About Philetus Sawyer
Philetus Sawyer (September 22, 1816 – March 29, 1900) was an American politician of the Republican Party who represented Wisconsin in both houses of Congress. Sawyer County, Wisconsin, is named for him.
Philetus Sawyer was born in 1816 in Whiting, Vermont, and moved to Crown Point, New York, as an infant in 1817. He moved to Wisconsin in 1847 and worked in the lumber industry. Sawyer's early political career included serving in the Wisconsin State Assembly in 1857 and 1861, and as mayor of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, from 1863 to 1864. He ran for and was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1864 and served for ten years from 1865 until 1875; he did not run for reelection in 1874. Sawyer returned to Congress in 1881 as a U.S. Senator. He served two terms from 1881 to 1893 and did not seek a third. However, he became notorious for a charge made against him by Congressman Robert La Follete that he had attempted to bribe La Follete. Sawyer died in 1900 in Oshkosh at age 83. He was interred at a family mausoleum at Riverside Cemetery in Oshkosh.