William Henry McMaster (May 10, 1877 – September 14, 1968) was an American politician who served as the tenth Governor of South Dakota from 1921 until 1925. A member of the Republican Party, he went on to serve as a member of the United States Senate from South Dakota from 1925 to 1931.

William Henry McMaster
United States Senator
from South Dakota
In office
March 4, 1925 – March 3, 1931
Preceded byThomas Sterling
Succeeded byWilliam J. Bulow
10th Governor of South Dakota
In office
January 4, 1921 – January 6, 1925
LieutenantCarl Gunderson
Preceded byPeter Norbeck
Succeeded byCarl Gunderson
12th Lieutenant Governor of South Dakota
In office
January 2, 1917 – January 4, 1921
GovernorPeter Norbeck
Preceded byPeter Norbeck
Succeeded byCarl Gunderson
Member of the South Dakota Senate
In office
Member of the South Dakota House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Born(1877-05-10)May 10, 1877
Ticonic, Iowa, U.S.
DiedSeptember 14, 1968(1968-09-14) (aged 91)
Dixon, Illinois, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
SpouseHarriet Russell
Alma materBeloit College

Biography edit

McMaster was born to Samuel and Sara (Woodsum) McMaster in Ticonic, Iowa, Monona County, Iowa. His family moved to Sioux City, Iowa after the death of his father in 1880; and while growing up, he contributed to the family income by delivering the morning edition of the "Sioux City Journal." McMaster graduated from Sioux City High School and in 1899, he received a B.A. degree from Beloit College in Wisconsin.[1] McMaster served as the head football coach at the University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh, then known as Oshkosh Normal School in 1899.[2]

Career edit

McMaster moved to Gayville, South Dakota, and entered the banking industry, serving as the cashier of the Bank of Gayville.[3] He was elected Gayville City Treasurer in 1905[4] and was re-elected in 1907.[5]

He was elected to the South Dakota House of Representatives from Yankton County in 1910.[6] He was then elected to the State Senate in 1912,[7] and was re-elected in 1914.[8]

In 1916, McMaster ran for Lieutenant Governor. He defeated fellow State Senator E. C. Miller and former State Representative T S. Everitt in the Republican primary,[9] and then defeated the Democratic nominee, State Senator Andrew S. Anderson, in the general election with 55% of the vote.[9]: 291  He was re-elected in a landslide in 1918, receiving 52% of the vote to Nonpartisan League nominee A. L. Putnam's 27% and Democratic nominee C. C. Siderius's 20%.[9]: 294 

In 1920, with Governor Peter Norbeck opting to run for the U.S. Senate rather than seek re-election, McMaster entered the race to succeed him. He won the Republican primary over perennial candidate Richard O. Richards and faced two prominent candidates—Nonpartisan League nominee Mark P. Bates and Democratic nominee William W. Howes—in the general election. Benefiting from the split field, McMaster won the election in a landslide, receiving 56% of the vote. He ran for re-election in 1922, and though he faced a similarly split field, his victory was considerably narrower; he won only 45% of the vote. As Governor, he revised the state tax code, provided state-guaranteed credit, and fought a successful battle against high gasoline taxes.[10]

McMaster declined to seek a third term in 1924 and instead ran for the U.S. Senate. He defeated incumbent Senator Thomas Sterling in the Republican primary and won a 44% plurality in the ensuing general election against Democratic nominee Ulysses Simpson Grant Cherry and several independent candidates. He was narrowly defeated for re-election in 1930 by Governor William J. Bulow. In retirement, he served as an officer of the Dixon National Bank in Illinois.[10]

Death edit

At the age of 91 years, McMaster died in Yankton and was interred in Oakwood Cemetery, Dixon, Lee County, Illinois US.

Head coaching record edit

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Oshkosh Normal (Independent) (1899)
1899 Oshkosh Normal 1–6–1
Oshkosh Normal: 1–6–1
Total: 1–6–1

References edit

  1. ^ "William H. McMaster". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
  2. ^ "Short Notes: W. H. McMaster". Oshkosh Daily Northwestern. October 4, 1899. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
  3. ^ "New Bank at Gayville: A Corporation Buys the Old Institution". Argus Leader. Sioux Falls, S.D. April 12, 1904. p. 3. Retrieved June 13, 2021.
  4. ^ "Yankton County Elections: Only One Out of Four Towns Votes for Prohibition". Dakota Farmers' Leader. Canton, S.D. March 31, 1905. p. 2. Retrieved June 13, 2021.
  5. ^ "He Saved the Day: Student Walked Twenty-Six Miles to Vote on License". Argus Leader. Sioux Falls, S.D. March 21, 1907. p. 1. Retrieved June 13, 2021.
  6. ^ South Dakota Legislative Manual 1911. Pierre, S.D. 1911. p. 192.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  7. ^ "Byrne is Winner in South Dakota: Republicans Make Clean Sweep of State and All Referred Measures Carry". Citizen-Republican. Scotland, S.D. November 14, 1912. p. 2. Retrieved June 13, 2021.
  8. ^ "Burke is Defeated: Dakota Senatorship Won by Ed S. Johnson, Democratic Candidate". Dakota Farmers' Leader. Canton, S.D. November 13, 1914. p. 3. Retrieved June 13, 2021.
  9. ^ a b c South Dakota Legislative Manual 1923. Pierre, S.D. 1923. p. 289.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  10. ^ a b "William Henry McMaster". National Governors Association. Retrieved June 13, 2021.

External links edit

Party political offices
Preceded by Republican nominee for Governor of South Dakota
1920, 1922
Succeeded by
Preceded by Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from South Dakota
(Class 2)

1924, 1930
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by
Peter Norbeck
Lieutenant Governor of South Dakota
Succeeded by
Carl Gunderson
Preceded by Governor of South Dakota
Succeeded by
U.S. Senate
Preceded by United States Senator (Class 2) from South Dakota
Succeeded by