Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Minnesota Legislature
Skip Navigation Links > > >

Mitchell, William B. "Wm."

House 1859-60 (District 11)

Party when first elected:  Republican

Counties Served:  Winona

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

Date of Birth: 11/19/1832
Birth Place: Stamford, Ontario
Birth County:
Birth Country: Canada
Date of Death: 8/21/1900
Gender: Male
Religion: Presbyterian
Reported Minority: None Reported
Other Names: Wm.
City of Residence (when first elected): Winona
Occupation (when first elected): Lawyer/Formerly Taught School, Virginia

EDUCATION

Private Schools, Canada; Secondary;
Jefferson College, Canonsburg, Pennsylvania; College Graduate; 1848-1853
Studied Law; In the Office of Edgar C. Wilson in Virginia; Admitted to the Virginia Bar, 1857

OTHER GOVERNMENT SERVICE

County Attorney: Winona County, Minnesota (1 term); 18?? to 18?? [Elected]
Judge: 3rd Judicial District, Minnesota (Judge); 01/1874 to 1881 [Elected]
Judge: Minnesota Supreme Court (Associate Justice, First Appointed by Governor Pillsbury, Then Elected); 03/1881 to 01/1900 [Appointed]

FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS

Spouse: E. Jane Hanway (while in office, married in September 1857; she died around 1867); Widower (after he left office); Francis N. Smith (remarried in July 1872)
Children: Six children: William D. (the first United States Solicitor General, also served as United States Attorney General) (son)
Family Members Who Have Served in the Minnesota Legislature:

GENERAL NOTES

He was of Scottish ancestry.

He was the oldest of 10 children.

He settled in the United States in 1848 and moved to Winona, Minnesota in the spring of 1857.

"He was originally Republican, but becoming dissatisfied with some of the reconstruction measures of the party during the administration of President Johnson, he has since acted chiefly, though not in a partisan sense, with the Democratic party." (Progressive Men of Minnesota, 1897, p. 437)

The William Mitchell College of Law was named after him in 1956 when the Saint Paul College of Law and the Minneapolis-Minnesota College of Law merged.

He died of a stroke at home in Winona, Minnesota.

He attended the Presbyterian church.

Religion provided by Progressive Men of Minnesota, 1897, p. 437.

Total Days Served: 398

SESSIONS SERVED

2nd Legislative Session (1859-1860)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 11
Elected: 10/11/1859
Residence: Winona
Term of Office: 12/7/1859 to 1/7/1861
Counties Represented: Winona
Occupation: Lawyer/Formerly Taught School, Virginia
Party: Republican Party Notes: "He was originally Republican, but becoming dissatisfied with some of the reconstruction measures of the party during the administration of President Johnson, he has since acted chiefly, though not in a partisan sense, with the Democratic party." (Progressive Men of Minnesota, 1897, p. 437)
Committees:
  • Federal Relations (Chair)
  • Judiciary
Articles & Books About
Minnesota Supreme Court. "William Mitchell." Biographical Sketches of Justices of the Minnesota Supreme Court and Judges of the Minnesota Court of Appeals from Territorial Days to 1990, St. Paul, Minnesota: West Publishing Company, 1990, p. 18.

Shutter, Marion Daniel. "William Mitchell." Progressive Men of Minnesota, Minneapolis: The Minneapolis Journal, 1897, p. 437.