COVID-19 Updates: For the most up-to-date information on accessing our services learn more here.

Quarles, Joseph Very 1843 - 1911 | Wisconsin Historical Society

Historical Essay

Quarles, Joseph Very 1843 - 1911

Quarles, Joseph Very 1843 - 1911 | Wisconsin Historical Society

lawyer, politician, U.S. Senator, judge, b. Southport (now Kenosha). He entered the Univ. of Michigan, but left school in 1864 to serve as 1st lieutenant, Co. C, of the 39th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry (100-day volunteers). After being mustered out in 1864, he returned to college and graduated from the Univ. of Michigan (B.A., 1866; LL.B., 1867). Returning to Kenosha, he was admitted to the bar (1868), and set up a law practice. A Republican, he held local political offices, including those of district attorney of Kenosha County, mayor of Kenosha, state assemblyman (1879), and state senator (1880-1881). In 1882 he moved to Racine, and in 1889 to Milwaukee, where he built a large and successful law practice. A member of the Stalwart faction of the Republican party, Quarles was elected to the U.S. Senate by the state legislature in 1899, and served one term (Mar. 1899-Mar. 1905). In the Senate, Quarles was strongly opposed to bimetallism, and was a vigorous advocate of American overseas expansion. He was not a candidate for re-election in 1905, and on leaving the Senate was appointed by President Theodore Roosevelt as U.S. district judge for the eastern district of Wisconsin. He served in this capacity from 1905 until his death. Biog. Dir. Amer. Cong. (1928); F. L. Holmes, et al., eds., Wis. (5 vols., Chicago, 1946); Milwaukee Sentinel, Oct. 7, 1911; Milwaukee Free Press, Oct. 8, 1911.

The Wisconsin Historical Society has manuscripts related to this topic. See the catalog description of the Joseph V. Quarles Papers for details.

View newspaper clippings at Wisconsin Local History and Biography Articles.

Learn More

Explore more than 1,600 people, places and events in Wisconsin history.

[Source: Dictionary of Wisconsin biography]