Orland Loomis was born on November 2, 1893 in Mauston. He attended Ripon College and received a law degree in 1917 from the University of Wisconsin. That same year Loomis enlisted in the army and was stationed in France during World War I. After the war, he practiced law in Mauston and served as the Mauston city attorney from 1922 until 1931. He also served as district attorney of Juneau County and was elected to the state Assembly and Senate and as attorney general. Loomis, running as the Progressive candidate, was narrowly defeated in the 1940 governor's race. He won the gubernatorial election in 1942, but died in December before entering office.