James B. Cross

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
James B. Cross
9th Mayor of Milwaukee
In office
April 1855 – April 1858
Preceded byByron Kilbourn
Succeeded byWilliam A. Prentiss
Member of the Wisconsin State Assembly
from the Milwaukee 1st district
In office
January 10, 1855 – January 9, 1856
Preceded byJohn Crawford
Succeeded byJoshua Stark
In office
January 10, 1849 – January 8, 1851
Preceded byEdward Wunderly
Succeeded byWilliam K. Wilson
Personal details
James B. Cross

(1819-12-17)December 17, 1819
Phelps, New York, U.S.
DiedFebruary 3, 1876(1876-02-03) (aged 56)
Resting placeForest Home Cemetery
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Eunice G. Osborn
Professionlawyer, politician

James B. Cross (December 17, 1819 – February 3, 1876) was an American lawyer and Wisconsin politician. He was a member of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.[1]

Background and public office[edit]

Cross was born in Phelps, New York, in 1819. In 1841, he moved to Milwaukee to practice law.[2] Cross served as probate judge in 1848. He then served three terms as a member of the Wisconsin Assembly in 1849, 1850 and 1855, representing Milwaukee County's First Assembly district.[3]

Cross served for three terms as mayor of Milwaukee from 1855 to 1857. The Milwaukee Police Department came into being while Cross was mayor. Before this time, the Milwaukee County Sheriff and his deputy maintained law and order.[4] He was a Wisconsin delegate at the Democratic National Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio on June 2, 1856.[5]

Run for governor[edit]

Cross ran as the Democratic nominee for Governor of Wisconsin in 1857, but he was accused of financial maladministration during his terms as mayor; and his political association with former Governor (and fellow Democrat) William A. Barstow hindered his gubernatorial campaign. He lost to Republican Alexander Randall in a close vote, 44,239 to 44,693.[6]

Life outside public office[edit]

Outside of the political sphere, Cross ran the Juneau National Bank from 1857 to 1862 and then worked in the liquor business from 1867 to 1876.[6] Cross also worked at the post office, rising to head clerk by the time of his death.


  1. ^ 'Proceedings of the State Bar Association of Wisconsin,' State Bar Association of Wisconsin: 1905, Biographical Sketch of John B. Cross, pg. 223
  2. ^ Wisconsin Historical Society.Dictionary of Wisconsin History.
  3. ^ "Members of the Wisconsin Legislature 1848–1999 State of Wisconsin Legislative Bureau. Information Bulletin 99-1, September 1999. p. 42 Archived 2006-12-09 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "History of The Milwaukee Police Department" Milwaukee Police Department. Accessed July 17, 2006.
  5. ^ Official Proceedings of the National Democratic Convention held in Cincinnati, June 2–6, 1856. Cincinnati: Enquirer Company Stream Printing, 1856. https://archive.org/stream/officialreportp00greagoog
  6. ^ a b Dictionary of Wisconsin History

This article incorporates text from the 1909 edition of Memoirs of Milwaukee County, by Jerome Anthony Watrous which is in the public domain in the United States.

Political offices
Preceded by
Byron Kilbourn
Mayor of Milwaukee
1855 – 1858
Succeeded by
William A. Prentiss
Party political offices
Preceded by
William A. Barstow
Democratic nominee for Governor of Wisconsin
Succeeded by
Harrison Carroll Hobart