Vol. 8 Luxembourgers in the United States: Paul O. Husting

Paul O. Husting was an American lawyer, who served as a member of the United States Senate from 1915 to 1917.

He was born in 1866 in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin to Mary M. Husting, née Juneau, and John P. Husting, who had emigrated from Luxembourg to the United States in 1855. 

Husting attended the law school of the University of Wisconsin at Madison, passed the state bar exam, and was admitted to the bar in 1895. He set up a law practice in Mayville, and in 1897 associated with C. W. Lamoreux, upon which the firm of Husting & Brother was created.

Paul Husting was elected district attorney of Dodge County, WI in 1902 and reelected in 1904. He was then elected to Wisconsin state Senate in 1906 and 1910. There, he is credited with drafting and passing laws aimed at conservation of natural resources. He also championed social and public concerns in other areas, such as progressive state income tax, worker’s compensation laws, measures to protect women and child laborers, and the election of U.S. senators by popular vote. He was the first U.S. senator to be chosen by that method in Wisconsin. He succeeded Isaac Stephenson as United States senator on March 4, 1915, and served in the Senate from 1915 until his death. He was chairman of the Committee on Fisheries and chairman of a special committee investigating trespasses on Indian lands during his entire time in the Senate.

Husting career ended abruptly when he was killed in a duck hunting accident on Rush Lake near Pickett, Wisconsin in 1917. His death was of political importance. The Senate would have been under Democratic control had he not been succeeded by Republican Irvine Lenroot, as a consequence of which in 1919 the Senate had 49 Republicans and 47 Democrats (Vice-President Thomas R. Marshall was a Democrat, and had the power to break all ties).

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