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1862 December 3: Death of Congressman Luther Hanchett

December 3, 2012

The December 3, 1862, issue The Prescott Journal is full of the news of Luther Hanchett’s death.  He had just been elected to the U.S. Congress from Wisconsin.  You may remember that many of the soldiers from northwest Wisconsin voted for him.

Death of Luther Hanchett.
“Death loves a shining mark.”

LUTHER HANCHETT is dead.  His sun has gone down while it was high noon.  In the prime of life—in the midst of usefulness—crowned with recent honors— with the shouts of victory not yet over—the plaudits of the people still ringing in his ears, he walked into the shadowy presence of Death—the silver cord was loosed—the golden bowl was broken.

Mr. HANCHETT’s sickness was brief.  He died at his home in Plover, on Monday, Nov. 24th.

In 1856 he was elected to the State Senate, where he served four years, and in 1860 was elected to Congress from this district, and returned at the last election.

He was a warm hearted, generous friend—a true patriot—an able statesman—a genial, noble man.  The State and Nation have suffered a calamity in his death.   A wise head, a warm heart, a courageous spirit are lost to the councils of the country.

 Like another of Wiscosin’s noble sons, while pressed with busy cares—burdened with weighty responsibilities—without warning, let us trust without fear,—he passed out upon that dark sea which “rolls round all the world.”

Death of Hon. Luther Hanchett.–Notice from the Press.

From the Daily Wisconsin.

The People of the State will learn with regret of the death of Hon. LUTHER HANCHETT, M. C. from the western Congressional District.  Mr Hanchett’s death was sudden and unexpected, as he generally enjoyed vigorous health.  Mr. H. has been the representave [sic] for a single session of Congress; but he evinced a fidelity and ability in the discharge of all of his duties which had given him a deserved influence in that body, and his presence will be missed there, as well as to his own State.  Mr. Hanchett had just been re-elected for a second term by a complimentry [sic] majority, and we can only say that he departs this life in the prime of his usefulness.  Mr Hanchett had not passed his 37th year.  It will be remembered that he is the son-in-law of the brave Col. ALBAN, of the 18th regiment, who was killed at the battle of Shiloh.

From the La Crosse Republican.

The sudden and unexpected death of Congressman Hanchett, at his residence at Plover in Portage county, on Monday has been annouced [sic].  We have since learned that he died of dissease [sic] of the brain.  Luther Hanchett possessed mental endowments of high order.  His position in the forthcoming Congress, had his life been spared, would have been that of a man who had survived the political sotrm which swept down many of his valued colleagues of the last Congress.  He stood, by common consent, at the head of the Wisconsin Represenative [sic] elect.  He has fallen amid the shouts which proclaimed his victory, in the recent campaign.  Never did any man encounter more malignant, develish [sic] and dishonorable opposition.  The frauds, forgeries, lies and tricks employed by men who boast of their political shrewdness, undoubtly [sic] contributed to increase his majorities, whever those dishonrable [sic] proceedings were fully exposed.  We hope there will be no more political jugglery in the election of his succor.  Let us have a fair and square, stand up, toe-to-toe, manly contest between men who shall put forward their best standard bearers, around who men may rally, with some thing of the honorable rivalry and competition of other better days, when capable men were elected to positions of honor and trust; by the choice of the people.  We regret that our people are compelled, so soon, to go through another political campaign.  Let honorable men of both parties frown down all meanness and trickery of every kind, and let us address ourselves to the business in hand with a feror [sic], fairness and earnestness worthy of the prize.  Let us place before the people the best man of both parties, instead of the most incapable of either.

From the Chicago Eve. Journal.

We regret to learn of the death of Hon. LUTHER HANCHETT, member of the present Congress from the Second district of Wisconsin, and who was recently re-elected to the next Congress.  He died of brain fever on Monday last, at his residence at Stanton.

Mr Hanchett enjoyed great personal popularity, and was a sound, safe and upright represntative [sic].  He was an hon[or]able politician and a worthy citizen.

From the Milwaukee Daily News.

We learn from a letter received last night, that Hon. Luther Hanchett, member of Congress elect from the 6th District of this State, is dead.  He died at his resident in Plover, Portage Co., on Monday last, at half past two in the afternoon.  In the forenoon of that day he was attacked by apoplexy, and expired a few hours after.

The people of Wisconsin will learn the fact with sorrow.  Mr. Hanchett was a man of many noble and genial qualities.  He had a clear head and a warm and generous heart.  His public career has been short.  Though a member of the republican party, his views and votes both at Madison and Washington, were conservative.  He was a native of Ohio, and but 37 years of age.

From the Mauston Star.

Hon. Luther Hanchett, Representative for this district and member elect to the next Congress, died at his residence in Portage county, on Monday last.  Our district, the State and the Nation have met with a great loss.

In the exigencies of the times, we can think of no man better qualified to fill the vacant place than Walter D. McIndoe, of Marathon.  He is an old resident of the State, a good business man, industrious and persevering, well posted in State and National affairs, and is personally and intimately identified with every interest of this district.

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