Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
RUSK, Jeremiah McLain (1830-1893)

RUSK, JEREMIAH MCLAIN, a Representative from Wisconsin; born in Malta, Morgan County, Ohio, June 17, 1830; received a limited schooling; moved to Vernon County, Wis., in 1853 and engaged in agricultural pursuits; sheriff of Viroqua, Wis., 1855-1857; coroner in 1857; member of the State assembly in 1862; became major in the Twenty-fifth Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, August 14, 1862; lieutenant colonel September 16, 1863; mustered out June 7, 1865; bank comptroller of Wisconsin 1866-1869; elected as a Republican to the Forty-second, Forty-third, and Forty-fourth Congresses (March 4, 1871-March 3, 1877); chairman, Committee on Invalid Pensions (Forty-third Congress); was not a candidate for renomination in 1876; Governor of Wisconsin 1882-1889; appointed Secretary of Agriculture in the Cabinet of President Benjamin Harrison and served from March 5, 1889, to March 5, 1893, the last two days of the service being in the succeeding Cabinet of President Grover Cleveland; died in Viroqua, Vernon County, Wis., on November 21, 1893; interment in Viroqua Cemetery.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division
Washington, DC
Papers: 1889-1892. 11 letters (typed copies).

State Historical Society of Wisconsin
Madison, WI
Papers: 1862-1898. 14 volumes and 5 boxes.
Correspondence and letter books concerning state and national elections and political issues, railroad land grants, and shipping interests; material from his service as Secretary of Agriculture.

  • Casson, Henry. "Uncle Jerry." Life of General Jeremiah M. Rusk: Stage Driver, Farmer, Soldier, Legislator, Governor, Cabinet Officer. Madison, Wis.: J. W. Hill, 1895.