Vernon Thomson, Wisconsin's 34th governor, was born in 1905 in Richland Center. He attended Carroll College and the University of Wisconsin, graduating in 1927. Thomson taught at Viroqua High School and at the Madison Vocational School. He was admitted to the bar in 1932. Thomson served as Richland County assistant district attorney and the Richland Center city attorney. He was elected to the Assembly in 1935, serving eight terms, and as state attorney general in 1950, serving three terms. Thomson defeated William Proxmire in the 1956 governor's race but lost to Gaylord Nelson in 1958. Thomson served in Congress from 1960 until he retired in 1974.