About John Wingate Weeks
John Wingate Weeks (April 11, 1860 – July 12, 1926) was an American politician in the Republican Party. He served as a United States Representative for Massachusetts from 1905 to 1913, as a United States Senator from 1913 to 1919, and as Secretary of War from 1921 to 1925.
Life and career
Weeks was born and raised in Lancaster, New Hampshire. He received an appointment to the United States Naval Academy, graduating in 1881, and served two years in the United States Navy. He married Martha Aroline Sinclair on 7 October 1885.
Weeks made a fortune in banking during the 1890s, after co-founding the Boston financial firm Hornblower & Weeks in 1888. With his financial well-being assured, Weeks became active in politics, first at a local level in his then-home of Newton, Massachusetts, serving as alderman in 1899–1902 and as mayor in 1903–04. He then moved on to the national scene in 1905, when he was elected to serve the 12th Congressional District of Massachusetts in United States Congress.
As a member of the United States House of Representatives and United States Senate, Weeks made various contributions to important banking and conservation legislation. His most notable accomplishment as Congressman was the passage of the Weeks Act in 1911, his name-sake bill that enabled the creation of national forests in the eastern United States.
Despite his defeat for re-election to the Senate in 1918, Weeks remained an active and influential participant in the national Republican Party. He was an early supporter of the nomination of Warren G. Harding for President in 1920, and when Harding became President, he named Weeks to his cabinet.
As Secretary of War, Weeks was a competent, honest, and respected administrator and adviser, who guided the Department of War through its post-World War I downsizing. Weeks' hard work and long hours led to a stroke in April 1925, which led in turn to his resignation as Secretary in October of that year.
Weeks died several months later, at his summer home on Mount Prospect in Lancaster, New Hampshire. His ashes were buried in Arlington National Cemetery near what is now known as Weeks Drive.
Weeks' son, Charles Sinclair Weeks, was Secretary of Commerce during the Eisenhower administration.
Weeks' cousin, Edgar Weeks, was a U.S. Representative from Michigan. His granduncle, also named John Wingate Weeks (1781–1853), was a Major in the U.S. Army during the War of 1812 and a U.S. Representative from New Hampshire.
Weeks' summer home where he died is now open for tours as part of the Weeks State Park. A nearby mountain was named Mount Weeks in his honor.
The John W. Weeks Bridge, a footbridge over the Charles River on the campus of Harvard University in Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts, was named for Weeks and opened in 1927.
The John Wingate Weeks Junior High School built in 1930 in Newton Centre, Massachusetts, was named for him.
During World War II, the U.S. Navy destroyer escort USS Weeks (DE-285) was named for Weeks. Her construction was cancelled in 1944.
The destroyer USS John W. Weeks (DD-701) then was named for Weeks. She was in commission from 1944 to 1970.
The investment banking and brokerage firm Hornblower and Weeks, founded in 1888, was named for Weeks and co-founder Henry Hornblower.
Weeks, John Wingate (1860-1926)—also known as John W Weeks—of West Newton, Newton, Middlesex Co, MA, b near Lancaster, Coos Co, NH, Apr 11 1860. Grandnephew of John Wingate Weeks (1781-1853); cousin of Edgar Weeks; father of Charles Sinclair Weeks. Republican. Served in US Navy during Spanish-Am War; mayor of Newton, MA, 1903-04; US Rep MA 12th Dist, 1905-13; resigned 1913; US Sen MA, 1913-19; defeated, 1918; candidate for Republican nomination for Pres, 1916; delegate to Republican Natl Convention from MA, 1916; mbr of Republican Natl Committee from MA, 1920; US Sec of War, 1921-25, d in Lancaster, Coos Co, NH, Jul 12 1926. Cremated; ashes interred at Arlington Natl Cem, Arlington, VA.
John Wingate Weeks (Apr 11 1860–Jul 12 1926) was Am politician in Republican Party. He served as US Rep for MA 1905-1913, as US Senator 1913-1919, & as Sec of War 1921-1925.
Biography: Weeks b & raised in Lancaster, NH. He recd appointment to US Naval Academy, graduating in 1881, & served 2 yrs in US Navy. Weeks made fortune in banking during 1890s, aft co-founding Boston financial firm Hornblower & Weeks investment banking & brokerage firm, which by 1970s was known as Hornblower Weeks Noyes & Trask, was acquired by Loeb, Rhoades & Co to form Loeb, Rhoades, Hornblower & Co in 1888. W/financial well-being assured, Weeks became active in politics, 1st at local level in his then home of Newton, MA (he served as alderman 1899–1902 & mayor 1903–04), then on nat'l scene. As mbr of US House of Reps & US Senate, Weeks was notable mostly for his contributions to banking & conservation legislation, including Weeks Act in 1911 that created foundation for US Nat'l Forest system. Despite his defeat for re-election to Senate in 1918, Weeks remained active & influential participant in nat'l Republican Party. He was early supporter of nomination of Warren G Harding for Pres in 1920, & when Harding became President, he named Weeks to his cabinet. As Sec of War, Weeks was competent, honest, & respected admin & adviser, who guided Dept of War thru post-WWI downsizing. Weeks' hard work & long hrs led to stroke Apr 1925, which led in turn to resignation as Sec Oct of that yr. Weeks d several months later, at his summer home on Mt Prospect, Lancaster, NH. That bldg is now open for tours as part of Weeks State Park. Nearby mtn was named Mt Weeks in his honor. Weeks' son, Charles Sinclair Weeks was US Sec of Commerce Jan 21 1953-Nov 10 1958 during Dwight D Eisenhower admin. Weeks' cousin, Edgar Weeks was a military officer, judge & US Rep from MI. His granduncle, also named John Wingate Weeks (1781–1853), was Maj in US Army during War of 1812 & US Rep from New Hampshire.
John W Weeks usually called the Weeks Footbridge, a pedestrian bridge over Charles Riv connecting Cambridge, MA w/Allston sect of Boston, was named for Weeks & opened in 1927.
John Wingate Weeks Jr High School, built in 1930 in Newton Centre, MA, was named for him.
During WWII, US Navy destroyer escort USS Weeks was named for Weeks. Construction was cancelled in 1944.
John W, Weeks, U.S. Senator and Secretary of War's Timeline
April 11, 1860
Lancaster, NH, USA
June 15, 1893
Newton, MA, USA
July 12, 1926
Lancaster, NH, USA