William Warner (Missouri)

William Warner
United States Senator
from Missouri
In office
March 18, 1905  March 4, 1911
Preceded by Francis Cockrell
Succeeded by James A. Reed
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Missouri's 5th district
In office
March 4, 1885  March 3, 1889
Preceded by Alexander Graves
Succeeded by John C. Tarsney
Personal details
Born (1840-06-11)June 11, 1840
Shullsburg, Wisconsin
Died October 4, 1916(1916-10-04) (aged 76)
Kansas City, Missouri
Political party Republican
Alma mater University of Michigan Law School

William Warner (June 11, 1840  October 4, 1916) was an American lawyer and politician based in Kansas City, Missouri, where he became mayor of Kansas City in 1871-72. He later represented Missouri in both the U.S. House and Senate.[1]

Early life

Warner was born in Shullsburg, Wisconsin, in Lafayette County, Wisconsin.[2] His parents died in his youth, and he was raised by his sister, Mary Ann Warner Webb and her husband, Daniel Webb III. He studied law at Lawrence University and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and admitted to the bar in 1861. He enlisted in 1862 as a 1st Lieutenant in the 33rd Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment and was mustered out at the close of the Civil War in Madison, Wisconsin with the rank of major. He married Sophia Frances Bullen on August 7, 1866. They had six children.

Political career

Warner then moved his practice to Kansas City where he served as city attorney in 1867, circuit attorney in 1868 and Kansas City Mayor in 1871. He was elected as a Republican to the 49th and 50th Congresses, serving from March 4, 1885 to March 4, 1889, but he was not a candidate for renomination in 1888.

Warner was elected commander in chief of the Grand Army of the Republic in 1888 for a one-year term. He was also a member of the Wisconsin Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States.

Warner unsuccessfully ran as the Republican candidate for Missouri Governor in 1892, but served as the United States district attorney for the western district of Missouri in 1882-1884, 1898, and 1902–1905. In 1882, he was one of the original incorporators of the Kansas City Club.[3]

In 1905 Warner was elected as a Republican to the United States Senate, serving from March 18, 1905, to March 4, 1911 in the 60th and 61st Congresses, where he was chairman of the Senate Committee on Mississippi River and Its Tributaries, and served on the Inland Waterways Commission.[4] He was not a candidate for reelection.

Later life

Warner resumed the practice of law, and was appointed as a civilian member of the Board of Ordnance and Fortifications, and a member of the Board of Managers of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers. His widow, Sophia, received a pension until her death in 1923.


  1. Lawrence Kestenbaum. "Index to Politicians: Warner to Warra". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved 2012-07-18.
  2. Jerry T. Duggan, A History of the Kansas City Club: 1882-1982 (The Kansas City Club: 1982)
  3. Donald J. Pisani, Water Planning in the Progressive Era: The Inland Waterways Commission Reconsidered, Journal of Policy History 18.4 (2006) pp.389-418
Political offices
Preceded by
Elijah M. McGee
Mayor of Kansas City, Missouri
Succeeded by
Robert H. Hunt
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Alexander Graves
Representative for the 5th Congressional District of Missouri
Succeeded by
John Charles Tarsney
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Francis Cockrell
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Missouri
Served alongside: William J. Stone
Succeeded by
James A. Reed
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