Merwin Coad

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Merwin Coad
Merwin Coad.jpg
Member of the U.S.HouseofRepresentatives
from Iowa's 6th district
In office
January 3, 1957 January 3, 1963
Preceded by James I. Dolliver
Succeeded by Charles B. Hoeven
Personal details
Born (1924-09-28) September 28, 1924 (age 94)
Cawker City, Kansas, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s)Delores Coad (first); Carol Faye Farnsworth (second)
ProfessionMinister; later, Lender and Speaker

Merwin Coad (born September 28, 1924) is a former Democratic U.S. Representative from Iowa's 6th congressional district for six years, serving from January 1957 to January 1963. His election snapped the Republican Party's fourteen-year hold on every U.S. House seat from Iowa.

United States House of Representatives lower house of the United States Congress

The United States House of Representatives is the lower chamber of the United States Congress, the Senate being the upper chamber. Together they compose the legislature of the United States.

Iowa's 6th congressional district is a former congressional district in Iowa. It existed from 1862 to 1992, when it was lost due to Iowa's population growth rate being lower than that of the country as a whole.


Personal background

Born in Cawker City, Kansas, Coad moved with his parents to a farm near Auburn, Nebraska. He graduated from high school in Auburn in 1941. He attended Peru State Teachers College in Peru, Nebraska in 1941 and 1942, and Phillips University in Enid, Oklahoma from 1942 to 1944, and then graduated from Texas Christian University at Fort Worth, Texas in 1945. He also studied at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

Cawker City, Kansas City in Kansas, United States

Cawker City is a city in Mitchell County, Kansas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 469. The city is located along the north shore of Waconda Lake and Glen Elder State Park.

Auburn, Nebraska City in Nebraska, United States

Auburn is a city in Nemaha County, Nebraska, United States, and its county seat. The population was 3,460 at the 2010 census.

Peru State College

Peru State College is a public college in Peru, Nebraska. Founded by members of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1865, making it the first and oldest institution in Nebraska, it would undergo several name changes before receiving its current name.

He was ordained to the ministry of Disciples of Christ Church, in Boone, Iowa, in 1945. He served as associate minister in St. Joseph, Missouri, in 1948 and 1949, as a Minister at Lenox, Iowa from 1949 to 1951, and as a Minister in Boone, from 1951 to 1956.

Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) religious denomination

The Christian Church is a Mainline Protestant Christian denomination in the United States and Canada. The denomination started with the Restoration Movement during the Second Great Awakening, first existing as a loose association of churches working towards Christian unity during the 19th century, then slowly forming quasi-denominational structures through missionary societies, regional associations, and an international convention. In 1968, the Disciples of Christ officially adopted a denominational structure at which time a group of churches left to remain nondenominational.

Boone, Iowa Place in Iowa, USA

Boone is a city in Des Moines Township, and county seat of Boone County, Iowa, United States. It is the principal city of the Boone, Iowa Micropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses all of Boone County. This micropolitan statistical area, along with the Ames, Iowa Metropolitan Statistical Area comprise the larger Ames-Boone, Iowa Combined Statistical Area. The population of the city was 12,661 at the 2010 census.

St. Joseph, Missouri Place in Missouri, United States

St. Joseph is a city in and the county seat of Buchanan County, Missouri, United States. Small parts of St. Joseph extend into Andrew County, Missouri, United States. It is the principal city of the St. Joseph Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Buchanan, Andrew, and DeKalb counties in Missouri and Doniphan County, Kansas. As of the 2010 census, St. Joseph had a total population of 76,780, making it the eighth largest city in the state, and the third largest in Northwest Missouri. St. Joseph is located roughly thirty miles north of the Kansas City, Missouri city limits.

Election and re-election to Congress

In 1956, Coad ran as a Democrat against six-term incumbent Republican Congressman James I. Dolliver. Coad's initial margin of victory was 83 votes out of over 129,000 votes cast, prompting a recount (which reaffirmed his victory with a margin of 198 votes). Dolliver then tried and failed to convince the U.S. House to overturn the election. Coad would win re-election twice.

James I. Dolliver American politician

James Isaac Dolliver served six terms as a Republican U.S. Representative from Iowa's 6th congressional district, beginning in 1944. He was the nephew of U.S. Senator Jonathan Prentiss Dolliver of Iowa.

