Open main menu

William Francis James (May 23, 1873 – November 17, 1945) was a soldier and politician from the U.S. state of Michigan.

William Francis James
W. Frank James.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Michigan's 12th district
In office
March 4, 1915 – January 3, 1935
Preceded byWilliam J. MacDonald
Succeeded byFrank Hook
Member of the Michigan Senate
In office
Personal details
Born(1873-05-23)May 23, 1873
Morristown, New Jersey
DiedNovember 17, 1945(1945-11-17) (aged 72)
Arlington, Virginia
Political partyRepublican
Alma materAlbion College


James was born in Morristown, New Jersey and moved with his parents to Hancock, Michigan, in 1876, where he attended the public schools. He attended Albion College in Albion, Michigan, in 1890 and 1891.

James was treasurer of Houghton County, Michigan, 1900–1904, and engaged in the real estate and insurance business. He served as a private in Company F of the Thirty-fourth Regiment, Michigan Volunteer Infantry, during the Spanish–American War. He was a member of the board of aldermen of Hancock, 1906–1908, and was mayor of Hancock in 1908 and 1909. He was member of the Michigan Senate, 1910–1914.

In 1914, James defeated incumbent Democrat William J. MacDonald to be elected as a Republican from Michigan's 12th congressional district to the 64th United States Congress. He was subsequently re-elected to the nine succeeding Congresses, serving from March 4, 1915 to January 3, 1935. He was chairman of the Committee on Military Affairs in the 71st Congress. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1934 and 1936, losing both times to Democrat Frank E. Hook in the general election.

James died in Arlington, Virginia and was interred in Arlington National Cemetery.


  • United States Congress. "W. Frank James (id: J000053)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  • The Political Graveyard
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
William J. MacDonald
United States Representative for the 12th Congressional District of Michigan
Succeeded by
Frank Hook