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Frank R. Gooding

Frank Robert Gooding was the governor of Idaho from January 1905 to January 1909. Twenty years later, Gooding served as Idaho's U.S. senator.

Editor’s note: This column first ran April 9, 2015, in the Times-News and on

Frank R. Gooding was an English immigrant, who, in 1888, settled in the area that would eventually bear his name.

Gooding was elected to the Idaho Legislature 10 years later and was elected governor of Idaho in 1904, all before he became a U.S. citizen. During his two terms as governor, the Idaho Capitol was built in Boise.

As governor, Gooding proclaimed Thursday, Nov. 28, 1907, as Thanksgiving, and encouraged Idahoans to “refrain from their usual vocation, and in their homes and places of worship offer acknowledgement to God for His many blessings, and prayers for the continuance of His divine favor.”

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Gooding, a Republican, was known to have an abrasive personality and often clashed with other members of his party.

He was elected Idaho’s U.S. Senator in 1920. At that time, most of the state — including the Magic Valley — was in the Pacific Time Zone. Gooding sponsored a bill in the Senate to place all of Idaho south of the Salmon River in the Mountain Time Zone.

He died in office in 1928 and is buried in Elmwood Cemetery in Gooding.

Mychel Matthews reports on rural issues and agriculture for the Times-News. The Hidden History feature runs every Thursday in the Times-News and on If you have a question about something that may have historical significance, email Matthews at


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