Ferguson, Homer, 1888-1982

Alternative names
Birth 1889-02-25
Death 1982-12-17

Biographical notes:

Republican U.S. Senator from Michigan, U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines, and judge on the U.S. Court of Military Appeals.

From the description of Homer Ferguson papers, 1939-1976. (University of Michigan). WorldCat record id: 34419354

Senator, judge.

From the description of Reminiscences of Homer Ferguson : oral history, 1969. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 122565301

Ferguson (1888-1982) graduated from the University of Mchigan in 1913 with a LL. B. He was appointed circuit judge of Wayne County in 1929; elected in 1930 and re-elected in 1935 and 1941. Ferguson was a professor at the Detroit College of Law, 1929-1938. He served as judge on the U.S. Court of Military Appeals and as U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines. He served as U.S. Senator in 1942-1955. Ferguson married and had a daughter. Woodruff (1876- ) began his career as a dentist. He served as a private in Company G, 33rd Michigan Infantry during the Spanish-American War. During World War I, he served with the American Expenditionary Forces in France, attaing the rank of Major. In 1911, Woodruff was elected as mayor of Bay City. He was then elected a Michigan Senator, an office in which he served until 1952. Woodruff married and had two children.(Michigan Biographies v. 1, p. 225 and v. 2, p. 203.).

From the description of Correspondence, 1951. (Clarke Historical Library). WorldCat record id: 44176116

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.

From the guide to the Homer Ferguson Papers, 1939-1976, (Bentley Historical Library University of Michigan)


Loading Relationships


Ark ID:


  • Legislators--Interviews
  • Courts
  • Judges
  • Elections--Michigan--1954
  • World War, 1939-1945
  • Travel
  • Political elections--1954
  • Trials (Fraud)--Michigan--Wayne County
  • Elections--1948
  • Forts and fortifications
  • Politics and government
  • Racism
  • Judges--United States
  • Criminal courts
  • Elections--Michigan--1948
  • Crime
  • Military facilities
  • Travelers
  • Trials (Military offenses)--United States
  • Housing
  • Elections--1954
  • Judges--Interviews
  • Pearl Harbor (Hawaii), Attack on, 1941


not available for this record


  • Michigan (as recorded)
  • Saint Lawrence Seaway. (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Far East. (as recorded)
  • Philippines (as recorded)
  • Philippines (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • East Asia. (as recorded)
  • Inter-American Highway. (as recorded)
  • Michigan (as recorded)
  • East Asia (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Willow Run (Mich.) (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)