James T. Lewis

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For other people named James Lewis, see James Lewis (disambiguation).
James Taylor Lewis
1862 portrait of Lewis by William F. Cogswell
9th Governor of Wisconsin
In office
January 4, 1864 – January 1, 1866
Lieutenant Wyman Spooner
Preceded by Edward Salomon
Succeeded by Lucius Fairchild
4th Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin
In office
January 2, 1854 – January 7, 1856
Governor William Barstow
Preceded by Timothy Burns
Succeeded by Arthur MacArthur, Sr
Secretary of State of Wisconsin
In office
January 6, 1862 – January 5, 1864
Preceded by Louis Harvey
Succeeded by Lucius Fairchild
Personal details
Born James Taylor Lewis
(1819-08-30)August 30, 1819
Clarendon, New York
Died August 5, 1904(1904-08-05) (aged 84)
Columbus, Wisconsin
Resting place Hillside Cemetery
Columbus, Wisconsin
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Orlina M. Sturgis Lewis
Profession Lawyer

James Taylor Lewis (October 30, 1819 – August 5, 1904) was an American lawyer and politician who served as the ninth Governor of Wisconsin.

Early life[edit]

Lewis was born in Clarendon, New York. He taught school briefly and went on to study law with former New York Governor Henry R. Seldon. In 1845 he moved to Columbus, Wisconsin, where he was admitted to the bar.


Lewis held the positions of district attorney and county judge, and he was elected to terms in both the Wisconsin State Assembly and the State Senate. He was also a member or the Constitutional Convention of 1847-1848 representing Columbia County. He also served as the fourth Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin from 1854 to 1856, Wisconsin secretary of state from 1862 to 1864,

Nominaated by the Union Republicans for Governor, Lewis was elected and served as Governor of the state of Wisconsin from January 6, 1864 – January 5, 1866. He was the last Wisconsin governor to hold the office during the Civil War.[1] and was concerned during his tenure with providing sufficient troops for the Civil War and helping to protect them and their dependents. He visited troops in the field and helped establish hospitals in Wisconsin for the care of the wounded. Refusing renomination in 1865, he was offered a diplomatic post by President Lincoln, but chose instead to return to his law practice in Columbus.

Death and legacy[edit]

Lewis died in Columbus, Wisconsin, on August 4, 1904 (age 84 years, 279 days). He is interred at Hillside Cemetery, Columbus, Columbia County,Wisconsin. His former home, now known as the Gov. James T. Lewis House, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[2]

Family life[edit]

Lewis married Orlina M. Sturgis and they had four children.


External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Timothy Burns
Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin
Succeeded by
Arthur MacArthur, Sr.
Preceded by
Louis Harvey
Secretary of State of Wisconsin
Succeeded by
Lucius Fairchild
Preceded by
Edward Salomon
Governor of Wisconsin
Succeeded by
Lucius Fairchild