Edmund S. Muskie Oral History Collection


Don Nicoll

Document Type

Oral History

Publication Date


Interview Number

MOH 053


Elmer H. Violette was born on February 2, 1921 in Van Buren, Maine. His father was a woodsman, and a butcher/grocer during the Depression. His mother was a schoolteacher, and raised seven children. Both parents were strong Democrats. His father served in the Maine Legislature for three terms. Mr. Violette was a Roman Catholic, and served as an alter boy as a teenager. He attended Ricker College and earned a two-year degree. In 1941, he was elected to the Maine Legislature, and was drafted soon thereafter. After discharge, he returned to Van Buren, and successfully ran again for a 1946 House term. After that, he attended Boston University School of Law, graduated in 1950, and returned to Van Buren once again to practice law. In 1964, Violette returned to Augusta as a State Senator. In 1966, he unsuccessfully ran for Senate against Margaret Chase Smith. He was also an active campaigner for Ed Muskie. In 1973, he was appointed to the Maine Superior Court by then Governor Ken Curtis. In 1981, he was appointed to the Maine Supreme Court, retiring in 1986. Elmer Violette passed away on June 18, 2000 at the age of 79 as a result of an automobile accident.

Scope and Content Note

Interview includes discussions of: Violette family history; Van Buren, Maine history; unions; Catholicism; Maine House of Representatives in 1946; Muskie in the Maine State Legislature; and St. John Valley, 1919-1948.

Use Restrictions

Copyright Bates College. This transcript is provided for individual Research Purposes Only; for all other uses, including publication, reproduction and quotation beyond fair use, permission must be obtained in writing from: The Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library, Bates College, 70 Campus Avenue, Lewiston, Maine 04240-6018.