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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesWisconsin

Philetus SAWYER

Senate Years of Service:

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.


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

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present

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