List of Secretaries of State of Wisconsin

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Number of Secretaries of State of Wisconsin by party affiliation[note 1]
Party Secretaries
Republican 20
Democratic 10
Progressive 1

The Secretary of State of Wisconsin is an officer of the executive branch of the government of the U.S. state of Wisconsin[1] and the second in the order of succession of the Governor of Wisconsin, behind the lieutenant governor.[2] The secretary of state is responsible for keeping records of the official acts of the legisative and executive branches of Wisconsin's government and affixing the Great Seal of the State of Wisconsin to the official acts of the governor.[1]

As second in the order of succession to Wisconsin's governorship, the secretary of state becomes governor if the governor dies, resigns or is removed from office while the lieutenant governorship is vacant; prior to a 1979 amendment to the Wisconsin Constitution, however, the secretary simply became acting governor if any of these events were to occur.[2] No secretary of state has ever ascended to the governorship or acting-governorship under such circumstances.[3] Both before and after the 1979 amendment, the secretary becomes acting governor while the governor is absent from the state, impeached or incapacitated in the absence of a lieutenant governor.[2] Some secretaries of state have acted as governor for short periods of time under such circumstances.[4]

Under the original terms of the state constitution, the secretary of state was elected for a two-year term on a separate ticket from the governor or any other official. A 1967 amendment increased the term of the secretary of state, as well as those of other state officials, to four years. There is no limit to the number of terms a secretary of state may hold.[2] In the event of the death, resignation or removal from office of the secretary of state, the governor may appoint someone to fill the vacancy.[5]

Twenty-eight individuals have held the office of secretary of state since Wisconsin's admission to the Union in 1848, two of whom—Fred Zimmerman and Douglas La Follette—served for non-consecutive terms. The first secretary of state was Thomas McHugh, who took office on June 7, 1848. The current secretary is Douglas La Follette, who took office on January 3, 1983; his current term expires in 2015.[3]

Secretaries of State[edit]

Secretaries of Wisconsin Territory[edit]

From 1836 until 1848, what is now Wisconsin was part of Wisconsin Territory.[6] The Organic Act which created the territory provided for the office of a Secretary, to be appointed by the President,[1] whose duties consisted of recording the proceedings of the territory's legislature, and the laws it produced, as well as the proceedings of the territorial governor. Additionally, in the event of the inability of the governor to serve—due to death or various other circumstances—the Secretary was to assume the governor's powers and carry out his duties.[7]

Wisconsin Territory was formed on July 3, 1836.[6] During the time of its existence, it had six territorial secretaries.[8]

John Horner, 1st Secretary of Wisconsin Territory
# Name Appointed[9] Left office[note 2] Territorial Governor Appointed by
1 John S. Horner April 30, 1836 February 16, 1837 Henry Dodge Andrew Jackson
2 William B. Slaughter February 16, 1837 January 25, 1841 Henry Dodge Andrew Jackson
3 Francis J. Dunn January 25, 1841 April 23, 1841 Henry Dodge Martin Van Buren
4 Alexander Pope Field April 23, 1841 October 30, 1843 Henry Dodge John Tyler
James Doty
5 George R. C. Floyd October 30, 1843 February 24, 1846 James Doty John Tyler
Nathaniel Tallmadge
Henry Dodge
6 John Catlin February 24, 1846 March 3, 1849[note 3] Henry Dodge James Polk

Secretaries of State of Wisconsin[edit]

Wisconsin was admitted to the Union on May 29, 1848. Since then, it has had 28 secretaries of state, two of whom served non-consecutive terms.[3]

