GARFIELD, JAMES RUDOLPH (17 Oct. 1865-24 Mar. 1950), lawyer and son of Lucretia Rudolph and president JAS. A GARFIELD, was born in Hiram, OH, and received his B.A. from Williams College (1885), and his LL.D. from Columbia University. Admitted to the Ohio bar in 1888, Garfield started his 60 year practice in Cleveland with his older brother, Harry. He became the senior partner in the firm of Garfield, Baldwin, Jameson, Hope & Ulrich.
From 1896-1900, Garfield served in the Ohio senate, authoring an election-reforms bill. In 1902, Pres. Roosevelt appointed him to the Federal Civil Service Commission, established because of his father's assassination. He was appointed to the U.S. Commission of Corporations (1903); and became Roosevelt's secretary of the interior in 1907, spearheading Roosevelt's conservation efforts and active in Indian affairs. He was later associated with the Progressive party.
Returning to his Cleveland law practice in 1909, during WORLD WAR I he served on the Cleveland War Council. Pres. Coolidge appointed him to the emergency board investigating railroad labor disputes; and Pres. Hoover appointed him chairman of the Federal Commission of the Conservation of the Public Domain. Garfield was a founder and trustee of the Community Fund; the first legal counsel for the CLEVELAND FOUNDATION, vice-president of the Cleveland Welfare Fed. from 1917-20, and trustee of the Speech & Hearing Clinic, the Humane Society, the LAKE VIEW CEMETERY, Lake Erie College, and the WESTERN RESERVE HISTORICAL SOCIETY. Garfield married Helen Newell in 1890 and had 4 sons, John, Rudolph H., James A., and Newell.
View finding aid for the James R. and Helen N. Garfield Papers. WRHS.