Harrison Ludington

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Harrison Ludington
Harrison Ludington.jpg
13th Governor of Wisconsin
In office
January 3, 1876 – January 7, 1878
LieutenantCharles D. Parker
Preceded byWilliam Robert Taylor
Succeeded byWilliam E. Smith
20th Mayor of Milwaukee
In office
Preceded byJoseph Phillips
Succeeded byDavid G. Hecker
22nd Mayor of Milwaukee
In office
Preceded byDavid G. Hecker
Succeeded byAmmi R. Butler
Personal details
BornJuly 30, 1812
Kent, New York
DiedJune 17, 1891 (aged 78)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)E. Macy Tobey
Professionbusinessman, politician

Harrison Ludington (July 30, 1812 – June 17, 1891) was an American Republican politician who served as the 12th Governor of Wisconsin and a mayor of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.[1]


Harrison Ludington descended from William Ludington, an early American colonist, who settled at Charlestown, Mass. in 1632, and died at the East Haven Iron Works, Connecticut, in 1662 or 1663.[citation needed] His grandfather was Colonel Henry Ludington (May 25, 1739 Branford, New Haven, CT – January 24, 1817 Patterson, Putnam. NY),[citation needed] 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.[2]


Ludington was born in Kent, Dutchess County, New York. Son of Frederick and Susannah (Griffeth) Ludington. Harrison received common (district) school education.[citation needed] 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.[3] 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.[3] Ludington served as a governor of Wisconsin from 1876 to 1878.

He married twice, his first wife was Frances White, married on March 25, 1838 in Louisville, Kentucky. His second wife was a widow named Eve Mary Tobey; they married on June 7, 1875.[citation needed] He had six children.[citation needed]


In his capacity as governor, Harrison Ludington facilitated promotion of commercial activity. He also undid changes 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 railroad business. He also replaced the railroad commission, made up of three members with powers of establishing rates for the railroads, by a single commissioner who lacked such authority.[3] Ludington declined renomination for the position of governor in 1879 due to pressure from younger members of the Republican party.[4]


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.[3]

Ludington died on June 17, 1891 in Milwaukee and is interred in Forest Home Cemetery there.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ White 1904, p. 78.
  2. ^ "Sybil Ludington". www.historicpatterson.org.
  3. ^ a b c d "Online Museum Collections - Wisconsin Historical Society". www.wisconsinhistory.org.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 29, 2011. Retrieved November 4, 2010.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Historical People". Forest Home Cemetery. Retrieved May 16, 2014.


External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Joseph Phillips
Mayor of Milwaukee
Succeeded by
David G. Hooker
Preceded by
David G. Hooker
Mayor of Milwaukee
Succeeded by
Ammi R. Butler
Preceded by
William R. Taylor
Governor of Wisconsin
Succeeded by
William E. Smith