Harry Lane, U.S. Senator

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Harry Lane

Birthplace: Corvallis, Oregon
Death: Died
Immediate Family:

Son of Nathaniel Hart Lane and Eliza Jane Lane
Husband of Lola Amelia Lane
Brother of Nathaniel Hart Lane, Jr. and Druscilla Bailey

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Harry Lane, U.S. Senator


Harry Lane (August 28, 1855 – May 23, 1917) was an American physician and politician in the state of Oregon. A native of the state, he worked as the head of the state insane asylum before entering local politics and served as mayor of Portland. A Democrat, he then served as United States Senator from 1913 until his death in 1917.

Early life and education

Harry Lane was born in Corvallis, Oregon on August 28, 1855, son of Eliza Jane and Nathaniel Lane. He was the grandson of Oregon politician Joseph Lane and a nephew of Oregon U.S. Representative Lafayette Lane. After attending the local schools he attended Willamette University in Salem where he graduated in 1876. In 1878, he earned a medical degree from Willamette's medical school and then continued his medical education with postgraduate work at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City.

Medical career

Lane returned to the West Coast after completing his education in New York and began a medical practice in San Francisco. He returned to Oregon and practiced medicine in Portland. In 1887, Lane became the superintendent of the Oregon State Insane Asylum (now the Oregon State Hospital), remaining as the director of the facility until 1891. He also was the Oregon Medical Society's president.

Political career

In 1905, he was elected mayor of Portland and served one four-year term. While mayor, at the end of the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition, he advocated for a "permanent rose carnival", leading him to be called the "Father of the Portland Rose Festival", which continues today. Also on April 1, 1908 he swore in Lola Baldwin as the first female police officer of the Portland Police Bureau (and the first in the United States). In 1912, he was elected to the United States Senate as a Democrat and began serving on March 4, 1913. Lane was the last Senator from Oregon elected by the Oregon Legislative Assembly.

While in Congress he served on the Committee on Forest Reservations and Game Protection and the Committee on Fisheries. During World War I he opposed U.S. involvement in the war, and took action in Washington to prevent U.S. support to eventual allies Great Britain and France. These actions, including participating in a filibuster to block passage of the Armed Neutrality Bill, led to calls for his recall from office by Oregonians in March 1917. Before any recall, Lane suffered a nervous breakdown and died in office while in San Francisco on May 23, 1917. Harry Lane was buried at Lone Fir Cemetery in Portland and Charles L. McNary was appointed to finish Lane's term.

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Harry Lane, U.S. Senator's Timeline

Corvallis, Oregon
Age 62