William A. Poynter
Early years and political rise
William Poynter attended the local schools of his home in Illinois. In 1867 he graduated from Eureka College. In 1879 he moved to the Boone County, Nebraska, where he settled down as a rancher and farmer. Poynters political career began with his election to the House of Representatives from Nebraska in 1884. In 1890 he was elected to the State Senate. He also sat in the Agricultural Council of Nebraska.
Poynter was a member of the Populist Party, which in Nebraska provided a strong political force in the 1880s and 90s, and with Silas A. Holcomb presented a governor already in 1894, which was, however, supported by the Democratic Party. In 1898, Poynter was elected as the common candidate of the Populists and Democrats as the new governor of Nebraska, where he prevailed with 50:49 percent of the vote to Republican Monroe Leland Hayward.
Governor of Nebraska
Poynters two-year term began on January 5, 1899 and ended on January 3, 1901. Broadly his term was uneventful. Only the control of the railroads has been improved and the city of Lincoln was determined as the venue for the state fair. In 1900, Poynter competed unsuccessfully for reelection: He defeated Republican Charles Henry Dietrich with a gap of less than 900 votes. After the end of his tenure, Poynter devoted his private business interests. He died in April 1909. Poynter William was married to Mary Josephine McCorke, with whom he had two children.