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William B. Ross

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

William B. Ross
William B. Ross.jpg
12th Governor of Wyoming
In office
January 1, 1923 – October 2, 1924
Preceded byRobert D. Carey
Succeeded byFrank Lucas
Personal details
William Bradford Ross

(1873-12-04)December 4, 1873
Dover, Tennessee, U.S.
DiedOctober 2, 1924(1924-10-02) (aged 50)
Cheyenne, Wyoming, U.S.
Resting placeLakeview Cemetery, Cheyenne, Wyoming, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Nellie Tayloe Ross
MotherSue Gray
FatherAmbrose B. Ross
EducationPeabody Normal School

William Bradford Ross (December 4, 1873 – October 2, 1924) was an American politician who served as the 12th governor of Wyoming as a Democrat.


William Bradford Ross was born in Dover, Tennessee on December 4, 1873 to Ambrose B. Ross and Sue Gray and later attended the Peabody Normal School. He met Nellie Davis Tayloe while she was visiting her relatives in Dover and after moving to Cheyenne, Wyoming in 1901 they married on September 11, 1902 in Omaha, Nebraska and later had three children (twins James Ambrose and George Tayloe, Alfred Duff).[1][2]

From 1906 to 1907 he served as Laramie County's prosecuting attorney and in 1910 he unsuccessfully ran for Wyoming's at-large congressional seat. In 1918 he mounted a primary campaign against incumbent Governor Frank L. Houx, but was defeated.[3]


During the 1922 gubernatorial election the Republican Party was divided due to a contentious primary between Robert D. Carey and John W. Hay where Hay won by only 443 votes and by appealing to Carey's voters through his strong prohibition stances allowed him to narrowly defeat Hay by 723 votes. In June 1924 he served as one of Wyoming's delegates to the Democratic National Convention.


On September 23, 1924 he gave a speech in favor of a severance tax constitutional amendment in Laramie and while being driven home became sick. It was discovered that he was suffering from phlebitis, but died on October 2, 1924 after suffering complications following an appendectomy that happened on September 25.[4] Secretary of State Frank Lucas served as acting governor until a special election was held where Ross's wife, Nellie Tayloe Ross, won and became the first female governor in the United States.

Electoral history

William B. Ross electoral history
1910 Wyoming at-large Congressional District election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Frank Wheeler Mondell 20,312 54.71% -2.35%
Democratic William B. Ross 14,659 39.48% +3.16%
Socialist J.B. Morgan 2,155 5.81% -0.81%
Total votes '37,126' '100.00%'
1918 Wyoming Gubernatorial Democratic primary
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Frank L. Houx (incumbent) 4,393 56.91%
Democratic William B. Ross 3,326 43.09%
Total votes '7,719' '100.00%'
1922 Wyoming Gubernatorial Democratic primary
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic William B. Ross 6,230 49.56%
Democratic George E. Kindler 4,972 39.55%
Democratic Frank C. McDowell 1,370 10.90%
Total votes '12,572' '100.00%'
1922 Wyoming Gubernatorial election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic William B. Ross 31,110 50.03% +6.13%
Republican John W. Hay 30,387 48.87% -7.24%
Independent Write-ins 687 1.11% +1.11%
Total votes '62,184' '100.00%'


  1. ^ "Gov. W. B. Ross Answers Call". Casper Star-Tribune. 2 October 1924. p. 4. Archived from the original on 10 January 2020 – via
  2. ^ Binheim, Max (1928). Women of the West; a series of biographical sketches of living eminent women in the eleven western states of the United States of America. p. 214-215.
  3. ^ "The "Other" Governor Ross: William B. Ross". 4 December 2015. Archived from the original on 10 January 2020.
  4. ^ "Gov. W. B. Ross Answers Call". Casper Star-Tribune. 2 October 1924. p. 4. Archived from the original on 10 January 2020 – via
Party political offices
Preceded by
Frank L. Houx
Democratic nominee for Governor of Wyoming
Succeeded by
Nellie Tayloe Ross
Political offices
Preceded by
Robert D. Carey
Governor of Wyoming
January 1, 1923 – October 2, 1924
Succeeded by
Frank E. Lucas
This page was last edited on 6 April 2021, at 10:43
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