      Democratic       Whig       Republican       Progressive       Changed party

Lucius Fairchild, 8th Secretary of State of Wisconsin
James Frear, 18th Secretary of State of Wisconsin
# Name Party Took office Left office[note 4] Governor Terms[note 5]
1 Thomas McHugh Democratic June 7, 1848[11] January 7, 1850 Nelson Dewey 1
2 William A. Barstow Democratic January 7, 1850[11] January 5, 1852 Nelson Dewey 1
3 Charles D. Robinson Democratic January 5, 1852[11] January 2, 1854 Leonard Farwell 1
4 Alexander T. Gray Democratic January 2, 1854[11] January 7, 1856 William Barstow 1
5 David W. Jones Democratic January 7, 1856[11] January 2, 1860 William Barstow 2
Arthur MacArthur, Sr.
Coles Bashford
Alexander Randall
6 Louis P. Harvey[note 6] Republican January 2, 1860[11] January 6, 1862 Alexander Randall 1
7 James T. Lewis Republican January 6, 1862[11] January 4, 1864 Louis Harvey 1
Edward Salomon
8 Lucius Fairchild Republican January 4, 1864[11] January 1, 1866 James Lewis 1
9 Thomas S. Allen Republican January 1, 1866[11] January 3, 1870 Lucius Fairchild 2
10 Llywelyn Breese Republican January 3, 1870[11] January 5, 1874 Lucius Fairchild 2
Cadwallader Washburn
11 Peter Doyle Democratic January 5, 1874[11] January 7, 1878 William Taylor 2
Harrison Ludington
12 Hans B. Warner Republican January 7, 1878[11] January 2, 1882 William Smith 2
13 Ernst G. Timme Republican January 2, 1882[11] January 5, 1891 Jeremiah Rusk 4[note 7]
William Hoard
14 Thomas J. Cunningham Democratic January 5, 1891[11] January 7, 1895 George Peck 2
15 Henry Casson Republican January 7, 1895[11] January 2, 1899 William Upham 2
Edward Scofield
16 William H. Froehlich Republican January 2, 1899[11] January 5, 1903 Edward Scofield 2
Robert La Follette, Sr.
17 Walter L. Houser Republican January 5, 1903[11] January 7, 1907 Robert La Follette, Sr. 2
James Davidson
18 James A. Frear Republican January 7, 1907[11] January 6, 1913 James Davidson 3
Francis McGovern
19 John S. Donald Republican January 6, 1913[11] January 1, 1917 Francis McGovern 2
Emanuel Philipp
20 Merlin Hull Republican January 1, 1917[11] January 3, 1921 Emanuel Philipp 2
21 Elmer S. Hall Republican January 3, 1921[11] January 1, 1923 John Blaine 1
22 Fred R. Zimmerman Republican January 1, 1923[11] January 3, 1927 John Blaine 2
23 Theodore Dammann Republican January 3, 1927[11] January 7, 1935 Fred Zimmerman 4
Walter Kohler, Sr.
Philip La Follette
Albert Schmedeman
Theodore Dammann Progressive January 7, 1935[13] January 2, 1939 Philip La Follette 2
24 Fred R. Zimmerman Republican January 2, 1939[14] December 14, 1954[3] Julius Heil 713[note 8]
Walter Goodland
Oscar Rennebohm
Walter Kohler, Jr.
vacant December 14, 1954 December 16, 1954 Walter Kohler, Jr. 13[note 9]
25 Louis Allis Republican December 16, 1954[3] January 3, 1955 Walter Kohler, Jr. 13[note 10]
26 Glenn M. Wise Republican January 3, 1955[3] January 7, 1957 Walter Kohler, Jr. 1[note 11]
27 Robert C. Zimmerman Republican January 7, 1957[15] January 6, 1975 Vernon Thomson 8[note 12]
Gaylord Nelson
John Reynolds
Warren Knowles
Patrick Lucey
28 Douglas J. La Follette Democratic January 6, 1975[16] January 3, 1979 Patrick Lucey 1
Martin Schreiber
29 Vel R. Phillips Democratic January 3, 1979[17] January 3, 1983 Lee Dreyfus 1
30 Douglas J. La Follette Democratic January 3, 1983[18] incumbent Anthony Earl 8[note 13]
Tommy Thompson
Scott McCallum
Jim Doyle
Scott Walker

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Wisconsin has had 28 secretaries of state. Two served non-consecutive terms, and are thus counted twice in this table. Theodore Dammann changed his party and is therefore counted twice also.
  2. ^ When there is no evidence to the contrary, it is assumed that territorial secretaries left office the same day their successors were appointed.
  3. ^ Wisconsin became a state on May 29, 1848; however, portions of the territory which are now part of Minnesota were not included in the state; some were of the opinion that this area continued to be Wisconsin Territory. Henry Dodge took his seat as a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin on June 23, 1848, thus precluding the possibility that he continued to be the Territorial Governor. John Catlin therefore declared that, as Secretary, he was the acting governor of Wisconsin Territory, an office he exercised until the organization of Minnesota Territory on March 3, 1849.[10]
  4. ^ When there is no evidence to the contrary, it is assumed that secretaries of state left office the same day their successors were sworn in.
  5. ^ The fractional terms of some secretaries of state are not to be understood absolutely literally; rather, they are meant to show single terms during which multiple secretaries served due to death.
  6. ^ Earlier editions of the Wisconsin Blue Books refer to the sixth secretary of state as "Louis P. Harvey"[11] and make it clear that he and "Louis Powell Harvey", the seventh governor of the state, are the same man.[12] More recent editions, however, refer to the seventh governor as "Louis Powell Harvey" and the sixth secretary of state as "Lewis P. Harvey".[3]
  7. ^ During Timme's first term, the Wisconsin Constitution was amended to say that all elections of state and county officers would henceforth take place in even-numbered years. By the provisions of the amendment, the terms of all officials who would have left office in 1884, including Timme, were extended by one year.
  8. ^ Died in office.
  9. ^ Vacant due to death of secretary of state.
  10. ^ Appointed to fill vacancy.
  11. ^ Before his death, Fred Zimmerman was elected to a ninth term as secretary of state, to last from 1955 until 1957. Wise was appointed to fill this term.[3]
  12. ^ As per a 1967 amendment to the Wisconsin Constitution, Zimmerman's eighth term, beginning in 1971, was the first to last for 4 years
  13. ^ Secretary La Follette's eighth term expires on January 5, 2015.

Other high offices held[edit]

This is a table of governorships, lieutenant governorships, congressional seats, and ranking diplomatic positions in foreign countries held by former Wisconsin secretaries of state.

