Born in Quitman, Mississippi, on August 2, 1870, U.S. Representative Samuel Chapman Massingale was the son of George M. and Martha McGowan Massingale. Educated in the public schools, he attended the University of Mississippi. He moved to Fort Worth, Texas, in the early 1890s and worked as a section hand. He also studied law privately and was admitted to the bar in 1895. During the Spanish-American War Massingale served as a private in Company D, Second Texas Infantry.
After the war Massingale moved to Cordell, Oklahoma Territory, where he practiced law. In 1902 he was elected to the Oklahoma Territorial Council. The following year he married Anna Canaday, and they had four children.
In 1906 he unsuccessfully campaigned for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. He did not seek elective office again until 1934 when he was elected to the first of four terms as a Democrat representing Oklahoma's Seventh District. While in Congress, he served on various committees, including Elections Number One, Insular Affairs, Public Lands, War Claims, Immigration and Naturalization, and Judiciary. As a leader of the farm bloc he insisted on full parity for farmers. He also advocated more adequate pensions for the aged.
On January 17, 1941, Massingale died suddenly of influenza in Washington, D.C. He was interred in Lawnview Cemetery in Cordell.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Biographical Directory of the American Congress, 1774-1996 (Alexandria, Va.: CQ Staff Directories, 1997). Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City), 18 January 1941. Rex F. Harlow, comp., Makers of Government in Oklahoma (Oklahoma City: Harlow Publishing Company, 1930). Tulsa (Oklahoma) Daily World, 18 January 1941.
Carolyn G. Hanneman
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