- William B. Allison
name=William Boyd Allison
jr/sr=United States Senator
March 4, 1873– August 4, 1908
Albert B. Cummins
date of birth=
March 2, 1829
place of birth=
Perry, Ohio, USA
date of death=
August 4, 1908
place of death=
Dubuque, Iowa, USA
spouse=Anna Carter Allison Mary Neally Allison
William Boyd Allison (
March 2, 1829– August 4, 1908) was an American lawyerand politician.
Early life and career
Born in Perry,
Ohio, Allison had an excellent grade school education(somewhat rare in those times). Afterward, he spent a year at Allegheny College( Pennsylvania), then graduated from Western Reserve Collegein Ohioin 1849. He then studied lawand began practicing in 1852. He did so in his hometown of Ashland until 1857. In that year, he moved to Dubuque, Iowa(his place of death), where he took a prominent part in Republican politics.
In 1860, Allison was a delegate to the
Republican National Conventionin Chicago, which nominated Abraham Lincolnfor President of the United States.
During the subsequent Civil War, he was on the staff of Iowa Governor
Samuel J. Kirkwood, who ordered him to help the state raise regiments for the war (he personally helped raise four regiments). He also served as a lieutenant colonelduring the war, although it was unlikely he actually served in uniform.
Allison was elected to the
United States House of Representativesas the representative of Iowa's 3rd congressional districtin 1862, in the midst of the war. As a congressman he pushed for higher tariffs.
Following the war, Allison continued to serve in the house until 1871, when he declined to be a candidate for renomination, having unsuccessfully sought election to the U.S. Senate, losing to
George G. Wright.
In 1873 he was elected by the legislature to represent the state of Iowa in the
United States Senateand was reelected in 1878, 1884, 1890, 1896, and 1902. From 1881–93 and again from 1895, he was chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, where he had great influence. He was also a member of the Senate Committee of Indian Affairs, and the Committee on Engrossed Bills, and was a cosponsor of the Bland-Allison Actof 1878, which passed over the veto of President Rutherford B. Hayes. It remained unchanged until the Sherman Act of 1890. He became chairman of the Senate Republican Conferencein 1897.
He was twice asked to serve as the Secretary of the Treasury, first by President
James Garfield, then by President Benjamin Harrison, and his name was floated up for the position of President of the United States.
Allison was married twice. The first marriage was to Anna Carter, who died in 1859, four years after the marriage. His second marriage was to Mary Neally, who died in 1883, ten years after their marriage. Although Allison was a rich man, he did not spend much time thinking about money-making; rather, he was very focused on public and political affairs.
At the time of his death, Allison still held his Senate seat, having been in the Senate for thirty-five consecutive years. He is interred in
Linwood Cemeteryin Dubuque, Iowa. The Allison-Henderson Park in Dubuque was named in honor of Allison and fellow Dubuque icon, U.S. Speaker of the House David B. Henderson.
*CongBio|A000160 Retrieved on
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
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