History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/4/Samuel McNutt
SAMUEL McNUTT was born near Londonderry, Ireland, November 21, 1825. His father emigrated to America when the son was a child and located on a farm in Delaware. Samuel was educated in Delaware College, taught school and studied law. He removed to Milwaukee where he was admitted to the bar in 1851. He came to Iowa in 1854, and engaged in teaching at Muscatine. He joined D. F. Wells in the publication of the Voice of Iowa, the first educational periodical in the State. In 1856 Mr. McNutt purchased an interest in the Muscatine Enquirer, assuming the editorial management. A few years later he became associate editor of the Dubuque Herald with J. B. Dorr. Up to this time Mr. McNutt had been a “Douglas Democrat” but when the Civil War began he became a warm supporter of Lincoln's administration as a Union Democrat. The “War Democrats” were displeased with the position of the Herald and united in establishing The Evening Union with Mr. McNutt as editor. It was a strong supporter of the war measures of Congress and the President. After the Union was discontinued he became one of the editors of the Dubuque Times, afterwards returning to Muscatine. Having united with the Republican party he was elected in the fall of 1863 Representative in the Legislature where he served by reëlection for six years and at the close of his third term was elected to the Senate for four years. He was one of the early and able advocates of legislative control of railroads and in all matters before the Legislature was an earnest champion of the interests of the industrial classes and the author of many excellent laws. In 1872 he was a prominent candidate for State Treasurer before the Republican Convention but was defeated by the railroad influence which was united against him. In August, 1890, he was appointed by President Harrison United States Consul at Maracaibo, in Venezuela.