David Turpie

David Turpie
United States Senator
from Indiana
In office
January 14, 1863  March 3, 1863
Preceded by Joseph A. Wright
Succeeded by Thomas A. Hendricks
In office
March 4, 1887  March 3, 1899
Preceded by Benjamin Harrison
Succeeded by Albert J. Beveridge
Member of the Indiana State Legislature
In office
Personal details
Born July 8, 1828
Hamilton County, Ohio
Died April 21, 1909(1909-04-21) (aged 80)
Indianapolis, Indiana
Political party Democratic
Alma mater Kenyon College

David Battle Turpie (July 8, 1828 April 21, 1909) was an American politician.

Turpie was born in Hamilton County, Ohio. He grew up in Ohio and graduated from Kenyon College in 1848. He studied law and moved to Logansport, Indiana where he set up a law practice. He soon became active in the United States Democratic Party to which he would belong for the rest of his life.

Turpie was elected to the state legislature at the age of 24 in 1852. He served one term and then returned to practicing law. In 1854 he became a common pleas judge and in 1856 he became a state circuit court judge. In 1858 he was elected to the state legislature again for one year.

Turpie was elected to the United States Senate from Indiana in January 1863, to fill the unexpired term of Jesse D. Bright who had been expelled for alleged disloyalty. The term was nearly complete, however, so Turpie only served in the Senate for one month. He returned to practicing law.

Turpie moved to Indianapolis, Indiana in 1872. He was again elected to the state legislature and served as speaker of the Assembly from 1874 to 1875. He served as the United States District Attorney for Indiana from 1886 to 1887.

In 1887, Turpie was again elected to the United States Senate from Indiana, this time for a full term. He defeated Benjamin Harrison who would soon become the President of the United States. His return to the U.S. Senate, after 24 years and 1 day out of office, marks the third longest gap in service to the chamber in history.[1] Turpie was reelected in 1893 and served in the Senate for 12 years, from 1887 to 1899. As a senator, he served as chairman of the Committee on the Census from 1893 to 1895, chairman of the Democratic Conference from 1898 to 1899, and supported a plebiscite on annexation for the people of Hawaii rather than forced annexation. Turpie was defeated for reelection by Albert J. Beveridge. He retired from public life and died in Indianapolis.


  1. Ostermeier, Eric (December 4, 2013). "Bob Smith and the 12-Year Itch". Smart Politics.


United States Senate
Preceded by
Joseph A. Wright
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Indiana
Served alongside: Henry S. Lane
Succeeded by
Thomas A. Hendricks
Preceded by
Benjamin Harrison
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Indiana
Served alongside: Daniel W. Voorhees, Charles W. Fairbanks
Succeeded by
Albert J. Beveridge
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