Ludington, Harrison 1812 - 1891 | Wisconsin Historical Society

Historical Essay

Ludington, Harrison 1812 - 1891

Ludington, Harrison 1812 - 1891 | Wisconsin Historical Society

merchant, lumberman, governor, b. Ludingtonville, N.Y. He received a district school education. In 1838 he moved to Milwaukee with his uncle, Lewis Ludington. There, in partnership with Lewis Ludington and Harvey Birchard, and later with his younger brother, Nelson Ludington (q.v.), he conducted a general merchandising business (1839-1851) in Solomon Juneau's (q.v.) warehouse, which came to be known as the "Old Corner Store." Withdrawing from that enterprise in 1851, he turned his attention to the lumber industry, forming a partnership with Daniel Wells, Jr. (q.v.), of Milwaukee and Anthony G. Van Schaick of Chicago. During the next 40 years this firm became one of the leading producers of lumber in the Northwest, with large mills at Menominee, Mich., and elsewhere, and with extensive tracts of timber lands in Michigan, Louisiana, and Texas. A Republican, he was Milwaukee alderman, (1861, 1862) and mayor of Milwaukee from Apr., 1871, to Apr., 1872, and again from Apr., 1873, to Jan., 1876, when he resigned to become governor of Wisconsin, having defeated William R. Taylor, Democrat, in Nov., 1875. He held office from Jan. 3, 1876, to Jan. 7, 1878. Well disposed toward the railroads, his administration saw the repeal of the Potter law, notwithstanding its approval by the United States Supreme Court and the supreme court of Wisconsin, and the replacement of the railroad commission of three members by a commissioner, who had no power to determine rates. Declining renomination, he retired from public life at the end of his single term and devoted himself to his business affairs. Natl. Cyclopaedia Amer. Biog., 12 (1904); U.S. Biog. Dict.... Wis. (Chicago, 1877); J. A. Watrous, Memoirs of Milwaukee Co. (2 vols., Madison, 1909); Proc. State Hist. Soc. Wis., 1 892 (1893); Wis. Legis. Manual (1876); Milwaukee Evening Wis., June 18, 1891; Milwaukee Sentinel, June 18, 1891; WPA MS.

The Wisconsin Historical Society has manuscripts related to this topic. See the catalog description of the Harrison Ludington Papers for details.

View newspaper clippings at Wisconsin Local History and Biography Articles.

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[Source: Dictionary of Wisconsin biography]