WILLIAM ELLERY SWEET was born in Chicago, Illinois, on January 27, 1869. He moved with his family to Colorado Springs in 1872, where he was educated in the public school system. In 1890, he graduated from Swarthmore College with Phi Beta Kappa honors. Sweet founded a successful investment-banking firm in Denver that allowed him to retire early from the business world. He stayed active devoting much of his time and money to the Congregational Church, and the Denver YMCA., where he served as president for 22 years. Sweet entered politics in 1914, when he was elected Colorado’s 23rd governor. During his term, the Colorado Rangers were eradicated, a collective marketing law was enacted, and the state saw an increase in the political influence of the Ku Klux Klan. Sweet was unsuccessful in his bid for reelection, and left office on January 13, 1925. He later served on the board of trustees of the University of Denver, and he made two unsuccessful bids for the U.S. Senate in 1926 and 1936. Sweet was a dedicated supporter of the Roosevelt administration, and in 1933, he became a public relations officer for the National Recovery Administration and for the Resettlement Administration. Governor William E. Sweet died on May 9, 1942 and is buried at the Fairmont Cemetery in Denver.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.