McFARLAND, Ernest William (1894-1984)

MCFARLAND, ERNEST WILLIAM, a Senator from Arizona; born on a farm near Earlsboro, Pottawatomie County, Okla., October 9, 1894; attended the rural schools; graduated from East Central State Teachers' College, Ada, Okla., in 1914, and from the University of Oklahoma at Norman in 1917; during the First World War served in the United States Navy; after the war moved to Phoenix, Ariz., and was employed as a clerk in a bank; graduated from the law department of Stanford (Calif.) University in 1922; graduated Stanford University, M.A., 1924; admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Casa Grande, Pinal County, Ariz.; assistant attorney general of Arizona 1923-1924, and county attorney of Pinal County 1925-1930; moved to Florence, Ariz., in 1925; judge of the superior court of Pinal County 1934-1940; elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate in 1940; reelected in 1946 and served from January 3, 1941, to January 3, 1953; unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1952; majority leader and Democratic caucus chairman 1951-1953; Democratic Policy Committee chairman 1951-1953; co-chairman, Joint Committee on Navaho-Hopi Indian Administration (Eighty-first and Eighty-second Congresses); Governor of Arizona 1955-1959; unsuccessful candidate for election to the United States Senate in 1958; resumed the practice of law; elected associate justice, Arizona supreme court, in 1964, becoming chief justice in 1968, and serving until 1970; member, National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence 1968-1969; director, Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco; president of Arizona Television Company; died in Phoenix, Ariz., June 8, 1984; interment in Greenwood Memorial Park, Phoenix, Ariz.

Arizona Department of Library, Archives, and Public Records
Phoenix, AZ
Papers: Gubernatorial papers in Governor John Howard Pyle papers. Finding aid.
Papers: 1894-1985. 171 linear feet. Documents career as senator, governor, and chief justice of Arizona Supreme Court. Also includes materials from his law practice, his ownership of KTVK-TV, and his personal life. Finding aid available online. For related material see Arizona Governor's Office (RG 1). The State Archives also holds the records for the McFarland Historical Advisory Board (MG 102). The Public and Personal Papers of Ernest W. McFarland, consisting originally of 167 storage cartons, were donated to the McFarland Historical State Park, Florence, Arizona, by Ernest W. McFarland in 1981. Sixteen additional storage cartons were donated by the McFarland family in 1983. In 2009, the McFarland Historical State Park transferred the Public and Personal Papers of Ernest McFarland to the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records.

Arizona Historical Society
Tucson, AZ
Papers: Correspondence in Thomas Maddock papers, 1917-1975.


KTVK-TV3
Phoenix, AZ
Oral History: Numerous videocassettes in station archives which span the station's history, 1954-ongoing. Finding aid.

Lyndon Baines Johnson Library
Austin, TX
Oral History: February 8, 1970. 29 pages.

University of Michigan
Bentley Historical Library
Ann Arbor, MI
Papers: Correspondence in Blair Moody papers, 1928-1954. Finding aid.

Yale University Libraries
Manuscripts and Archives
New Haven, CT
Papers: In John Collier papers, 1910-1987.

  • McFarland, Ernest W. Mac: The Autobiography of Ernest W. McFarland. Privately published, 1979.
  • McMillan, James Elton, Jr. "Ernest W. McFarland: Southwestern Progressive. The United States Senate Years, 1940-1952.'' Ph.D. dissertation, Arizona State University, 1990.
  • McMillan, James E., Ernest W. McFarland: Majority Leader of the United States Senate, Governor and Chief Justice of the State of Arizona. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2006.
  • ___. The Ernest W. McFarland Papers: The United States Senate Years, 1940-1952. Prescott, Ariz.: Sharlot Hall Museum Press, 1995.
  • ___. "First Sooner Senator: Ernest W. McFarland's Oklahoma Years, 1894-1919.'' Chronicles of Oklahoma 72 (Summer 1994): 178-99.
  • ___. "McFarland and the Movies: The 1941 Senate Motion Picture Hearings." The Journal of Arizona History 29 (Autumn 1988): 277-302.
  • Stuart, Gary L. Call Him Mac: Ernest W. McFarland, the Arizona Years. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2018.