Ninian E. Whiteside

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Ninian E. Whiteside
9th Speaker of the California State Assembly
In office
January 1858 – January 1859
Preceded byElwood T. Beatty
Succeeded byWilliam C. Stratton
Member of the California State Assembly from the 15th district
In office
January 1858 – January 1859
1st Speaker of the Wisconsin State Assembly
In office
June 5, 1848 – January 1, 1849
Preceded byTimothy Burns
(Territorial Legislature)
Succeeded byHarrison Carroll Hobart
Member of the Wisconsin State Assembly
from the Lafayette 1st district
In office
June 5, 1848 – January 1, 1849
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byDaniel Morgan Parkinson
Member of the Council of the Wisconsin Territory from Iowa, Lafayette, and Richland counties
In office
October 18, 1847 – March 13, 1848
Preceded byPosition Established
Succeeded byPosition Abolished
Personal details
Born(1812-12-25)December 25, 1812
Illinois Territory
DiedSeptember 1, 1876(1876-09-01) (aged 63)
Marysville, California, U.S.
Resting placeMarysville Cemetery
Marysville, California
Political partyDemocratic
SpouseCaroline Ewing Vineyard
ChildrenBolin James
Ninian Edward
  • William Bolen Whiteside (father)
  • Elizabeth (Raine) Whiteside (mother)

Ninian Edward Whiteside (December 25, 1812 – September 1, 1876)[1] was an American Democratic politician, attorney, and pioneer who served as the 1st Speaker of the Wisconsin State Assembly and 9th Speaker of the California State Assembly. Whiteside is believed to be the only person to serve as the Speaker of the House in two separate state legislatures in the United States.[2]

Early life and career[edit]

Born in the Illinois Territory, Whiteside settled in the mining district in southern Wisconsin. Whiteside practiced law as a member of the Wisconsin Bar.

Legislative career[edit]

In 1846, Whiteside served in the first Wisconsin Constitutional Convention of 1846.[3] In 1847–1848, Whiteside served in the Wisconsin Territorial Council. In 1848, Whiteside was elected to the first Wisconsin State Assembly from Belmont, Wisconsin and was elected the first Speaker of the Wisconsin Assembly. He then went to California to take part in the California Gold Rush. In the same year, he was elected to the California State Assembly and was elected Speaker of the California State Assembly by a vote of 66–6. Whiteside was a delegate to the Breckinridge Convention in 1860.[4] Whiteside served in the State Assembly until an election defeat in 1863.[5]


While in the Wisconsin Legislature, Whiteside authored new laws regarding the renaming and restructuring of new villages and towns; renovations and repairs to the Wisconsin State Capitol; a new municipal water and well system for the capitol building;[6] local tax levy requirements;[7] establishment of the office of adjutant general of the militia of the State of Wisconsin;[8] and plaintiff liabilities.[9]

While in the California State Legislature, Whiteside authored new laws regarding incorporation of the Hornitos, California; restricting of herding of sheep to certain California county pastures; a new special tax levy for county jails; expansion of powers for the Board of Supervisors of the City and County of San Francisco and a funding bill for the City of Oakland, California.[10]


Whiteside continued to practice law as a member of the State Bar of California until his retirement.[11] He died in Marysville, California after an illness.[12][13]


  1. ^ Database
  2. ^ Collections of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin. The Society. 1919.
  3. ^ Davis, Winfield J. (1893). History of Political Conventions in California, 1849-1892. California State Library. p. 172. N.E. Whiteside California.
  4. ^ "Breckinridge Convention in Indiana". The New York Times. 1860-07-16. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-12-23.
  5. ^ "JoinCalifornia - 09-02-1863 Election". Retrieved 2018-12-23.
  6. ^ "1848 Wisconsin Assembly Appropriation". Retrieved 2018-12-23.
  7. ^ "Table 138. Tax revenues from the main local taxes as percentage of total tax revenues of local governments". doi:10.1787/103076070048. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  8. ^ "1848 Wisconsin Assembly Resolution". Retrieved 2018-12-23.
  9. ^ "August 21, 1848 Assembly Resolution". Retrieved 2018-12-23.
  10. ^ "Journal of Proceedings of the California Assembly, 1861" (PDF). State of California Assembly Clerk.
  11. ^ Shuck, Oscar Tully (2007). History of the Bench and Bar of California: Being Biographies of Many Remarkable Men, a Store of Humorus and Pathetic Recollections, Accounts of Important Legislation and Extraordinary Cases, Comprehending the Judicial History of the State. The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd. ISBN 9781584777069.
  12. ^ The Convention of 1846, Milo Milton Quaife: Wisconsin Historical Society: 1919, vol. 27, Biographical Sketch of Ninian Whiteside, vol 27, pg. 799
  13. ^ Ninian Whiteside

External links[edit]