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History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/4/Frederick E. Bissell

FREDERICK E. BISSELL, a pioneer teacher and lawyer of Iowa, was born in St. Lawrence County, New York, December 8, 1819. He was educated in the common schools and at Potsdam Academy. Coming to Iowa in 1845, while it was a Territory, he located at Dubuque, then a frontier town. He there taught school two years and then studied law with James Crawford, afterwards becoming his partner. During his practice he was the partner of Timothy Davis and Lincoln Clark, both of whom represented the Second District in Congress. He was later a law partner of Judge Shiras, Judge of the United States District Court of Northern Iowa. He was for many years a member of the Dubuque Board of Education and also of the city council. He was at one time president of the Dubuque, St. Paul and St. Peter Railway Company, and was later a member of the Dubuque Improvement Company. In January, 1866, he was appointed by Governor Stone, Attorney-General of Iowa, to fill a vacancy, and at the following general election was chosen for a full term on the Republican ticket. He was called upon during his first term to give an opinion to the Board of Trustees of the State College of Agriculture, as to whether the lands granted by Congress for the support of that institution, were taxable. He decided that they were not, and under his decision the trustees were able to lease them for a term of years and thus derive a revenue that enabled them to open the college many years before it could otherwise have been supported. He died at Dubuque June 12, 1867, before the expiration of his term.