William A. Poynter

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William A. Poynter
10th Governor of Nebraska
In office
January 5, 1899 – January 3, 1901
Lieutenant Edward A. Gilbert
Preceded by Silas A. Holcomb
Succeeded by Charles Henry Dietrich
Member of the Nebraska House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Born William Amos Poynter
(1848-05-29)May 29, 1848
Eureka, Illinois
Died April 5, 1909(1909-04-05) (aged 60)
Lincoln, Nebraska
Political party Democratic Party (United States)
People's Party (United States)
Spouse(s) Maria Josephine McCorkle
Children Josephine and Charles
Alma mater Eureka College

William Amos Poynter (May 29, 1848 – April 5, 1909) was a Nebraska politician and the tenth Governor of Nebraska from 1899 to 1901, running under a fusion ticket between the Populist and the Democratic Party. He had previously also been elected to the former Nebraska State House of Representatives in 1885 and the State Senate in 1891.[1]

Early life[edit]

Born in Eureka, Illinois, Poynter completed his college studies at Eureka College, graduating in 1867. He married Maria Josephine McCorkle in 1869, and the couple had two children: Josephine and Charles.[2] Poynter worked as a merchant in Eureka, Illinois, for several years until relocating his family to Albion, Nebraska in 1879.


Poynter worked as a rancher and a farmer in Boone County, Nebraska, and became active in politics.[3] He helped organize the Farmers' Alliance and was elected to the Nebraska State Legislature in 1884.[4] He was elected to the Nebraska State Senate and named President Pro Tempore of that body.[5]

Poynter was nominated again in 1892, but he was defeated by Republican George D. Meiklejohn. He served as a member of the State Legislature for nearly two decades before being elected governor in 1898.[6] Poynter served only one term as governor, being narrowly defeated in 1900 by Charles H. Dietrich. When he retired from public life, he remained active in his own business affairs and was also president of the Security Savings and Loan Association.[7]


Poynter died suddenly while visiting then Governor Ashton C. Shallenberger. He is interred at Wyuka Cemetery, Lincoln, Lancaster County, Nebraska USA.[8]


  1. ^ "The Political Graveyard". Poynter, William Amos. Retrieved January 4, 2006. 
  2. ^ "William A. Poynter". Semi-Centennial History of Nebraska. Retrieved September 17, 2012. 
  3. ^ "William A. Poynter". National Governors Association. Retrieved September 17, 2012. 
  4. ^ Gov. William A. Poynter papers at the Nebraska State Historical Society. Retrieved on July 6, 2009.
  5. ^ "William A. Poynter". The Encyclopedia of Nebraska. Retrieved September 17, 2012. 
  6. ^ Eureka College Alumni Directory, 1860-1976, pg. 3.
  7. ^ "William A. Poynter". National Governors Association. Retrieved September 17, 2012. 
  8. ^ "William A. Poynter". Find A Grave. Retrieved September 17, 2012. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Silas A. Holcomb
Governor of Nebraska
Succeeded by
Charles H. Dietrich