WILLIAM BEBB, the nineteenth governor of Ohio, was born in Butler County, Ohio on December 8, 1802. His education was attained in the common schools of his native state. He started teaching school when he was twenty years old, and by 1828 he founded the successful Sycamore Grove School for boys. He also went on to studied law, and then established his legal career in Hamilton, Ohio. Bebb first entered politics as an active supporter and campaigner for William Henry Harrison in the 1840 presidential election. He also was a delegate to the 1844 Whig National Convention. Bebb next secured the Whig gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote in the 1846 general election. During his tenure, troops and arms were raised for the war with Mexico; penal reform measures were initiated; the state deficit was reduced; and funding for the state's school system was maintained. Bebb's term officially ended in December 1848. However, due to a delay in the General Assembly, the qualification process of the governor-elect was slowed down, which resulted in Governor Bebb staying in office until January 22, 1849. Afterwards, he retired from elective office. He moved to Rockford, Illinois, where he purchased a large tract of land. Bebb later worked in Washington, D.C., as an examiner in the pension office. Governor William Bebb passed away on October 23, 1873 in Rockford, Illinois.

SOURCES:

Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 3, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

The Ohio Historical Center

Ohio Biographies