William Medill

William Medill (February 1802 – September 2, 1865) was a Democratic politician from Ohio. He served as the 22nd governor of Ohio from 1853 to 1856.

William Medill
William Medill at statehouse.jpg
Portrait by John Henry Witt
22nd Governor of Ohio
In office
July 13, 1853 – January 14, 1856
LieutenantJames Myers
Preceded byReuben Wood
Succeeded bySalmon P. Chase
1st Lieutenant Governor of Ohio
In office
January 12, 1852 – July 13, 1853
GovernorReuben Wood
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byJames Myers
Commissioner of Indian Affairs
In office
Appointed byJames K. Polk
Preceded byThomas Hartley Crawford
Succeeded byOrlando Brown
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 9th district
In office
March 4, 1839 – March 3, 1843
Preceded byJohn Chaney
Succeeded byElias Florence
Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives
In office
December 5, 1836 – December 3, 1837
Preceded byWilliam Sawyer
Succeeded byCharles Anthony
Member of the Ohio House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
BornFebruary 1802 (1802-02)
White Clay Hundred, New Castle County, Delaware, U.S.
DiedSeptember 2, 1865 (1865-09-03) (aged 63)
Lancaster, Ohio, U.S.
Resting placeElmwood Cemetery
Political partyDemocratic
Alma materNewark Academy


Born in White Clay Hundred, New Castle County, Delaware, William was the son of Irish immigrants, William and Isabelle Medill. He grew up on the family farm, in the rural outskirts of Newark. He attended the Newark Academy and graduated in 1825.[1] After graduation, he read law and was admitted to the bar in Delaware in 1830. Medill moved to Ohio in 1830 and was admitted to the bar in Ohio in 1832.[2]


Medill was elected to the Ohio House of Representatives, where he served from 1835 to 1838, serving as speaker of the House from 1836–1837. He was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1838, serving from 1839 to 1843. He lost a bid for a third term in 1842. After briefly serving as the second assistant postmaster general, Medill was appointed by President Polk as commissioner of Indian Affairs.[3] He returned to Ohio in 1850 to serve as the president of the 1850–1851 Constitutional Convention. Elected to the new post of lieutenant governor of Ohio in 1851, Medill entered office in 1852, serving until the resignation of Governor Reuben Wood on July 13, 1853 to take up a Consular office in Chile. Medill was re-elected in his own right in 1853, but was defeated in a bid for a second full term in 1855 by the anti-slavery Salmon P. Chase. He was First Comptroller of the United States Treasury from 1857 to 1861.[4]


Medill died in Lancaster in 1865, and was interred in Elmwood Cemetery in Lancaster, Ohio.[5] Medill never married. A nephew inherited his property.[6]


  1. ^ "Ohio Governor William Medill". National Governors Association. Retrieved July 13, 2012.
  2. ^ "William Medill". The Ohio Historical Society. Retrieved July 13, 2012.
  3. ^ Poore 1878 : 235
  4. ^ Poore 1878 : 226
  5. ^ "William Medill". National Governors Association. Retrieved October 27, 2017.
  6. ^ William Medill at Ohio History Central


External linksEdit

  This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.