Born: April 26, 1875
Ainsworth, Iowa

Died: January 19, 1965
Washington, D.C.

F. Dickinson Letts

Associate Justice, U. S. District Court for the District of Columbia [Supreme Court of the District of Columbia]

Nominated by Herbert Hoover on December 15, 1931; Confirmed by the Senate on February 17, 1932, and received commission on February 20, 1932. Served as chief judge, 1958 – 1959. Assumed senior status on 5/31/1961. Service terminated on 1/19/1965, due to death.

Parsons College, B.S., 1897
Columbia University
University of Iowa, LL.B., 1899

Frame Dimensions
35.75 x 31

Canvas Dimensions
30.25 x 24.25

Overall Condition

Richard C. Henderson was commissioned in 1978 by Judge George Luzerne Hart, Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to paint portraits of both sitting and former judges of the District Court. Mr. Henderson painted portraits of deceased judges by studying black and white photographs and talking with friends and family of the judges. Within a five-year period, he produced 23 portraits. At the conclusion of his commission, Mr. Henderson continued to paint portraits and landscapess. He taught at the Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida, as well as at several private art schools.

Mr. Henderson is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where he majored in Art and English. He holds a Master’s degree from Vermont College of Norwich University, which is today the Vermont College of Fine Arts. He studied at the National Academy of Design in New York, working with Daniel Green, a recognized pastelist. Mr. Henderson also studied under Harvey Dinnerstein, one of several artists trained at the Tyler School of Arts at Temple University. Mr. Henderson studied at the Art Students League of New York with Robert Brackman, a Russian artist who become nationally famous after painting the portraits of Charles and Ann Lindbergh, among others.

Year Painted

Professional Career:

Private practice, Davenport, Iowa, 1899-1911, 1912-1914
Judge, Second District Court of Iowa, 1911-1912, 1914-1925
U.S. Representative from Iowa, 1925-1931

Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa

  • Papers, 1909-1961. 4 ft.; finding aid; collection contains correspondence, scrapbooks, photos, and other
    papers documenting Letts’s political and judicial career.

University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa

  • Merritt Charles Speidel papers, 1914-1960; 300 items; finding aid; correspondence.