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William John Bulow
South Dakota

Gov. William John Bulow

  • January 4, 1927 - January 6, 1931
  • Democratic
  • January 13, 1869
  • February 26, 1960
  • Ohio
  • University of Michigan
  • Married twice--Katherine Reedy, Sarah (Johnson) Farrand; three children
  • Senator


WILLIAM JOHN BULOW was born in Moscow, Ohio, where he attended public school. He went on to the University of Michigan, becoming an attorney. He served as City Attorney in Beresford, South Dakota from 1902 to 1927 with the exception of 1912 and 1913, when he was mayor. He was also a member of the South Dakota Senate from 1899 to 1901 and a Beresford County Judge in 1918. He defeated incumbent Governor Carl Gunderson to serve as governor at the onset of the Great Depression. Despite working with a legislature controlled by the rival Republican Party, Bulow led the way in easing hardships brought on by the Depression, guaranteeing loans to farmers to sustain them during the difficult times. He also vetoed legislation that would have established capital punishment. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1930, serving until 1943.


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.

The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. 46. New York: James T. White & Company.

South Dakota State Historical Society

Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

Recent South Dakota Governors