Early years and political rise
After primary school, Medill studied until 1825 at the University of Delaware. After a subsequent law school and moving to Ohio, he started working in 1830 in Lancaster as a lawyer.
Between 1835 and 1838 the Democrat was Medill deputy in the House of Representatives from Ohio and at times even its president. Between 1839 and 1843 he represented his state in the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington. In 1845 he was second deputy postmaster general of the United States for a short time. From 1845 to 1850 he was Federal Commissioner of Indian Affairs ( Indian Affairs Commissioner). During his tenure, the responsibility for Indian affairs was transferred from the War Department to the Interior Ministry. In 1850 he was president of a commission for the revision of the Constitution of Ohio. One of the changes was the creation of a Deputy Governor (Lieutenant Governor ), who acted leaning against the U.S. Constitution as President of the Senate. In the fall of 1853 William Medill was elected the first Lieutenant Governor of Ohio.
Governor of Ohio
Following the resignation of the incumbent Governor Reuben Wood on July 13, 1853, he had to finish in accordance with the new Constitution whose term of office. In October 1853 he was elected by the voters in their own two-year term. This was Medill between July 13, 1853, and the January 14, 1856 Governor of Ohio. In its time it came to social unrest because minorities feel oppressed by the ruling class, which was formed of white Protestants. Peak were riots at public elections in Cincinnati in 1855. Another contentious issue was the privatization of the channels of the country, the Medill advocated. The construction of a railway connection to the Mississippi River, and even to the west coast was discussed and approved, but not yet tackled. In the elections of 1855 Medill lost to Republican Salmon P. Chase. These elections were determined by the question of slavery and Chase showed it more visibility in terms of its rejection of this institution as a Medill.
Even after his governorship Medill remained politically active. Between 1857 and 1861 he was auditor of the Treasury under President James Buchanan. After the end of this activity gradually deteriorated his health. In 1863 he was president of the Congress of Democrats in Ohio. He died in September 1865.