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1863 October 3: Union Assembly District Convention for Northern Wisconsin

October 7, 2013

From the October 3, 1863, issue of The Polk County Press comes this report on the Union party’s district convention, held September 22, 1863.  The men attending as mentioned in this article is a list of who’s who in northwest Wisconsin at this time.¹

Union Assembly² District Convention.

Pursuant to the call of the Republican Union Assembly District Committee, a Convention for the Assembly District comprising the organized counties of Ashland, Douglas, La Pointe, and Polk, was held at Bayfield, in said district, on the 22d day of September, 1863, at 12 o’clock at noon.  The Convention organized by calling I. [sic] HARVEY NOURSE to the Chair, and electing ASAPH WHITTLESY [sic] Secretary.

On motion the Chair appointed F. W. BARTLETT, A. C. STUNTZ, and MARTIN BEASER a committee on credentials.  Said committee reported as follows, and said report was adopted by the Convention :

Ashland County—MARTIN BEASER, one vote ; A. C. STUNTZ, one vote.

La Pointe County—Gen. L. E. WEBB, one vote ;  I. [sic] HARVEY NOURSE,  one vote.

Polk County—C. H. STAPLES, per A. WHITTLESY [sic], proxy, two votes ;  WM. J. VINCENT, per L. E. WEBB, proxy, two votes ;  ROBERT KENT, per A. WHITTLESY [sic], proxy, two votes.

Douglas County not represented.  Credentials sent with instructions to vote for the nomination of H. D. BARRON but not received in time for the Convention.

On motion the Convention proceeded with the following result, to an informed ballot for a candidate for member of Assembly, to be supported at the ensuing election :

SAMUEL S. VAUGHN, of La Pointe County, six votes ;  HENRY D. BARRON, of Polk County, four votes.

Whereupon Gen. L. E. WEBB, from La Pointe County informed the Convention that Mr. VAUGHN declined the nomination, and authorized the withdrawal of his name as a candidate for nomination.

On motion the Convention then proceeded to a formal ballot with the following result :

H. D. BARRON, 9 ;  S. S. VAUGHN, 1.

On motion of F. W. BARTLETT, Hon. H. D. BARRON was declared the unanimous nominee of the Convention.

The following resolution offered by A. WHITTLESY [sic], was adopted by the Convention :

RESOLVED, That we present to the people of this Assembly District the name of Hon. HENRY D. BARRON, not as that of a partisan, but a tried Union man, without regard to political antecedents, and we ask for him the cordial support of all loyal men without distinction of party.

On motion the Chair appointed the following Assembly District Committee for the ensuing year :

ASAPH WHITTLESY [sic], La Pointe ;  GEORGE R. STUNTZ, Douglas ;  MARTIN BEASER, Ashland ;  N. H. HICKERSON, Burnett ;  C. H. STAPLES, Polk.

On motion the following resolution was adopted :

RESOLVED, That a copy of the proceedings of this Convention be forwarded to Judge BARRON, and that they also be furnished to the Polk County PRESS for publication.

The Convention then adjourned.


ASAPH WHITTLESY [sic], Secretary.

1.  Following is brief information on the men mentioned in the article, in alphabetical order:

  • Francis W. Bartlett (1837- ) served as the register of the land office at Bayfield from 1861 to 1867.
  • Martin Beaser (1822-1866) was the U.S. postmaster in Ashland in the first half of the 1860s.
  • Newton H. Hickerson (1841-1909) came to Wisconsin in 1855 and settled in Burnett county in 1866. Originally from Ohio, he enlisted in 21st Ohio Infantry, Company D.
  • Robert Kent, Sr. (1819- ) was one of the Kent Brothers who settled in Osceola and were engaged in the milling operations. He held many public positions, including the first county clerk for Polk County, scounty superintendent of schools, clerk of court, and a county judge. His son Robert, Jr., served in Company D of the 2nd Wisconsin Infantry.
  • J. Harvey Nourse (1830- ) taught school in Bayfield and was the County Treasurer from 1861 to 1864, Town Clerk from 1860 to 1864, collector for the port for 1863-1864, and U.S. Land Office Receiver from 1869 to 1872.
  • Charles H. Staples (1824-1896)was engaged in the milling and lumbering business in Osceola. He also filled several county offices, including clerk of the board of supervisors from 1857 to 1864.
  • George R. Stuntz was from Washburn County.
  • Samuel Stuart Vaughn (1830-1886) was an Indian trader La Pointe beginning in 1852. In 1856 he moved to Bayfield and was engaged in the merchandise and lumber business until 1873 when he transferred his business to Ashland. In 1871 Vaughn will be the state assemblyman for the northwest district of Wisconsin .
  • Luther E. Webb was the U.S. Indian Agent at the La Point Agency from 1861 to 1868
  • Asaph Whittlesey (d. 1880) was the La Pointe agent for 1868-1869, and also was a Port Collector in Bayfield. He also served in the Wisconsin Legislature.

2.  In Wisconsin the state house of representatives is called the Assembly, so this convention was to nominate a candidate to run for state representative from this district.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Linda Bryan permalink
    December 29, 2013 3:38 pm

    Just thought you readers of this fine blog might enjoy seeing how Asaph Whittlesey, rep from the Bayfield area, traveled overland when heading south from the great white north to serve in the Wisc. Legislature:

    Don’t you love him? One of my faves!


    • Linda Bryan permalink
      December 29, 2013 3:39 pm

      Oh, and forgot to mention that Geo. Stuntz was a surveyor and his signature is all over the early land records in the Duluth-Superior area.

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