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Encyclopedia Dubuque


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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.

BISSELL, Frederick E.

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Ancestry: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/202939294/frederick-ezekiel-bissell?_gl=1*17kjwux*_ga*MTU4MDUyNDU2MC4xNjUxMjA3NTgw*_ga_4QT8FMEX30*MTY2NDQ4MTUwMy4xNzEuMS4xNjY0NDgxNTcyLjAuMC4w


BISSELL, Frederick E. (St. Lawrence County, NY, Dec. 8, 1819--Dubuque, IA, June 12, 1867). Educated in the common schools and Potsdam Academy, Bissell moved to Dubuque in 1845. He taught school for two years and then studied law with James Crawford who he then joined as a partner in the practice of law. (1)

Bissell later became a law partner of Oliver Perry SHIRAS, Judge of the United States District Court of Northern Iowa. Bissell was for many years a member of the Dubuque Board of Education and also of the city council, at one time president of the DUBUQUE, ST. PETER AND ST. PAUL RAILROAD, and was later a member of the DUBUQUE CENTRAL IMPROVEMENT COMPANY. (2)

Governor Stone, appointed Bissell Attorney-General of Iowa to fill an unexpired term. At the following general election, he 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 (later Iowa State University), as to whether the lands granted by Congress for the support of that institution, were taxable. He decided that they were not. As a result of his decision, the trustees were able to lease the land and create revenue that allowed them to open the college many years before it could otherwise have been supported. (3)

Bissell died while in office. His position was filled by Henry O'Connor who was appointed June 25, 1867. (4)



1. Gue, Benjamin F. History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century (1903) Volume IV

2. Ibid.

3. Ibid.

4. "Proclamation for the General Election," The Herald, September 25, 1867, p. 4

Special thanks to James Kenline