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William Dorsheimer (February 5, 1832 Lyonsmarker, Wayne County, New YorkmarkerMarch 26, 1888 Savannahmarker, Chatham County, Georgiamarker) was an Americanmarker lawyer and politician.


He was the son of Philip Dorsheimer. He studied at Yale College from 1849 to 1851, but left without graduating because of a protracted illness. Then he moved to Buffalo, New Yorkmarker, studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1854. In 1859, he formed a partnership with Solomon G. Haven.

In 1861, he joined the Union Army as an aide-de-camp with the rank of major and served on the staff of General John C. Frémont, but after three months returned to civilian life.

From 1867 to 1871, as a Republican, he was United States Attorney for the Northern District of New York.

He was a delegate to the 1872 Liberal-Republican National Convention at Cincinnati, Ohiomarker, and afterwards became a Democrat. He was Lieutenant Governor of New York from 1875 to 1879, and a delegate to the 1876 Democratic National Convention. Afterwards he resumed the practice of law in partnership with David Dudley Field in New York Citymarker.

He was elected as a Democrat to the 48th United States Congress and served from March 4, 1883, to March 3, 1885. In 1884, he published a biography of Grover Cleveland, the Democratic candidate for the presidency, and in July 1885, was appointed U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York which office he resigned in March 1886.

In 1885, he purchased the New York Star and began its publication as a daily paper on September 15. He was one of the founders of the Buffalo Fine Arts Academymarker and the Buffalo Historical Society.

Today he is best remembered for hiring American architect H.H. Richardson to design a house for him on Delaware Avenue in Buffalo, which still stands, and for helping Richardson win the commission to design the New York State Asylum in Buffalo. He is also chiefly responsible for bringing landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted to Buffalo to design its park system. Dorsheimer is buried at the Forest Lawn Cemetery, Buffalomarker. The William Dorsheimer Housemarker was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.


  • [344667] Sketches of the candidates for state office, in NYT on September 1, 1876
  • [344668] Bios of German-Americans in Buffalo
  • [344669] Political Graveyard


  1. Broderick, Stanton. William Dorsheimer. 1991. Accessed 8 December 2008.

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