Manuel Herrick

Manuel Herrick bigraphy, stories - American politician

Manuel Herrick : biography

September 20, 1876 – January 11, 1952

Manuel Herrick nicknamed the "Okie Jesus Congressman" (September 20, 1876 – January 11, 1952) was a United States Representative from Oklahoma for one term, from March 4, 1921 to March 3, 1923.

Congressional career

At the age of forty-two, Herrick was elected as a Republican to the Sixty-seventh Congress. Herrick won the Republican nomination after the popular incumbent Republican congressman, Dick T. Morgan, died unexpectedly on the last day of filing, allowing Herrick to take the nomination unopposed. Herrick was elected in November 1920 based on the strength of Warren G. Harding’s showing in his district. Herrick served from March 4, 1921 to March 3, 1923. He unsuccessfully ran for reelection in 1922, losing in the Republican primary. As a Congressman, Herrick was one of the more colorful members of that body. During his one-and-only term, Herrick scandalized his fellow legislators by soliciting marriage proposals from beauty queens, only to claim that he was gathering information for intended legislation banning beauty pageants. Herrick took a similar approach to his 1925 arrest for moonshining, claiming to be an undercover agent for the Internal Revenue Service. Herrick was also notable for his prowess as a barnstorming aviator, and for claiming to be Jesus Christ reborn (his given name was Immanuel). His mental health was often in question and his eccentricities and lack of knowledge of the governmental process overshadowed his diligence for constituents.

Early life

Born Emanuel Herrick in Perry, Tuscarawas County, Ohio on September 20, 1876, he moved with his parents, John Emanuel Herrick and Belinda Kale Herrick, to Greenwood County, Kansas in 1877. Herrick was self-educated and engaged in agricultural pursuits. Later, he settled in the Cherokee Strip in Oklahoma Territory. In 1893, Herrick moved to Perry and became interested in agriculture and stock raising.

Later life and death

After leaving Congress, Herrick moved to California in 1933. He would settle in Plumas County, California in 1937 and ran unsuccessfully for Congress several times while in California. Herrick mysteriously disappeared during a Sierra blizzard on January 11, 1952, while on a trip to his mining claim eight miles northeast of Quincy, California. A month later, Herrick was found dead in a snowbank two miles from his cabin on February 29, 1952. His remains were cremated and the ashes interred in Quincy Cemetery in Quincy.