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John W. Weeks

John W. Weeks

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John Wingate Weeks was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 politician
Politician
A politician, political leader, or political figure is an individual who is involved in influencing public policy and decision making...

 in the Republican Party
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

. He served as a United States Representative for Massachusetts from 1905 to 1913, as a United States Senator
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 from 1913 to 1919, and as Secretary of War
United States Secretary of War
The Secretary of War was a member of the United States President's Cabinet, beginning with George Washington's administration. A similar position, called either "Secretary at War" or "Secretary of War," was appointed to serve the Congress of the Confederation under the Articles of Confederation...

 from 1921 to 1925.

Life and career


Weeks was born and raised in Lancaster, New Hampshire
Lancaster, New Hampshire
Lancaster is a town in Coos County, New Hampshire, USA, on the Connecticut River named after Lancaster, England. As of the 2010 census, the town population was 3,507, the second largest in the county after Berlin. It is the county seat of Coos County and gateway to the Great North Woods Region...

. He received an appointment to the United States Naval Academy
United States Naval Academy
The United States Naval Academy is a four-year coeducational federal service academy located in Annapolis, Maryland, United States...

, graduating in 1881, and served two years in the United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

. 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
Hornblower & Weeks
Hornblower & Weeks was an investment banking and brokerage firm founded by Henry Hornblower and John W. Weeks in 1888. At its peak in the late 1970s, Hornblower ranked eighth among member firms of the New York Stock Exchange in number of retail offices, with 93 retail sales offices located in the...

 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
Newton, Massachusetts
Newton is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States bordered to the east by Boston. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the population of Newton was 85,146, making it the eleventh largest city in the state.-Villages:...

, 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
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

 and United States Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

, Weeks made various contributions to important banking and conservation legislation. His most notable accomplishment as Congressman was the passage of the Weeks Act
Weeks Act
The Weeks Act is a federal law passed by the US Congress on 1 March 1911 in the United States. The law, introduced by Congressman John W. Weeks of Massachusetts, authorized the Secretary of Agriculture to "Examine, locate and recommend for purchase ... such lands within the watersheds of navigable...

 in 1911, his name-sake bill that enabled the creation of national forests
United States National Forest
National Forest is a classification of federal lands in the United States.National Forests are largely forest and woodland areas owned by the federal government and managed by the United States Forest Service, part of the United States Department of Agriculture. Land management of these areas...

 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
Warren G. Harding
Warren Gamaliel Harding was the 29th President of the United States . A Republican from Ohio, Harding was an influential self-made newspaper publisher. He served in the Ohio Senate , as the 28th Lieutenant Governor of Ohio and as a U.S. Senator...

 for President in 1920, and when Harding became President, he named Weeks to his cabinet.

As Secretary of War
United States Secretary of War
The Secretary of War was a member of the United States President's Cabinet, beginning with George Washington's administration. A similar position, called either "Secretary at War" or "Secretary of War," was appointed to serve the Congress of the Confederation under the Articles of Confederation...

, Weeks was a competent, honest, and respected administrator and adviser, who guided the Department of War through its post-World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 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
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington County, Virginia, is a military cemetery in the United States of America, established during the American Civil War on the grounds of Arlington House, formerly the estate of the family of Confederate general Robert E. Lee's wife Mary Anna Lee, a great...

 near what is now known as Weeks Drive.

Weeks' son, Charles Sinclair Weeks
Sinclair Weeks
Charles Sinclair Weeks , better known as Sinclair Weeks, was United States Secretary of Commerce from January 21, 1953 to November 10, 1958 under Dwight D. Eisenhower...

, was Secretary of Commerce
United States Secretary of Commerce
The United States Secretary of Commerce is the head of the United States Department of Commerce concerned with business and industry; the Department states its mission to be "to foster, promote, and develop the foreign and domestic commerce"...

 during the Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States, from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army...

 administration.

Weeks' cousin, Edgar Weeks
Edgar Weeks
Edgar Weeks was a military officer, judge and politician from the U.S. state of Michigan.-Biography:Weeks was born in Mount Clemens, Michigan, where he attended the public schools and learned the printing trade...

, was a U.S. Representative from Michigan
Michigan
Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

. His granduncle, also named John Wingate Weeks
John W. Weeks (New Hampshire)
John Wingate Weeks was a U.S. Representative from New Hampshire, great uncle of John Wingate Weeks.Born in Greenland, New Hampshire, Weeks attended the common schools and learned the carpenter's trade...

