Oldfield, Pearl Peden (1876–1962)

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Oldfield, Pearl Peden (1876–1962)

U.S. congressional representative from Arkansas (January 9, 1929–March 3, 1931). Born on December 2, 1876, in Cotton Plant, Arkansas; died on April 12, 1962, in Washington, D.C.; interred in Oaklawn Cemetery in Batesville, Arkansas; educated in public schools and at Arkansas College in Batesville, Arkansas; married William Allan Oldfield (a congressional representative, died 1928).

Pearl Peden Oldfield was born in Cotton Plant, Arkansas, on December 2, 1876, and received her education in public schools there and at Arkansas College in Batesville, Arkansas. She was married to William A. Oldfield, a ten-term congressional representative, who died while in office on November 19, 1928. Since her husband had won reelection shortly before his death, Pearl Oldfield was elected as a Democrat to the 70th and 71st Congresses on January 9, 1929, to fill the vacancy. She was sworn in on January 11, 1929.

Oldfield represented Arkansas during a period of natural disaster and economic depression, caused in part by the flooding of the Mississippi River in 1927. She was responsible for sponsoring legislation that maintained federal aid for the rehabilitation of farmlands damaged by the floods and, in January 1931, she worked for the approval of a $15 million food appropriation to help reduce malnutrition in drought-stricken areas. She also sponsored legislation that authorized the Arkansas Highway Commission to construct free bridges over the Black and White rivers in her district. Oldfield also served on the Committee on Coinage, Weights and Measures, the Committee on Expenditures in the Executive Departments, and the Committee on Public Buildings and Grounds. She served in the House from January 9, 1929, to March 3, 1931, and chose not to run for reelection to the 72nd Congress.


Office of the Historian. Women in Congress, 1917–1990. Commission on the Bicentenary of the U.S. House of Representatives, 1991.

Jo Anne Anne , freelance writer, Brookfield, Vermont