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Julia Butler Hansen
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Washington's 3rd district
November 8, 1960 - December 31, 1974
|Russell V. Mack|
|Member of the Washington House of Representatives|
from the 18th district
January 9, 1939 - November 8, 1960
Julia Caroline Butler
June 14, 1907
Portland, Oregon, U.S.
|Died||May 3, 1988 (aged 80)|
Cathlamet, Washington, U.S.
|Education||Oregon State University|
University of Washington, Seattle (BA)
Julia Butler Hansen (June 14, 1907 - May 3, 1988), born Julia Caroline Butler in Portland, Oregon, served as a member of the United States House of Representatives from 1960-1974. She represented Washington's Third Congressional District as a Democrat. She was the second woman and first Democratic woman elected to Congress from Washington.
Her father, Donald C. Butler, was sheriff of Wahkiakum County and her mother, Maude Eliza (Kimball), was named Washington's "Mother of the Year" in 1960. Hansen attended public school in Washington. She attended Oregon State College from 1924-1926, and graduated from the University of Washington (Seattle) with a Bachelor of Arts in home economics in 1930.
Hansen's political career began as a member of the Cathlamet, Washington, city council, where she served from 1938-1946. She served in the Washington State Legislature as a member of the State House of Representatives from January 1939 until November 1960, serving as the first woman speaker pro tempore from 1955-1960. She served as chairman of the Western Interstate Committee on Highway Policies for 11 western states from 1951-1961.
She was elected simultaneously as a Democrat to the Eighty-sixth Congress and to the Eighty-seventh Congress by special election, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of United States Representative Russell V. Mack, and was re-elected to the six succeeding Congresses (November 8, 1960 - December 31, 1974). She served on the House Appropriations Committee after serving for years on Education, Labor, Veteran's Affairs, Interior and Insular Affairs Committees. She did not run for re-election in 1974, and was appointed in 1975 to a six-year term on the Washington State Toll Bridge Authority and State Highway Commission. She served as chairman of the Washington State Transportation Commission from 1979-1981.
Hansen was the author of a book for children titled Singing Paddles, published by Binfords and Mort in 1935, which won the Julia Ellsworth Ford Foundation Award for Juvenile Literature. She married Henry A. Hansen, a logger, on July 15, 1939; they were parents of one natural son, David, and Henry's adopted son Richard. Hansen was also manager of the Wahkiakum County Abstract Company and the G. Henry Hanigan Insurance Co. in Cathlamet, and served as chairman and member of the board of trustees of Century 21, State of Washington, beginning in 1958.
Hansen lived in Cathlamet until her death there on May 3, 1988. She is honored by the Julia Butler Hansen Refuge for the Columbian White-Tailed Deer, a National Wildlife Refuge established in 1972 in Cathlamet; the Julia Butler Hansen Elementary School, opened in 1994 in the Olympia School District in Olympia, Washington; and the Julia Butler Hansen Bridge connecting Cathlamet to Puget Island, Washington.
This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website http://bioguide.congress.gov.