Governors
of
Wisconsin


page 5



Governors


Heil, Julius Peter 1876 - 1949
  Definition: manufacturer, politician, governor, b. Duesmond-on-the-Mosel, Germany. He migrated to the U.S. and Wisconsin with his parents in 1881, settling in New Berlin. At the age of 14 he began work as a drill-press operator for the Milwaukee Harvester Co. and later worked for the Falk Corporation of Milwaukee, traveling extensively throughout South America installing welded steel track for street railway systems. In 1901 he formed his own company, the Heil Rail Joint Welding Co., which in 1906 became the Heil Co., and eventually grew into a major manufacturer of dump-truck bodies, storage and transport tanks, road machinery, and home heating units. In 1933 Heil was appointed by President Roosevelt to head the state advisory board for the N.R.A. A Republican, he was elected governor in 1938, defeating incumbent Progressive Philip F. La Follette. He held this office for two terms (1939-1943), and during his administration sponsored the enactment of the state employment peace act, reorganized the welfare and tax departments, created the department of securities, and modernized the state's accounting system. He also directed the liquidation of frozen assets of building and loan associations to pay shareholders. Defeated by Progressive Orland S. Loomis (q.v.) in the gubernatorial election of 1942, he returned to his business interests and was chairman of the board of the Heil Co. until his death. F. L. Holmes, et al., eds., Wis. (5 vols., Chicago, 1946); Wis. Blue Book (1942); Madison Wis. State Journal, Dec. 1, 1949.  [Source: Blue book]


Loomis, Orland Steen 1893 - 1942
  Definition: lawyer, politician, b. Mauston; He attended Ripon College and received an LL.B. degree from the Univ. of Wisconsin Law School (1917). After serving with the AEF in France (1918-1919), he returned to Mauston to practice law and was city attorney (1922-1931) . A Republican, he was state assemblyman (1929-1930), and state senator (1931-1934), serving as president pro tern of the Senate (1933-1934). During his legislative career, he sponsored many measures associated with the progressive movement in Wisconsin and was especially active in promoting the regulation of public utilities. In 1934 he was among the group that split with the Republicans to form the new Progressive party. He was state director of the REA (1935-1936), and represented Wisconsin at the World Power Conference (1936). He was attorney general for Wisconsin (1937-1938), but was defeated for re-election in the Republican landslide of 1938. In 1942 he was elected governor over the incumbent Republican, Julius P. Heil (q.v.), but died before taking office. Madison Capital Times, Dec. 8, 1942; Wis. Blue Book (1944); F. L. Holmes, et al., eds., Wis. (5 vols., Chicago, 1946); Who's Who in Amer., 21 (1940).  [Source: Blue book]

Goodland, Walter Samuel 1862 - 1947
  Definition: lawyer, newspaperman, politician, governor, b. Sharon. He spent one year at Lawrence College, taught in rural schools near Appleton, and, after reading law in his father's office, was admitted to the bar in 1886. He practiced law in Wakefield, Mich., and also established the Wakefield Bulletin (1887). Moving to Ironwood, Mich., in 1888, he founded the Ironwood Times, and served as its editor and publisher (1888-1895). In 1895 he returned to Wisconsin, and from 1899 to 1900 was co-publisher of the Beloit Daily News. In 1900 he settled in Racine and purchased an interest in the Racine Daily Times. Goodland became sole owner of the paper in 1902, and was its publisher from 1902 to 1933. After 1915 the paper was restyled the Racine Times-Call. A Republican, Goodland held local offices in Racine, and served as mayor (1911-1915). He was state senator (1927-1934), and lieutenant governor (1939-1943). When Governor-elect Orland S. Loomis (q.v.) died before taking office (Dec. 7, 1942), a question arose as to the constitutionality of Goodland's claim to the acting governorship. The state supreme court ruled in his favor, and he assumed office in Jan., 1943. He was subsequently elected to the governorship in 1944 and 1946 and died in office. Who's Who in Amer., 24 (1946); Wis. Blue Book (1948); F. L. Holmes, et al., eds., Wis. (5 vols., Chicago, 1946); Milwaukee Journal, Dec. 28, 1942, Mar. 13, 1947.
[Source: Blue book]





Oscar Rennebohm 1889 1968
  Oscar Rennebohm (May 25, 1889 October 15, 1968) was a Governor of Wisconsin. He was born near Leeds, Wisconsin, in Columbia County. Rennebohm served in the United States Navy during World War I. Oscar Rennebohm was a druggist. In 1945, he was elected lieutenant governor of Wisconsin. In 1947, on the death of Governor Walter Samuel Goodland, he became acting governor; and in 1948, he was elected governor. In 1949, Governor Rennebohm founded the Rennebohm Foundation to support education in the Madison area as well as the school of pharmacy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison that is named after him. Governor Rennebohm retired and died in Madison, Wisconsin, where he is also buried.






