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Watkins, Arthur V. (Arthur Vivian), 1886-1973

 Person

Biography

Arthur V. Watkins was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, worked as a lawyer in Utah for several years before serving two terms as a United States Senator between 1946 and 1958, Chairman of the Senate Select Committee, and Chief Commissioner of the Indian Claims Commission.

Arthur Vivian Watkins was born in Midway, Utah on December 16, 1886, the first of eight children born to Arthur Watkins and Adelia (Gerber) Watkins. When he was not working on the farm, Arthur (or Vivian, as he was called at home) attended school with his siblings. In 1903, he began attending Brigham Young Academy in Provo, Utah, where he studied hard and participated in the Rialto Club, formed in 1903 to discuss economic and political issues. Arthur dropped out of school in 1906 to teach fourth and fifth grades. He taught for one year and was called to serve a mission in the Eastern States for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After completing his mission on September 17, 1910, he decided to stay in New York and continue his education. In 1912 he graduated from Columbia University Law School.

While in New York, Watkins met Andrea Rich, the daughter of his mission president, Ben E. Rich. After he passed the Utah bar exam in 1912, he and Andrea were married at the Salt Lake Temple on June 18, 1913 by President Joseph F. Smith.

Arthur and Andrea Watkins settled in Vernal, Utah where he practiced law and joined Roosevelt's Bull Moose Party. In 1915 Watkins accepted the appointment as Assistant County Attorney of Salt Lake County. While working at the County Attorney's office, he began building a private practice. Two years later, the Democrats won the election and he lost his appointment.

Watkins quit his private practice in 1922 due to health issues but soon set up another practice in American Fork, Utah. In 1925 the family moved to Orem so they could be closer to schools and the church. Watkins began another private practice in Provo. He was elected as Utah County judge in the Fourth District Court in 1928. He lost the reelection bid in 1930 and decided to merge his law practice with Raymond B. Holbrook. When Holbrook left, Watkins continued to practice on his own.

In 1946 Watkins was elected to the United States Senate. While in the Senate, he and his wife resided in Arlington, Virginia. He ran for reelection in 1952 and defeated the Democratic challenger, Congressman Walt Granger. In 1954, Senator Knowland, the Senate Majority Leader, appointed Watkins as the Chairman of the Senate Select Committee, which censured Senator Joseph R. McCarthy for his conduct in the Senate. Watkins later wrote a book, Enough Rope, describing his emotions and experiences during the McCarthy hearings and debates. Partly due to his involvement in the McCarthy hearings, he lost the election for U.S. Senator in 1958.

Arthur V. Watkins was very involved in the community and in church. He helped organize the Sharon's Cooperative Educational and Recreational Association (SCERA), a not-profit organization dedicated to providing educational recreational activities for youth in the area. He also became the director and general counsel for the Provo River Water User Association and worked with the Bureau of Reclamation and other organizations and agencies associated with the Water Users Association. The Willard Dam in Utah was later renamed the Arthur V. Watkins Dam in recognition of his work on the Bureau of Reclamation. Arthur also worked with Orem City on the Deer Creek project and Geneva Steel Plant project. At church, Watkins was called to served on the High Council, was active in the Young Men's program, and served as a stake president for eighteen years.

After his defeat in the campaign of 1958, Watkins was appointed a member of the Indian Claims Commission and later accepted the position of Chief Commissioner. In 1965, while in the Indian Claims Commission, he received the Abraham O. Smoot Public Service Award from Brigham Young University. He resigned as Chief Commissioner of the Indian Claims Commission at age 80 to spend more time with with his wife, who had contracted a serious heart condition. The next year Andrea Watkins died due to complications from a stroke a few years earlier. On March 1, 1972 he married Dorothy Eva Watkins. As lung cancer began to deteriorate his health, Watkins asked that he be moved to Orem to die where he passed away on September 1, 1973.

Citation:
Utah State memorial stone, 1951:p. 13 (Arthur V. Watkins, United State senator, state of Utah)

LC in RLIN, 11-5-92(hdg.: Watkins, Arthur Vivian, 1886-)

Who was who in Amer.(Watkins, Arthur V.,b. 1886, d. 1973)

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, via WWW, March 5, 2014(Watkins, Arthur Vivian (1886-1973); a Senator from Utah; born in Midway, Wasatch County, Utah, December 18, 1886; attended the public schools, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, 1903-1906, and New York University, New York City, 1909-1910; graduated from Columbia University Law School, New York City, 1912; admitted to the bar the same year and commenced practice in Vernal, Utah; engaged in newspaper work in 1914; assistant county attorney of Salt Lake County, 1914-1915; engaged in agricultural pursuits, 1919-1925; district judge of the fourth judicial district of Utah, 1928-1933; unsuccessful candidate for the Republican nomination to the Seventy-fifth Congress in 1936; elected as a Republican to the United States Senate in 1946; reelected in 1952 and served from January 3, 1947, to January 3, 1959; was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1958; chairman, Select Committee on the Censure of Joseph McCarthy (Eighty-third Congress), co-chairman, Joint Committee on Navaho-Hopi Indian Administration (Eighty-third Congress), Joint Committee on Immigration and Naturalization Policy (Eighty-third Congress); member of the Indian Claims Commission, Washington, D.C., from August 1959 until retirement in September 1967; author; was a resident of Salt Lake City until he moved to Orem, Utah, in 1973 where he died September 1, 1973; interment in Eastlawn Memorial Hills)

