About Frank A. Barrett, Governor, U.S. Senator
Frank Aloysius Barrett (November 10, 1892 – May 30, 1962) was an American soldier, lawyer and politician. He is best known as a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate, and as the 21st Governor of Wyoming.
Barrett was born in Omaha, Nebraska, to a family of eight. He studied law and science at Creighton University, and worked as a postal employee at the same time. During World War I, Barrett joined the Balloon Corps of the United States Army for a two-year enlistment. He married Alice Catherine Donoghue on May 21, 1919, and they moved to Lusk, Wyoming.
After arriving in Lusk, Barrett put his law degree to good use, acting as county attorney for Niobrara from 1922 until 1934. He moved on to the Wyoming Senate until 1935, then served on the Board of Trustees of the University of Wyoming. He first ran for Federal office in 1936, but lost out to Paul Greever. He stood for Congress again in 1942, and won, serving there until 1950. Among his appointments to the United States Naval Academy was future Wyoming state Senator and the 1978 Republican gubernatorial nominee John C. Ostlund (1927–2004). In 1951, Barrett was elected Governor. He resigned in 1953 after he was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1952, when he unseated three-term incumbent Joseph C. O'Mahoney.
On February 17, 1956, his wife Alice died of cancer. They had had four children together, one of whom had died in infancy. On April 4, 1959, he remarried, to Augusta K. Hogan. Barrett completed his term in the Senate in 1958, and narrowly lost his re-election bid. In 1959 he was appointed Chief Counsel of the Department of Agriculture. His son, James E. Barrett, is a senior judge of the United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit and former judge of the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review in Washington, D.C.
Barrett was diagnosed with leukemia on May 15, 1962, and died just fifteen days later, at the age of 69. He was interred at Lusk Cemetery in Lusk. Barrett was a devout Catholic, and a member of the Knights of Columbus.