Lake Maxinkuckee Its Intrigue History & Genealogy Culver, Marshall, Indiana

'Bud' Elwood Haynes Hillis  

HILLIS, Elwood Haynes, a Representative from Indiana; born in Kokomo, Howard County, Ind., March 6, 1926; attended Kokomo public schools; graduated from Culver Military Academy, 1944; B.S., Indiana University, 1949; J.D., Indiana University School of Law, 1952; served in United States Army in the European Theater with rank of first lieutenant, 1944-1946; retired from the Reserves in 1954 with rank of captain in the infantry; admitted to the Indiana bar in 1952 and commenced practice in Kokomo; member, Indiana house of representatives, Ninety-fifth and Ninety-sixth General Assemblies; delegate, Indiana State Republican conventions, 1962-1970; elected as a Republican to the Ninety-second and to the seven succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1971-January 3, 1987); was not a candidate for reelection in 1986; resumed the practice of law; is a resident of Kokomo, Ind. - - Biographical Directory of the United States Congress

Elwood Haynes Hillis attended Indiana University, earning a bachelor’s degree in business in 1949 and a law degree in 1952. Following early work as an attorney and with the Kokomo Housing Authority, Hillis entered political life as a state representative from 1966–1969. He served eight terms as U.S. Representative for Indiana’s Fifth District from 1971–1986. After retiring from Congress, Hillis returned to his law practice in Kokomo and became active on the IU Kokomo Advisory Board. In the mid-1990s, he served as outreach chair of the IU Kokomo Library Campaign recently served as the honorary co-chair of IU Kokomo’s Kresge Science Initiative Endowment Project.

Hillis is a past president of the Howard County IU Alumni Association and the area’s Varsity Club. He and his wife, Carol, are members of the President’s Circle, a group of IU’s most generous donors.

Hillis has received numerous university honors, including the IU Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Service Award (1982), recognition as an Academy of Law Alumni Fellow (1996), and an honorary Doctor of Laws degree through IU Kokomo (1998).

The IU Kokomo Chancellor’s Award for Commitment to Higher Education (1993), presented to both Bud and Carol.

H.R.2043 Latest Title: To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 2719 South Webster Street in Kokomo, Indiana, as the "Elwood Haynes 'Bud' Hillis Post Office Building".

Sponsor: Rep Buyer, Steve [IN-5] (introduced 5/26/2001) Cosponsors (9)

[[Page 115 STAT. 218]]
Public Law 107-36 107th Congress

An Act

To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 719 South Webster Street in Kokomo, Indiana, as the ``Elwood Haynes `Bud' Hillis Post Office Building''. NOTE: Aug. 20, 2001 - [H.R. 2043]

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


The facility of the United States Postal Service located at 2719 South Webster Street in Kokomo, Indiana, shall be known and designated as the ``Elwood Haynes `Bud' Hillis Post Office Building''.


Any reference in a law, map, regulation, document, paper, or other record of the United States to the facility referred to in section 1 shall be deemed to be a reference to the ``Elwood Haynes `Bud' Hillis Post Office Building''.

Approved August 20, 2001.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--H.R. 2043: CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 147 (2001): June 5, considered and passed House. Aug. 3, considered and passed Senate.

Culver Alumnus
March 2002

“There are a lot of dried-up industrial towns around the Midwest, but Kokomo isn’t one of them,” the Kokomo Tribune reported in its Dec. 12, 2001, edition. And on that day, Kokomo honored the man that many credit for saving Daimler Chrysler, and in turn, the city’s prosperity.

That man is former U.S. Rep. Elwood“Bud” Hillis, Woodcraft ’38, a 1944 graduate of CMA, a former trustee, Legion president, and head of the Annual Campaign in 1988-90.

On that day, Kokomo honored one ofits favorite sons by permanently attaching his name to the main post office, courtesy of an act of Congress. Henceforth, the South Webster Street building will be known as the Elwood Haynes “Bud” Hillis Post Office Building.

Contacted by the Alumni magazine athis winter home in Windsor, Colo., Hillis said it was “a wonderf ul honor for two reasons. One, to have it happen during your lifetime is very significant. And, secondly, it is wonderf ul to know that I will always be remembered in my hometown. I have great feelings for Kokomo.

”Hillis’ Kokomo roots are deep and significiant. His father, Glenn R. Hillis W’36, ’47, ran for governor. His grandfather, Elwood Haynes, a noted inventor and industrialist, is Kokomo’s most famous and influential native. The cover of the latest Ameritech phone book features a picture of Hillis as a baby, seated on his grandfather’s knee aboard the original 1894 Haynes Pioneer automobile.

Hillis and his wife, Carol, were joined at the ceremony by a number of friends, including several from The Academies, and local officials. Also attending was Kokomo’s current congressman, Rep. Steve Buyer, R-Ind., who presented the resolution on behalf of the entire Indiana congressional delegation, including the Democrats. The Dec. 12 ceremony followed the November signing of a House resolution into law by President George W. Bush.