Found in 157 Collections and/or Records:

Arthur V. Watkins papers on Solano Project, 1949-1952

 Sub-Series
Identifier: MSS 146 Series 5 Sub-Series 2 Sub-Series 9
Scope and Contents note

Contains government reports, bills, and statements from 1949 to 1952 concerning the Solano County Project in California.

Dates: Other: 1949-1952

Arthur V. Watkins papers on Southern California opposition to Colorado River Storage Project, 1928-1957

 Sub-Series
Identifier: MSS 146 Series 5 Sub-Series 3 Sub-Series 10 Sub-Series 2
Scope and Contents note

Contains correspondence, news clippings, statements, addresses, and reports concerning opposition in Southern California to the Lower Basin Project. It also contains the abstract of Incorporation proceeding of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, congressional reports, and notes and information concerning the opposition in Southern California to the Lower Basin Project from 1928 to 1957.

Dates: Other: 1928-1957

Arthur V. Watkins papers on the Bear River Project, 1950-1958

 Sub-Series
Identifier: MSS 146 Series 5 Sub-Series 2 Sub-Series 7
Scope and Contents note

Contains correspondence from 1951 to 1958 government documents and reports from 1951 to 1957, and reports, notes, and a compact and bills from 1950 to 1955 concerning the Bear River Project.

Dates: Other: 1950-1958

Arthur V. Watkins papers on the Hoover Commission Task Force , 1953-1957

 Sub-Series
Identifier: MSS 146 Series 5 Sub-Series 1 Sub-Series 5 Sub-Series 5
Scope and Contents note

Contains correspondence from 1954 to 1957, press releases from 1953 to 1954, and a statement given June 5, 1955 regarding the Hoover Commission Task Force.

Dates: Other: 1953-1957

Arthur V. Watkins papers on the Lower Basin, 1955-1956

 Sub-Series
Identifier: MSS 146 Series 5 Sub-Series 3 Sub-Series 10
Scope and Contents note

Contains correspondence from 1955 to 1956, news clippings from January to June 1956, and statements, reports, and information referring to the Lower Basin of the Colorado River Storage Project in the Western United States.

Dates: Other: 1955-1956

Arthur V. Watkins papers on the passage of the Colorado River Storage Project, 1955-1956

 Sub-Series
Identifier: MSS 146 Series 5 Sub-Series 3 Sub-Series 14
Scope and Contents note

Contains correspondence from 1955 and 1956 regarding the passage of the Colorado River Storage Project in the Western United States.

Dates: Other: 1955-1956

Arthur V. Watkins papers on the pros and cons of reclamation, 1903-1969

 Sub-Series
Identifier: MSS 146 Series 5 Sub-Series 11 Sub-Series 3
Scope and Contents note

Contains various correspondence, congressional records, reports, news clippings, brochures, and miscellaneous notes and information originating between 1903 and 1969 concerning the pros and cons of reclamation.

Dates: Other: 1903-1969

Arthur V. Watkins papers on the Provo Bench Canal and Irrigation Company vs. Harold A. Linke, 1950-1955

 Sub-Series
Identifier: MSS 146 Series 5 Sub-Series 2 Sub-Series 5
Scope and Contents note

Contains correspondence from January to March of 1955, a brochure in the Supreme Court and other information regarding the Provo Bench Canal and Irrigation Company vs. Harold Linke case of 1950.

Dates: Other: 1950-1955

Arthur V. Watkins papers on the Upper Canyon, 1915-1973

 Sub-Series
Identifier: MSS 146 Series 5 Sub-Series 3 Sub-Series 9
Scope and Contents

Contains correspondence, news clippings, brochures, maps, and other material related to the portions of the Colorado River Storage Project in the Upper Canyon sections of the river. Materials date from between 1915 and 1973.

Dates: 1915-1973

Arthur V. Watkins papers on the Upper Colorado River Commission, 1950-1969

 Sub-Series
Identifier: MSS 146 Series 5 Sub-Series 3 Sub-Series 15
Scope and Contents note

Contains correspondence concerning the Colorado River Storage Project from February to November 1955, annual reports of the Upper Colorado River Commission from 1950 to 1968, selected legal references for the use of the Upper Colorado River Commission from 1965, and supplements to the selected legal references for the use of the Upper Colorado River Commission from 1966 to 1969.

Dates: Other: 1950-1969