 (1781–1853), was a Major in the U.S. Army during the War of 1812 and a U.S. Representative from New Hampshire
New Hampshire
New Hampshire is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state was named after the southern English county of Hampshire. It is bordered by Massachusetts to the south, Vermont to the west, Maine and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Canadian...

.

Namesakes


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
Mount Weeks
Mount Weeks is a mountain located in Coos County, New Hampshire.The mountain is named for United States Senator John W. Weeks of nearby Lancaster, New Hampshire, the sponsor of the Weeks Act of 1911, under which the White Mountain National Forest was established.Mt...

 in his honor.

The John W. Weeks Bridge
John W. Weeks Bridge
The John W. Weeks Bridge, usually called the Weeks Footbridge , is a pedestrian bridge over the Charles River connecting Cambridge, Massachusetts with the Allston section of Boston.John W. Weeks was a longtime U.S...

, a footbridge over the Charles River
Charles River
The Charles River is an long river that flows in an overall northeasterly direction in eastern Massachusetts, USA. From its source in Hopkinton, the river travels through 22 cities and towns until reaching the Atlantic Ocean at Boston...

 on the campus of Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

 in Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

 and Cambridge, Massachusetts
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Cambridge is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States, in the Greater Boston area. It was named in honor of the University of Cambridge in England, an important center of the Puritan theology embraced by the town's founders. Cambridge is home to two of the world's most prominent...

, was named for Weeks and opened in 1927.

The John Wingate Weeks Junior High School
Weeks Junior High School
The former Weeks Junior High School, also known as John Wingate Weeks Junior High School, is an historic school located at 7 Hereward Road, corner of Rowena Strret in the village of Newton Center in Newton, Massachusetts...

 built in 1930 in Newton Centre, Massachusetts
Newton Centre, Massachusetts
Newton Centre is a borough of Newton, Massachusetts. The main commercial center of Newton Centre is a triangular area surrounding the intersections of Beacon Street, Centre Street and Langley Road. It is the largest downtown area among all the villages of Newton, and serves as a large upscale...

, was named for him.

During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, the U.S. Navy destroyer escort
Destroyer escort
A destroyer escort is the classification for a smaller, lightly armed warship designed to be used to escort convoys of merchant marine ships, primarily of the United States Merchant Marine in World War II. It is employed primarily for anti-submarine warfare, but also provides some protection...

 USS Weeks (DE-285)
USS Weeks (DE-285)
USS Weeks was a proposed United States Navy Rudderow-class destroyer escort that was never built.Plans called for Weeks to be built at the Charleston Navy Yard at Charleston, South Carolina. The contract for her construction was cancelled on 10 June 1944.- References :*...

 was named for Weeks. Her construction was cancelled in 1944.

The destroyer
Destroyer
In naval terminology, a destroyer is a fast and maneuverable yet long-endurance warship intended to escort larger vessels in a fleet, convoy or battle group and defend them against smaller, powerful, short-range attackers. Destroyers, originally called torpedo-boat destroyers in 1892, evolved from...

 USS John W. Weeks (DD-701)
USS John W. Weeks (DD-701)
USS John W. Weeks , an Allen M. Sumner-class destroyer, was named for John Wingate Weeks, who attained the rank of Rear Admiral. Weeks was elected to the United States House of Representatives where he served until entering the United States Senate in 1913. He became Secretary of War on 4 March...

 then was named for Weeks. She was in commission
Ship commissioning
Ship commissioning is the act or ceremony of placing a ship in active service, and may be regarded as a particular application of the general concepts and practices of project commissioning. The term is most commonly applied to the placing of a warship in active duty with its country's military...

 from 1944 to 1970.

The investment banking and brokerage firm Hornblower and Weeks
Hornblower & Weeks
Hornblower & Weeks was an investment banking and brokerage firm founded by Henry Hornblower and John W. Weeks in 1888. At its peak in the late 1970s, Hornblower ranked eighth among member firms of the New York Stock Exchange in number of retail offices, with 93 retail sales offices located in the...

, founded in 1888, was named for Weeks and co-founder Henry Hornblower.

External links


  • John W. Weeks (1860-1926) (Biographical page from Forest History Society
    Forest History Society
    The Forest History Society is an American non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of forest and conservation history. The society was established in 1946 and incorporated in 1955....

     website)