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Dictionary of Wisconsin History

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Term: Von Cotzhausen, Frederick William 1838 - 1924


lawyer, politician, b. near Aachen, Prussia. He was educated at schools in Moers and Cologne. In 1856 he migrated to the U.S. and Milwaukee, was admitted to the bar (1859), and built a large and successful law practice. In 1870 he became general counsel for a projected railroad (known later as the Lake Shore Lines and eventually part of the Chicago and North Western). A Democrat, he served in the state senate (1873-1874) where he obtained a modification of the Graham liquor law and, as chairman of the joint committee on railroad tariff and taxation, unsuccessfully fought the license system and other railroad privileges. After 1874 he rejected offers for nomination to other political offices, but remained active in party work and wielded a strong influence. In 1902 he threw his support behind Robert M. La Follette, Sr. (q.v.). In his later years he wrote several works on Wisconsin politics. F. W. von Cotzhausen, Historic Reminiscences . . . ([Milwaukee] 1906-1918); Milwaukee Sentinel, May 6-21, 1922, Dec. 11, 1924.

The Wisconsin Historical Society has manuscripts related to this topic. See the catalog description of the Frederick W. Von Cotzhausen Article for details.

[Source: Dictionary of Wisconsin biography]
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