William H. McMaster

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William Henry McMaster
United States Senator
from South Dakota
In office
March 4, 1925 – March 3, 1931
Preceded by Thomas Sterling
Succeeded by William J. Bulow
10th Governor of South Dakota
In office
January 4, 1921 – January 6, 1925
Lieutenant Carl Gunderson
Preceded by Peter Norbeck
Succeeded by Carl Gunderson
12th Lieutenant Governor of South Dakota
In office
January 2, 1917 – January 4, 1921
Governor Peter Norbeck
Preceded by Peter Norbeck
Succeeded by Carl Gunderson
Member of the South Dakota Senate
In office
Member of the South Dakota House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Born (1877-05-10)May 10, 1877
Monona County, Iowa
Died September 14, 1968(1968-09-14) (aged 91)
Dixon, Illinois
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Harriet Russell
Alma mater Beloit College
Profession Banker

William Henry McMaster (May 10, 1877 – September 14, 1968) was the tenth Governor of South Dakota, serving from 1921 until 1925, and also a United States Senator from that state. He was a member of the Republican Party.


McMaster was born to Samuel and Sara (Woodsum) McMaster in Ticonic, Iowa, Monona County, Iowa. His family moved to Sioux City, Iowa after the death of his father in 1880; and while growing up, he contributed to the family income by delivering the morning edition of the "Sioux City Journal." McMaster graduated from Sioux City High School and in 1899, he received a B.A. degree from Beloit College in Wisconsin.[1]

McMaster served as the head football coach at the University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh (then known as Oshkosh Normal School) in 1899.[2]


In 1901, he moved to Yankton, South Dakota and worked as a cashier at that Security State Bank in Gayville, eventually becoming president of a banking chain in 1910.[3] He married Harriett Louise Russell and they had two children.[4]

McMaster served in the South Dakota State House of Representatives in 1911 and 1912 in the South Dakota State Senate from 1913 to 1916. He was Lieutenant Governor from 1917 through 1920.

Winning the nomination and the election McMasters became Governor of South Dakota from 1921 through 1924. As a friend of the farming community, he fought to revise taxes and provide state guaranteed credit as well as waging a successful battle against high gasoline prices.[5]

United States Senator from 1925 through 1931. Defeated in his bid for re-election, he became Vice President, then President and finally Chairman of the Board of Dixon National Bank in Illinois.[6]


Aged 91 years, McMaster died in Yankton and was interred in Oakwood Cemetery, Dixon, Lee County, Illinois US.


  1. ^ "William H. McMaster". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  2. ^ Oshkosh Daily Northwestern. October 4, 1899 https://newspaperarchive.com/oshkosh-daily-northwestern-oct-04-1899-p-2/. Retrieved June 20, 2018. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ "William H. McMaster". National Governors Association. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
  4. ^ "William H. McMaster". National Governors Association. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
  5. ^ "William H. McMaster". National Governors Association. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  6. ^ http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=M000563

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Peter Norbeck
Lieutenant Governor of South Dakota
Succeeded by
Carl Gunderson
Preceded by
Peter Norbeck
Governor of South Dakota
Succeeded by
Carl Gunderson
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Thomas Sterling
United States Senator (Class 2) from South Dakota
Succeeded by
William J. Bulow
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