kids encyclopedia robot

Edward Scofield facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Edward Scofield
Edward Scofield.jpg
19th Governor of Wisconsin
In office
January 4, 1897 – January 7, 1901
Lieutenant Emil Baensch
Jesse Stone
Preceded by William H. Upham
Succeeded by Robert M. La Follette Sr.
Member of the Wisconsin Senate
from the 1st district
In office
January 1, 1887 – February 4, 1891
Preceded by Edward S. Minor
Succeeded by John Fetzer
Personal details
Born (1842-03-28)March 28, 1842
Clearfield, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Died February 3, 1925(1925-02-03) (aged 82)
Oconto, Wisconsin, U.S.
Resting place Evergreen Cemetery, Oconto, Wisconsin
Political party Republican
Agnes Potter
(died 1919)
  • Julia Scofield
  • Paul Scofield
  • George Scofield
Profession lumberman, politician
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Volunteers
Union Army
Years of service 1861–1865
Rank Captain, USV
Unit 11th Reg. Penn. Reserves
Battles/wars American Civil War
Governor Edward Scofield House, Oconto, WI
Scofield's house, located at 610 Main St. in Oconto, Wisconsin.

Edward Scofield (March 28, 1842 – February 3, 1925) was an American lumberman and Republican politician. He was the 19th governor of Wisconsin (1897–1901) and served in the Wisconsin State Senate, representing Door, Marinette, and Oconto counties. Earlier in life, during the American Civil War, he served as an officer in the Union Army.

Early life

Scofield was born in Clearfield County, Pennsylvania, on March 28, 1842. He became a printer's apprentice at a newspaper in Indiana, Pennsylvania, and worked in the newspaper business for a number of years.

Civil War service

At the outbreak of the American Civil War, Scofield volunteered for service in the Union Army and was enrolled as a private in Company K of the 11th Pennsylvania Reserve Regiment. He was promoted to corporal and then sergeant, and, on April 15, 1863, after the Battle of South Mountain, he was commissioned as first lieutenant. He was subsequently promoted to captain of his company.

He participated in all the battles and marches of his regiment up to the Battle of the Wilderness on May 5, 1864, where he was taken prisoner and incorrectly reported as dead. He was held as a prisoner of war for ten months, passing through 12 different prison camps in the South before being released at Wilmington, North Carolina, on March 1, 1865. He was granted an honorary brevet to major after his release and mustered out of federal service.

Postbellum career

For months after his release from prison, Scofield suffered due to the starvation and deprivation of his ten months in captivity. After his recuperation from his illness, he worked in the "engineer corps" of the Atlantic and Great Western Railroad. In 1868, he moved to Oconto, Wisconsin, where he entered the lumber business and became a principal in the Marinette Mill Co. Later becoming president of his own lumber company, the Scofield & Arnold Lumber Co. of Marinette.

Political career

He entered politics when he was elected to the Wisconsin State Senate in 1886 as a Republican, beating Democrat Amos Holgate. He was appointed to the standing committees on engrossed bills (which he chaired) and on railroads. He ran for re-election in 1890 and the election was close enough to warrant a recount by the Senate Elections Committee. The 1890 election gave Democrats the majority in the Senate for the first time since 1855, the Democratic majority on the Elections Committee ruled in favor of his Democratic opponent, John Fetzer, finding that Scofield had been defeated by 15 votes.

Campaign and election

In 1896 Scofield was elected as the 19th Governor of Wisconsin. He entered the gubernatorial race as a conservative against progressive Republican Robert M. La Follette, winning the Republican nomination on the sixth ballot. In November, he defeated his Democratic opponent, Willis C. Silverthorn, in a five-way general election: 264,981 for Scofield; 169,257 for Silverthorn; 8,140 for Prohibitionist Joshua H. Berkey; 1,306 for Christ Tuttrop of the Socialist Labor Party; and 407 for Robert Henderson of the short-lived "National Party"—a splinter movement from the Prohibition Party.

Running for re-election in 1898, Scofield again faced a challenge for the Republican nomination from Robert La Follette. After a fight for delegates across the state, Scofield prevailed at the convention on the first ballot. Scofield went on to win the general election with 53% of the vote. He did not run for a third term in 1900.


During his tenure, he introduced the first governor's budget in Wisconsin, established a central accounting system, and oversaw revision of the state's banking laws. He increased public school funding and helped raise troops to serve in the Spanish–American War. After completing a second term in office, he returned to his business interests in Oconto.

The most significant act of his gubernatorial term was likely the establishment of a state tax commission, the forerunner of the present Wisconsin Department of Revenue. The initial step was a study of state taxes which began in 1897, followed by an 1899 act of the Legislature to establish a state tax commission for ten years. The commission was made permanent under the subsequent gubernatorial term of Robert La Follette.

Personal life and death

Scofield married Agnes Potter (1850–1919) and they had three children, Julia, Paul, and George.

Scofield died in his home in Oconto on February 3, 1925 (age 82 years, 312 days). He is interred at Evergreen Cemetery in Oconto.

Electoral history

Wisconsin Senate (1886, 1890)

Wisconsin Senate, 1st District Election, 1886
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
General Election, November 2, 1886
Republican Edward Scofield 6,177 51.07% -4.56%
Democratic Amos Holgate 5,919 48.93%
Plurality 258 2.13% -9.12%
Total votes 12,096 100.0% +32.66%
Republican hold
Wisconsin Senate, 1st District Election, 1890
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
General Election, November 4, 1890 (after recount)
Democratic John Fetzer 3,304 50.11%
Republican Edward Scofield (incumbent) 3,289 49.89% -1.18%
Plurality 15 0.23% -1.91%
Total votes 6,593 100.0% -45.49%
Democratic gain from Republican

Wisconsin Governor (1896, 1898)

Wisconsin Gubernatorial Election, 1896
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
General Election, November 3, 1896
Republican Edward Scofield 264,981 59.67% +7.42%
Democratic Willis C. Silverthorn 169,257 38.11% +0.22%
Prohibition Joshua H. Berkey 8,140 1.83% -1.16%
Labor Christ Tuttrop 1,306 0.29%
National Prohibition Robert Henderson 407 0.09%
Scattering 19 0.00%
Plurality 95,724 21.55% +7.20%
Total votes 444,110 100.0% +18.29%
Republican hold
Wisconsin Gubernatorial Election, 1898
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
General Election, November 8, 1898
Republican Edward Scofield (incumbent) 173,137 52.57% -7.09%
Democratic Hiram W. Sawyer 135,353 41.10% +2.99%
Populist Albinus A. Worsley 8,518 2.59%
Prohibition Eugene W. Chafin 8,088 2.46%
Social Democratic Howard Tuttle 2,544 0.77%
Socialist Labor Henry Riese 1,473 0.45%
Scattering 327 0.10%
Plurality 37,784 11.47% -10.08%
Total votes 329,440 100.0% -25.85%
Republican hold

See also

  • Pennsylvania Reserves
National Hispanic Heritage Month on Kiddle
Outstanding Hispanic athletes
Oscar De La Hoya
Michael Carbajal
Lee Trevino
Lorena Ochoa
kids search engine
Edward Scofield Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.