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William Amos Poynter

Gov. William Amos Poynter

  • January 5, 1899 - January 3, 1901
  • Populist
  • May 29, 1848
  • April 5, 1909
  • Illinois
  • Eureka College
  • Married Maria Josephine McCorkle; two children


WILLIAM A. POYNTER, the eleventh governor of Nebraska, was born in Eureka, Illinois, on May 29, 1848. His early education was attained in the common schools of Illinois. He later attended Eureka College, where he graduated in 1867. After moving to Boone County, Nebraska, in 1879, he worked as a rancher and farmer. Poynter first entered politics as a one-term member of the Nebraska House of Representatives, a position he was elected to in 1884. He also was elected to the Nebraska State Senate in 1890, served as a member of the State Board of Agriculture, and was the first vice president of the Board of Managers in 1895. Poynter next secured the Populist gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote in November 1898. He was sworn into office on January 5, 1899. During his tenure, railroad regulations were promoted; and legislation was sanctioned that established Lincoln as the site for the state fair. After running unsuccessfully for reelection, Poynter left office on January 3, 1901, and retired from public service. He continued to stay active in his business affairs, as well as serving as president of the Security Savings and Loan Association. Governor William A. Poynter passed away on April 5, 1909, and 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.

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