Ozora P. Stearns

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Ozora Pierson Stearns
United States Senator
from Minnesota
In office
January 23, 1871 – March 4, 1871
Preceded byWilliam Windom
Succeeded byWilliam Windom
Mayor of Rochester, Minnesota
In office
Preceded byJ. V. Daniels
Succeeded byDaniel Heaney
Personal details
Born(1831-01-15)January 15, 1831
De Kalb, New York
DiedJune 2, 1896(1896-06-02) (aged 65)
Pacific Beach, California
Political partyRepublican
Alma materOberlin College
University of Michigan
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/serviceUnited States Union Army
RankUnion Army colonel rank insignia.png Colonel
Battles/warsAmerican Civil War

Ozora Pierson Stearns (January 15, 1831 – June 2, 1896) was an American politician.

Early years[edit]

Stearns was born January 15, 1831, in De Kalb, New York. He was the tenth of eleven children. In 1833, the Stearns family moved to Madison, Ohio.[1]


Stearn attended Oberlin College, graduated from the University of Michigan in 1858, and from the law department of that university in 1860.[2] He was admitted to the bar in 1860 and commenced practice in Rochester, Minnesota.[1]


Stearns was elected prosecuting attorney of Olmsted County, Minnesota in 1861, formed a law partnership with Charles M. Start in 1863, and served as mayor of Rochester from 1866 to 1868.[1]

He served in the Union Army during the Civil War as a first lieutenant in the 9th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment and later as colonel of the 39th United States Colored Infantry. He led the latter regiment at the Battle of the Crater on July 30, 1864.[3]

Stearns was elected as a Republican to the United States Senate from Minnesota on January 18, 1871, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Daniel S. Norton. He served in the 41st Congress from January 23, 1871 to March 4, 1871.[4]

In 1872, Stearns moved to Duluth and formed a law partnership with J. D. Ensign (future mayor of Duluth). Governor Cushman Kellogg Davis appointed Stearns as a judge of the eleventh judicial district of Minnesota in 1874. He was re-elected three times, serving until 1895. According to Stearns, when he began as a judge, "there was not a court-house in the district. We held court where we could— in churches, in stores, school-houses, and sometimes in places not quite so respected."[1]

Stearns also served as a regent of the University of Minnesota (1890–1895), president and treasurer of the Lakeside Land company, director in the West Duluth Land company, the Duluth Electric Light and Power company, the Masonic Temple association, the Duluth Building and Loan association and the Duluth Union National bank.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Stearns married Sarah Burger Stearns, the first president of the Minnesota Woman Suffrage Association. In 1891, he suffered a stroke, and they moved to California in 1894 because of his failing health.[5][1] He died in Pacific Beach, California on June 2, 1896. His remains were cremated in Los Angeles, California and the ashes interred in Forest Hill Cemetery, Duluth, Minnesota.


  1. ^ a b c d e f Butterfield, Consul Willshire (March 1889). "Bench and Bar of Duluth" (PDF). The National magazine. Retrieved April 6, 2019. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help) Alternate link at [1].
  2. ^ "Ozora Pierson Stearns". www.law.umich.edu. Retrieved April 6, 2019.
  3. ^ "STEARNS, Ozora Pierson - Biographical Information". bioguide.congress.gov. Retrieved April 6, 2019.
  4. ^ "States in the Senate - Minnesota's United States Senators". www.senate.gov. Retrieved April 6, 2019.
  5. ^ Stuhler, Barbara (1995). "Organizing for the vote. Leaders of Minnesota's Woman Suffrage Movement" (PDF). collections.MNhs.org. Retrieved September 11, 2017.

External links[edit]

U.S. Senate
Preceded by
William Windom
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Minnesota
Served alongside: Alexander Ramsey
Succeeded by
William Windom
Political offices
Preceded by
Mayor of Rochester, Minnesota
Succeeded by