William Stratton


William G. Stratton (Republican), of Morris, was born at Ingleside in
Lake County on February 26, 1914. He is the son of Zula Van Wormer
Stratton and the late Secretary of State William J. Stratton. Mr.
Stratton was educate din the public schools of Lake County and the
University of Arizona, where he was graduated in 1934 with a degree in Political Science. In 1953, he received the annual alumni award from his alma mater. He holds honorary degrees from the University of Arizona, Bradley University, Lincoln Memorial University, Elmhurst, North Central and Shurtlell Colleges and John Marshall Law School.

He was first elected to the United States Congress from the state
at-large in 1940. At 26, he was the youngest member of the 77th
Congress. Following this two year term, he was elected State Treasurer. In 1944 he volunteered for service in the U.S. Navy and served in the Pacific Theatre of Operations in World War II.

Returning to civilian life in 1946, he was elected to the U.S. Congress
from the state-at-large for a second time. While in Congress he served on the following committees; Banking and Currency, Flood Control, Civil Service and District of Columbia.

In 1950 he was elected State Treasurer for a second term. Mr. Stratton reduced substantially the cost of operating this office during his administration. Mr. Stratton was inaugurated as the 32nd Governor of Illinois on January 12, 1953. At 38, he was the youngest man to hold this office in 70 years. He was re-elected to a second term in 1956.

He served on the Executive Committee of the Governors' Conference and in 1955 brought the annual meeting of the nation's governors to Illinois for the first time in history. In 1957, Governor Stratton was named chairman of the Governors' Conference, and served as president of the Council of State governments in 1958. In 1959, he was a member of the group of American Governors which visited Russia.

The Illinois governor has been instrumental in developing Governors' Conference programs in the fields of highway construction, traffic safety, and federal state governmental relations. President Eisenhower, in 1958, named Governor Stratton a member of the Lincoln Sesquicentennial commission and in 1959, Mr. Stratton was a delegate to the Republican National Convention, and in the latter year led the Illinois delegation as its chairman. Governor Stratton is interested in the work of a number of civic fraternal and veterans' organizations. He is a 33rd degree Mason, Member; Lions Club, Eastern Star, Shrine, Eagles, Elks, Moose, Illinois Athletic Club (Chicago) and Delta Chi fraternity. As a veteran, he is a member of the American Legion, Amvets and Veterans of Foreign Wars. Member of the Methodist Church, Governor Stratton married the former Shirley Breckenridge. He has two daughters, Sandra and Diana. While maintaining the family home in Morris, he operates a livestock farm in Sangamon County.

/Source: Illinois Blue Book 1959-60/

Illinois Ancestors Home Page

Copyright 2003-2008, Janine Crandell & all contributors
All rights reserved