Jordan D. Holmes

General Information

J. D. Holmes
Black/African American
January 24, 1914
Muskogee, Muskogee, OK, OK, USA
November 27, 1993
Phoenix, Maricopa Co., AZ, USA

Legislative Resolution

View Legislative Resolution File for Jordan D. Holmes

Biographical Information

The following is from the Legislative death resolution:

The Honorable Jordan D. Holmes passed away at the age of seventy-nine on November 27, 1993 in the City of Phoenix.

Jordan D. Holmes was born in Muskogee, Oklahoma on January 24, 1914, the youngest of nine children.  He moved to Arizona in 1940 and became an employee of the City of Phoenix.  A self-made business man, he was the owner of the successful J.D. Holmes Construction Company until 1964.

Jordan D. Holmes was first elected to the Arizona House of Representatives to serve in the Twenty-fifth Legislature beginning in 1961 and also served in the Twenty-sixth Legislature ending in 1965.  Representative Holmes served with distinction on the Committees on Administration, Highways and Bridges, Livestock and Public Lands, Municipalities, Public Health, Public Institutions, Fish and Game and Tourism and Industry Development.

The first bill sponsored by Representative Holmes, House Bill 1 in the 1961 Session, proposed prohibiting discrimination because of race, color, religion, ancestry or national origin in public places.  While unsuccessful, Representative Holmes' bill was one of the early legislative efforts to promote civil rights in the State of Arizona.

Representative Holmes also sponsored bills to strengthen election laws and to promote education, public safety and consumer protection.

Jordan D. Holmes was active in his church and community.  He was ordained as a deacon in the First Institutional Baptist Church and was active in the church until his death.  He was also a distinguished member of the William H. Patterson Lodge, Improved Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks of the World.


Occupation Title Years
Real Estate/Land/Insurance insurance salesman
Transportation/Lodging service station owner
Transportation/Lodging bus driver, City of Phoenix
Labor/Trades/Construction owner, J.D. Holmes Construction Company 1957 - 1964

Arizona Legislative Service

Session Chamber Party District City County Office Notes
25th Legislature, 1st Regular House Democrat Maricopa-09 - (1931-66 House) Phoenix Maricopa
25th Legislature, 2nd Regular House Democrat Maricopa-09 - (1931-66 House) Phoenix Maricopa
26th Legislature, 1st Regular House Democrat Maricopa-10 - (1931-66 House) Phoenix Maricopa
26th Legislature, 2nd Regular House Democrat Maricopa-10 - (1931-66 House) Phoenix Maricopa


Birth: obituary:  "J.D. Holmes, Key Black Legislator."  The Arizona Republic, December 3, 1993, p. CL 18 and SSDI:  "Jordan Holmes" DOB: 1/24/1914 however, Arizona Legislative Biography sheets have DOB:  1/14/1919 (sic) Brooklyn, NY (sic), DOB: 1/24/1919 (sic) Brooklyn, NY (sic), parents:  Lewis and Josephine Holmes, a 6 year old "J. D. Holmes" born in OK  was noted with his parents Louis and Josephine Holmes in the 1920 federal census of Tullahassee, Wagoner Co., Oklahoma; Death: obituary; Occupation(s): Arizona Legislative Biography sheet, Legislative death resolution and obituary; according to his obituary:  "Rep. Holmes was hired as the first African-American bus driver for Phoenix."