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Eugene McLanahan Wilson
Eugene McLanahan Wilson.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Minnesota's 2nd district
In office
March 4, 1869 – March 3, 1871
Preceded by Ignatius L. Donnelly
Succeeded by John T. Averill
5th Mayor of Minneapolis
In office
April 9, 1872 – April 8, 1873
Preceded by Eli B. Ames
Succeeded by George A. Brackett
7th Mayor of Minneapolis
In office
April 14, 1874 – April 13, 1875
Preceded by George A. Brackett
Succeeded by Orlando C. Merriman
Personal details
Born (1833-12-25)December 25, 1833
Morgantown, Virginia, U.S. (now West Virginia)
Died April 10, 1890(1890-04-10) (aged 56)
Nassau, British West Indies (now The Bahamas)
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Delia A. Payne

Eugene McLanahan Wilson (December 25, 1833 – April 10, 1890) was a lawyer and Democratic politician who served in various legal and political offices in Minnesota including as a member of Congress and as the fifth and seventh mayor of Minneapolis.


1888 Wilson campaign ribbon

Wilson was born in Morgantown, Monongalia County, Virginia (now West Virginia) on December 25, 1833. His father Edgar Campbell Wilson had been a lawyer and US representative from Virginia (as had his grandfather Thomas Wilson). On his mother's side he was the great-grandson of Isaac Griffin, also a longtime US Representative from Pennsylvania. He attended school in Morgantown and graduated from Jefferson College in 1852. He studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1855 and relocated to Minnesota shortly thereafter.

Wilson worked in Winona, Minnesota for several years in a law practice with former classmate William B. Mitchell. In 1857 he was named United States Attorney for the District of Minnesota and relocated to Minneapolis. During the Civil War Wilson served in the Union Army as captain of Company A in the 1st Minnesota Volunteer Cavalry Regiment. The regiment was primarily involved with the Dakota War of 1862.

After the war Wilson was elected to the Forty-first Congress (1869 – 1871). He was not a candidate for renomination in 1870. He resumed the practice of law, and was elected mayor of Minneapolis in 1872 and 1874. He was an unsuccessful candidate for election in 1874 to the Forty-fourth Congress. He served as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1876 and was a member of the Minnesota Senate in 1878 and 1879. He was an unsuccessful candidate for Governor of Minnesota in 1888.

Wilson remained active in social as well as political affairs in Minnesota. He was twice president of the Minneapolis Club, in 1886 and 1890.

Wilson died while on a visit to regain his health in Nassau, British West Indies (now The Bahamas) on April 10, 1890. He was interred in Lakewood Cemetery, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Electoral history

  • Minneapolis Mayoral Election, 1872
    • Eugene McLanahan Wilson 2,208
    • Dorilus Morrison 1,534
  • Minneapolis Mayoral Election, 1874
    • Eugene McLanahan Wilson 2,533
    • George A. Brackett 2,147
    • John H. Thompson 415
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