Harrison Ludington

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Harrison Ludington
Harrison Ludington.jpg
Harrison Ludington
13th Governor of Wisconsin
In office
January 3, 1876 – January 7, 1878
Preceded by William Robert Taylor
Succeeded by William E. Smith
20th Mayor of Milwaukee
In office
1871–1872
Preceded by Joseph Phillips
Succeeded by David G. Hecker
22nd Mayor of Milwaukee
In office
1873–1876
Preceded by David G. Hecker
Succeeded by Ammi R. Butler
Personal details
Born (1812-07-07)July 7, 1812
Kent, New York
Died May 6, 1891(1891-05-06) (aged 78)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) E. Macy Tobey
Profession businessman, politician

Harrison Ludington (July 31, 1812 – June 17, 1891) was an American Republican politician who served as the 13th Governor of Wisconsin and a mayor of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.[1]

Ancestry[edit]

Harrison Ludington descended from William Ludington, one of the earliest American colonists, who settled at Charlestown, Mass., 1632, and died at the East Haven Iron Works, Connecticut. 1662-3[2] His grandfather was Colonel Henry Ludington (May 25, 1739 Branford, New Haven, CT – Jan 24, 1817 Patterson, Putnam. NY),[3] a commanding officer of the volunteer 7th Regiment of the Dutchess County Militia, during the American Revolutionary War. Henry Ludington later became an aide to General George Washington. Henry's daughter, Sybil Ludington (1761–1839), was famous for risking her life when she was 16 years old to warn the American militia that British troops were burning Danbury, Connecticut.[4]

Biography[edit]

Ludington was born in Kent, Dutchess County, New York. Son of Frederick and Susannah (Griffeth) Ludington. Harrison received common (district) school education.[5] He moved to Milwaukee in 1838. At the age of 24 he became a joint owner of a merchandising business with his uncle, Lewis Ludington. This general merchandising business was conducted out of Solomon Juneau's warehouse between years 1839–1851.[6] In 1851 he became involved in lumber business, operating in the northeastern part of the state. He was a member of the firm of Ludington, Wells (Daniel Wells, Jr.) and Van Schaick (Anthony G. Van Schaick). Ludington became an active developer in Milwaukee, where he began his political career. He served two terms as a Milwaukee alderman, three terms as Milwaukee's mayor, a position that he resigned from to serve as Wisconsin's governor. He defeated his predecessor William R. Taylor, Democrat, in November, 1875.[7] Ludington served as a governor of Wisconsin from 1876 to 1878.[8] He married twice, his first wife was Frances White, married on March 25, 1838 in Louisville, KY. His second wife was a widow Eve Mary Tobey, they married on June 7, 1875.[9] He had a total of six children. Harrison Ludington is buried at Forest Home Cemetery in Milwaukee.

Governor[edit]

In a capacity of a governor, Harrison Ludington facilitated promotion of commercial activity. He also undid changes made in the financial sector made by his predecessor. He stood against state regulation of railroads. Under his administration the infamous Potter law was repealed, which was supposed to drastically increase government intervention in the business of railroad industry. He also achieved replacement of the railroad commission, made up of three members with powers of establishing rates for the railroads, by a single commissioner, that lacked such authority.[10] Ludington declined renomination for the position of a governor in 1879 due to pressure from younger members of the Republican party.[11]

Retirement[edit]

Following his decision not to pursue renomination for governorship, Ludington resigned from public affairs and devoted himself to conducting business. German-American artist Conrad W. Heyd painted his portrait in this period of his life.[12]

Notes[edit]

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Joseph Phillips
Mayor of Milwaukee
1871–1872
Succeeded by
David G. Hecker
Preceded by
David G. Hecker
Mayor of Milwaukee
1873–1876
Succeeded by
Ammi R. Butler
Preceded by
William R. Taylor
Governor of Wisconsin
1876–1878
Succeeded by
William E. Smith