Name Term Other offices held
William Barstow 1850–1852 Governor of Wisconsin[3]
Louis Harvey 1860–1862 Governor of Wisconsin[3]
James Lewis 1862–1864 Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin; Governor of Wisconsin[3]
Lucius Fairchild 1864–1866 Governor of Wisconsin;[3] Minister to Spain[19]
James Frear 1907–1913 Representative from Wisconsin[20]
Merlin Hull 1917–1921 Representative from Wisconsin[21]
Fred Zimmerman 1923–1927
1939–1954
Governor of Wisconsin[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Barish, Lawrence S. (ed.) (2007). "Chapter 6: Executive Branch". State of Wisconsin Blue Book 2007–2008 (PDF). Madison, Wisconsin: Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. pp. 508–509. ISBN 978-0-9752820-2-1. Retrieved 2008-05-10. 
  2. ^ a b c d Barish, Lawrence S. (ed.) (2007). "Chapter 3: Wisconsin Constitution (Article V)". State of Wisconsin Blue Book 2007–2008 (PDF). Madison, Wisconsin: Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. p. 214. ISBN 978-0-9752820-2-1. Retrieved 2008-05-11. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Barish, Lawrence S. (ed.) (2007). "Chapter 8: Statistical Information on Wisconsin". State of Wisconsin Blue Book 2007–2008 (PDF). Madison, Wisconsin: Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. pp. 720–723. ISBN 978-0-9752820-2-1. Retrieved 2008-02-29. 
  4. ^ "Vel Phillips". Topics in Wisconsin History. Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved 2010-04-20. "During the absence of both the governor and lieutenant governor, [Secretary of State] Phillips served as acting governor, though only briefly...." 
  5. ^ Barish, Lawrence S. (ed.) (2007). "Chapter 3: Wisconsin Constitution (Article XIII)". State of Wisconsin Blue Book 2007–2008 (PDF). Madison, Wisconsin: Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. pp. 234–235. ISBN 978-0-9752820-2-1. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  6. ^ a b Barish, Lawrence S. (ed.) (2007). "Chapter 8: Statistical Information on Wisconsin". State of Wisconsin Blue Book 2007–2008 (PDF). Madison, Wisconsin: Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. p. 692–693. ISBN 978-0-9752820-2-1. Retrieved 2010-04-20. 
  7. ^ Tuttle, Charles Richard (1875). An Illustrated History of the State of Wisconsin. Boston, Massachusetts: B. B. Russell. p. 189. Retrieved 2008-02-24. 
  8. ^ Manual for the use of the assembly, of the state of Wisconsin, for the year 1853. Madison, Wisconsin: Brown and Carpenter, Printers. 1853. p. 118. Retrieved 2008-02-24. 
  9. ^ The History of Racine and Kenosha Counties, Wisconsin. Racine County, Wisconsin: Western Historical Company. 1879. pp. 42–52. Retrieved 2008-02-24. 
  10. ^ The History of Racine and Kenosha Counties, Wisconsin. Racine County, Wisconsin: Western Historical Company. 1879. pp. 55–56. Retrieved 2008-02-24. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x Anderson, William J.; William A. Anderson (ed.) (1929). The Wisconsin blue book, 1929. Madison, Wisconsin: Democrat Printing Company. p. 144. Retrieved 2008-03-01. 
  12. ^ Toepel, M. G.; Hazel L. Kuehn (eds.) (1960). "Wisconsin's former governors, 1848–1949". The Wisconsin Blue Book, 1960. Madison, Wisconsin: The Wisconsin Legislative Reference Library. p. 97. Retrieved 2008-03-07. 
  13. ^ "LA FOLLETTE BEGINS ANOTHER TERM" (PDF). The Oshkosh Northwestern. January 7, 1935. p. 1. Retrieved 2008-03-01. 
  14. ^ "Heil Becomes Wisconsin Governor" (PDF). The La Crosse Tribune and Leader-Press. January 2, 1939. p. 1. Retrieved 2008-03-01. 
  15. ^ "Badger Governor Takes His Oath Of Office Today" (PDF). Ironwood Daily Globe. January 7, 1957. p. 10. Retrieved 2008-03-06. 
  16. ^ Christofferson, W. L (January 6, 1975). "Inaugurations Today" (PDF). Wisconsin State Journal. p. 4. Retrieved 2008-03-06. 
  17. ^ "Inaugural Caps Dreyfus Miracle" (PDF). Ironwood Daily Globe (Ironwood, Michigan). January 4, 1979. p. 3. Retrieved 2008-03-06. 
  18. ^ "Earl discusses financial crunch" (PDF). Ironwood Daily Globe (Ironwood, Michigan). January 4, 1983. p. 11. Retrieved 2010-04-21. 
  19. ^ "Wisconsin Governor Lucius Fairchild". Governors Database. National Governors Assiociation. 2004. Retrieved 2008-08-28. 
  20. ^ "FREAR, James Archibald". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 2008-08-28. 
  21. ^ "HULL, Merlin". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 2008-08-28.