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BRYAN, William Jennings, (father of Ruth Bryan Owen),
a Representative from Nebraska; born in Salem, Marion County, Ill.,
March 19, 1860; attended the public schools and Whipple Academy, Jacksonville,
Ill.; was graduated from Illinois College, Jacksonville, Ill., in 1881; studied
law at Union College in Chicago; was graduated in 1883 and commenced practice
at Jacksonville, Ill., in 1883; moved to Lincoln, Nebr., in 1887 and continued
the practice of law; elected as a Democrat to the Fifty-second and Fifty-third
Congresses (March 4, 1891-March 3, 1895); declined to be a candidate for
reelection in 1894; unsuccessful candidate for election to the United States
Senate in 1894; delegate to the Democratic National Conventions in 1896, 1904,
1912, 1920, and 1924; unsuccessful Democratic candidate for President in 1896,
1900, and 1908; was endorsed by the Populist and Silver Republican Parties in
the first and second campaigns; during the Spanish-American War raised the
Third Regiment, Nebraska Volunteer Infantry, in May 1898 and was commissioned
colonel; established a newspaper, The Commoner, at Lincoln, Nebr., in 1901;
engaged in editorial writing and delivering Chautauqua lectures; Secretary of
State in the Cabinet of President Wilson and served from March 4, 1913, until
June 9, 1915, when he resigned; resumed his former pursuits of lecturing and
writing; established his home in Miami, Fla., in 1921; died while attending
court in Dayton, Tenn., July 26, 1925; interment in Arlington National
BibliographyBryan, William Jennings, and Mary Baird Bryan.
Memoirs of William Jennings Bryan, by Himself and his Wife. 2
vols. 1925. Reprint. Port Washington, N.Y.: Kennikat, 1971; Kazin, Michael.
A Godly Hero: The Life of William Jennings Bryan.. New York:
Alfred A. Knopf, 2006; ; Koenig, Louis W.
Bryan: A Political Biography of William Jennings Bryan. New
York: Putnam, 1971.