Rush Dew Holt

Weston Independent
February 9, 1955

Rush D. Holt Passes Yesterday

Rush D. Holt, former U. S. Senator, member of the House of Delegates from Lewis County, and this county[']s best known resident, died at 2:45 Tuesday afternoon at the National Institutes of Health at Bethesda, Maryland. He had been ill for several months (since June) and had been treated in Memorial Hospital, New York, on several occasions. Everything possible was done to offset a malignancy which developed early last Summer.

Long a stormy petrel in the political arena in the state and nation, he was in public life at an early age. He taught for a time, coached athletics - but politics was his field and he devoted an active life to service in government. He was fanatical in his devotion to principles as he saw them - and never wavered, never compromised in his devotion to the interests of the common people. He was ever their friend - they knew it and stood by him in his many battles along the way.

He made numerous political enemies along the way - but they respected him as a worth foeman and knew that he was unassailable in his strict devotion to his principles and service to the ordinary people.

Early in his voting life he became a candidate for the House of Delgates. He lost the first campaign but from then on was elected regularly until 1935 when he won the nomination for U. S. Senate in a big field. He defeated Senator Henry D. Hatfield in the November election, the youngest man ever named to that august body. He waited some six months before assuming his seat.

The New Deal was in its zenith and the young Weston man soon broke with its leaders for he could never stomach the fanciful ideas and plans that emenated [sic] from Washington like a storm of locusts in the days of the Pharoahs. This brought the wrath of the Democratic organization down on his head - but he courageously went ahead voting as he saw the right.

He was defeated for renomination in 1940 by Harley M. Kilgore. Ran for Governor in 1944 against Clarence Meadows; made a third try for the U. S. Senate in 1948 against M. M. Neely. Meanwhile he had been elected to the House of Delegates regularly from this county, once as a write-in, once on both tickets.

Since the Democratic party no longer represented the principles he advocated, he became a Republican in 1949, was a candidate for Congress in 1950 and waged a terrific battle for governor in 1952.

This past year he was elected to the House of Delegates for another term, his eighth without a campaign. Illness had struck him down and despite a heavy fight waged against him, came through easily with a sizeable majority.

He was a native of this community, a son of Dr. M. S. and Chileli Dew Holt. He married the former Helen Froelich of Gridley, Ill., who survives, along with two children, Helen Jane and Rush Jr.; one sister, Mar. Margaret Early and three brothers, Matthew and Andrew of Weston and Charles of Chicago also survive. David Chase, son of his late sister, Jane, also resides with the family. He was 49, teacher of the Men's Bible Class of the First Methodist Church of which he was a member.

Government and Politics

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