Wisconsin Historical Society

Historical Essay

Scofield, Edward 1842 - 1925

Scofield, Edward 1842 - 1925 | Wisconsin Historical Society

businessman, lumberman, politician, governor, b. Clearfield, Pa. He worked as an apprentice printer before coming to Wisconsin, and served four years in a Pennsylvania regiment during the Civil War, rising to the rank of major. In 1868 he moved to Wisconsin, settling in Oconto, where he became foreman in a local lumber mill. He started his own lumber business in 1876, formed Edward Scofield and Co. in 1890, and subsequently became a partner in the Scofield and Arnold Manufacturing Co. A Republican, Scofield was state senator (1887-1890), and an unsuccessful aspirant to the Republican nomination for governor in 1894. In 1896, a year made politically critical by the rising forces of Robert M. La Follette, Sr. (q.v.), in Wisconsin, and William Jennings Bryan in the nation, Scofield won the Republican gubernatorial nomination and the election. He was returned to office in 1898, and his four-year administration (Jan. 1897 Jan. 1901) was characterized by business-like efficiency in the internal structure of state government: revision of the bookkeeping system, civil service installations, and recommendations for the establishment of a tax commission. After 1901 he retired from active politics, and devoted his remaining years to his business interests in Milwaukee and Oconto. Wis. Blue Book (1899), (1927); A. M. Thomson, Political Hist. of Wis. (Milwaukee, 1900); W. A. Titus, Hist. of the Fox River Valley . . . (3 vols., Chicago, 1930).

The Wisconsin Historical Society has manuscripts related to this topic. See the catalog description of the Edward Scofield Scrapbook for details.

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[Source: Blue book]