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  Sutton, William J.
NameWilliam J. Sutton
Cheney, Washington , United States
Born September 29, 1865
Died 00, 1940 (74 years)
Last ModifedRalphie
Sep 19, 2010 08:49pm
InfoSenator William J. Sutton is one of the most prominent and successful politicians in the history of Eastern Washington. He was born in Michigan in 1865, and stayed through the end of his education, graduating from the Fenton Normal School in 1886. He came west and settled in Cheney, Washington, the next year. He began the town's first school, which he called the Cheney Normal School, in 1890. Sutton became their first Principal in 1892, a position which he served in until 1897. The efforts of William J. Sutton in the following years would allow his school to become Eastern Washington University, but not before guiding his school through two fires and battles with state politicians like Gov. Ernest Lister.

Sutton stayed active in the normal school after leaving its staff to pursue interests in agriculture and banking, becoming President of the Security National Bank of Cheney.

Sutton was elected to the State Senate of District 5 for four terms, the first in 1912. It was then when he fought Gov. Lister on behalf of his school, after the Governor refused to sign an appropriation bill from the state legislature appropriating funds to rebuild the school after a massive fire. Sen. Sutton worked tirelessly with his Senate colleagues to garner enough votes to override Gov. Lister's veto and save his school.

Sen. Sutton was elected to the State Senate again in 1921, 1925, and 1929, serving as President Pro Tempore in his final term.

Sutton was married to Miss Nellie G. Hutchinson on March 10, 1897, a native of New York. Senator Sutton was involved in multiple social organizations in his lifetime, including the grand lodge of Masons, the Odd Fellows, and the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks.

Sen. William J. Sutton continues to be revered in his adopted hometown of Cheney to this day, being honoured with a building bearing his name on the campus of Eastern Washington University, joining fellow revered local Gov. Clarence D. Martin in that honour.

Written by user #352, 9/8/04.


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