Senator Clarence C. Dill, Fairmount Cemetery

Clarence Cleveland Dill, commonly referred to as C. C., was instrumental in pushing Congress in the early 1930s to fund a study of the Columbia and Snake Rivers to determine the possibility of building dams for irrigation and electricity in the Pacific Northwest. The result of said study was the development of the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project and the building of the Grand Coulee Dam.

Prior to coming to Spokane, Dill lived and taught for a few years in Ohio before graduating from Ohio Wesleyan University. Upon graduation, he worked as a newspaper reporter and high school teacher until 1908 when he moved to Washington. He was also a high school teacher in Spokane while he studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1910 and quit teaching to practice law, working his way up to deputy prosecuting attorney for Spokane County.

From there, he began his political life serving as the private secretary to Governor Ernest Lister in 1913 before being elected for two terms to the United States House of Representatives (1915-1919). He later served as a United States Senator from 1923 to 1935. While a Senator, he sponsored the Radio Act of 1927 and the Communications Act of 1934. In 1940, he ran for governor but was defeated by Arthur Langlie, and was unsuccessful running for another term in Congress in 1942.

Dill, however, continued to serve in two significant roles. One, he continued his support of the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project - which was designed to provide a network of dams and canals to water the arid lands of the Columbia Basin - by serving on the Columbia Basin Commission from 1945 to 1948. Secondly, he served as a special assistant to the U. S. Attorney General (1946-1953). After his political career, Dill returned to practicing law in Spokane until his death in 1978.


Senator Clarence Cleveland Dill
Narrator: Julie Y. Russell Photo Credits: Julie Y. Russell, 2012 Wikimedia Commons U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Washington State Digital Archives U.S. Attorney General Website Story of Information Website U.S. House of Representatives U.S....
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