MELCHER, John, a Representative and a Senator from Montana; born in Sioux City, Woodbury County, Iowa, September 6, 1924; attended the University of Minnesota; served in the United States Army 1943-1945; graduated with a degree in veterinary medicine, Iowa State University 1950; moved to Forsyth, Mont., and established a veterinary clinic; alderman in Forsyth, Mont., 1953; elected mayor of Forsyth 1955, reelected in 1957 and 1959; elected State representative for Rosebud County, Mont., 1960; elected State senator 1962, served in the 1963 and 1965 sessions; again served in 1969 as a State representative; elected as a Democrat to the Ninety-first Congress, by special election, June 24, 1969, to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of James F. Battin; reelected to the three succeeding Congresses and served from June 24, 1969, to January 3, 1977; was not a candidate for reelection to the House of Representatives, but was elected to the United States Senate in 1976; reelected in 1982 and served from January 3, 1977, until January 3, 1989; unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1988; established a legal consulting firm; chairman, Select Committee on Indian Affairs (Ninety-sixth Congress), Special Committee on Aging (One Hundredth Congress); was a resident of Missoula, Mont., until his death on April 12, 2018.

View Record in the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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External Research Collections

University of Montana
Mansfield Library

Missoula, MT
Papers: 1969-1988. Ca. 700 linear feet. Congressional correspondence and papers, subject and project files, photographs, videotapes, and sound recordings. This collection contains the House and Senate bills introduced and sponsored by John Melcher; speeches given and writings and press releases produced by his office; and constituent correspondence. The correspondence during the House years is arranged alphabetically by subject or executive department. Senate constituent correspondence is on microfilm in a chronological sequence. The office retained the paper copy and it is in a numerical order by date. Scrapbooks, photographs, audio and moving image materials that are part of this collection are in processing; although they are yet not described in this guide the majority of these materials are available for research at the Archives. Finding aid available online.
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