William Spry ( born January 11, 1864 in Windsor, Berkshire, England; † April 21, 1929 in Washington, DC ) was an American politician ( Republican), who was from 1909 to 1917, the third Governor of the State of Utah.
His parents converted shortly after Williams birth to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter -day Saints and emigrated to Utah in 1875. William left school at the age of 13. He then worked from 1885 to 1891 first as a missionary and later as a mission president for the Church in the South. Then he dealt with livestock and a variety of other companies. In 1894 he was elected tax collector. Then he was a member of the State Legislature in 1902 and 1904, Chairman of the Republican State Committee. He was also the 1903 President of the State land board and was appointed U.S. Marshal of Utah in 1906.
Governor of Utah
As governor he secured the necessary financing for the state Legislature for the construction of the Capitol, which was then inaugurated in 1916. Furthermore, the legislature banned during his first term child labor and the sale and distribution of tobacco products to minors. During his second tenure, he got a bad reputation when he refused it in the case of Joe Hill, a member of the Industrial Workers of the World ( IWW) to intervene, which had been converted for murder in Utah and was ultimately executed. In addition, he was the first governor of Utah, who had presided over the National Governors Association. Because of its support of the local forces with respect to the prohibition, he scored a defeat in a Republican nomination for a third term as governor.
After the end of his second term as governor, he ran unsuccessfully in 1918 for a seat in the U.S. Congress. Afterwards he worked until 1921 as a representative for the Western Irrigation Association, as President Warren G. Harding appointed him to the U.S. Commissioner of the General Land Office.
Spry died in 1929 in Washington and was buried in Salt Lake City. He was married to Mary Alice Wrathall. The couple had three children together.