Vera C. Bushfield
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Vera C. Bushfield
Vera Bushfield
United States Senator
from South Dakota

October 6, 1948 - December 26, 1948
George Mickelson
Harlan Bushfield
Karl Mundt
First Lady of South Dakota

January 3, 1939 - January 5, 1943
GovernorHarlan Bushfield
Elizabeth Ward Jensen
Emily Auld Sharpe
Personal details
Born(1889-08-09)August 9, 1889
Miller, South Dakota, U.S.
DiedApril 16, 1976(1976-04-16) (aged 86)
Fort Collins, Colorado, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
EducationUniversity of Wisconsin, Stout (BA)
Dakota Wesleyan University
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

Vera Cahalan Bushfield (August 9, 1889 – April 16, 1976) was a U.S. Senator from South Dakota briefly in 1948, as well as the First Lady of South Dakota from 1939 to 1943. Bushfield's election also marked the first time a state had been represented by two female senators; Gladys Pyle served for two months in late 1938 and early 1939.


Born in Miller, South Dakota, she attended the public schools, graduated from the Stout Institute in Menomonie, Wisconsin, and also attended Dakota Wesleyan University and the University of Minnesota.

In 1912, she married Harlan J. Bushfield, and they had three children Mary J. (b. 1913), John P. (b. 1914), and Harlan J. (b. 1921). The Bushfields were residents of Miller.

Harlan Bushfield was an attorney and Republican Party official who served as Governor of South Dakota from 1939 to 1943. During his governorship, his wife was the official sponsor of the launch of the USS South Dakota  on June 7, 1941, in Camden, New Jersey.

Harlan Bushfield served as a U.S. Senator from 1943 until his death in September 1948. He was not running for reelection in 1948, and the contest to succeed him was between Karl E. Mundt, the Republican nominee, and Democrat John A. Engel.

On October 6, 1948, Vera Bushfield was appointed to the Senate to temporarily fill the vacancy caused by her husband's death. She served from October 6, 1948, until her resignation on December 26, 1948. Mundt had won the November election, and her resignation enabled Governor George T. Mickelson to appoint Mundt to the vacancy, giving him a few days of additional seniority over other senators elected in 1948, whose terms began in January 1949.

Vera Bushfield died in Fort Collins, Colorado on April 16, 1976. She is buried at the G.A.R. Cemetery in Miller.

See also


  • United States Congress. "Vera C. Bushfield (id: B001169)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  • Vera C. Bushfield at Find a Grave

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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