John G. Woolley

John Granville Woolley (February 15, 1850 – August 13, 1922) was an American politician, lawyer, and public speaker who served as the Prohibition Party's presidential candidate in 1900.

John Woolley
Personal details
John Granville Woolley

(1850-02-15)February 15, 1850
Collinsville, Ohio, U.S.
DiedAugust 13, 1922(1922-08-13) (aged 72)
Granada, Spain
Political partyProhibition
Other political
Spouse(s)Mary Veronica Gerhardt
MotherElizabeth Hunter Woolley
FatherEdwin C. Woolley
EducationOhio Wesleyan University (BA)
University of Michigan


John Granville Woolley was born in Collinsville, Ohio, on February 15, 1850, to Edwin C. Woolley and Elizabeth Hunter Woolley. In 1871, he graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University and the University of Michigan in 1873 and later gained admission to the Illinois bar.[1] He was elected City Attorney in Paris, Illinois, in 1875 and became Prosecuting Attorney of Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1881. Two years after entering private practice in New York in 1886, Woolley, a reformed alcoholic, began a career of public speaking around the country.[2][3][4][5][6] On January 31, 1888, he joined the Prohibition Party in New York City and later that year Clinton B. Fisk offered him a job to practice corporate law, but he rejected the offer.[7]

During the 1896 presidential election there were attempts to draft him for the Prohibition presidential nomination, but he chose not to run.[8] During the 1900 presidential election he ran for the Prohibition Party's presidential nomination and with the support of Hale Johnson, the party's 1896 vice presidential nominee who withdrew shortly before balloting, was able to narrowly defeat Silas C. Swallow for the nomination with 380 delegates to 320 on June 28, 1900.[9] Woolley, along with Henry B. Metcalf, placed third in the popular vote with over 209,000 votes.[2][10][11] In 1903, he received a single vote for Illinois's senate seat.[12]

In the 1900s he was successively editor and part-owner of The Lever in Chicago and of the journal into which it merged, The New Voice, national organ of the Prohibition Party, founded in 1899. Woolley made two tours of Europe in 1901 and 1905 to speak for Prohibition. On January 4, 1913, he announced that he was leaving the Prohibition Party due to its vote totals continuing to decrease with every presidential election.[13][14]

In 1922, he was commissioned by the World League Against Alcoholism to study prohibition in multiple countries, but died from a heart attack in Granada, Spain, on August 13, 1922.[15]


  • Seed
  • The Sower
  • Civilization by Faith
  • The Christian Citizen (1897–1898)
  • The Lion Hunter (1900)
  • Temperance Progress in the Nineteenth Century (1902)
  • Civic Sermons
  • South Sea Letters (1905)


  1. ^ "John G. Woolley". Chicago Tribune. 14 August 1922. p. 7. Archived from the original on 16 December 2019 – via
  2. ^ a b Prohibition Ticket: Woolley and Metcalf; National Convention at Chicago Makes Its Nominations, The New York Times, June 29, 1900, page 7
  3. ^ Prohibition Treasury Looted, Says Woolley, The New York Times, November 24, 1904, page 2
  4. ^ The Battle of 1900: An Official Hand-Book for Every American Citizen, by L. White Busby, Willis J. Abbott, Oliver W. Stewart ("Prohibition Issues") and Dr. Howard S. Taylor, Monarch Books (Chicago and Philadelphia), 1900, page 523
  5. ^ John G Woolley Dies; Ran as Prohibitionist, The New York Times, August 22, 1922, page 8 (reprinting an August 13 Associated Press story from Granada)
  6. ^ Rines, George Edwin, ed. (1920). "Woolley, John Granville" . Encyclopedia Americana.
  7. ^ "Mr. John G. Woolley Biography Extracts". The Ottawa Guardian. 7 March 1896. p. 2. Archived from the original on 16 December 2019 – via
  8. ^ "Mr. John G. Woolley". Ironwood News-Record. 7 March 1896. p. 14. Archived from the original on 16 December 2019 – via
  9. ^ "Woolley For President". Sioux City Journal. 29 June 1900. p. 2. Archived from the original on 16 December 2019 – via
  10. ^ Tim Taylor, The Book of Presidents, Arno Press (New York), 1972, ISBN 0-405-22226-2, page 287
  11. ^ Richard B. Morris, Encyclopedia of American History, Harper & Row (New York), 1961, page 266
  12. ^ "Hopkins Elected To Senate; Joint Ballot Comes Today". The Inter Ocean. 21 January 1903. p. 1. Archived from the original on 16 December 2019 – via
  13. ^ "John G. Woolley's European Letters". The Houston Post. January 17, 1913. p. 6. Archived from the original on March 11, 2020 – via
  14. ^ "John G. Woolley's European Letters". The Topeka Journal. January 9, 1913. p. 2. Archived from the original on March 11, 2020 – via
  15. ^ "John G. Woolley's European Letters". Kansas Labor Review. 13 May 1922. p. 4. Archived from the original on 16 December 2019 – via

External linksEdit

Party political offices
Preceded by
Charles Bentley
Joshua Levering
Prohibition nominee for President of the United States
Succeeded by
Silas C. Swallow