Clark County Cemeteries
Washburn Township was originally
a part of what is today Sherwood Township. In
the spring of 1873, its first independent meeting was
held. It was named for Cadwallader Colden
Washburn (April 22, 1818–May
15, 1882) who was often called C. C. Washburn.
He was the presiding governor of Wisconsin with his
term beginning in 1872 and ending in 1874. One
of seven sons of an illustrious family, he was born
in Livermore, Androscoggin County, Maine. He attended
school in Wiscasset, Maine and then taught there from
1838-1839 before moving west to Davenport, Iowa.
He was involved in the Iowa geological surveying and
then studied law in Rock Island, Illinois where he was
elected as that county's surveyor in 1840. He
began to practice law after being admitted to the bar
association and moving to Mineral Point, Wisconsin.
There, he founded the Mineral Point Bank and in 1854
he entered the political contest for State Representative
of the great Badger State as a republican. He
served three consecutive terms from March 4, 1855 through
March 3, 1861, declining to run again in 1860.
In 1861, he moved north to LaCrosse, Wisconsin but returned
to Washington, D.C. before year's end as a delegate
in the peace convention which sought to ward off the
pending Civil War. When that initiative failed,
he served as a brigadier general for the Union Army
and was later promoted to colonel of the Second Regiment
of the Wisconsin Volunteer Cavalry, February 6, 1862.
July 16th of that year, he became a brigadier general
of Volunteers and by November 29th, he was a major general.
He returned to LaCrosse after resigning from service
May 25, 1865.
Cadwallader then returned to Congress for two additional
terms from March 4, 1867 to March 3, 1871. He
was chairman of the Committee on Expenditures on Public
Buildings during his first term. He declined to
run in the 1870 congressional race, but ran for the
governorship of Wisconsin and won. In 1873, his
bid for another term met with defeat.
Cadwallader Washburn was not only a successful politician
and soldier, but he was an accomplished American businessman
as well. He owned extensive timberlands in Clark
County, Wisconsin and established mills in Minneapolis,
Minnesota. He began his mills by leasing the power
rights to the water flowing over St. Anthony Falls through
the Minneapolis Milling Company in 1856. In 1866,
he erected his own "B" Mill, which was considered risky
because it was thought to be too large to be profitable.
It was a huge success and in 1874, Cadwallader built
an even larger Washburn "A" Mill which exploded in 1878
and was never rebuilt. Eventually, Washburn formed
a partnership with John Crosby to establish the milling
company which is today known as "General Mills".
Not a miller by trade and never a resident of Minneapolis,
he is nevertheless celebrated there as a major force
in making that city a "Flour-Milling Capital of the
Cadwallader Colden Washburn
died in Eureka Springs, Arkansas during
a visit to improve his health. His
body was returned to his beloved LaCrosse,
Wisconsin for burial in the Oak Grove Cemetery.