Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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LE DUC, William Gates, soldier, born in Wilkesville, Gallia County, Ohio, 29 March, 182a. He was graduated at Kenyon college in 1848, admitted to the bar in 1849, and settled in St. Paul, Minnesota He was active in inducing emigration to Minnesota, prepared and obtained the first charter for a railroad in the territory, and organized the Wabash bridge company to build the first bridge over Mississippi river. He settled in Hastings, Minnesota, in 1856, and was the first in the territory to make and ship spring wheat-flour, which subsequently became one of the chief products of the state. He entered the National army in 1861 as a captain, became lieutenant-colonel and chief quartermaster, served with the Army of the Potomac till the Gettysburg campaign, and subsequently in the west. He was brevetted brigadier-general of volunteers in 1865. He then returned to Minnesota, engaged in railroad enterprises, and was appointed commissioner of agriculture by President Hayes. During his occupation of this office he established a tea farm in South Carolina, successfully experimented in producing sugar from sorghum canes and beets, and founded what has since been enlarged as the bureau of animal industry, and a division of forestry.
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