FRANK ROBERT GOODING was born in Devonshire, England, on September 16, 1859. In 1867, he immigrated with his family to the United States, settling near Paw Paw, Michigan, where he attained his education in the public school system. He headed west in 1877 and held various jobs, working as a farmer and a miner, and eventually becoming one of the largest sheep owners in Idaho. Gooding entered politics in 1896, as chairman of Idaho’ Lincoln County Republicans. He also served for four years as chairman of the state Republicans, and was a member and president of the Idaho State Senate from 1900 to 1904. Gooding won the 1904 Republican gubernatorial nomination and was elected governor of Idaho. He was reelected to a second term in 1907. During his tenure, the state land department was restructured, a state banking department was founded, funding was secured for a new library at the State University at Moscow, increased financial assistance was provided for educational developments, a commission was created to draw up plans for a new capitol, and labor disputes and violence in the Coeur d’Alene mines were addressed. Several threats were made against Gooding’s life, which were in result of the relentless efforts he made in charging the individuals responsible for ex-Governor Frank Steunenberg’s murder. After leaving office on January 4, 1909, Gooding worked on establishing a state school for the deaf and blind, as well as a Methodist college. He served as a member of the U.S. Senate from 1921 until his death on June 24, 1928. Governor Frank R. Gooding was buried in the Elmwood Cemetery in Gooding, Idaho.
Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress
Idaho State Historical Society
Idaho State Historical Society Gubernatorial Manuscript and Archive Collections:
- Archive Collection of Governor Frank Gooding, AR0002.0007.
- Frank Robert Gooding, Battleship Idaho Collection, 1905-1908. Manuscript Collection. MS2/0450.
- Frank Robert Gooding papers, 1904. Manuscript Collection. MS2/1114.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.