Homer Ferguson Papers

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Homer Ferguson Papers

The materials in this online repository form part of a larger Homer Ferguson Papers collection held by the Bentley Historical Library. For a more complete index to the materials, please consult the collection's online finding aid.

For questions or more information, please contact the Bentley Historical Library's Division of Reference and Access Services

Republican U.S. Senator from Michigan, U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines; files relating to his various career responsibilities, photographs, sound recordings.

Homer Ferguson, Wayne County circuit judge, United States senator, ambassador to the Philippines, and judge on the United States Court of Military Appeals, was born on February 25, 1888 in Harrison City, Pennsylvania. He attended the University of Pittsburgh (1910-1911) and received his LL.B. from the University of Michigan in 1913. In the same year, he was admitted to the Michigan Bar and practiced law in the state until 1929.

While serving as circuit court judge for Wayne County (1929-1941), Ferguson achieved fame when he sat as a One-Man grand jury (1939-1941) investigating crime, graft, and corruption in Detroit and Wayne County. Shortly thereafter, in 1942, he was elected as a Republican to the United States Senate and was re-elected in 1948.

Ferguson's fame as a tough investigator grew during his tenure in the senate, when he sat on committees that drew public attention because of the probes and inquiries they initiated. Included among these committees were: Appropriations; Expenditures in the Executive Department; Judiciary; Special Committee Investigating the National Defense Program; and the Joint Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack. A conservative who was always interested in efficiency in government, the Senator was also appointed to the Hoover Commission on the Reorganization of the Executive Branch of the Government. His interest in international affairs was evident in his long-term participation, both during and after his senatorial career, in the activities of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, a body of representatives from the parliaments of countries around the world that met approximately once a year to study issues of international concern related to law, economics, and world peace.

Shortly after losing his 1954 bid for a third senatorial term, Ferguson became United States Ambassador to the Philippines where he served for thirteen months (1955-1956). He thereupon returned to Washington, D.C., and sat for fifteen years on the United States Court of Military Appeals - the equivalent of the Supreme Court for the armed forces. Though his term expired in 1971, Ferguson continued on as a senior judge and rendered verdicts on various cases for another five years.

In 1976, the judge and his wife of sixty-three years, Myrtle, retired to Grosse Pointe, Michigan. Homer Ferguson died there on December 17, 1982.

Please note:

Copyright has been transferred to the Regents of the University of Michigan.

Access to digitized sound recordings may be limited to the reading room of the Bentley Historical Library, located on the Ann Arbor campus of the University of Michigan.

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