Hon. William Wallace Kingsbury

William was born in Towanda, Bradford Co., PA on June 4, 1828 to the parents of Byron and Wealthy (Gore) Kingsbury. There were nine children born into this family of which, four died in infancy.

William attended academies at Towanda and Athens PA. The renowned Stephen Foster was a schoolmate of his at Towanda and was fondly remembered by William as a young man who enjoyed romping in the woods and wading along the creek banks, but had a dislike for sweaty and soiled clothes, discarding them as soon as possible.  

In 1852 William moved to Minnesota where he entered politics.  He was elected to the legislature representing St. Louis County in 1856. Kingsbury Creek in this same county was named after William, who owned land and a cabin along its shores. He was elected to the Minnesota Territorial House of Representatives in 1857 and was holding that position when Minnesota was admitted to the Union in 1858. Because the Dakota Territory was a part of Minnesota before the boundaries were changed, William was also their first delegate to the House of Representatives as well. A protest was launched when the boundaries changed proclaiming William was no longer a resident of Dakota, but he would remain as their legally elected delegate. 

About the time his father died in 1859 William moved back to Pennsyvania, perhaps to help his mother, because he is shown living with her on the 1860 census of Towanda.

He was a part of the first conferees of the first democratic conference of the 13th congressional district of PA.  The meeting was held at the Ward House in Tunkhannock, Wyoming County on Friday, the 19th of September 1862. He was also the Senatorial delegate at the Democratic State Convention at Harrisburg on June 17, 1863. On the 1880 Bradford County census, his occupation was listed as a clerk for Senator Wallace. 

William moved to Tarpon Springs, Florida in 1887 where he worked in real estate and the mercantile business. He died there on April 17, 1892 and is buried at the city’s Cycadia Cemetery. A monument also stands at  Oak Hill Cemetery in his hometown of Towanda.

Author: Linda Flowers

Source: Doo-dah!: Stephen Foster and the Rise of American Popular culture by Ken Emerson; History of Dakota Territory Vol 1 by George Washington Kingsbury; Columbia Democrat 6-27-1863; the Star of the North (Bloomsburg, pa) 10-1-1862; Ancestry; Wikipedia


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