Doris Lindsey Holland Rhodes

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Doris Lindsey Holland Rhodes
Louisiana State Senator from St. Helena and Tangipahoa parishes
In office
1936–1940
Preceded by Thomas Myers Holland
Succeeded by W. G. Jones
Louisiana State Representative from St. Helena Parish
In office
1940–1948
Preceded by W. C. Alford
Succeeded by Guy B. McDonald
Personal details
Born (1909-12-12)December 12, 1909
Greensburg
St. Helena Parish
Louisiana, USA
Died May 30, 1997(1997-05-30) (aged 87)
Resting place Greensburg Cemetery
Political party Democratic Party
Spouse(s) (1) Thomas Myers Holland (died 1936)

(2) James Harrell Rhodes (died 1968)

Children Philip and Dorothy Jane Holland
Residence Greensburg, Louisiana
Occupation Newspaper publisher

Insurance agent

Religion United Methodist

Doris Lindsey Holland Rhodes (December 12, 1909 – May 30, 1997) was the first woman ever to serve as a member of the Louisiana State Legislature.


Background[edit]

Doris N. Lindsey was born in Greensburg, the seat of government of St. Helena Parish, one of the Florida Parishes of southeastern Louisiana. The daughter of Hollis Womack Lindsey (1873-1955) and the former Minerva Thompson (1878-1959),[1] she lived nearly all of her life in Greensburg, located south of the border with Mississippi and some fifty miles northeast of the state capital of Baton Rouge.[2]

Her first husband, Thomas Myers Holland (1900-1936),[1] a member of the Louisiana State Senate from St. Helena and neighboring Tangipahoa Parish, died in March 1936, leaving her as a 27-year-old widow with two children, Philip and Dorothy Jane.[3]


Political life[edit]

In May 1936, the governor of Louisiana appointed Mrs. Holland to replace her husband as a state senator.[4] She won a special election to complete his term, which extended until 1940.[5][2] She did not seek a second term in the Senate but instead ran for and was elected and served two terms in the Louisiana House of Representatives from St. Helena Parish.[6]

A woman did not again serve in the state Senate until 1976, when Virginia Shehee of Shreveport began a single term of service in the body. Shehee, also an insurance businesswoman, was the first Louisiana state senator who did not succeed a husband in the position.[7]

Upon leaving politics in 1948, Holland edited and published the family-owned newspaper, the St. Helena Echo, and worked as an insurance agent. She retired in 1968, when she married bank president and department store owner James Harrell Rhodes of Zachary in East Baton Rouge Parish. Apparently the two were married for only a short time, as Rhodes died on June 12, 1968.[8] After Rhodes' death, she remained active in civic matters and the United Methodist Church.[2]

Holland was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution.[3] Her Senate and House colleagues subsequently named her to the alumni board of the legislature; Governor Edwin W. Edwards honored her at the 1992 Governor's Conference on Women. A Democrat, she was inducted in 1994 as a charter member of the Louisiana Center for Women and Government Hall of Fame at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux.[2] In 2004, she was posthumously inducted into the Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame in Winnfield. Inducted along with Holland Rhodes was later female state Senator Virginia Shehee.[9]

Holland died at the age of eighty-seven. She, her first husband, and her parents are interred at Greensburg Cemetery.[3]


References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "St. Helena Cemetery". usgwarchives.net. Retrieved October 23, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Louisiana: Doris Lindsey Holland Rhodes (1909-1997)". nwhm.org. Retrieved October 23, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c "Doris Lindsey Holland Rhodes". St. Helena Historical Association Quarterly, Spring 1998, Issue 55. Retrieved October 23, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Decline in number of women in office causes concern, March 5, 2013". Opelousas Daily World. Retrieved October 23, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Membership in the Louisiana State Senate, 1880-Forward". senate.la.gov. Retrieved October 23, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Membership in the Louisiana House of Representatives, 1812-2016". house.louisiana.gov. Retrieved October 23, 2013. 
  7. ^ "James Ronald Skains, Political Hall of Fame induction in Winnfield will honor eight, January 2004". The Piney Woods. Retrieved October 19, 2013. 
  8. ^ "James Harrell Rhodes". findagrave.com. Retrieved October 23, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Doris Lindsey Holland (Rhodes)". lapolitical museum.com. Retrieved October 23, 2013. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Thomas Myers Holland
Louisiana State Senator from St. Helena and Tangipahoa parishes

Doris Lindsey Holland Rhodes
1936–1940

Succeeded by
W. G. Jones
Preceded by
W. C. Alford
Louisiana State Representative from St. Helena Parish

Doris Lindsey Holland Rhodes
1940—1948

Succeeded by
Guy B. McDonald