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Governor William Elmer Holt

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Office Dates:  Dec 15, 1935 - Jan 04, 1937


Born:  Oct 14, 1884

Passed:  Mar 01, 1945

Birth State:  Missouri

Party:  Democratic

Family:  Married Lora Howe; two children

School(s):  University of Nebraska

W. ELMER HOLT, the tenth governor of Montana, was born in Savannah, Missouri on October 14, 1884. In 1886, his family moved to Montana and settled on a ranch in Miles City. His early education was attained in the Montana public schools, and later at the University of Nebraska, where he graduated in 1902. Holt first entered politics as a member of the Montana House of Representatives, a position he was elected to in 1912 and served one term. He also was a member of the Montana State Senate from 1933 to 1935, serving as senate president in 1935. On December 15, 1935, Governor Frank H. Cooney died in office, and Holt, who was senate president at the time, assumed the duties of the governorship. During his tenure, liquor reform measures were authorized. After running unsuccessfully for a gubernatorial term of his own, Holt left office on January 4, 1937, and retired from political life. He later served as the western general land agent for the Northern Pacific Railway in Seattle, Washington. Governor W. Elmer Holt passed away on March 1, 1945.


Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 3, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

Montana Governor's Papers, 1889-1905 (MC 35; boxes 77-83). Montana Historical Society.

Montana State Capitol Complex

Thumbnail History of Montana Governors

The Political Graveyard