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About Timothy Otis Howe
Timothy Otis Howe (February 24, 1816 – March 25, 1883) was a member of the United States Senate, representing the state of Wisconsin from March 4, 1861, to March 4, 1879. He also served as U.S. Postmaster General from 1881 through 1883.
Howe was born in Livermore, Maine, to Timothy Howe and Betsey Howard, attended Readfield Seminary now Kents Hill School, in Readfield, Maine, and studied law with local judges. In 1839, Howe was admitted to the Maine Bar and began practicing law in Readfield. In 1845, he was elected to the Maine House of Representatives. Shortly thereafter, Howe moved to Green Bay, Wisconsin, and opened a law office. He was an ardent Whig and ran an unsuccessful campaign for U.S. Congress in 1848.
Howe married Linda Ann Haines and together the couple had 2 children, Mary E. Howe and Frank K. Howe.
Howe was elected circuit judge in Wisconsin and served in that position from 1851 to 1855. As a circuit judge, he also served as a justice on the Wisconsin Supreme Court until a separate Supreme Court was organized in 1853.
In 1857, Howe ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate. In 1861, Howe ran again and won election to the Senate, serving during the American Civil War and Reconstruction. During his time in the Senate, he was an abolitionist and supporter of the Fifteenth Amendment.
While in the Senate, President Ulysses S. Grant offered Howe the position of Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. However, Howe declined the offer because he feared his successor to the Senate would be a Democrat. Howe lost his senate seat in 1877. In 1881, he was appointed United States Postmaster General, a position he held until his death on March 25, 1883.