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Gorman, Willis Arnold

Democratic Constitutional Convention 1857 (District 2)

Party when first elected:  Democratic

Counties Served: 


Date of Birth: 1/12/1816
Birth Place: Flemingsburgh, Kentucky
Birth County: Fleming
Birth Country: United States
Date of Death: 5/20/1876
Gender: Male
Religion: Catholic
Reported Minority: None Reported
Other Names:
City of Residence (when first elected): Saint Paul
Occupation (when first elected): Practiced Law


College Graduate;
Indiana University; Law Degree; Law Department, 1835 or 1845; Admitted to the Bar, 1835 or 1845


State Legislative Staff: Indiana Senate (Clerk of the State Senate); 1837 to 1838
State Legislative Staff: Indiana Senate (Enrolling Secretary); 1839 to 1840
State Legislator (Not Minnesota): Indiana House of Representatives; 1841 to 1844
Military: United States Army, Indiana Volunteers, Indiana 3rd and 4th Regiments (Mexican War; Private; Major, June 1846; and Colonel); 1846 to 08/1849
U.S. Representative: Indiana; 03/04/1849 to 03/03/1853 [Elected]
U.S. Executive Branch: Minnesota Territory (Superintendent of Indian Affairs); 05/13/1853 to 04/27/1857
Territorial Government: Minnesota Territory (Territorial Governor, Appointed by President Pierce); 05/15/1853 to 04/27/1857 [Appointed]
Territorial Democratic Constitutional Convention: 2nd Council District, Minnesota Territory; 07/13/1857 to 08/29/1857 [Elected]
Military: Union Army, 1st Regiment, Minnesota Volunteer Infantry (United States Civil War, Colonel, and Brigadier General); 1861 to 1864
Municipal Attorney: St. Paul, Minnesota (City Attorney, Prosecutor); 1869 to 05/20/1876 [Elected]


Spouse: Martha Stone (first wife, married in January 1836, she died March 1, 1864); Emily Newington (second wife, married on April 27, 1865)
Children: Five children (with Martha): Richard L., James W., Louisa G., Ellis Stone, and Martha B.
Family Members Who Have Served in the Minnesota Legislature:
Richard L. Gorman  - Son


He was of Irish ancestry.

He was one of the members elected in the 1858 election to serve in the Minnesota House of Representatives in the 1858-1859 session. That session was never called. A note in the Legislative Manual for the State of Minnesota 1881 (p. 180) states that due to the protracted session of 1857-58 the winter of 1858-59 meeting of the legislature was unnecessary.

He moved to Bloomington, Indiana in 1836.

He was severly injured during the Mexican War.

He died at home in St. Paul, Minnesota and was buried in Oakland Cemetery.

Religion provided by Life and Public Services of Hon. Willis A. Gorman, 1880.