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Adoniram Judson Holmes (March 2, 1842 - January 21, 1902) a Republican, was the first U.S. Representative from Iowa's 10th congressional district.


Born in Wooster, Ohio, Holmes moved with his parents to Palmyra, Wisconsin, in 1853. He attended the common schools, and entered Milton College of Milton, Wisconsin, but left in 1862 after the outbreak of the Civil War, to enter the Union Army. He served in the 24th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment, until the close of the war.

After the war he completed his studies in Milton College. Returning to Janesville he studied law and was admitted to the bar,[1] but afterwards took the full course from the University of Michigan Law School, graduating in 1867. He and commenced practice in Boone, Iowa, in 1868. In 1880 and 1881, he was the mayor of Boone. He also served as member of the Iowa House of Representatives in 1882 and 1883.

Iowa received a tenth and eleventh seat in the U.S. House as a result of the 1880 Census. The Iowa General Assembly created the new 10th congressional district from counties in the old 4th and 9th congressional districts,[2] including Boone County, where Holmes lived. In 1882, Holmes won the Republican nomination in the new district, and won the general election. After serving in the 48th United States Congress, he twice won re-election, serving in the Forty-ninth and Fiftieth Congresses. However, when running for a fourth term in 1888, he was challenged in the district convention by future U.S. Senator Jonathan P. Dolliver. After 110 ballots in the district nominating convention, Dolliver won.[3] In all, Holmes served in Congress from March 4, 1883 to March 3, 1889.

After his defeat, Holmes went to work for Congress. He was chosen as Sergeant at Arms of the House of Representatives in the Fifty-first Congress, at the urging of Congressman David B. Henderson of Iowa's 3rd congressional district.[4] He then resumed the practice of law in Boone, where he served as county attorney from 1896 to 1899. He died in Clarinda, Iowa, and is interred in Linwood Cemetery of Boone.


  1. ^ Benjamin F. Gue, History of Iowa From the Earliest Times To the Beginning of the Twentieth Century, 4 vols. (New York: Century History Co., 1903).
  2. ^ Iowa Congressional District Maps, accessed 2009-05-04.
  3. ^ Editorial, "State Convention," The Perry Chief, 1888-08-24 at p. 4.
  4. ^ "Reed Secures the Prize," New York Times, 1889-12-01 at p. 1.
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
No one
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Iowa's 10th congressional district

1883 - 1889
Succeeded by
Jonathan P. Dolliver
Preceded by
Samuel S. Yoder
Sergeant at Arms of the United States House of Representatives
1889 - 1891
Succeeded by
Benjamin F. Russell

PD-icon.svg This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.



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