Charles Bernard Hoeven
From 1963's Pocket Congressional Directory of the Eighty-Eighth Congress
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Iowa
In office
January 3, 1943 – January 3, 1965
Preceded byFred C. Gilchrist
Succeeded byStanley L. Greigg
Constituency8th district (1943–1963)
6th district (1963–1965)
Member of the Iowa Senate
from the 49th district
In office
January 11, 1937 – January 12, 1941
Preceded byGarritt E. Roelofs
Succeeded byJans Dykhouse
Personal details
Born(1895-03-30)March 30, 1895
Hospers, Iowa, U.S.
DiedNovember 9, 1980(1980-11-09) (aged 85)
Orange City, Iowa, U.S.
Resting placeNassau Township Cemetery, Alton, Iowa, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
EducationUniversity of Iowa
Military service
Allegiance United States of America
Branch/service United States Army
UnitCompany D, 350th Infantry, 88th Division

Charles Bernard Hoeven (March 30, 1895 – November 9, 1980) was an American politician. Elected to represent districts in northern Iowa for eleven terms, from the Seventy-eighth to Eighty-eighth Congresses, in all he held elective office for forty consecutive years. He was a member of the Republican Party.

Early life and education

Hoeven was born in Hospers, Iowa; his paternal grandparents were Dutch immigrants and his maternal grandparents were German immigrants.[1] Hoeven attended the public schools and Alton (Iowa) High School.[2]

During World War I, Hoeven served in England and France as a sergeant in Company D, 350th Infantry, 88th Division, and with the Intelligence Service of the First Battalion.

He received a bachelor's degree from the University of Iowa at Iowa City, in 1920 and a law degree from the University of Iowa College of Law in 1922.

Political career

Hoeven was admitted to the bar in 1922 and began to practice law in Alton, Iowa. He was elected as County Attorney of Sioux County, Iowa in 1924, and served in that position from 1925 to 1937. Then, he was elected to the Iowa Senate, where he served from 1937 to 1941, the last two years as president pro tempore.[3]

In 1940, Hoeven ran for the Republican nomination in Iowa's 9th congressional district (which was then represented by Democrat Vincent Harrington of Sioux City). Hoeven finished a close second to Albert Swanson in the primary, who in turn lost to Harrington in the general election by fewer than 2,500 votes out of over 130,000 cast. Newspapers and others speculated that, if Hoeven had won the primary, he would have defeated Harrington.[4] Thus, when reapportionment shifted most of the old 9th district into Iowa's 8th congressional district, Hoeven became an early front-runner for the 1942 Republican primary to run against Harrington. He won the primary, and received a significant boost when Harrington resigned his House seat and the Democratic nomination two months before the 1942 general election to serve full-time in the U.S. Army Air Corps in England.[5] Democrats quickly nominated new candidates to serve out Harrington's 9th district term and to run against Hoeven in the 8th district, but Hoeven won the 8th district seat by over 19,000 votes.

Hoeven was then re-elected to Congress from that district an additional nine times, the last time in 1960 (when he defeated future U.S. District Court Judge Donald E. O'Brien). Following the 1960 census, Iowa lost a congressional district, and the bulk of his territory was reconfigured as the 6th district. Hoeven was elected again. He chose not to run in 1964, the year in which 48 Republican seats (including Iowa's Sixth District) were lost to Democrats. Hoeven voted in favor of the Civil Rights Acts of 1957,[6] 1960,[7] and 1964,[8] as well as the 24th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.[9]

Hoeven also served as vice president of a savings bank.

In the Republican Party, Hoeven was a delegate to each Iowa State Republican Convention from 1925 to 1970, serving as chairman of the 1940 state convention. He was a delegate to the 1964 Republican National Convention. In 1942, he also served as temporary and permanent chairman of Iowa Republican State Judicial Convention.

Retirement and death

After retiring from Congress, Hoeven resided in Orange City, Iowa, where he died on November 9, 1980. He was interred in Nassau Township Cemetery, in Alton, Iowa.


  1. ^ "United States Census, 1910", FamilySearch, retrieved March 21, 2018
  2. ^ "Biographical Directory of the United States Congress". Hoeven, Charles Bernard. Retrieved December 15, 2010.
  3. ^ "Senator Charles Bernard Hoeven". Iowa General Assembly. Retrieved November 28, 2023.
  4. ^ "One Definite Candidacy," The Fredericksburg News, September 11, 1941 at 4.
  5. ^ "Harrington Resigns from Congress," Sioux Center News, 1942-09-10, at 1.
  6. ^ "HR 6127. CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1957".
  7. ^ "HR 8601. PASSAGE".
  8. ^ "H.R. 7152. PASSAGE".
U.S. House of Representatives Preceded byFred C. Gilchrist Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Iowa's 8th congressional district 1943 – 1963 District eliminated Preceded byMerwin Coad Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Iowa's 6th congressional district 1963 – 1965 Succeeded byStanley L. Greigg

Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress