Frank Robert Gooding (born September 16, 1859 in Tiverton, England & died June 24, 1928 in Gooding, Idaho) was a Republican United States Senator and Governor of Idaho. The city of Gooding and Gooding County, both in Idaho, are named after him. Gooding emigrated to the United States with his family in 1867. The family settled on a farm near Paw Paw, Michigan. Gooding attended the common schools there, and moved to Mount Shasta, California in 1877, and engaged in farming and mining.
Gooding moved to Idaho Territory in 1881 and settled in Ketchum where he worked as a mail carrier, and subsequently engaged in the firewood and charcoal business. In 1888 he settled near present-day Gooding.
After Idaho became a state in 1890, Gooding emerged as a leader of the conservative faction of the Idaho Republican Party. Gooding was a powerful figure in Idaho in the early 20th Century, as demonstrated by the fact the City of Gooding and Gooding County were both named after him in his lifetime. Gooding also managed to get elected to the Idaho Legislature in 1898 and as Governor of Idaho in 1904 before he became a United States citizen.
Gooding had a reputation for having an off-putting and abrasive personality, and often clashed with others in the Republican Party, notably progressive Senator William E. Borah.
From 1905 to 1909, Gooding served as Governor of Idaho. During his administration the Idaho State Capitol building in Boise was constructed.
In 1918 Gooding was the Republican nominee in a special U.S. Senate election to complete the term of James H. Brady, who died in office early in the year. Gooding was defeated by Democrat John F. Nugent.
In 1920 Gooding defeated Nugent for a full six-year term in the Senate. He took office in January 1921 two months before his term began to replace Nugent, who resigned to accept an appointment on the Federal Trade Commission.
Gooding was reelected in 1926 by defeating Nugent again. He died in office in 1928 and was succeeded by a political protégé, John W. Thomas.
Gooding is buried in Elmwood Cemetery in Gooding.
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