Back to former Nebraska governors
Charles Wayland Bryan

Gov. Charles Wayland Bryan

  • January 3, 1923 - January 8, 1925
    January 8, 1931 - January 3, 1935
  • Democratic
  • February 10, 1867
  • March 4, 1945
  • Illinois
  • University of Chicago, Illinois College
  • Married Mary Louise Brokaw; three children


CHARLES W. BRYAN, the twenty-first and twenty-fourth governor to serve Nebraska, was born in Salem, Illinois, on February 10, 1867. His education was attained at Illinois College in Jacksonville and at the University of Chicago. Before entering politics, Bryan worked as a farmer, tobacco broker, salesman, manager, and secretary to his brother, William Jennings Bryan. He first entered public service as a commissioner for the city of Lincoln, a position he won election to in 1915. He also served as mayor of Lincoln from 1915 to 1917. Bryan next secured the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote in November 1922. He was reelected to a second term in 1930, and to a third term in 1932. During his tenure, the state’s economy flourished; taxes were reduced, and state spending was limited. After completing his term, Bryan continued to stay active in politics. However he was unsuccessful in his bid for the U.S. senate in 1934, as well as losing a 1938 gubernatorial reelection race and a 1940 congressional bid. Governor Charles W. Bryan passed away on March 4, 1945. He was buried in the Wyuka Cemetery in Lincoln, Nebraska.


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 Political Graveyard

Recent Nebraska Governors