|United States Senator|
from South Dakota
October 6, 1948 - December 26, 1948
|First Lady of South Dakota|
January 3, 1939 - January 5, 1943
|Elizabeth Ward Jensen|
|Emily Auld Sharpe|
|Born||August 9, 1889|
Miller, South Dakota, U.S.
|Died||April 16, 1976 (aged 86)|
Fort Collins, Colorado, U.S.
|Education||University 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.
| United States Senator (Class 2) from South Dakota
Served alongside: Chandler Gurney
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