Holcomb Hall is a residence hall in East Campus at the University of Connecticut, named after Markus Henry Holcomb. The attorney general (1906-1907) and governor (1915-1921), Markus Holcomb vetoed the funds for a girls dormitory at the Connecticut Agricultural College because he felt the legislation which appropriated the funds was illegal. That bill was reintroduced in a later session and passed, overriding Holcomb's veto. It's ironic that the dorm was then named after the governor who vetoed it.

    Born in 1844, Holcomb attended New Hartford schools and Wesleyan Seminary in Wilbraham, Massachusetts. He taught school while he studied law n the office of Jared B. Foster of New Hartford. In 1871 he was admitted to the bar and began his practice in Southington. In 1872 he married Sarah Carpenter Bennett. After moving to Hartford in 1893, he formed an association with Noble E. Pierce and continued to practice law until 1910.

    From 1873 to 1910 he was a judge of the Probate Court for the Southington District. He was first judge of the Borough Court of Southington from 1905-1909 and treasurer of Hartford County from 1893-1908. He became a member of the State Senate in 1893, serving one term. He served as speaker of the Connecticut House of Representatives from 1905-1906. He was the attorney general from 1906-1907 and a judge of the Superior Court from 1906-1915.

    Holcomb was a Democrat until 1888, when he changed parties over the tariff issue. He won the governorship in 1914 over Democrat Lyman Tingle. He was re-elected in 1916 and 1918, becoming the state's first three-term governor following adoption of the biennial term.

    Holcomb served as governor for most of World War I. During the war his administration vigorously contributed to the war effort. Governor Holcomb appointed a State Council of Defense and a Food Supply Council and created a Home Guard, which reached 20,000 in 1917, half of whom were armed, equipped, and trained.

    His administration also limited the hours of labor for women in industry, created a teachers' retirement system, and provided health insurance and old age pensions for Connecticut employees. During his tenure as governor, the legislature failed to ratify the Eighteenth Amendment on prohibition and the Nineteenth Amendment on women's suffrage. He died in Southington, Connecticut, on March 5, 1932.

    The dorm Holcomb vetoed is rumored to be haunted by the ghost of a student who hung herself in the attic. In 1972, according to Holcomb alum Lois Henrikson, the girls on the third floor heard crying and moaning coming from the locked attic. After an exhaustive search, the "ghost" was found: a speaker connected to a tape deck had been placed in the attic by a prankster.

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