World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Henry O. Talle

Henry Oscar Talle (January 12, 1892 - March 14, 1969) was an economics professor and a ten-term Republican U.S. Representative from eastern Iowa. He served in the United States Congress for twenty years from 1938 until 1958.


Born on a farm near Albert Lea, Minnesota, Talle was educated in rural schools and Luther Academy in Albert Lea. He first arrived in Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, as a student, receiving a bachelor's degree in 1917. He interrupted his own academic career to serve in the U.S. Navy in the First World War, and to serve as a teacher (and superintendent of schools) in Rugby and Rolette, North Dakota in 1919 and 1920, and as a teacher in Luther Academy in 1920 and 1921. He pursued graduate work at University of Minnesota, Boston University, Emerson College, and the University of Chicago.


In 1921 he returned to Decorah and Luther College to serve as a professor of economics, a position that he held until he was elected to Congress in 1938. During that period he also served as the College's treasurer from 1932 to 1938.

During the first six years of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Administration, Decorah and surrounding northwestern Iowa counties in Iowa's 4th congressional district were represented by the former publisher of the Decorah Journal, Democrat Fred Biermann. Talle tried and failed to unseat Congressman Biermann in 1936, but succeeded two years later (in an election in which Republicans recaptured nearly all of the U.S. House seats in Iowa lost in the 1932 Democratic landslide). Talle won election by unseating an incumbent Democrat New Dealer from Talle's own hometown. Talle ran for re-election to his seat in the 4th district in 1940 and was re-elected.

The 1940 census caused Iowa to lose one of its nine seats in the U.S. House, forcing the 1941 Iowa General Assembly to redraw congressional district boundaries. Although Republicans then controlled the Assembly and the Governor's office, Republican Talle was considered the "goat" burdened most severely by the reapportionment plan that the Assembly ultimately approved. The old 4th district was broken up, and Talle's home county and a few others from the old 4th district were placed in a reconfigured 2nd congressional district. Compared to the old 4th district, the new 2nd district included more urban areas, including Cedar Rapids and Clinton — the home of three-term incumbent Democrat William Jacobsen and his late predecessor and father, three-term Democrat Bernhard Jacobsen. However, in Talle's 1942 race against William Jacobsen, Talle was aided by the continued decline in support in Iowa for Democrats in Washington, and won with a comfortable margin of over 15,000 votes. He would win re-election with at least 55 percent of the vote in the next six elections, while advancing in seniority within the House Republican caucus.

After the 1956 elections (in which Talle prevailed over Democrat Leonard Wolf but received only 52.3 percent of the vote), he was the ranking Republican on the House Banking and Currency Committee.[1] In the mid-term elections two years later, an increase in farm costs engendered hostility against Republican policies.[1] This time, Wolf defeated Talle. In all, Talle served in Congress from January 3, 1939 to January 3, 1959.

Following his defeat, Talle remained in Washington D.C., serving in the Eisenhower Administration as Assistant Administrator for Program Policy of the U.S. Housing and Home Finance Agency from February 2, 1959, to February 19, 1961. He resided in Chevy Chase, Maryland, until his death in Washington, D.C., on March 14, 1969. He was interred in Arlington National Cemetery.[2]


Other sources

  • Template:CongBio
  • Find a Grave

External links

  • Henry O. Talle Scholarship. Luther College
  • Henry O. Talle Award. Luther College

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.