In speeches from the House of Representatives floor, Hillis’ peers remembered him as a soft-spoken man with a devotion to his family and constituents. They also remember his 1971-86 stay inCongress from his legislative work, according to The Tribune. Convincing a wavering House to support a government loan bailout of Chrysler Corp. may well be what Hillis is best known for in Kokomo. The loans provided in 1980, combined with former Chrysler Corp. chairman Lee Iacocca’s management, resurrected the company.

“He’s a very compassionateperson, diligent, dependable, and very patriotic,” Hillis’ law partner Don Button told the newspaper. “He was never a bombastic type in Congress, like some of them are, and he was always genuinely interested in people’s problems.”

Following his graduation from Culver , Hillis was in officer’s train of Law, he returned to Kokomo to practice law for 12 years. In 1970, he was elected to the first of eight consecutive terms in the U.S. House before retiring in 1986.

While in Congress during the Nixon, Carter, and Reagan administrations, Hillis’ Republican Party never held the majority. But he established himself as an advocate for Indiana’s 5th District, stretching across the northern part of the state.

The Tribune stated Buyer remembered Hillis’ determination to win funding for the M-1 tank and his influence in the development of what is now Grissom Air Reserve Base south of Peru, Ind. U.S. Rep Tim Roemer, D-Ind., praised Hillis’ work on the Veterans Affairs and Armed Services committees.

But why name the Kokomo post office after Hillis? It seems obvious, for there is one important trait they share:

They deliver. – Doug Haberland

Note there were two photographs with this article.

1998 honorary degree recipients
Indiana Univerity
Elwood Haynes Hillis

Elwood Haynes "Bud" Hillis is a man who embraces his causes and works for them wholeheartedly. Indiana University Kokomo and the people of the community are fortunate to be in Hillis's embrace.

A native of Kokomo, Hillis graduated from Culver Military Academy before entering the Army. He served in the European theater during World War II, ending the war as a first lieutenant. He retired from reserve infantry duty with the rank of captain in 1954. After the war, he attended Indiana University, earning a bachelor of science degree in 1949 and a law degree in 1952. He then began practicing law in Kokomo, where he was active in the community from the beginning. "No civic, church, or governmental activity was beyond his reach," recalled G. Richard Ellis, a fellow Kokomo lawyer. "Aiding in fund-raising for charitable causes continually claimed his time and effort." Among the organization he has helped are the United Way, the YMCA, the YWCA, the Salvation Army, and United Way.

He made his first foray into politics as a Republican when he was elected to begin his first term in the Indiana House of Representatives in 1967. He stayed with the state legislature until 1971, when he began his service in the United States House. There he embraced the cause of military and veterans affairs. Among his committee assignments were the Veterans Affairs and Armed Services Committees, where he worked with Representative G. V. Montgomery of Mississippi. "He was an excellent legislator," Montgomery recalled, "and wo uld travel out to different areas of the country to inspect military bases as well as visit veterans hospitals and facilities."

Former Indiana Governor and U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Otis Bowen recalls Hillis's time in Congress: "Elwood was a soft-spoken polite gentleman. He knew both sides of issues and was effective in his efforts for the side he felt was right to prevail."

Hillis won great respect in Washington. "His service in Congress was marked by high dedication, intelligence, and a tremendous capacity for hard work and innovation," says U.S. Representative John Myers. "He represented Indiana during some very tum ultuous times for our nation and our state, including Vietnam, Watergate, and beyond. His colleagues not only looked up to and respected him, but there was not anyone who did not genuinely like Bud Hillis."

One of Hillis's legislative causes was an effort to limit terms of service in both houses of Congress. And although he was pop ular in his district, he voluntarily stepped down in 1987 after serving eight terms.

Back in Kokomo, the longtime member of the IUK Board of Advisors became even more involved. As outreach coordinator for the IUK Library Campaign, he helped to raise more than $2 million for the school. He has also been president of the Howard County Alumni Club, a member of the IU President's Council, the Well House Society, and the Campaign Council. He received IU's Distinguished Alumni Service Award in 1982, and he was voted an Academy of Law Alumni Fellow of the IU School of Law in 1996. He shared the IUK Chancellor's Award for Commitment to Higher Education with his wife, Carol Hillis, in 1993. Those causes that Hillis embraces are strengthened by his efforts. In the words of Richard L. Ardrey, IUK library director: "Congressman Hillis's entire career has been filled with distinction and service to his city, state, and country."

Hunt, Hillis serve as honorary chairs for IU Kokomo endowment project
October 2, 2003

KOKOMO, Ind.—Founding director of IU Kokomo Virgil Hunt and eight-term Indiana Congressman Elwood “Bud” Hillis will serve as honorary chairpersons of the Kresge Science Initiative endowment project. The project seeks private gifts and grants to fulfill requirements of a $234,000 challenge grant, presented to IU Kokomo in June by the Kresge Foundation of Troy, Mich. ...

Indiana University School of Law
Academy of Law Alumni Fellows
All Fellows...
Elwood H. Hillis, JD'52
Button Hillis & Menges
Kokomo, Indiana

On March 17, 2010, Bud Hillis was honored for his years in public service at the Howard County Lincoln Day Dinner, held at the Kokomo Country Club in Kokomo, Indiana.

Hillis Families


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