Weldon B. Heyburn
|United States Senator|
March 4, 1903 - October 17, 1912
Weldon Brinton Heyburn
May 23, 1852
Chadds Ford Township, Pennsylvania
|Died||October 17, 1912 (aged 60)|
|Resting place||Birmingham-Lafayette Cemetery|
West Chester, Pennsylvania
|Spouse(s)||Gheretein Yeatman |
(m. 1903-1912, his death)
|Parents||John Brinton Heyburn|
Sarah Gilpin Heyburn
|Alma mater||University of Pennsylvania|
Born in southeastern Pennsylvania near Chadds Ford, southwest of Philadelphia, Heyburn's parents were Quakers of English He attended the public schools there, the Maplewood Institute in Concordville, and the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. His brother, William Heyburn (1861-1939), eventually moved west to Louisville, Kentucky, where he became a leading citizen and president of Belknap Hardware and Manufacturing Company.
Heyburn studied law under Edward A. Price and was admitted to the bar in 1876, when he commenced practice in Media, west of Philadelphia. With the mining excitement in Colorado, he moved west to Leadville, where he practiced law for several years. In 1883, Heyburn moved to the Silver Valley of northern Idaho and continued the practice of law in Wallace in Shoshone County. Heyburn was a member of the convention that framed the constitution of the state in 1889.
On 30 Aug. 1884, Heyburn staked the Polaris discovery, northeast of, and 26 days before, the Blake's discovery of the Yankee Boy and Yankee Girl ore bodies. After his death in 1912, a nephew mined some ore from the Polaris in a limited fashion. Hecla Mining took over the Polaris in 1930, while the Yankee Boy mine became the core of the Sunshine Mine in 1918.
Heyburn was an unsuccessful Republican candidate for election in 1898 to the 56th Congress, losing to Silver Republican Edgar Wilson. In January 1903, Heyburn was elected by the Idaho Legislature to the U.S. Senate, defeating Democrat James Hawley, 50 to 17. Boise attorney William Borah was the runner-up for the Republican nomination, 28 to 22, and won the other Senate seat four years later. Others in the race were former Governor and Senator George Shoup, and Judge D.W. Standrod; both dropped out and gave their support
Heyburn was re-elected by the legislature January 1909, and was chairman of the Committee on Manufactures (58th through 62nd Congresses). During his career, he opposed Gifford Pinchot's call for national forests because he didn't agree with the federal government controlling vast amounts of land in western He also fought President Theodore Roosevelt on many of the Progressive Era ideas, such as an 8-hour work day and child welfare laws.
The largest man in the Senate, Heyburn had collapsed on the Senate floor after delivering a speech in March 1912, and been in ill health for most of the year prior to his death at age 60 in Washington, D.C. on October 17. He was interred in Pennsylvania at Birmingham Cemetery near West Chester, Pennsylvania,
In the state of Idaho, the city of Heyburn in Minidoka County is named for him, as well as Mount Heyburn, a jagged peak in the Sawtooth Mountains. The mountain tops out at 10,229 feet (3,118 m) above sea level, and overlooks Redfish Lake in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, just south of Stanley in Custer County.
Heyburn State Park, the Northwest's oldest state park, is in Benewah County at the southern end of Lake Coeur d'Alene. It was created in 1908; Senator Heyburn had attempted to secure it as a national park. The legislature named it after Heyburn in 1911, while he was still