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William L. Greenly

Gov. William L. Greenly

  • March 3, 1847 - January 3, 1848
  • Democratic
  • September 18, 1813
  • November 29, 1883
  • New York
  • Union College
  • Elizabeth (last name unknown); one child
  • Succeeded


WILLIAM L. GREENLY, the sixth governor of Michigan, was born in Hamilton, New York on September 18, 1813. His education was attained at Union College in New York, where he graduated in 1831. He studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1834, and then established his legal career in Eaton, New York. After moving to Michigan in 1836, Greenly entered into politics. He served as a member of the Michigan State Senate from 1839 to 1840 and 1842 to 1843, and served as the lieutenant governor of Michigan from 1846 to 1847.  On March 3, 1847, Governor Alpheus Felch resigned from office, and Greenly, who was the lieutenant governor at the time, assumed the duties of the governorship. During his tenure, the war with Mexico ended; the court of chancery was eliminated; and the capital was moved to Lansing. After completing his term, Greenly left office on January 3, 1848. He continued to stay politically active, serving as the mayor of Adrian in 1858. He also served twelve years as justice of the peace. Governor William L. Greenly passed away on November 29, 1883, and was buried in the Oakwood Cemetery in Adrian, Michigan.


Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 2, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

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