Withdrawal from politics

The 1960 census caused Iowa to lose a seat in Congress, and the 1961 Iowa Legislature's resulting reapportionment placed parts of the old 6th congressional district into several districts. Coad's home county (Boone) was included in Iowa's 5th congressional district, which had been represented since 1959 by popular fellow Democrat Neal Smith. [1]

Iowas 5th congressional district

Iowa's 5th congressional district is an obsolete congressional district in the U.S. state of Iowa. It was last represented by Republican Steve King, who after served the state's 4th congressional district.

Neal Edward Smith Recipient of the Purple Heart medal

Neal Edward Smith is a former American politician who was a member of the United States House of Representatives from Iowa from 1959 until 1995—the longest-serving Iowan in the United States House of Representatives.

There were reports that Coad was considering a 1962 bid for either the Senate or the Iowa governorship. [2] However, on June 8, 1961, Coad, then only 36, announced that he was withdrawing from politics, effective at the end of his current term (in 1962). [2] Coad gave no reasons. [2] However, it was soon front-page news that the former minister had obtained an Alabama divorce from his Iowa wife in March 1961, allegedly without first notifying her, [3] and that in May 1961, Coad had married Carol Peters, a member of his staff who had just obtained a Nevada divorce from Coad's executive assistant. [1] [4] She then received a raise, making her his highest-paid staffer. [4] Meanwhile, stories of Coad's financial problems, including gambling debts, and losses from his grain market investments, were published in the Des Moines Register and Time Magazine. [5]

Before his term ended in 1962, Coad weighed a way to run again for the U.S. House, and considered moving to Carroll County and running for the seat in the 7th congressional district then held by thirteen-term Representative Ben F. Jensen. [1] In the end, however, he stayed out of the 1962 race. [6] Coad's congressional service, which began on January 3, 1957, ended on January 3, 1963.

Activities after Congress

In July 1963 Coad began working in the Kennedy Administration as a $75-per-day consultant for the Agency for International Development's office of material resources. [7] However, when Iowa Senator Bourke Hickenlooper — serving as the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee — learned of this, he contacted the head of the agency and raised an objection, based on what he described as Coad's "background and history and utter lack of qualifications for the job." [7] Coad resigned the next day, and flew to Iowa to blast his critics. [8]

Coad then became involved in real estate lending in the Washington D.C. area, but by the late 1960s he faced at least one civil suit, and later a grand jury investigation. [9] [10] In one civil suit U.S. District Court Judge John Sirica enjoined Coad from foreclosing on the plaintiff's home, reportedly stating, "This is a racket . . . That's all it is, just a racket." [10]

By the early 1980s, Coad was speaking at free seminars, marketed in newspaper advertisements with the headline, "You Can Buy Real Estate with $10 Down and Become Wealthy in your Spare Time." [11] One such ad stated that Coad was "America's most effective and dynamic instructor on real estate and is the foremost consultant on no money down purchasing techniques." [11]

He is a resident of Washington, D.C., and Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, and now promotes on-line training courses in real estate investing.

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  1. 1 2 3 "Coad making survey of 7th District," Ames Daily Tribune, 1962-01-04, at 1.
  2. 1 2 3 "Rep. Coad not to seek reelection," Mason City Globe-Gazette, 1961-06-09, at 2.
  3. "Coad announces: married May 19," Ames Daily Tribune, 1961-06-20, at 1.
  4. 1 2 'Mrs. Coad's salary upped to $12,517," Ames Daily Tribune, 1961-06-30, at 1.
  5. "Something to think about,"Time Magazine, 1961-06-30.
  6. "Fewer Iowa primary races in 1962," Ames Daily Tribune, 1962-04-02, at 1.
  7. 1 2 "Hickenlooper, Miller Attack Hiring Coad," Oelwein Daily Register, 1963-09-14, at 16.
  8. "Coad charges 'smear campaign' directed at him," Ames Daily Tribune, 1963-09-17, at 1.
  9. "Widow Charges Coad Fraud," Waterloo Daily Courier, 1967-11-29, at 26.
  10. 1 2 ,Henry Cathcart, "Inside Washington," Titusville Herald, 1970-10-29, at 4.
  11. 1 2 Advertisement, The Capital (Annapolis), 1981-11-16, at 3.
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
James I. Dolliver
Member of the  U.S. House of Representatives
from Iowa's 6th congressional district

1957 1963
(obsolete district)
Succeeded by
Charles B. Hoeven
Honorary titles
Preceded by
John Dingell
Most Senior Living U.S. Representative
(Sitting or Former)

February 7, 2019 – present
Served alongside: William Broomfield (until February 20, 2019), Harry G. Haskell Jr.
Current holder

PD-icon.svg This article incorporates  public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website .