Gracie Pfost

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Gracie B. Pfost
Gracie Pfost.jpg
Former U.S. Representative from Idaho's 1st Congressional District
From: January 3, 1953 – January 3, 1963
Predecessor John T. Wood
Successor Compton White, Jr.
Party Democrat
Spouse(s) Jack Pfost (died 1961)

Gracie Bowers Pfost (March 12, 1906 – August 11, 1965) was a Democrat from Idaho who was the state's first female United States representative, serving for a decade from the first congressional district. She was known as "Hell's Belle"[1] due to her adamant advocacy for a large federal dam in Hells Canyon.

U.S. House of Representatives

During the 83rd Congress, the Select Committee to Investigate Tax-Exempt Foundations and Comparable Organizations was re-enacted by the U.S. House of Representatives and chaired by Tennessee Republican B. Carroll Reece. Thus known as the Reece Committee, it was tasked to properly investigate subversion among tax-exempt foundations, which the committee conducted a poor job at during the previous congressional session.[2] Pfost, along with fellow Ohio Democrat Wayne Hays, were members of the committee who sought to undermine its anti-Communist aims.

Although Pfost may not have obstructed the committee at the degree Hays did, she at one point walked out during a hearing when a witness accused Sen. Paul Douglas of ties with socialist groups.[2][3] Both refused to sign the final report and smeared Reece.

Pfost had a near-perfect attendance record in Congress, only missing two roll call votes during her tenure.[4]


  1. Gracie Bowers Pfost. Idaho's Women of Influence. Retrieved August 7, 2021.
  2. 2.0 2.1 FascinatingPolitics (December 22, 2019). The Reece Committee on Foundations: Conspiratorial Nonsense or an Expose of a Threat to the Nation?. Mad Politics: The Bizarre, Fascinating, and Unknown of American Political History. Retrieved August 7, 2021.
  3. PFOST, Gracie Bowers. US House of Representatives: History, Art & Archives. Retrieved August 7, 2021.
  4. Rep. Gracie Pfost. Retrieved August 7, 2021.

External links

  • Profile at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
  • Profile at Find a Grave
  • Profile at Social Networks and Archival Context
  • Papers at Archives West