1869 Election Cycle

In January, Republican U.S. Senator Alexander Ramsey was reelected to a second term by the state legislature.

Democrats failed to win any of the seven statewide offices on the ballot this cycle – but came very close in the race for Governor, where former state legislator George Otis lost by just 3.6 points to Sixth Judicial District Judge Horace Austin. Republicans each won the remaining six offices by at least nine points: for Lieutenant Governor (W.H. Yale), Secretary of State (Hans Mattson), Auditor (Charles McIlrath), Attorney General (Francis Cornell), Treasurer (Emil Munch), and Clerk of the Supreme Court (Sherwood Hough). Auditor McIlrath won his fourth and final term.

The 1869 cycle also marked the first time a bonafide third party ran a slate – the Temperance Party (later known as the Prohibition Party). There were Temperance Party nominees for all seven statewide races with the best showing coming from its gubernatorial nominee – Methodist minister Daniel Cobb with 3.2 percent.

Brownsville attorney Charles Ripley was elected Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.

Elections

Date Office Stage Winners Details
11/02/1869 State House, District 18 General John Louis (J.L.) MacDonald (Democrat) won with 940 votes (64.69%) and a winning margin of +47.14
Candidate Gender Party Votes Percent
John Louis (J.L.) MacDonald Incumbent Man Democrat 940 64.69
Charles Harkins Man Independent 255 17.55
William Varner Man Republican 193 13.28
J.C. Somerville Man Temperance 65 4.47

MacDonald was the sitting Scott County Attorney.

Summerville was a former Scott County Commissioner.

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11/02/1869 State House, District 05 General Albert R. (A.R.) Hall (Republican) won with 1,438 votes (17.65%) and a winning margin of +0.77
E.A. Rice (Democrat) won with 1,428 votes (17.53%) and a winning margin of +0.65
Joseph H. (J.H.) Pound (Democrat) won with 1,424 votes (17.48%) and a winning margin of +0.60
Candidate Gender Party Votes Percent
Albert R. (A.R.) Hall Incumbent Man Republican 1,438 17.65
E.A. Rice Man Democrat 1,428 17.53
Joseph H. (J.H.) Pound Man Democrat 1,424 17.48
Loren Fletcher Man Republican 1,375 16.88
Isaac (I.) Atwater Man Democrat 1,249 15.33
C.H. Clark Incumbent Man Republican 1,233 15.13

Atwater was a judge from Minneapolis.

Clark was a farmer from Minneapolis and sitting state Representative (HD 05, 1868-1870; HD 26, 1872-1874, 1875-1876).

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11/02/1869 State Senate, District 05 General Curtis Hussey (C.H.) Petit (Republican) won with 1,581 votes (55.83%) and a winning margin of +11.65
Candidate Gender Party Votes Percent
Curtis Hussey (C.H.) Petit Incumbent Man Republican 1,581 55.83
O.B. King Man Democrat 1,251 44.17
11/02/1869 Clerk of the Supreme Court General Sherwood Hough (Republican) won with 29,815 votes (55.75%) and a winning margin of +12.22
Candidate Gender Party Votes Percent
Sherwood Hough Incumbent Man Republican 29,815 55.75
W.T. Bonniwell Man Democrat 23,279 43.53
A.P. Connolly Man Temperance 383 0.72
Scattering Write-In 7 0.01

Clerk of the Supreme Court Hough was reelected to a second term.

Bonniwell was a resident of Hutchinson, and former Wisconsin War Democratic state Assemblyman (1864-1865), and Democratic nominee for Railroad Commissioner in 1875. Bonniwell would also later serve as a state Senator (SD 06, 1871; SD 36, 1878-1883) and state Representative (HD 36, 1877-1878).

Connelly was a resident of St. Paul. The Temperance Party was founded in 1868 and held its first convention in St. Paul on October 6, 1869. It would later be known as the Prohibition Party in the state.

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11/02/1869 Lieutenant Governor General William H. (W.H.) Yale (Republican) won with 29,456 votes (55.94%) and a winning margin of +14.64
Candidate Gender Party Votes Percent
William H. (W.H.) Yale Man Republican 29,456 55.94
James A. Wiswell Man Democrat 21,745 41.29
John H. Stevens Man Temperance 1,428 2.71
Scattering Write-In 30 0.06

This was the first Minnesota gubernatorial election with a third party candidate on the ballot. The Temperance Party was founded in 1868 and held its first convention in St. Paul on October 6, 1869. It would later be known as the Prohibition Party in the state.

Yale was a lawyer from Winona, state Senator (SD 11, 1867-1868; SD 08 1876-1878; SD 15, 1895-1899), and state Representative (HD 02, 1899-1901).

Wiswell was a lawyer from Mankato, Mayor of Mankato, and former state Representative (HD 17, 1862-1865; HD 14, 1872-1873).

Stevens was a colonel, a farmer from Glencoe, and editor of the Farmer's Union who served in the state House (HD 18, 1857-1859; HD 06, 1862-1863; HD 26, 1876-1877) and state Senate (SD 18, 1859-1861). He was also the Democratic/Anti-Monopoly nominee for Secretary of State in 1873 and Temperance nominee for Secretary of State in 1875.

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