WASHBURN, William Drew, (1831 - 1912)

Senate Years of Service: 1889-1895
Party: Republican

Courtesy U.S. Senate Historical Office

WASHBURN, William Drew, (brother of Israel Washburn, Jr., Elihu Benjamin Washburne, and Cadwallader Colden Washburn), a Representative and a Senator from Minnesota; born in Livermore, Androscoggin County, Maine, on January 14, 1831; attended the common schools and graduated from Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, in 1854; studied law in Bangor, Maine; admitted to the bar in 1857 and commenced practice in Minneapolis, Minn., where he had settled early in 1857; appointed as United States surveyor general of Minnesota by President Abraham Lincoln 1861-1865, residing in St. Paul while holding that office; unsuccessful candidate for the United States House of Representatives in 1864; returned to Minneapolis and engaged in the newspaper, railway, milling, and waterpower businesses; several times a member of the State house of representatives; elected as a Republican to the Forty-sixth, Forty-seventh, and Forty-eighth Congresses (March 4, 1879-March 3, 1885); elected as a Republican to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1889, to March 3, 1895; unsuccessful candidate for reelection; chairman, Committee on the Improvement of the Mississippi River and its Tributaries (Fifty-first and Fifty-second Congresses); resumed manufacturing pursuits and also engaged in railroad building; died in Minneapolis, Minn., July 29, 1912; interment in Lakewood Cemetery.


Dictionary of American Biography; Upham, Warren. "Memorial Address in Honor of Senator William Drew Washburn." Collections of the Minnesota Historical Society 15 (May 1915): 816-17.