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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesWisconsin

John Coit SPOONER

(1843-1919)
Senate Years of Service:
1885-1891; 1897-1907
Party:
Republican; Republican

SPOONER, John Coit, a Senator from Wisconsin; born in Lawrenceburg, Dearborn County, Ind., January 6, 1843; moved to Wisconsin with his parents, who settled in Madison in 1859; attended the common schools and graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Madison 1864; during the Civil War enlisted as a private and was brevetted major at the close of the war; private and military secretary to the Governor of Wisconsin; studied law; admitted to the bar in 1867 and served as assistant attorney general of the State until 1870; moved to Hudson, Wis., and practiced law 1870-1884; member, State assembly 1872; member of the board of regents of Wisconsin University; elected as a Republican to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1885, to March 3, 1891; unsuccessful candidate for reelection; chairman, Committee on Claims (Forty-ninth through Fifty-first Congresses); unsuccessful Republican candidate for governor of Wisconsin in 1892; moved to Madison in 1893; again elected to the United States Senate in 1897; reelected in 1903 and served from March 4, 1897, until his resignation, effective April 30, 1907; chairman, Committee on Relations with Canada (Fifty-fifth Congress), Committee on Rules (Fifty-fifth through Fifty-ninth Congresses); engaged in the practice of law in New York City; declined the positions of Secretary of the Interior and Attorney General in the Cabinet of President William McKinley in 1898 and 1901; declined the position of Secretary of State in the Cabinet of President William Howard Taft; practiced law in New York City; died in New York City, June 11, 1919; interment in Forest Hill Cemetery, Madison, Wis.

Bibliography

American National Biography; Dictionary of American Biography; Fowler, Dorothy. John Coit Spooner: Defender of Presidents. New York: University Publishers, 1961; Parker, James. “Senator John C. Spooner, 1887-1907.” Ph.D. dissertation, University of Maryland, 1972.

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

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