On This Date In Twin Cities History - January 12, 1816
On this date in 1816, Willis A. Gorman is born in Flemingsburg, Kentucky. Gorman was appointed Minnesota Territory’s second governor by President Franklin Pierce and served from 1853-1857. During his tenure as Governor of Minnesota, Gorman contrived an unsuccessful plan to move the capital of Minnesota Territory from St. Paul to St. Peter where he owned land suitable for use as the capitol grounds. Gorman’s effort was essentially defeated when legislator Joe Rolette disappeared with the bill until the last seconds of the legislative session. Gorman later served in the state’s legislature and commanded the First Minnesota Regiment during the Civil War serving in the First Battle of Bull Run and the Battle of Antietam. After the war he served as St. Paul’s city attorney from 1869 until his death on May 20, 1876. He is buried in Oakland Cemetery in St. Paul.
Willis A. Gorman circa 1862 (MHS)