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Search Results for: Keyword: 'la follette'

Term: Sawyer, Philetus 1816 - 1900

Definition:

lumberman, politician, Congressman, U.S. Senator, b. Rutland County, Vt. He moved with his parents to Essex County, N.Y. (1817), where he attended rural schools, worked as a woodsman and sawmill hand, and for a time operated a lumbermill. In 1847 he moved to Wisconsin, farming for two years in Rosendale township, and in 1849 settled in Algoma (soon incorporated as the city of Oshkosh), where he entered the lumber business. With the increasing demand for lumber, Oshkosh (known for a time as the "Sawdust City") and her sister cities on the Lake Winnebago-Fox River waterway soon became the center of early lumbermilling and commerce. Under these conditions, Sawyer amassed a fortune, which during the Civil War became even larger as his industry evolved from the sawmill and rough-hewn lumber stage to planing mill and finished woodwork. As president of the Sawyer Goodman Co. after 1880, Sawyer also directed a widespread lumber business, with yards in Chicago and pinelands and mills in the Menominee Valley. He was a successful speculator in Wolf and Chippewa valley timberlands, and had heavy investments in Wisconsin banking and railroad enterprises. A large portion of Sawyer's fortune was utilized to foster his political ambitions. Originally a Free Soil Democrat, Sawyer soon joined the Republican party. He was state assemblyman (1857, 1861), mayor of Oshkosh, and in 1864 was elected to Congress, was three times re-elected, and served from Mar., 1865, to Mar., 1875. Sawyer was not a candidate for renomination to Congress in 1874, but in 1881 was chosen as U.S. Senator by the Wisconsin legislature, was re-elected by the legislature in 1887, and served from Mar., 1881, to Mar., 1893. Known as a Stalwart or conservative Republican, Sawyer was for a time one of the most important politicians in the state and nation. In Congress he gained a reputation as being the "foremost logroller" of his time through his handling of river and harbor appropriation bills, and in the Senate became a champion of railroad and lumber interests. With John C. Spooner (q.v.) and Henry C. Payne (q.v.), Sawyer was one of a "triumvirate" that virtually dominated the Republican party in Wisconsin during the 1880's and 1890's. In 1891 as bondsman for two of the defendants in the Wisconsin treasury cases, Sawyer offered money to Robert M. La Follette, Sr. (q.v.), brother-in-law of the judge scheduled to try the cases; La Follette denounced the offer as an intended bribe, while Sawyer maintained that his offer had been made only in the hope of obtaining La Follette's legal services. On this issue the state Republican party split, and, after leaving the Senate in 1893, Sawyer spent his last years fighting the ensuing revolt of the La Follette, or Progressive, faction of the Republican party which gained control shortly after his death. Known as the "grand old man" of Oshkosh, Sawyer performed various local philanthropic acts, many of them anonymous, and was a trustee and generous benefactor of Lawrence College. Dict. Amer. Biog; Biog. Dir. Amer. Cong. (1928); R. N. Current, Pine Logs and Politics (Madison, 1950).

The Wisconsin Historical Society has manuscripts related to this topic. See the catalog description of the Philetus Sawyer Miscellany for details.

[Source: Dictionary of Wisconsin biography]

92 records found

Armstrong Creek, Town of, Forest Co.
Babcock, Joseph Weeks 1850 - 1909
Baensch, Emil 1857 - 1939
Baker, Ray Stannard [David Grayson] 1870 - 1946
Bancroft, Levi Horace 1861 - 1948
Barton, Albert Olaus 1870 - 1947
Beck, Joseph David 1866 - 1936
Berceau, Terese 1950
Blaine, John James 1873 - 1934
Bolens, Harry Wilbur 1864 - 1944
Bosshard, Otto 1876 - 1943
Brown [Willis], Olympia 1835 - 1926
Bryant, George Edwin 1832 - 1907
Capitol fire (1904)
Carpenter, Tim
Chvala, Chuck 1954
Chynoweth, Herbert William 1848 - 1906
Commons, John Rogers 1862 - 1945
Connor, William Duncan 1864 - 1944
conservation movement
Cook, Samuel Andrew 1849 - 1918
Crownhart, Charles Henry 1863 - 1930
Damann, Theodore 1869 - 1946
Davidson, James O. 1854 - 1922
Duff, Marc C. 1961
Ekern, Herman Lewis 1872 - 1954
Frank, Glenn 1887 - 1940
Frear, James Archibald 1861 - 1939
Gale, Zona 1874 - 1938
Ganfield, William Arthur 1873 - 1940
Gelatt, Roland Bernard 1856 - 1917
governors
Haight, Theron Wilber 1840 - 1913
Handley, John Joseph 1876 - 1941
Hannan, John Joseph 1866 - 1946
Hatton, William H. 1856 - 1937
Haugen, Nils Pederson 1849 - 1931
Heil, Julius Peter 1876 - 1949
Hoard, William Dempster 1836 - 1918
Holmes, Frederick Lionel 1883 - 1946
Hough, Maxine 1961
Houser, Walter L. 1855 - 1928
Huber, Henry Allen 1869 - 1933
Hull, Merlin 1870 - 1953
James, Ada Lois 1876 - 1952
Kading, Charles August 1874 - 1956
Kohler, Walter Jodok 1875 - 1940
Kronshage, Theodore Jr. 1869 - 1934
Krumrey, Henry 1852 - 1922
La Follette, Belle Case, 1859-1931
La Follette, Bronson C. 1936
La Follette, Douglas J.
La Follette, Philip Fox, 1897-1965
La Follette, Robert Marion Sr. (1855-1925)(Histori
La Follette, Robert Marion Sr. 1855 - 1925
La Follette, Robert Marion, Jr., 1895 - 1953
La Follette, Town of, Burnett Co.
La Follette, Town of, Forest Co.
Lafollette
Lassa, Julie M. 1970
Lenroot, Irvine Luther 1869 - 1949
Levitan, Solomon 1862 - 1940
Mccarthy, Charles 1873 - 1921
Mcgovern, Francis Edward 1866 - 1946
Myrick, Harry Pierce 1857 - 1916
Odell, Emery Alvin 1871 - 1953
Olbrich, Michael Balthasar 1881 - 1929
Payne, Henry Clay 1843 - 1904
Pettis, Mark L. 1950
Pfister, Charles [Frederick] 1859 - 1927
Philipp, Emanuel Lorenz 1861 - 1925
primary elections in Wisconsin
Progressive Movement
Sawyer, Philetus 1816 - 1900
Schilling, Robert 1843 - 1922
Schmedeman, Albert George 1864 - 1946
Scofield, Edward 1842 - 1925
Siebecker, Robert George 1854 - 1922
Sinicki, Christine 1960
Skindrud, Richard A. 1944
Spooner, John Coit 1843 - 1919
Stephenson, Isaac 1829 - 1918
Stevens, Edmond Ray 1869 - 1930
Teasdale, Howard (1855 - 1936)
timeline of Wisconsin history, 1900 -1999
Tittemore, James Nelson 1864 - 1949
Travis, David M. 1948
Von Cotzhausen, Frederick William 1838 - 1924
Whitehead, John Meek 1852 - 1924
Wilcox, Roy Porter 1873 - 1946
Wilder, Amos Parker 1862 - 1936
Youmans, Theodora Winton, 1863 - 1932

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