeded byGardner R. Withrow
20th Secretary of State of Wisconsin
In office
January 1, 1917 – January 3, 1921
GovernorEmanuel L. Philipp
Preceded byJohn S. Donald
Succeeded byFred R. Zimmerman
Member of the Wisconsin State Assembly
In office
Personal details
Born(1870-12-18)December 18, 1870
Farina, Illinois, United States
DiedMay 17, 1953(1953-05-17) (aged 82)
La Crosse, Wisconsin, United States
Political partyRepublican
Wisconsin Progressive Party

Born in Farina, Illinois to John and Adelia Hull, Merlin Hull was a graduate of Gale College, De Pauw University, and Columbian University (now The George Washington University Law School). He was admitted to the bar in 1894 and commenced practice in Black River Falls. He served as publisher of the Jackson County Journal from 1904–1926 and of the merged Banner-Journal for the rest of his life (1926–1953). He served as district attorney of Jackson County from 1907–1909; he was a Republican member of the Wisconsin State Assembly from 1909–1915, serving as speaker in the 1913-15 session; he was elected Secretary of State in 1916, serving until 1921.

Hull was first elected (as a Republican) to the Seventy-first Congress in 1928. He represented Wisconsin's 7th congressional district. He was an unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1930 and an unsuccessful independent candidate in 1932. In 1934, Hull was once again elected to the House of Representatives this time as part of the Seventy-fourth Congress. He was elected as a member of the Progressive Party and represented Wisconsin's 9th congressional district. He was reelected to this post for the succeeding nine congresses, as a member of the Progressive Party for the first six and after the disbanding of the Wisconsin Progressive Party, as a Republican to the other four, serving continuously from January 3, 1935, until his death from pulmonary complications following surgery in La Crosse, Wisconsin on May 17, 1953.[2]

Hull's 9th District election historyEdit

Year Democratic % Republican % Progressive % Socialist %
1934 Willis E. Donley 24.3% Knute Anderson 23.4% Merlin Hull 49.6% Paul Boyd 2.7%
1936 Edwin J. Larkin 19.3% No Candidate -- Merlin Hull 80.7% No Candidate --
1938 William F. Crane 6.3% Hugh M. Jones 40.3% Merlin Hull 53.4% No Candidate --
1940 James E. Hughes 5.9% John Nygaard 41.4% Merlin Hull 52.8% No Candidate --
1942 Jack E. Joyce 5.6% George H. Hipke 32.6% Merlin Hull 61.8% No Candidate --
1944 No Candidate -- No Candidate -- Merlin Hull 98.5% Adolph Maassen 1.5%
1946 No Candidate -- Merlin Hull 99% No Candidate -- Adolph Maassen 1%
1948 No Candidate -- Merlin Hull 98.1% Linton Jahr 1.0% Howard Hendricks 0.9%
1950 Arthur L. Henning 29.2% Merlin Hull 70.8% No Candidate -- No Candidate --
1952 Kent L. Pillsbury 34.8% Merlin Hull 65.2% No Candidate -- No Candidate --

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Wisconsin Historical Society-Merlin Hull
  2. ^ Rep. Merlin Hull, Oldest U.S. Congressman, Is Dead at 82; Sheboygan Press; Sheboygan, Wisconsin; Page 16; May 18, 1953

External linksEdit

  • United States Congress. "Merlin Hull (id: H000943)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
Political offices
Preceded by
John Donald
Secretary of State of Wisconsin
Succeeded by
Elmer Hall
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Joseph D. Beck
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 7th congressional district

March 4, 1929 - March 3, 1931
Succeeded by
Gardner R. Withrow
Preceded by
James A. Frear
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 9th congressional district

January 3, 1935 - May 17, 1953
Succeeded by
Lester Johnson