Born in Cresco, Iowa, Holmes moved in 1915 to Walla Walla, Washington, where he attended the public schools. He was graduated from Whitman College, Walla Walla, Washington, in 1923 and from Columbia University, New York City, in 1927. He taught economics at Ellensburg High School (Washington) in 1924, then taught at Central Washington College of Education at Ellensburg in 1925. He taught at Columbia University in 1928 and 1929, then returned to the faculty of Central Washington College from 1930-1942. From 1934 to 1942 he was also a livestock rancher and operator.
Holmes was elected as a Republican to the Seventy-eighth and to the seven succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1943 - January 3, 1959). He was not a candidate for reelection in 1958 to the Eighty-sixth Congress. He died in Yakima, Washington, July 27, 1977, and was buried in Terrace Heights Memorial Park.
This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.