Rufus C. Holman, U.S. Senator

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Rufus Cecil Holman

Birthplace: Portland, OR, USA
Death: Died in Portland, OR, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of Charles Holman and Mary Emily Holman

Managed by: Private User
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Immediate Family

About Rufus C. Holman, U.S. Senator

Rufus Cecil Holman (October 14, 1877 – November 27, 1959) was an American politician and businessman in the state of Oregon. A Republican and native Oregonian, he served as United States Senator for a single term during World War II. He previously had been the state treasurer and served on the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners.

Early life

Rufus Holman was born Portland, Oregon, on October 14, 1877. There he received his education in the public schools and became a teacher in 1896. After leaving teaching in 1898, he worked in various fields from farming and operating a steamboat, to pursuits related to the accounting field until 1910. That year Holman began making record keeping books and paper boxes in Portland. He then worked in the cold storage business and was active in civic affairs.


Holman won his first election to political office in 1914, when he was elected to the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners, where he served two four-year terms (1914–22) In 1931, Oregon Governor Julius L. Meier appointed him as State Treasurer after Thomas B. Kay died in office. He began in office on May 1, 1931, winning election to a full four-year term in 1932, and winning re-election in 1936. He resigned from the office in 1938, leaving on December 27, 1938.

He was strongly concerned about the environment. In 1937, he garnered publicity when he demonstrated the polluted state of the Willamette River by briefly holding a cage of salmon in the water, then quickly pulling them out dying to a shocked audience. In 1938, he was elected to the United States Senate. As Senator, he was critical of the foreign policy of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, although he supported World War II, and was identified as an isolationist. He also denounced organized labor and supported the detainment of Japanese citizens. He was defeated in the Republican primary in 1944 by Wayne L. Morse.

Later life and death

After his defeat, he returned to private life and never sought public office again. Holman returned to managing the Portland Paper Box Company in Portland, and returned to his farm near Molalla, Oregon. Holman died on November 27, 1959, in his home town of Portland. He was buried at River View Cemetery in Portland.

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Rufus C. Holman, U.S. Senator's Timeline

October 14, 1877
Portland, OR, USA
November 27, 1959
Age 82
Portland, OR, USA