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People Histories

John Coit Spooner
The Man the City of Spooner Was Named For

Donated by Timm Severud

John Coit Spooner

John Coit Spooner (January 8, 1843 - June 11, 1919)

John Coit Spooner was born in Lawrenceburg (Dearborn County), Indiana on January 6, 1843. With his parents he moved to Madison, Wisconsin in 1858, where he attend the public schools and graduating from the University of Wisconsin in 1864.  He enlisted as a private in the Civil War and at it's end was given the brevet rank of Major.  After the war he was private and military secretary to the Governor of the State of Wisconsin, until he was admitted to the Bar in 1867. He was an assistant State Attorney General until 1870, when he moved to Hudson, Wisconsin and practice law there between 1870 - 1884.  In 1872 he was elected to the Wisconsin's State Assembly and select the University Board of Regents.  As a Republican he was elected to the US Senate 1884 and served until 1891, when he was defeated for reelection. During this period in the Senate he was Chairman of the Committee on Claims.  He was an unsuccessful candidate of the Governorship of Wisconsin in 1892.  In 1893 he moved to Madison and was again elected to the 1896 to the U.S. Senate and served until he resigned in 1907. During this period he was Chairman of the Committee on Relations with Canada, and was Chairman of the Rules Committee. In 1898 he turned declined the position of Secretary of the Interior. In 1901 he declined the position of Attorney General.  During the William Howard Taft, he declined the position of Secretary of State.  After leaving the Senate, he practiced law in New York City, New York.  He died there on June 11, 1919, and was buried Forest Hill Cemetery in Madison, Wisconsin.
From the Notebook of Timm Severud


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