Encyclopedia Of Detroit

Woodbridge, William

William Woodbridge, Michigan’s second governor, was born on August 20, 1780 in Norwich, Connecticut. He studied law and moved to Ohio where he was admitted to the Ohio bar in 1806.  He practiced law and was active in politics starting in 1807 when he became a member of the State House of Representatives. He was a member of the Ohio State Senate from 1808 until 1814, when he moved to Detroit, Michigan.

Because Michigan was not yet a state, Woodbridge became the collector of customs and Secretary of the Michigan Territory.  On March 4, 1819 William Woodbridge was elected as a Delegate to the Sixteenth Congress where he served until August 9, 1820 when he resigned. Woodbridge also held other offices such as judge of the Supreme Court of Michigan Territory (1828-1832), delegate to the State constitutional convention (1835), member of State senate (1838-1839), governor of Michigan (1840-1841) and United States Senator (1841-1847). As a Senator, he was the chairman of the Committee on Public Lands and was on the Committee on Patents and Patent Office.

William Woodbridge retired from politics and the public life after his time in the United States Senate. He focused on horticulture in his later years. Woodbridge died on October 20, 1861 in Detroit and he is interred in Elmwood Cemetery.



Thanksgiving dinner invitation from William Woodbridge, 1852 - 1952.101.005

Certificate signed by William Woodbridge, 1840 - 1947.082.272

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