Benjamin Kurtz FOCHT, Congress, PA (1863-1937)
FOCHT, Benjamin Kurtz, a Representative from Pennsylvania; born in New Bloomfield, Perry County, Pa., March 12, 1863; attended the public schools, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, Pa., Pennsylvania State College at State College, and Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove, Pa.; established the Lewisburg (Pa.) Saturday News in 1881, serving as editor and publisher until his death; delegate to the Republican State convention in 1889; served as an officer of the National Guard of Pennsylvania; member of the State house of representatives 1893-1897; served in the State senate 1901-1905; water supply commissioner of Pennsylvania 1912-1914; elected as a Republican to the Sixtieth, Sixty-first, and Sixty-second Congresses (March 4, 1907-March 3, 1913); unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1912 to the Sixty-third Congress; elected to the Sixty-fourth and to the three succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1915-March 3, 1923); chairman, Committee on War Claims (Sixty-sixth Congress), Committee on District of Columbia (Sixty-seventh Congress); unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1922 to the Sixty-eighth Congress and for nomination in 1924, 1926, 1928, and 1930, and also in 1932 for the unexpired term of Edward M. Beers in the Seventy-second Congress; resumed business activities in Lewisburg, Pa.; served as deputy secretary of the Commonwealth in 1928 and 1929; elected to the Seventy-third, Seventy-fourth, and Seventy-fifth Congresses and served from March 4, 1933, until his death in Washington, D.C., March 27, 1937; interment in Lewisburg Cemetery, Lewisburg, Pa.
BibliographyBaumgartner, Donald J. “Benjamin K. Focht: Union County Politician.” D.Ed. dissertation, Pennsylvania State University, 1975.
Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present