William H. Mylrea

Men of Progress. Wisconsin. (pages 81-115) A selected list of biographical sketches and portraits of the leaders in business, professional and official life. Together with short notes on the history and character of Wisconsin.

MYLREA, William H., attorney-general for the state of Wisconsin, was born in Rochester, New York, January 1st, 1853, but came with his parents to Kilbourn City, Wisconsin, in 1856, where he resided until 1883. He attended the village school, and, through diligent study and a natural aptitude for learning, he was prepared for college, and entered Lawrence University, at Appleton, in 1874, where he was a student until the close of the junior year, in 1877. After leaving college he became a student in the law department of the state university, at Madison, but while pursuing his studies there he received the appointment of postmaster at Kilbourn City. Discontinuing his studies in the law school, he returned home and entered upon his duties as postmaster, holding the position for three years. His leisure from his official duties, however, was devoted to his law studies, under the general direction of Hon. Jonathan Bowman of Kilbourn; and, in 1879, he passed the required examination and was admitted to the bar, at the session of the Circuit court in Portage. Resigning the position of postmaster in 1881, and entering upon the practice of his profession, such was his ability and attention to the cases committed to him that he rapidly acquired a large business. In the summer of 1883, he removed to Wausau, and entered into a partnership with C. V. Bardeen, now judge of the Sixteenth Judicial circuit. This partnership continued until 1892, when Judge Bardeen entered upon his judicial duties. He devoted himself with great energy and close application to the duties of his profession, not seeking office or position until 1886, when, without solicitation on his part, he was nominated by the Republican county convention for the office of district attorney of Marathon county, and elected by a majority of nearly 130, although on other offices the Democrats carried the county, as they have usually done since its organization. Two years later he was re-nominated. He made no canvass for himself, but spoke throughout the state for the general ticket, and although the Democrats carried the county by about 1,000 majority, on the general ticket, the majority, on the general ticket, the majority against him was but about 400. These facts show his popularity and the estimation in which his discharge of his duties of district attorney was held, in a clearer light than could any language, however forcible.

In 1894, Mr. Mylrea decided to become a candidate before the Republican state convention for the office of attorney-general. There were several other candidates of ability and experience, but he received the nomination without a serious struggle. In 1896 he was re-nominated by acclamation. He has made an able, attentive and careful official, and is popular with those having official relations with him.

He has been an earnest Republican since he was old enough to take an interest in political affairs, and as an expounder of the principles of his party he is very effective. He has spoken in all parts of the state, and in the campaign of 1896 he devoted much time and thought to the discussion of the important question of the currency, and is said to have been a very entertaining and instructive speaker.

Mr. Mylrea was married, in Milwaukee, November 12th, 1884, to Miss Minnie Ostrander, eldest daughter of D. Ostrander of Chicago, and formerly of Jefferson county, Wisconsin. They have one child--John D. Mylrea.


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