William Pitt Lynde

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William Pitt Lynde
William Pitt Lynde (Wisconsin Congressman).jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 4th district
In office
March 4, 1875 – March 3, 1879
Preceded byAlexander Mitchell
Succeeded byPeter V. Deuster
Mayor of Milwaukee
In office
Preceded byHerman L. Page
Succeeded byJames S. Brown
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 1st district
In office
June 5, 1848 – March 3, 1849
Preceded byDistrict established
Succeeded byCharles Durkee
Member of the Wisconsin Senate
In office
Member of the Wisconsin State Assembly
In office
United States Attorney for the
District of Wisconsin
In office
Preceded byThomas W. Sutherland
Succeeded byThomas W. Sutherland
Personal details
BornDecember 16, 1817
Sherburne, New York
DiedDecember 18, 1885(1885-12-18) (aged 68)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Mary Blanchard Lynde
Alma materYale College, Harvard Law School
Gravesite in Forest Home Cemetery

William Pitt Lynde (December 16, 1817 – December 18, 1885) was an American lawyer and politician from Wisconsin who served in the United States House of Representatives and as Mayor of Milwaukee.[1][2]


Lynde was born in Sherburne, New York. He graduated from Yale College, in 1838, and Harvard Law School, in 1841, and was admitted to the bar in New York. He moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin Territory, shortly thereafter, accompanied by his new wife, Mary.[3]

In 1842 he founded the law firm Finch & Lynde with partner Asahel Finch, Jr. Finch & Lynde survives today as Foley & Lardner, one of the oldest and largest law firms in the country.

Lynde became Attorney General of the Wisconsin Territory in 1844 and United States Attorney for Wisconsin in 1845.[4] He also served as president of the board of trustees of the Village of Milwaukee.

When Wisconsin was admitted as a state in 1848, Lynde was elected as a Democrat to the United States House of Representatives, one of Wisconsin's first two representatives. He joined part of the 30th United States Congress from June 5, 1848, till March 3, 1849, representing Wisconsin's 1st congressional district. He lost his reelection bid for the 31st Congress. He was also unsuccessful in the 1849 election for associate justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Lynde served as Mayor of Milwaukee in 1860. His Wisconsin political career also led him to the state legislature; he served in the Wisconsin State Assembly in 1866 and the State Senate in 1869 and 1870. He returned to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1875, where he served two full terms this time representing Wisconsin's 4th congressional district as part of the 44th and 45th Congresses from March 4, 1875, till March 3, 1879.

Lynde died in 1885 in Milwaukee at age 68. He is interred in Milwaukee's Forest Home Cemetery.[5] His wife died in 1897 and was also interred there.


  1. ^ William Pitt Lynde, Wisconsin Historical Society
  2. ^ 'Proceedings of State Bar Association of Wisconsin,' Wisconsin State Bar Association: 1901, Biographical Sketch of William Lynde Pitt, vol. 3, pg. 313
  3. ^ Langill, Ellen D. (2003). "Speaking with an Equal Voice: The Reform Efforts of Milwaukee's Mary Blanchard Lynde". The Wisconsin Magazine of History. 87 (1): 18–29. JSTOR 4637060.
  4. ^ Obituary Record of the Graduates of Yale College Deceased during the Academical Year ending in June 3 1856 (PDF). 1856. p. 306.
  5. ^ "Historical People". Forest Home Cemetery. Retrieved May 16, 2014.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
New district Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 1st congressional district

June 5, 1848 – March 3, 1849
Succeeded by
Charles Durkee
Preceded by
Alexander Mitchell
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 4th congressional district

March 4, 1875 – March 3, 1879
Succeeded by
Peter V. Deuster
Political offices
Preceded by
Herman L. Page
Mayor of Milwaukee
Succeeded by
James S. Brown