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James O. Davidson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

James Ole Davidson
James Ole Davidson, 1906 portrait from Bain Collection retouched.jpg
21st Governor of Wisconsin
In office
January 1, 1906 – January 2, 1911
LieutenantWilliam D. Connor
John Strange
Preceded byRobert M. La Follette
Succeeded byFrancis E. McGovern
19th Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin
In office
January 5, 1903 – January 1, 1906
GovernorRobert M. La Follette, Sr.
Preceded byJesse Stone
Succeeded byWilliam D. Connor
13th Treasurer of Wisconsin
In office
January 2, 1899 – January 5, 1903
GovernorEdward Scofield
Robert M. LaFollette, Sr.
Preceded bySewell A. Peterson
Succeeded byJohn J. Kempf
Member of the Wisconsin State Assembly
In office
Personal details
Born(1854-02-10)February 10, 1854
Årdal, Sogn og Fjordane County, Norway
DiedDecember 16, 1922(1922-12-16) (aged 68)
Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.
Resting placeForest Hill Cemetery, Madison, Wisconsin
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Helen Bliss

James Ole Davidson (February 10, 1854 – December 16, 1922) was an American merchant and politician in Wisconsin. He served as Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin and the 21st Governor of the U.S. state of Wisconsin.

Early life

Davidson was born in Årdal, Sogn og Fjordane County, Norway and immigrated in 1872 to the United States when he was 18 years old.[1][2] In Boscobel, Wisconsin he worked as a farmhand and as a tailor.[3] Davidson began a successful mercantile business and established his own tailor business in Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin.[4]

Political career

He held several political positions in Wisconsin, and was twice elected village president in Soldiers Grove. [5] Davidson was also elected as a Republican candidate to the Wisconsin State Assembly, serving three terms from 1893 to 1899. He was elected Wisconsin state treasurer in 1898 and 1900.[6]

Elected the 19th Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin alongside governor Robert M. La Follette, Sr., Davidson served until January 1, 1906, when La Follette resigned to join the United States Senate, making Davidson acting governor.[7] He was elected governor in 1906 and reelected in 1908.[6] He served from January 4, 1906 to January 3, 1911; and during his tenure, state regulation of the railroads was extended to include public utilities, telegraph, telephone, electricity, water companies, and the insurance industry.[8] After retiring from office, he was appointed by his gubernatorial successor to a five-year term as president of the State Board of Control.[9]


Davidson died in Madison, Wisconsin on December 16, 1922 (age 68 years, 309 days),[1][3] due to pneumonia and heart complications. He is interred at Forest Hill Cemetery, Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin.[10]

Family life

Davidson was the son of Ole Davidson and Ingabor (Jenson) Davidson.[10] On February 19, 1883, Davidson married Helen Bliss and they had two daughters, Mabel Elsie and Grace.[1][11]

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Ex-Governor of Wisconsin Dead". Wausau Daily Herald. December 18, 1922. p. 1. Retrieved April 11, 2017 – via open access
  2. ^ Davidson, James O. 1854 – 1922
  3. ^ a b Federal Writers' Project of the Works Progress Administration, and Herman, Jennifer L. (2008). Wisconsin Encyclopedia. North American Book Dist LLC. p. 218. ISBN 9781878592613.
  4. ^ Jens Davidson at NRK Sogn og Fjordane County Encyclopedia (in Norwegian)
  5. ^ "Did You Know?". Soldiers Grove Wisconsin America's First Solar Village. Retrieved May 24, 2014.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ a b Legislative Reference Bureau (1960). The Wisconsin Blue Book. Legislative Reference Bureau. p. 154.
  7. ^ "James O. Davidson". 1996–2014 Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved May 21, 2014.
  8. ^ "Marker 112: James Davidson". Marker 112: James DavidsonWisconsinHistorical Markers. Retrieved May 24, 2014.
  9. ^ "Governors of Wisconsin". Genealogy Trails. Archived from the original on October 11, 2008. Retrieved May 24, 2014.
  10. ^ a b "Wisconsin Scandinavian Obituaries D". Retrieved May 24, 2014.
  11. ^ "James O. Davidson". 1996–2014 Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved May 21, 2014.

External links

Party political offices
Preceded by
Robert M. La Follette
Republican nominee for Governor of Wisconsin
1906, 1908
Succeeded by
Francis E. McGovern
Political offices
Preceded by
Sewell A. Peterson
Treasurer of Wisconsin
Succeeded by
John J. Kempf
Preceded by
Jesse Stone
Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin
Succeeded by
William D. Connor
Preceded by
Robert M. La Follette
Governor of Wisconsin
1906 – 1911
Succeeded by
Francis E. McGovern
This page was last edited on 14 November 2020, at 14:51
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