Peter V. Deuster

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Peter Victor Deuster
Peter Victor Deuster (Wisconsin Congressman).jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 4th district
In office
March 4, 1879 – March 3, 1885
Preceded by William P. Lynde
Succeeded by Isaac W. Van Schaick
Member of the Wisconsin State Senate
In office
Member of the Wisconsin State Assembly
In office
Personal details
Born February 13, 1831
Düren, Rhenish Prussia
Died December 31, 1904(1904-12-31) (aged 73)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Nationality Prussian
Political party Democratic
Occupation Newspaperman

Peter Victor Deuster (February 13, 1831 – December 31, 1904) was an American printer, newspaper editor and publisher, and politician from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Background and early business career[edit]

Born in Düren, Rhenish Prussia, Deuster immigrated to the United States with his parents, who settled on a farm near Milwaukee in May 1847. Deuster had pursued an academic course at a college in Düren, but left too young to graduate.

He completed his self-education in a printing office. He started a Milwaukee newspaper called the Hausfreund in 1852; it was later taken over by George Brumder's Germania Publishing. He moved to Port Washington, Wisconsin, in 1854 and edited a newspaper. He also served simultaneously as deputy postmaster, deputy clerk of the circuit court, clerk of the land office, and notary public.

He returned to Milwaukee in 1856 and edited the Milwaukee See-Bote (later Seebote), a German language Democratic daily paper, until 1860, when he became proprietor.

In the Assembly and out[edit]

He served as a Democratic member of the Wisconsin State Assembly in 1863, succeeding fellow Democrat J. M. Stowell,[1] and was succeeded in 1864 by J.C.U. Niedermann, elected on the National Union Party ticket.

In 1870 he purchased the Chicago Daily Union.

He was elected to the Wisconsin State Senate's Sixth District (the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 8th Wards of the City of Milwaukee, and the Towns of Franklin, Greenfield, Lake, Oak Creek and Wauwatosa) in 1870, with 2178 votes to 1704 for incumbent Charles H. Larkin, a War Democrat who chose to run as an independent.[2] He was not a candidate for re-election in 1872, and was succeeded by fellow Democrat John L. Mitchell.


Deuster was narrowly elected in 1878 as a Democrat to the Forty-sixth Congress to succeed retiring Democratic incumbent William Pitt Lynde in Wisconsin's 4th congressional district (Milwaukee, Ozaukee and Washington counties) with 11,157 votes to 11,022 for Republican former Assemblyman Leander Frisby and 1,351 for Greenbacker and former National Union Assemblyman Truman H. Judd[3] He served as chairman of the Committee on Expenditures on Public Buildings.

He was re-elected to the Forty-seventh Congress (17.574 votes to 15,018 for Republican former Assemblyman Casper Sanger) and Forty-eighth Congress (9,688 votes to 8,320 for Republican former Assemblyman Frederick Winkler and 1,922 for former Republican Assemblyman George B. Goodwin, "trades' assembly" candidate). He was unsuccessful in seeking reelection in 1884 to the Forty-ninth Congress, losing to Isaac W. Van Schaick: with 15,967 votes; to 16,783 for Van Schaick; 1,296 for the Union Labor candidate, Alderman and former Socialist Assemblyman Henry Smith; and 226 for C. E. Reed.

After Congress[edit]

He again resumed his newspaper interests, publishing the Seebote and a German language weekly titled Telephone. He was appointed chairman of a commission to diminish the Umatilla Indian reservation in Oregon in 1887. He was appointed consul at Krefeld, Germany, February 19, 1896, and served until a successor was appointed October 15, 1897. In 1898, he was the Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin, losing in a six-way race to Republican Jesse Stone with 180,038 votes, to 126,206 votes for Deuster; 8,267 votes for Populist Spencer Palmer: 7.846 votes for Prohibitionist Willis W. Cooper; 2,535 votes for Social Democratic Party of America candidate Edward P. Hassinger; and 1,543 votes for Herman C. Gauger of the Socialist Labor Party.

He died in Milwaukee December 31, 1904, and was interred in Calvary Cemetery.

There is no source to indicate that he was related to Joseph Deuster, although both were born in Düren kreis, moved to Milwaukee, and became active Democratic Party politicians and legislators.


  1. ^ Dean, John S.; Stewart, Frank M., eds. Legislative Manual of the State of Wisconsin 2nd ed. Madison: Atwood and Rublee, State Printers, 1863, pp. 88, 92, 129.
  2. ^ The Legislative Manual of the State of Wisconsin 9th ed. Madison: Atwood and Rublee, State Printers, 1870, p. 351.
  3. ^ Warner, Hans B., eds. The Blue Book of the State of Wisconsin 1880 Madison, 1880, p. 320.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
William Pitt Lynde
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 4th congressional district

March 4, 1879 – March 3, 1885
Succeeded by
Isaac W. Van Schaick