Charles C. Gossett

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Charles C. Gossett
United States Senator
from Idaho
In office
November 17, 1945 (1945-11-17) – November 6, 1946 (1946-11-06)
Appointed byArnold Williams
Preceded byJohn W. Thomas
Succeeded byHenry Dworshak
20th Governor of Idaho
In office
January 1, 1945 (1945-01-01) – November 17, 1945 (1945-11-17)
LieutenantArnold Williams
Preceded byC. A. Bottolfsen
Succeeded byArnold Williams
22nd and 24th Lieutenant Governor of Idaho
In office
January 6, 1941 – January 4, 1943
GovernorChase Clark
Preceded byDonald Whitehead
Succeeded byEdwin Nelson
In office
January 4, 1937 – January 2, 1939
GovernorBarzilla Clark
Preceded byG. P. Mix
Succeeded byDonald Whitehead
Member of the
Idaho House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Charles Clinton Gossett

(1888-09-02)September 2, 1888
Pricetown, Ohio, U.S.
DiedSeptember 20, 1974(1974-09-20) (aged 86)
Boise, Idaho, U.S.
Resting placeKohlerlawn Cemetery, Nampa, Idaho
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Clara Louise Fleming

Charles Clinton Gossett (September 2, 1888 – September 20, 1974) was an American politician who served as the 20th Governor of Idaho and a United States Senator from Idaho, but was in both offices less than a year in the 1940s. He was a member of the Democratic Party.[1]

Early life[edit]

Born in Pricetown, Ohio, Gossett attended public schools in Ohio. He moved west to Cunningham, Washington, in 1907, to Ontario, Oregon, in 1910, and finally to Nampa, Idaho, in 1922. He engaged in the agriculture, livestock, feed and shipping businesses.


In 1932, Gossett was elected to Idaho House of Representatives. In 1936, he was elected the 22nd Idaho Lieutenant Governor, serving for two years alongside Governor Barzilla Clark. Gossett returned as the 24th Idaho Lieutenant Governor under Governor Chase Clark, Barzilla Clark's younger brother, both elected in 1940.

Gossett was elected to the governorship in his own right in 1944, winning the June primary over Idaho State Auditor Calvin Wright and Idaho Secretary of State George Curtis,[2] as well as the November general election over William Detweiler, the Republican nominee from Hazelton.[3] This was the last election for a two-year term, but Gossett served less than a year; he resigned in November 1945 to let his successor, Lieutenant Governor Arnold Williams, appoint him to the United States Senate to succeed the late John W. Thomas.[4][5][6]

In the special election for the seat in 1946, Gossett was defeated in the Democratic primary in June by State Senator George Donart,[7] who in turn was defeated by Republican U.S. Representative Henry Dworshak in the general election in November. After the loss, Gossett returned to his former business pursuits.

Gossett attempted a political comeback in 1954 in a run for the governorship. At the time, self-succession (reelection) was not allowed; Len Jordan's term was ending. Gossett was defeated in the Democratic gubernatorial primary in August by State Senator Clark Hamilton,[8] who in turn lost to Republican attorney general Robert Smylie in the general election. Gossett was appointed to the Idaho Tax Commission by Smylie in 1956 and served until 1967.[9][10]

Personal life[edit]

Gossett married Clara Louise Fleming on November 28, 1916,[1] and they had three children.[9]

Following an extended illness, Gossett died at age 86 in Boise on September 20, 1974,[11] and is interred at Kohlerlawn Cemetery in Nampa.


  1. ^ a b "Charles C. Gossett". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved June 22, 2013.
  2. ^ "Clark leading Taylor by 201 votes for Senate". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. June 14, 1944. p. 1.
  3. ^ "Democrats carry Idaho offices". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. November 8, 1944. p. 1.
  4. ^ "Gossett resigns to accept U.S. Senate seat; Arnold Williams is Idaho governor". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). November 18, 1945. p. 1.
  5. ^ "Gov. Gossett resigns to take Senate post". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. November 17, 1945. p. 1.
  6. ^ "Charles C. Gossett". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 23, 2012.
  7. ^ Pitman, Frank W. (June 12, 1946). "Donart defeats Gossett for Senate nomination". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. p. 1.
  8. ^ "Returns confirm poll victories by Taylor, Smylie, Hamilton". Lewiston Morning Tribune. {Idaho). Associated Press. August 12, 1954. p. 1.
  9. ^ a b "Charles C. Gossett". National Governors Association. Retrieved September 23, 2012.
  10. ^ "Kellogg businessman named to state tax commission". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. September 16, 1967. p. 1.
  11. ^ "Ex-governor of Idaho dead at 86". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. September 21, 1974. p. 16.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
G. P. Mix
Lieutenant Governor of Idaho
January 3, 1937 – January 2, 1939
Succeeded by
Donald S. Whitehead
Preceded by
Donald S. Whitehead
Lieutenant Governor of Idaho
January 3, 1941 – January 2, 1943
Succeeded by
Edwin Nelson
Preceded by
C. A. Bottolfsen
Governor of Idaho
January 1, 1945 – November 17, 1945
Succeeded by
Arnold Williams
Party political offices
Preceded by
Chase A. Clark
Democratic Party nominee, Governor of Idaho
1944 (won)
Succeeded by
Arnold Williams
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
John W. Thomas
U.S. senator (Class 2) from Idaho
November 17, 1945 – November 6, 1946
Served alongside: Glen H. Taylor
Succeeded by
Henry Dworshak