Jeremiah Dunham Botkin
Politician. Populist. Born: April 24, 1849, Logan County, Illinois. Died: December 29, 1921, Liberal, Kansas. Served in U.S. House of Representatives: March 4, 1897, to March 3, 1899.
Labeled an "old hoopskirt of a man" who had failed in business, journalism, and as a preacher in William Allen White's editorial, "What's the Matter With Kansas?", the future Kansas Populist, Jeremiah D. Botkin, was born in Logan County, Illinois, on April 24, 1849. He entered the Methodist ministry in 1870 but was more often involved in politics after his move to Kansas. Although initially a Republican, he ran for governor as a Prohibitionist in 1888 and soon took up the Populist cause. Botkin ran unsuccessfully as a Populist candidate for the U. S. Congress in 1894, but two years later he was elected congressman-at-large on a combined Democrat-Populist ticket (the Fusionist candidate). He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1898. In the first statewide primary, August 4, 1908, the former congressman was nominated the Democratic candidate for governor but lost the general election to Walter R. Stubbs. Appointed state penitentiary warden by the new Democratic governor in 1913, Botkin was suspended by Republican Governor Arthur Capper for misconduct on July 7, 1915, pending investigation. He was charged with inefficiency and misconduct in office and on September 16, 1915, was found guilty on eleven counts, and replaced by J. K. Codding of Wamego. Botkin resumed his ministerial duties and was a Chautauqua lecturer in 1921, but died on December 29 of that year in Liberal.
Entry: Botkin, Jeremiah Dunham
Author: Kansas Historical Society
Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.
Date Created: June 2011
Date Modified: March 2013
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