Washington Governor. He was born in Monroe County, Michigan, before moving to Fort Wayne, Indiana at an early age to pursue a career in law. He was admitted to the Indiana state bar association in 1845, at the young age of 20. The following year he moved to Waukegan, Illinois, where he continued in the practice of law until July 1869. In 1859 he was elected as the first mayor of Waukegan, Illinois, and served as a delegate to the Illinois state constitutional convention in 1861. From 1861 to 1863 he served as state bank commissioner, and also served as a presidential elector for the Waukegan district of Illinois, for the years 1852 and 1856. He was appointed to the rank of colonel at the start of the Civil War, serving as assistant adjutant-general to Governor Richard Yates, responsible for organizing and equipping Illinois military regiments in the field. In 1869 he was appointed surveyor general of the Washington Territory by President Ulysses S. Grant. Following his service as surveyor general, he was appointed Washington territorial governor by President Grant, serving two four year terms beginning in 1872 and reappointment in 1876. He moved to Seattle in November 1880 to join a private law firm, before retiring from the legal profession in 1887 to serve as vice president of Puget Sound National Bank. In September 1889 he was nominated as the Republican candidate for state governor. On October 1, 1889 he was elected to the office of governor by an eight thousand majority. He became Washington's first official state governor on November 11, 1889, following President Benjamin Harrison's signed proclamation granting Washington statehood and admittance to the union. Following his one term service as governor from November 11, 1889 to January 9, 1893, he retired to Seattle where he died from complications of pneumonia and congestive heart failure at the age of 70.
Bio by: Nils M. Solsvik Jr.