Robert McKee Bashford

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Robert McKee Bashford (December 31, 1845 – February 29, 1911) was an American politician and jurist from Wisconsin.

Born in Fayette, Wisconsin, Bashford graduated from University of Wisconsin in 1870 and from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1871. He later received his master's degree from the University in 1874. In 1871, Bashford along with two others purchased the Madison Democrat newspaper, where Bashford was editor until 1876. He then practiced law in Madison, Wisconsin and served as city attorney from 1881 to 1886. In 1886, he moved to Chicago, Illinois where he continued to practice law. While his firm was successful, he did not care for the work and moved back to Madison.

In 1890, Bashford became Mayor of Madison. During his tenure he assisted the state Attorney General to prosecute former State Treasurers of Wisconsin to get money taken from interest on the deposit of public funds they had collected. The state recovered nearly half a million dollars. From 1893 to 1897, he served in the Wisconsin State Senate. He resumed his law practice, including arguing before the United States Supreme Court in the 1905 case of United States v. Stinson, in which he successfully defended a land purchaser from the federal government's attempt to reclaim the land based on accusations of fraud.[1] In 1908, Bashford was appointed to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, but lost a special election six months later. He resumed his law practice and was on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin Law School.[2][3]

His former home, now known as the Robert M. Bashford House, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[4][5]