Winfield Scott Hammond

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Winfield Scott Hammond
18th Governor of Minnesota
In office
January 5, 1915 – December 30, 1915
LieutenantJoseph A. A. Burnquist
Preceded byAdolph Olson Eberhart
Succeeded byJoseph A. A. Burnquist
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Minnesota's 2nd district
In office
March 4, 1907 – January 6, 1915
Preceded byJames McCleary
Succeeded byFranklin Ellsworth
Personal details
Born(1863-11-17)November 17, 1863
Southborough, Massachusetts, U.S.
DiedDecember 30, 1915(1915-12-30) (aged 52)
Clinton, Louisiana, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Professioneducator, politician

Winfield Scott Hammond (November 17, 1863 – December 30, 1915) was an American politician. He was a member of the Democratic Party.

Born in 1863 in Southborough, Massachusetts, he served from Minnesota in the United States House of Representatives in the 60th, 61st, 62nd, and 63rd congresses from March 4, 1907 to January 6, 1915. He was the 18th Governor of Minnesota from January 5, 1915 until his death December 30, 1915. Hammond is just one of four Minnesota Democrats to win a gubernatorial election with a Democrat in the White House.[1] He was the second governor of Minnesota to die in office. Joseph Alfred Arner Burnquist succeeded to the governorship to fill the vacancy left by Hammond's death.

Minnesota's eighteenth governor had little time to effect significant change before he died in office. Had he lived longer, perhaps Hammond would have realized his ambitious plans to reorganize state government by minimizing bureaucracy and eliminating waste to make Minnesota's wheels turn more efficiently. Instead, his most notable legislation was the "county option bill," a restriction on liquor sales that pleased prohibition advocates.

An inscription under Hammond's bust in the capitol describes him as "a scholar in politics". He earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Dartmouth College and, upon moving to Mankato at age 21, became principal of its high school. He later studied law while he supervised schools in Watonwan County. He made his permanent home in St. James, where he practiced law and established himself as a political contender.

A staunch Democrat in a Republican community, he lost his first bid for Congress in 1892, but perseverance and bipartisan support eventually brought him a congressional seat 14 years later. He interrupted his fourth consecutive term to leave Washington and run for governor.

Hammond had been in office only eight months when he suffered ptomaine poisoning on a trip south and died of a stroke, aged 52, in Clinton, Louisiana.


  1. ^ Ostermeier, Eric (December 6, 2013). "Can Dayton Catch Lightning in a Bottle Twice?". Smart Politics.
Political offices
Preceded by
Adolph Olson Eberhart
Governor of Minnesota
Succeeded by
Joseph A. A. Burnquist
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
James McCleary
U.S. Representative from Minnesota's 2nd congressional district
1907 – 1915
Succeeded by
Franklin Ellsworth