NEGenWeb Project
Resource Center
On-Line Library




Icon or sketchILAS ALEXANDER HOLCOMB was born on a farm in Gibson county, Indiana, in 1858. His parents and grand-parents were pioneers of that section. John C. Holcomb, father of our present governor, was a leading citizen of Gibson county for many years. As many of our early statesmen have done, Silas worked on the farm in summer and attended district school in winter. At the early age of seventeen he began to teach school, which he followed until he attained his majority, finishing his own education for the time being at a normal school. His father died in 1878, leaving Silas the head of the family. While teaching he had been preparing for entering college, but this had to be abandoned because of his father's death; and in 1879, with his mother, younger brothers, and sisters, he came to Hamilton county, Nebraska, where, after working on a farm a year, he entered the law office of Thummel & Platt, at Grand Island, to fit himself for the bar. After the usual two years' reading be was admitted to practice, and in 1891 was elected judge of the twelfth judicial district of Nebraska, over the then presiding judge, a republican. During this campaign the principal issue was the enforcement of the mortgage law, which Judge Holcomb insisted must be obeyed so long as it remained on the statutes. Politically, Governor Holcomb affiliates with the people's independent or "populist" party, as it is commonly called. In 1893 he was nominated for governor by this party, and was endorsed by the free silver wing of the democratic party, making the campaign






against Thomas J. Majors, the republican nominee. Notwithstanding a great and almost universal, republican landslide that year, Governor Holcomb was elected by a majority of 3,202 over his opponent. His administration was marked by close attention to every detail and rigid economy in all departments under his supervision or control. Assisted by heads of institutions, happily selected and advised by him, during his first term of office there was saved to the state the large sum of $200,000. The campaign of 1896 will long be remembered; complete fusion was accomplished between the free silver democrats and the populists; Governor Holcomb was renominated by acclamation by both parties, and was elected by a majority of 21, 692 over his republican opponent, John H. MacColl. Governor Holcomb was married in 1882 to Miss Martha Alice Brinson, of Cass county, and in 1883 they removed to Broken Bow, where he practiced law until his election to the district bench in 1891. His home life is remarkably happy. His wife, a thorough Nebraska woman, is a graduate of the Peru Normal School. Both are members of the Christian church. Their three children, a boy and two girls, Harold, Marion, and Nettie, are bright and intelligent and the pride of the Holcomb household.


Icon or sketch




Icon or sketchAMES E. HARRIS, lieutenant governor, resides at Talmage, Nebraska. He was born in Licking county, Ohio, May 27,1840. In his early life he struggled with poverty, his father dying in 1859, leaving him to provide by individual effort for a widowed mother.



Mr. Harris began to teach in the common schools of Ohio in his sixteenth year. He entered Bethany College, Virginia, in the fall of 1860, but his college career there was brief on account of the war, and subsequently he completed a classical course and received the A. B. and A. M. degrees from Eureka College, Illinois. He was married



in 1866 to Miss Mary Angeline Mitchell, the daughter of Rev. D. G. Mitchell, widely known as a minister in the Christian church. She was educated in Mt. Vernon, (Ohio) Female Seminary and was a teacher of recognized ability. They have four children, two daughters, Iona B., married to G. H. Peterson, a prosperous farmer in Nemaha county, and Ida D., married to Carroll Puffer, living on an orange ranch in Southern California; Ray M., a student of State University, who finishes the course of study this year, and Master Earl, seven years old, a bright baby boy, the joy and light of the home. Mr. Harris was ordained as a minister in the Christian church in 1866, but has followed teaching in connection with his ministerial work. For nine years he was principal of Utica (Ohio) Normal Training School for Teachers. Was elected to the state senate in 1892 and served on judiciary committee and chairman of committee on university and normal schools. He lives on a farm in Nemaha county, where he settled in 1885, and for eight years was pastor of Christian church in Auburn. His characteristics are promptness, earnestness, and intense loyalty to what he believes to be right. As presiding officer of the senate he has shown himself a courteous, fair, dignified, and able parliamentarian.


Icon or sketch

Prior page
General index
Next page

© 1999, 2000, 2001 for NEGenWeb Project by Geil Wiggins, Ted & Carole Miller