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Dictionary of Wisconsin History

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Term: Upham, Don Alonzo Joshua 1809 - 1877

Definition: lawyer, politician, b. Weathersfield, Vt. He graduated from Union College, Schenectady, N.Y. (B.A., 1831). He taught mathematics for a time at Delaware College, Newark, Del., studied law, and edited various local newspapers. In 1835 he was admitted to the bar in Baltimore, Md., and in 1837 moved to Wisconsin, settling in Milwaukee, where he soon built a large law practice. A Democrat, Upham was a member of the upper house of the territorial legislature (1840-1842), held local offices in Milwaukee County, and was president of the first state constitutional convention (1846). In 1849 he was elected mayor of Milwaukee and, although his term was punctuated with disturbances growing out of the temperance movement, was re-elected in 1850. In 1851 he was the unsuccessful Democratic candidate for governor, and in 1858 accepted President James Buchanan's appointment as U.S. district attorney for Wisconsin, serving in this capacity until 1861. Upham retired from public and professional life because of failing health about 1863, but continued to reside in Milwaukee until his death. J. G. Gregory, Hist. of Milwaukee (4 vols., Chicago, 1931); E. B. Usher, Wis. (8 vols., Chicago, 1914); J. R. Berryman, ed., Bench and Bar of Wis. (2 vols., Chicago, 1898); M. M. Quaife, ed., Convention of 1846 (Madison, 1919); WPA MS.

[Source: Dictionary of Wisconsin biography]
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