Thomas R. Hudd

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Thomas R. Hudd
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 5th district
In office
March 8, 1886 – March 3, 1889
Preceded by Joseph Rankin
Succeeded by George H. Brickner
Personal details
Born (1835-10-01)October 1, 1835
Buffalo, New York
Died June 22, 1896(1896-06-22) (aged 60)
Green Bay, Wisconsin
Political party Democratic

Thomas Richard Hudd (October 1, 1835 – June 22, 1896) was an American lawyer from Wisconsin who represented that state for two terms in the United States House of Representatives, as well as serving in both houses of that state's legislature and holding other public offices.


Hudd was born in Buffalo, New York on October 1, 1835[1][2][3] to immigrants from England: his father Richard Hudd was a painter and decorator from Lacock, and his mother Mary née Harrison was from Barby.[3] After the drowning death of his father in 1841,[3] Hudd moved with his mother to Chicago, Illinois,[1] in 1842 and to Appleton, Wisconsin, in 1853. He attended the common schools and Lawrence University in Appleton. He worked as a "printer boy" in the office of the Appleton Crescent,[1] studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1856, and went into practice in Appleton.[1]

First public offices[edit]

He served as district attorney of Outagamie County in 1856 and 1857.[1] He was first elected to the Wisconsin State Senate in 1861 for a two-year term from the Wisconsin Senate, District 22 (Door, Oconto, Outagamie and Shawanaw [sic] counties) as a Democrat (Democratic incumbent Benjamin Ferguson was not a candidate). He was defeated for re-election in 1863 by Joseph Harris, who was a Republican/Union Party candidate. He was elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly's Outagamie County seat in 1867, succeeding fellow Democrat W. H. P. Bogan, but did not run for re-election, since he was leaving the county. The seat was taken by C. E. McIntosh, another Democrat.

Move to Green Bay[edit]

Hudd moved to Green Bay, Wisconsin in 1868 and continued the practice of law there. He served as city attorney of Green Bay in 1873 and 1874, and in 1874 was elected to the Assembly's First Brown County district (the City of Green Bay, and the Towns of Bellevue, Eaton, Green Bay, Humboldt, Preble and Scott) as a "Democratic Reform" candidate (the Reform Party was a short-lived coalition of Democrats, reform and Liberal Republicans, and Grangers formed in 1873 which secured the election of one Governor of Wisconsin[4] and a number of state legislators). Incumbent Morgan L. Martin, a former War Democrat turned independent who aligned himself with the Liberal Republicans in opposing the re-election of Ulysses S. Grant), was not a candidate. Hudd won 1,160 votes to 1,075 for Republican Hosmer Kellog Cowles.[5]

He was elected once more to the Senate, this time to the Second District (Brown, Door and Kewaunee counties) for the 1876-1877 term, as a "Democratic Reform" candidate, winning 4018 votes to 2036 for Republican George Grimmer. In 1877 he was re-elected as a Democrat (the Reform coalition having collapsed by then), with 1874 votes to 1593 for Republican Assemblyman William Fisk and 638 for Greenbacker B. F. Smith.[6] He was not a candidate for re-election in 1879, and was succeeded by Republican Speaker of the Assembly David M. Kelly.

Hudd served as a delegate to the 1880 Democratic National Convention, and was elected once more to the Senate in 1881, in a new Second District consisting solely of Brown County. Kelly was not a candidate, and Hudd took back the seat with 2152 votes to 1777 for Republican Assemblyman James Rasmussen. He was re-elected in 1884 for what was now a four-year term, with 3,585 votes to 3,087 for Republican Charles W. Day.

Congress and after[edit]

On February 23, 1886, Hudd was elected as a Democrat to the Forty-ninth Congress to fill the vacancy for Wisconsin's 5th congressional district caused by the death of Joseph Rankin; Charles Day succeeded him in the Senate seat they had contested. Hudd was reelected to the Fiftieth Congress and served from March 8, 1886, to March 3, 1889. He served as chairman of the Committee on Expenditures in the Department of the Interior (Fiftieth Congress).

He did not seek renomination in 1888, and resumed the practice of law. He died of a stroke in Green Bay on June 22, 1896,[1] and was interred in Woodlawn Cemetery.[7]


U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Joseph Rankin
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 5th congressional district

March 8, 1886 – March 3, 1889
Succeeded by
George H. Brickner