William B. Ross

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William Bradford Ross (December 4, 1873 – October 2, 1924) was the 12th Governor of Wyoming from January 1, 1923 to October 2, 1924. He was born in Dover, Tennessee to Ambrose B. Ross and Sue (Gray) Ross.

As a young lawyer in Dover, Ross met Nellie Davis Tayloe while she was on a visit to her relatives. The two married a year and a half later, on September 11, 1902, in Omaha, Nebraska. They would have four sons: twins George Tayloe and James Ambrose (born 1903), Alfred Duff, (born April 13, 1905 and died ten months later, February 18, 1906), and William Bradford (born 1912).

Ross decided to practice law in the West, and the young couple moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming after their marriage. His general law practice there was very successful there and soon he became one of the leaders of the Democratic Party in the state. He ran for office several times, but always lost in heavily Republican Wyoming.

Finally, in 1922, Ross was elected governor of Wyoming by appealing to progressive voters in both parties. He advocated stronger Prohibition laws and called for tax cuts, government assistance for poor farmers, banking reform, and laws protecting children, women workers, and miners. However, after little more than a year and a half in office, he died at the age of 50 from complications following an appendectomy. Soon thereafter, his widow was elected and became the first female governor in United States history.

Ross was a delegate to the 1924 Democratic National Convention. He was an Episcopalian, a Freemason, and a member of Kiwanis. He is buried in Lakeview Cemetery in Cheyenne.

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Political offices
Preceded by
Robert D. Carey
Governor of Wyoming
January 1, 1923 – October 2, 1924
Succeeded by
Frank E. Lucas