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 Harvey L. Dueholm

Harvey L. Dueholm

Birth
Death 1980 (aged 69–70)
Burial Luck, Polk County, Wisconsin, USA
Memorial ID 44030882 · View Source
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Farmer-legislator Harvey L. Dueholm was born in Bone Lake, Wisconsin, on January 29, 1910. Although he ultimately won a statewide reputation as a legislator, Dueholm never strayed far from his rural Wisconsin roots. He continued to reside throughout his life on land that his family owned (he did not retire from farming until 1964), and he carried through the 1970's the Progressive political philosophy that he learned from his Danish immigrant father.

Harvey Dueholm attended Luck High School but left before graduation so that he could begin farming in 1927. In 1930 Marius Dueholm, his father, was elected to the Assembly as a Progressive Republican, and Harvey assumed much of the responsibility for the farm. After Marius' death in 1936 Harvey took over the operation of the homestead. Although he was encouraged by many Progressives to seek his father's seat, Dueholm declined for financial reasons and devoted himself to building up the farm. At its peak in 1964, he owned over 500 acres.

Nevertheless, Dueholm did find time for participation in local politics. In 1938 he was elected ASCS committeeman, a post that he held until 1953. In 1940 he made an unsuccessful campaign as a Progressive candidate for sheriff; in 1942 he lost in a race for Bone Lake town chairman. He was successful in 1945 in a second attempt at that post, serving until 1959. From 1957 to 1959 he was also chairman of the Polk County Board. As a staunch Progressive, Dueholm supported Robert La Follette, Jr., when he attempted to lead his supporters back into the Republican Party in 1946. However, Dueholm was disenchanted by subsequent political events, and in 1954 he became a member of the reorganized Democratic Party.

In 1956 Dueholm campaigned unsuccessfully for the Assembly, losing as a local journalist put it, because of his "wild antics" and his membership in the "very far left wing of the Democrat Party." In 1958 he made a second attempt and was successful, in large part due to the statewide Democratic resurgence and Gaylord Nelson's coattails. In nine subsequent elections Dueholm widened his victory margins, and he was only seriously challenged during years when his health intervened.

In the Legislature, Dueholm quickly won a reputation for his sense of humor. Although Dueholm's wit was earthy and often self-deprecating he used it with keen political skill to advance his points. So great was his ability as a humorist and raconteur that it sometimes overshadowed his accomplishments as a legislator and his advocacy of liberal causes. Dueholm traditionally received high ratings in the Capital Times' public interest poll, and on several occasions he was the only legislator to receive a 100% rating. He was particularly well known for his stance on conservation, mental health, consumer protection, and senior citizens. Dueholm was also a staunch supporter of the University of Wisconsin at a time when many legislators favored cutting appropriations in order to end the anti-war student violence.

In 1969 Dueholm was one of only a few legislators who opposed the treatment of Father Groppi after the welfare mothers march.

Over the years Dueholm served on most important committees in the Assembly. A complete list of these assignments is included in the biennial editions of the Wisconsin Blue Book. He stated in 1978 that he considered his work as chairman of the Legislative Council's Special Committee on Mineral Taxation to be his greatest accomplishment.

In 1959 Dueholm was diagnosed as having cancer. In subsequent years he underwent several operations and was treated with medication, and the disease went into remission. It reappeared, however, in 1977 after Dueholm announced that he would not seek reelection. After his retirement Dueholm returned to his home in Bone Lake and died on May 29, 1980 of complications resulting from cancer surgery. Dueholm was survived by his wife Hazel, who was an unpaid assistant in his legislative office for many years, and by four sons.


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  • Created by: Erice Wilcox
  • Added: 7 Nov 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 44030882
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Harvey L. Dueholm (1910–1980), Find A Grave Memorial no. 44030882, citing Bone Lake Cemetery, Luck, Polk County, Wisconsin, USA ; Maintained by Erice Wilcox (contributor 47002678) .