1813 – Nelson Dewey Born

On this date , the first governor of the state of Wisconsin, was born in Lebanon, Connecticut. The son of Ebenezer Dewey and Lucy Webster, Nelson arrived in the Wisconsin Territory in 1836. He studied law, began a legal and business career in Lancaster, and made a considerable sum of money in land and lead mining investments. At the age of 35, he became the first state governor and served two terms, from June 7, 1848 to January 5, 1852. In later years, Dewey suffered misfortune. On Thanksgiving day, 1873, his mansion at Stonefield was gutted by fire, after which his wife and children moved to Europe for several years. In 1886 he began divorce proceedings against his wife on grounds of desertion but later dropped the suit. For more than 10 years Dewey lived alone. During the final 5 years of his life he had no contact with his family. He lost a fortune in a railroad deal and was ruined financially. In February 1889, he suffered a stroke while arguing a court case in Lancaster. Nelson Dewey died on July 21, 1889, in Cassville. [Source: by Nancy G. Williams]