About this Famous Person
William D. WASHBURN
United States Senator from Minnesota
Source : Tim DOWLING
Washburn was born in Livermore, Maine. A graduate of Bowdoin College, he first studied law in the office of John A. Peters in Bangor, Maine before moving to Minneapolis, Minnesota around 1857. There he practiced law, and worked for the Minneapolis Milling Company (founded by his brother Cadwallader). His business ventures in lumber and flour milling allowed him to amass a large fortune, and by the 1880s, he was among the wealthiest men in Minnesota. Washburn served as the first president from 1883 to 1889 of what was to become Soo Line Railroad. He also founded the Pillsbury-Washburn Milling Company, which later became the Pillsbury Company, and was eventually absorbed by his brother's firm, General Mills.