Walter Jodak Kohler, Jr. 1904 1976
  Walter Jodak Kohler, Jr. (April 4, 1904 March 21, 1976) was Governor of Wisconsin from 1951 1957. He was born in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, and served in the United States Navy. In 1950 and 1952,William Proxmire ran against Kohler for Governor and lost;however, Proxmire defeated Kohler for the United States Senate seat of Joseph R. McCarthy who died in office in 1957. His father Walter J. Kohler, Sr. was Governor of Wisconsin from 1929 to 1931. His son Terry Kohler ran for Governor against Anthony Earl, but lost. He was president of the Kohler Company.  References: 1960 Wisconsin Blue Book, 2003 2004 Wisconsin Blue Book


Thomson, Vernon W. 1905
  Definition: (Rep.): Born Richland Center, Nov. 5, 1905; widower; 3 children. Attended Carroll coll. 1923-25; B.A. UW-Madison 1927, LL.B. 1932; honorary Dr. of Laws Carroll coll. 1957. Attorney; former teacher, C.C.C. enrolling officer for Richland county 1933-35. Mbr. Order of Coif, Phi Delta Phi prof. law frat.; recognized for `distinguished service to the cause of soil and water conservation' 1971 by Wis. Assn. of Soil and Water Conserv. Dist., received Watchdog of the Treasury award 88th-91st congs. from Natl. Assn. Businessmen, and cited for `distinguished service' by Amer. for Consti. Action 87th-91st congs. Deleg. to Rep. Natl. Conv. 1936, 1940, 1952, 1956; pres. elector 1952, 1956; chin. State Rep. Platform Cony. 1940. Asst. dist. atty. 1933-35, city atty. 1933-37 and 1942-44, pres. Richland Center library bd. 1939-51; mayor 1944-51. Elected to Wis. Assembly 1934-48; speaker of the Assembly 1939, 1941, 1943; Rep. floor leader 1945, 1947, 1949. Elected attorney general of Wis. 1950; reelected 1952, 1954. Elected governor 1956. Elected to U.S. house of representatives 1960; reelected since 1962. Committee assignments: 93rd congress -- foreign affairs. As mbr. of subcoms. participated in study missions abroad, the Canadian-U.S. interparliamentary group, and the North Atlantic assembly parliamentary conf. Home: Richland Center 53581. (Blue Book 1973) [Source: Blue book]


Nelson, Gaylord A. 1916-2005
  Definition: (Dem.) Senator; founder of Earth Day. Born Clear Lake, June 4, 1916; married; 3 children. Educated in Clear Lake grade and high schools; B.A. San Jose State College, California, 1939; LL.B. University of Wisconsin 1942. Practicing attorney since 1942. Veteran of World War II, served 46 months in Army. Elected to Wisconsin Senate in 1948; reelected 1952 and 1956; vacated State Senate seat when elected Governor in 1958; reelected Governor in 1960. Elected to U.S. Senate in 1962; reelected 1968 and 1974. Committee assignments: 96th Congress - Select Committee on Small Business (chairman, also chairman 95th and 94th Congresses, member 93rd, 92nd, 91st, 90th, 89th Congresses); Finance (also 95th, 94th, 93rd and 92nd Congresses); Human Resources (also 95th, 94th, 93rd, 92nd, 91st, 90th, 89th Congresses). Washington office: (202) 224-5323; district office: (414) 291-3965 or 291-3966. Voting address: Madison. Mailing address (office): 221 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510. View more information. (Blue Book 1979-80) [Source: Blue book]



Reynolds, John W. 1921
  Definition: (Dem.) was born in Green Bay Apr. 4, 1921. He attended elementary school in Green Bay and was graduated from the Green Bay East High School. He received a Ph.D. degree in 1946 from the University of Wisconsin, and in 1949 received the LL.B. degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School. He has been a practicing attorney since 1949. Governor Reynolds was appointed district director of the federal Office of Price Stabilization 1951-53, and was United States Commissioner for the Eastern Federal Judicial District of Wisconsin 1955-58. The Governor is a World War II veteran; he served in the Army 1942-46. He served as chairman of the Brown County Democratic Party 1953-57, and was a member of the Democratic state administrative committee 1955-59. He is a member of the Brown County, Wisconsin and American Bar Associations, and of the Kiwanis Club and the Knights of Columbus. He was a Kennedy delegate to the 1960 Democratic National Convention. He was elected Attorney General in 1958 and was re-elected in 1960. He was elected Governor in 1962. Residence: Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Blue Book 1964) [Source: Blue book]

Info and has been compiled from various sources including:

Wisconsin Blue Book, Wisconsin Historical Society, and Wikipedia - The Free Encyclopedia

Index

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Note: The Wisconsin Blue Book is a biannual publication of the Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. The Blue Book is an almanac containing information on the government, economics, demograpics, geography, and history of the state of Wisconsin. The Blue Book is published in the fall of every odd year, corresponding to the start of each new biennium of the Wisconsin state government. Since 1995, the Blue Book has been available in free electronic form. Hardcover editions of the book may be obtained by Wisconsin residents by contacting their Assembly representative or State Senator.


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