MOSES WISNER, the twelfth governor of Michigan, was born in Springport, New York on June 3, 1815. His early education was attained in the common schools of his native state. In 1837, he moved to Michigan and settled in Lapeer County, where he worked as a farmer and studied law. He was admitted to the bar in 1841, and then established his legal career, serving as the Lapeer County prosecuting attorney. Wisner first entered politics in 1854, as an unsuccessful candidate for Congress. He next secured the Republican gubernatorial nomination, and went on to win election to the governorship on November 2, 1858. During his tenure, construction on state roads was advanced; four new counties were formed; the general registration law was sanctioned; a law department was created at the University of Michigan; and the St. Mary’s Ship Canal was revitalized. After completing his term, Wisner left office on January 2, 1861, and retired from political life. In 1862 he organized the 22nd Michigan Infantry, of which he was commissioned colonel, however before seeing any action in the Civil War, Wisner contracted typhoid fever and died. Governor Moses Wisner was buried in the Oak Hill Cemetery in Pontiac, Michigan.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 2, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.