WILLIAM GREGORY was born in Astoria, Long Island, New York. While attending school, he worked as a mill hand, becoming a mill superintendent by the age of nineteen. He went on to serve as manager and agent for A.T. Stewart & Company in New York City in the late 1870s and bought several mills in Wickford, Rhode Island in the 1880s. He served as President and Director of Wickford National Bank, Director of two Providence banks, and Chairman of the Board of State Charities and Corrections. He was both a state representative a state Senator, and won election as Lieutenant Governor in 1898 and 1899. During Gregory’s gubernatorial administration, the state constitution was amended to move the capital from Newport to Providence and the new marble State House was opened in Providence, making Gregory the first governor to occupy it. The state constitution was also amended to provide for annual sessions of the General Assembly. Gregory died shortly before beginning what was to be his second gubernatorial term.
Mohr, Ralph S. Governors for Three Hundred Years (1638-1954): Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.State of Rhode Island, Graves Registration Committee, August 1954.
The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. 9. New York: James T. White & Company.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 4. Westport, CT: Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.