WILLIAM FREEMAN VILAS, who at tamed a national reputation as an able lawyer, statesman, and cabinet officer,
was born at Chelsea, Vermont, July 9, 1840. His parents remOved to Wisconsin when our subject was but eleven years
of age, and there with the early settlers endured all the hardships and trials incident to pioneer life. William
F. Vilas was given all the advantages found in the common schools, and supplemented this by a course of study in
the Wisconsin State University, after which he studied law, was admitted to the bar and began practicing at Madison.
Shortly afterward the Civil war broke out and Mr. Vilas enlisted and became colonel of the Twenty third regiment
of Wisconsin Volunteers, serving throughout the war with distinction. At the close of the war he returned to Wisconsin,
resumed his law practice, and rapidly rose to eminence in this profession. In 1885 he was selected by President
Cleveland for postmaster general and at the close of his term again returned to Madison, Wisconsin, to resume the
practice of law.
A Biographical Record
Of Schuyler County, New York
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
New York and Chicago 1903.
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