Stephen Wallace Dorsey

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Stephen Wallace Dorsey
Stephen dorsey.jpg
United States Senator
from Arkansas
In office
March 4, 1873 – March 3, 1879
Preceded by Benjamin F. Rice
Succeeded by James D. Walker
Personal details
Born (1842-02-28)February 28, 1842
Benson, Vermont
Died March 20, 1916(1916-03-20) (aged 74)
Los Angeles, California
Political party Republican

Stephen Wallace Dorsey (February 28, 1842 – March 20, 1916) was a Senator from Arkansas.

He was born in Benson, Rutland County, Vermont, February 28, 1842 and moved to Ohio and settled in Oberlin. He attended the public schools. During the Civil War served in the Union Army. After the war he returned to Ohio and settled in Sandusky where he was employed by the Sandusky Tool Co. and subsequently became its president. He was elected president of the Arkansas Railway Co. and moved to Arkansas and settled in Helena.

He was elected as a Republican to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1873, to March 3, 1879. He did not run for reelection. He was a chairman of the Committee on District of Columbia (Forty-fifth Congress). In 1876, he was made a member of the Republican National Committee. In 1880, when the Republicans nominated James G. Garfield for president and Chester A. Arthur for vice president, Dorsey became the Secretary of the Republican National Committee. His reputation was tarnished, though, by the Star route scandal, in which Dorsey and his partners were accused of defrauding the government out of $412,000. Dorsey was defended by noted criminal law attorney Robert G. Ingersoll. Though he was eventually found not guilty, the cost of his defense and the damage to his reputation all but destroyed Dorsey’s political and financial ambitions.[1]

After Dorsey, no other Republican served as senior Senator from Arkansas until Tim Hutchinson in 1999, upon David Pryor's retirement. No other Republican served in the class 3 Senate seat from Arkansas that Dorsey held until John Boozman in 2011.

He engaged in cattle raising and mining in New Mexico and Colorado and subsequently moved to Los Angeles, California, where he resided until his death on March 20, 1916. He was interred in Fairmount Cemetery in Denver, Colorado. Clayton, the seat of Union County, New Mexico is named for a son of Senator Dorsey.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1]
United States Senate
Preceded by
Benjamin F. Rice
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from Arkansas
Served alongside: Powell Clayton, Augustus H. Garland
Succeeded by
James D. Walker