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Frank Bartlett Willis (December 28, 1871 – March 30, 1928) was a Republican politician from Ohio. He served as the 47th Governor of Ohio from 1915 to 1917, then served as a U.S. Senator from Ohio from 1921 until his death in 1928.

Frank Bartlett Willis
Frank B Willis 2.jpg
47th Governor of Ohio
In office
January 11, 1915 – January 8, 1917
LieutenantJohn Holmes Arnold
Preceded byJames M. Cox
Succeeded byJames M. Cox
United States Senator
from Ohio
In office
January 14, 1921 – March 30, 1928
Preceded byWarren G. Harding
Succeeded byCyrus Locher
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 8th district
In office
March 4, 1911 – January 9, 1915
Preceded byRalph D. Cole
Succeeded byJohn A. Key
Member of the Ohio House of Representatives
from the Hardin County district
In office
January 1, 1900 – January 3, 1905
Preceded byN. R. Piper
Succeeded byJ. B. Pumphrey
Personal details
Born(1871-12-28)December 28, 1871
Lewis Center, Ohio
DiedMarch 30, 1928(1928-03-30) (aged 56)
Delaware, Ohio
Resting placeOak Grove Cemetery, Delaware, Ohio
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Allie Dustin


Born on a farm near the hamlet of Lewis Center, Ohio, Willis was the son of a Civil War veteran, Vermont-born J.B. Willis and his wife Lavinia A. (Buell). Willis graduated from Ohio Northern University in 1894. After teaching at Ohio Northern for twelve years, Willis was admitted to the bar and began practicing law. He served in the Ohio House of Representatives from 1900 to 1904 while teaching at Ohio Northern school of law, and was subsequently elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1910, serving from 1911 to 1915. Elected to the governorship in 1914, he served one two-year term from 1915 to 1917, but was not re-elected, being defeated by James M. Cox, whom he had defeated in 1914. Cox also defeated Willis in 1918.

After placing Warren Harding's name in nomination at the 1920 Republican National Convention, Willis was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1920, replacing Harding, who then resigned his Senate seat to take the presidency, allowing Willis to take his seat early. During his Senate tenure, Willis served as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Territories and Insular Possessions, which had jurisdiction over territories including Alaska, Hawaii, the Philippines, and Puerto Rico, from 1923 to 1928.

Willis died in office in 1928 at Gray Chapel, Ohio Wesleyan University, in Delaware, Ohio, during a Republican Party event involving a "favorite son" presidential bid for Willis organized by the Delaware County Willis-for-President Club. He was buried at Oak Grove Cemetery.


Willis's official papers were donated to and are open for research at the Ohio Historical Society.

Frank B. Willis Education Center (formerly Intermediate School and High School) of Delaware City Schools is named in his honor.

Willis was married to Allie Dustin, and they had one daughter named Helen.[1]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Mercer, James K.; Rife, Edward K. (1903). Representative men of Ohio, 1900–1903. Columbus: James K. Mercer. p. 168.

External linksEdit