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Woodbridge Nathan Ferris

Gov. Woodbridge Nathan Ferris

  • January 1, 1913 - January 1, 1917
  • Democratic
  • January 6, 1853
  • March 23, 1928
  • New York
  • Oswego Normal Training School; University of Michigan
  • Married twice--Helen F. Gillespie, Mary Ethel McLoud; three children
  • Senator


WOODBRIDGE N. FERRIS, the twenty-eighth governor of Michigan, was born in Spencer, New York on January 6, 1853. His education was attained at the Oswego Normal Training School, and later at the University of Michigan, where he studied medicine for a year. Ferris established a career in education, working in several schools as principal and later serving as superintendent.  After moving to Michigan, Ferris was instrumental in founding the Ferris Industrial School in 1884. He entered politics in 1892, as an unsuccessful candidate for Congress. Ferris next secured the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote on November 5, 1912. He was reelected to a second term in 1914. During his tenure, a Michigan farm colony for epileptics was created; the Central Michigan Tuberculosis Sanatorium was founded; and a copper mine strike was dealt with. After completing his term, Ferris left office on January 1, 1917. He continued to stay politically active, serving as a member of the U.S. Senate, a position he held from 1923 to 1928. Governor Woodbridge N. Ferris passed away on March 23, 1928, and was buried in the Highland View Cemetery in Big Rapids, 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

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