Back to former Michigan governors
William Woodbridge

Gov. William Woodbridge

  • January 7, 1840 - February 23, 1841
  • Whig
  • August 20, 1780
  • October 20, 1861
  • Connecticut
  • Litchfield Law School
  • Married Juliana Trumbell; four children
  • Resigned
  • Senator


WILLIAM WOODBRIDGE, the second governor of Michigan, was born in Norwich, Connecticut on August 20, 1780. His early education was attained in the schools of Ohio, and later he attended the Litchfield Law School in Connecticut. After establishing his legal career in Marietta, Ohio, Woodbridge entered into politics. He served as a member of the Ohio House of Representatives in 1807, was the Washington County prosecuting attorney from 1808 to 1814, and served as a member of the Ohio State Senate from 1808 to 1814. He moved to Michigan in 1814, and continued his career in politics. From 1814 to 1828 he served as the secretary and acting governor of the Michigan Territory, and from 1819 to 1820 he served as a Territorial delegate in Congress. He also served as a justice of the Territorial Supreme Court from 1828 to 1832, was a delegate to the 1835 Michigan Constitutional Convention, and served as a member of the Michigan State Senate from 1837 to 1839. Woodbridge won election to the Michigan governorship on November 4, 1839, and was sworn into office on January 7, 1840. During his tenure, an internal improvement program was promoted; stricter regulations for banks was endorsed; and tax revisions were supported. Woodbridge resigned from the governor’s office on February 23, 1841, upon his election to the U.S. Senate. He served in his senatorial seat until March 3, 1847, when he then retired from public service. Governor William Woodbridge passed away on October 20, 1861, and was buried in the Elmwood Cemetery in Detroit, 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.

Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

Recent Michigan Governors