William Cameron Sproul

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For other people with the same name, see William Sproul (disambiguation).
William Cameron Sproul
William Cameron Sproul.jpg
27th Governor of Pennsylvania
In office
January 21, 1919 – January 16, 1923
Lieutenant Edward Beidleman
Preceded by Martin Brumbaugh
Succeeded by Gifford Pinchot
Personal details
Born (1870-09-16)September 16, 1870
Colerain Township, Pennsylvania
Died March 21, 1928(1928-03-21) (aged 57)
Wallingford, Pennsylvania
Political party Republican
Alma mater Swarthmore College
Religion Religious Society of Friends

William Cameron Sproul (September 16, 1870 – March 21, 1928) was the 27th Governor of Pennsylvania from 1919 to 1923.[1]


Sproul was born at John Douglass House in Colerain Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania on September 16, 1870. The Sproul family relocated to Delaware County in 1883, where Sproul graduated from Chester High School in 1887. He received a postsecondary education at Swarthmore College, from which he graduated with honors in 1891. In college, he was a member of Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity.

Sproul was employed in the field of newspaper publishing, and he arose to the rank of president of the Chester Daily Times. He additionally made a substantial sum through investments in railroads and manufacturing interests.

A prominent Republican, Sproul served in the Pennsylvania State Senate from 1897 to 1919. In 1911, he drafted the landmark Sproul Highway Act, which created the state highway system.

In 1918, Sproul was elected as the 27th Governor of Pennsylvania, serving in this capacity until 1923. As governor, he focused extensively on expanding funding for education, roadway construction, and veterans' services. He also spurred an effort to expand state forest land so as to replenish the state's woodlands after years of degradation by lumber companies.

Sproul was a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 1920. He was later offered the nomination for vice president on a ticket with Warren Harding, but he declined the opportunity. In 1926, Spoul chaired the bi-state committee that organized the construction of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge between Philadelphia and Camden.

He died on March 21, 1928.[1] He was buried at the Chester Rural Cemetery.


His birthplace is known as the John Douglass House, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.[2] Sproul Hall, a residence hall on the campus of Penn State University, is named after William Cameron Sproul. Governor Sproul Apartments located in Broomall, Pennsylvania, is named after William Cameron Sproul. Sproul Estates, in Wallingford, Pennsylvania, a residential development named after Governor Sproul, is built on the site of his former residence. Sproul State Forest in Clinton and Centre counties is named for him.


  1. ^ a b "William C. Sproul, Ex-Governor, Dies. Former Pennsylvania Executive Succumbs at 57 After Illness of Several Months. Began Life As Farmer Boy. After College He Bought Interest in a Newspaper, but Later Took Up Financial Interests". New York Times. March 22, 1928. Retrieved December 27, 2013. William Cameron Sproul, former Governor of Pennsylvania, three times President of the Union League of Philadelphia and a nationally known figure in Republican politics, died at his home, Lapidea Manor, near Chester, shortly before 10 o'clock tonight .... 
  2. ^ National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 

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Political offices
Preceded by
Martin Brumbaugh
Governor of Pennsylvania
Succeeded by
Gifford Pinchot
Party political offices
Preceded by
Martin Brumbaugh
Republican nominee for Governor of Pennsylvania
Succeeded by
Gifford Pinchot