Biography of William J. Bryan
Famous American Biographies

WILLIAM JENNINGS BRYAN became a celebrated character as the nominee of the Democratic and Populist parties for president of the United States in 1896. He was born March 19, 1860, at Salem, Illinois. He received his early education in the public schools of his native county, and later on he attended the Whipple Academy at Jacksonville. He also took a course in Illinois College, and after his graduation from the same went to Chicago to study law, and entered the Union College of Law as a student. He was associated with the late Lyman Trumbull, of Chicago, during his law studies, and devoted considerable time to the questions of government. He graduated from the college, was admitted to the bar, and went to Jacksonville, Illinois, where he was married to Miss Mary Elizabeth Baird. In 1887 Mr. Bryan removed to Lincoln, Nebraska, and formed a law partnership with Adolphus R. Talbot. He entered the field of politics, and in 1888 was sent as a delegate to the state convention, which was to choose delegates to the national convention, during which he made a speech which immediately won him a high rank in political affairs. He declined, in the next state convention, a nomination for lieutenant governor, and in 1890 he was elected congressman from the First district of Nebraska, and was the youngest member of the fifty second congress. He championed the Wilson tariff bill, and served three terms in the house of representatives. He next ran for senator, but was defeated by John M. Thurston, and in 1896 he was selected by the Democratic and Populist parties as their nominee for the presidency, being defeated by William McKinley.

A Biographical Record
Of Schuyler County, New York
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
New York and Chicago 1903.


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