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Governor James T. Lewis | Wisconsin Historical Society

Historical Essay

Governor James T. Lewis

Governor James T. Lewis | Wisconsin Historical Society

711 W. James St., Columbus, Columbia County 

Governor James T. Lewis, the ninth Governor of Wisconsin (1864-66), led the state through the tumultuous conclusion of the Civil War. He was born in New York State and in 1845 settled in Columbus where he practiced law. In 1854-56 he built this house in the Italianate style of architecture. Lewis began his political career as a Democrat, serving in the Assembly, state Senate and as lieutenant governor. He joined the new Republican Party and was elected secretary of state in 1861 and governor, by an overwhelming majority, in 1863. Lewis served one term and returned to his large land holdings and legal profession in Columbus.

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[Source: McBride, Sarah Davis. History Just Ahead (Madison:WHS, 1999).]