William Rush Merriam
William Rush Merriam ( born July 26, 1849 in Wadham 's Mills, Essex County, New York, † February 18, 1931 in Port Sewall, Florida ) was an American politician and 1889-1893 Governor of the State of Minnesota.
Early years and political rise
William Merriam visited 1871 Racine College in Wisconsin. Then he went into the banking business. Already in 1880 he became president of the Merchants National Bank in St. Paul. Politically, he was a member of the Republican Party. Since 1883 he was a member of the House of Representatives from Minnesota; in 1887 he was president of that body. In 1888, he managed to prevail against the incumbent Governor Andrew Ryan McGill and win his party's nomination for the office of governor.
Governor of Minnesota
After winning the actual gubernatorial election on November 6, 1888, he could take up his post on January 9, 1889. After a re-election in 1890, he held this office until January 4, 1893. During his four years in office the national debt was reduced. The industry, especially the processing of iron ore, flourished. In Merriam's term of office, a new mental hospital was built in Minnesota. In addition, the electoral system was improved by the introduction of the secret ballot. Politically came back in Minnesota with the Farmers' Alliance, a new movement that represented the interests of agriculture.
After the end of his governorship Merriam remained politically active. Between 1899 and 1903 he was head of the Federal Statistical Office of the United States. This office was then established by Congress as a permanent institution. After the end of this activity, Merriam did not return to Minnesota. He spent his retirement in Florida, where he died in 1931. With his wife, Laura E. Hancock he had five children.