Nelson Dingley, Jr. Nelson Dingley, Jr., also known as Edward Nelson Dingley, Jr., (February 15, 1832-January 13, 1899) was a journalist and politician from the U.S. state of Maine.
Dingley was born in Durham, Maine and attended the common schools at Unity, Maine, Waterville Seminary, and Waterville College. He graduated from Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, in 1855. He then studied law, received a LL.D. from Bates College, and was admitted to the bar in 1856. However, he never practiced law and instead became proprietor and editor of the Lewiston, Maine Journal, holding this post for more than twenty years. He was a member of the Maine State house of representatives 1862-1865, 1868, and again in 1873, serving as speaker in 1863 and 1864. He was Governor of Maine in 1874 and a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1876 and 1880.
Dingley was elected as a Republican to the 47th Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of William P. Frye. He was then reelected to the Forty-eighth and to the seven succeeding Congresses, serving from September 12, 1881, until his death in Washington, D.C., before the close of the Fifty-fifth Congress. Reputedly "destitute of humor but soundly versed in finance", Dingley was chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means in the Fifty-fourth and Fifty-fifth Congresses. The tariff schedule of 1897, known as the Dingley Tariff, was framed under his direction to counter the lower rates set forth in the 1894 Democratic Wilson-Gorman Tariff Act. The Dingley Tariff raised tariff rates and granted the President authority to invoke reciprocity when negotiating trade treaties.
Dingley had been reelected to the Fifty-sixth Congress and was succeeded by William P. Frye. He is interred in Oak Hill Cemetery, near Auburn, Maine.