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Benjamin Todd Frederick (October 5, 1834November 3, 1903) was a miner, businessman, real estate agent, and (during the 1880s) a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives from Iowa's 5th congressional district.

Born in Fredericktown, Ohiomarker, he attended district schools, completed preparatory studies and later moved to Marshalltown, Iowamarker. He moved to Marysville, Californiamarker, in 1857 and engaged in placer mining. He returned to Marshalltown in 1859 and engaged in the foundry and machine business from 1865 to 1888.

Frederick was a member of the Marshalltown City Council from 1874 to 1877, was a member of the school board for three terms.

In 1882 he was the Democratic nominee for the U.S. House seat representing Iowa's 5th congressional district in the Forty-eighth Congress. In the immediate aftermath of a very close general election race, his Republican opponent, James "Tama Jim" Wilson, was certified by the State of Iowa as the winner, leading Frederick to file an election contest in the U.S. House. Although the House was controlled by Fredrick's own party, the contest was not resolved until the last hours of the second session. On the morning of inauguration day (March 4, 1885), Frederick was declared the winner of the 1882 race, and was seated minutes before the Forty-eighth Congress ended. Until that day, Republicans had successfully filibustered to prevent a vote by the House on the contest, until continuation of the filibuster would have prevented the House from acting in a popular bill to permit former President Ulysses S. Grant, then on the verge of death, to retire with the benefits of a general. With Wilson's consent the filibuster ended, Frederick was determined the 1882 election winner and quickly sworn in, and the Grant retirement bill was taken up and adopted.

Frederick had been re-elected in 1884 by defeating Milo P. Smith, so he was able to remain in Congress for two years after his contest victory. In 1886, he sought and accepted the Democratic nomination for re-election, but was defeated in the general election by Republican Daniel Kerr.

In 1887, Frederick moved to San Diego, Californiamarker, where he engaged in the real estate business and was collector of internal revenue for San Diego from 1893 to 1902.

Frederick died at age 69 in San Diego. He is interred in Mount Hope Cemetery.

External links

  1. "Wilson's Majority 53," Davenport Daily Gazette, 1882-11-10 at p. 1.
  2. 'The November Vote - Official," Iowa State Reporter, 1882-12-13 at p. 6.
  3. " History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century," Vol 4 at p. 95.
  4. "On the Eve of Adjournment," St. Petersburg (VA) Daily Index-Appeal, 1885-03-04 at p. 1.
  5. " The Grant Retirement Bill," New York Times, 1885-03-03 at p. 4.
  6. "'Tama Jim' Bounced," Cedar Rapids Evening Gazette, 1885-03-05 at p. 1.
  7. "Frederick Probably Elected," Cedar Rapids Evening Gazette, 1882-11-06 at p. 1.
  8. "Mere Mention," Cedar Rapids Times, 1998-09-16 at p. 3.
  9. "Large Gains in the East," Perry Chief, 1886-11-06 at p. 4.

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