William H. James

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William H. James
William H. James.gif
Acting Governor of Nebraska
In office
June 2, 1871 – January 13, 1873
Preceded by David Butler
Succeeded by Robert Wilkinson Furnas
Personal details
Born (1831-10-16)October 16, 1831
Marion, Ohio
Died February 1, 1920(1920-02-01) (aged 88)
Colfax, Washington
Political party Republican
Profession lawyer

William Hartford James (October 16, 1831 – February 1, 1920) was a Republican Nebraska politician best known as the Acting Governor of Nebraska. He was also a member of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Board of Regents during his tenure as governor.

James was born at Marion, Ohio. He attended the public school and Marion Academy for two years[1] and worked on the family farm. He began studying law on his own, and in 1853, James moved to Des Moines, Iowa and joined a law firm. He was admitted to the Iowa Bar Association in 1855 and moved to Sergeant Bluff to start his own legal practice. He married Louisa Epler and they had four children.[2]


In 1857 James moved to Nebraska and staked a homestead claim in Dakota County. He soon became active in local politics, serving as Justice of the Peace and County Attorney for Dakota County. In 1864 President Abraham Lincoln appointed James as register of the Dakota County Land Office. After serving as register of the Dakota County Land Office for five years, James then ran on the Republican ticket and was elected Secretary of State in 1870. In 1871, with the impeachment of Governor David Butler, James became Acting Governor of Nebraska until January 13, 1873.[3] He was a member of the University of Nebraska board of regents from 1871 to 1873.[4]

Later life[edit]

After serving out his term as acting governor, James returned to his legal practice. In 1877 he was appointed register of the Colfax, Washington Land Office. He held that position until his death in 1920. He is interred in Colfax, Washington.[5]


  1. ^ "William H. James". The Encyclopedia of Nebraska. Retrieved September 16, 2012. 
  2. ^ "William H. James". National Governors Association. Retrieved September 16, 2012. 
  3. ^ "William H. James". World Trade Press. Retrieved September 16, 2012. 
  4. ^ "William H. James". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved September 16, 2012. 
  5. ^ "William H. James". National Governors Association. Retrieved September 16, 2012. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Thomas P. Kennard
Nebraska Secretary of State
1871 – 1873
Succeeded by
John J. Gosper
Preceded by
David Butler
Acting Governor of Nebraska
1871 – 1873
Succeeded by
Robert Wilkinson Furnas