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SAWYER, Philetus

1816–1900

Biography

SAWYER, Philetus, a Representative and a Senator from Wisconsin; born in Whiting, Rutland County, Vt., September 22, 1816; moved with his parents to Crown Point, N.Y., in 1817; attended the common schools; moved to Fond du Lac County, Wis., in 1847 and engaged in the lumber business; member, Wisconsin assembly 1857, 1861; mayor of Oshkosh 1863-1864; elected as a Republican to the Thirty-ninth and to the four succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1865-March 3, 1875); declined to be a candidate for renomination in 1874; chairman, Committee on Public Expenditures (Forty-second Congress), Committee on Pacific Railroads (Forty-third Congress); elected as a Republican to the United States Senate in 1881; reelected in 1887 and served from March 4, 1881, to March 3, 1893; was not a candidate for reelection; chairman, Committee on Railroads (Forty-eighth and Forty-ninth Congresses), Committee on Post Office and Post Roads (Fiftieth through Fifty-second Congresses); resumed his former business pursuits; died in Oshkosh, Winnebago County, Wis., March 29, 1900; interment in the family vault at Riverside, Oshkosh, Wis.

View Record in the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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External Research Collections

Milwaukee Public Library

Milwaukee, WI
Papers: Biographical sketch in the Charles Lanman papers, 1858-1865; and photographs.

Oshkosh Public Museum

Oshkosh, WI
Papers: 1864-1899. Ca. 680 items. Ca. 20 letters to Sawyer (1864-1899) and 7 letters from Sawyer (1866-1888); and ca. 647 items of family correspondence, 2 documents, portraits, and photographs.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Current, Richard N. Pine Logs and Politics: A Life of Philetus Sawyer, 1816-1900. Madison: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1950.

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