William Gaston, Governor

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William Gaston

Birthdate: (73)
Birthplace: Killingly, Windham, CT
Death: January 19, 1894 (73)
Boston, Suffolk, MA
Immediate Family:

Son of Alexander Gaston and Kezia Arnold
Husband of Louisa Augusta Beecher
Father of Sarah Howard Gaston; William Alexander Gaston and Theodore Beecher Gaston

Managed by: Ivy Jo Smith
Last Updated:

About William Gaston, Governor


William Gaston (October 3, 1820 – January 19, 1894) was the 29th Governor of Massachusetts in 1875-1876.

William Gaston had established a successful legal practice in the City of Roxbury, Massachusetts before entering politics. He served as a Representative in the State Legislature (1853–1854), as Roxbury's City Solicitor (1856–60), and as its Mayor (1861 and 1862). He resumed his private practice of law until 1868, when he served in the Massachusetts Senate for a year.

The City of Boston annexed Roxbury in 1868, and in 1871, Gaston was elected Mayor of Boston. Running for Governor as a Democrat, Gaston defeated incumbent Thomas Talbot who had supported the continuance of statewide prohibition by his veto. Gaston promoted a law repealing the Commonwealth's prohibition law, leaving such restrictions to the determination of localities. Governor Gaston was defeated in his reelection bid by Alexander Rice. Gaston returned to his extremely successful legal practice, gaining renown as a trial attorney. He served as President of the Boston Bar Association from 1880 to 1881.

Gaston and his wife Louisa Augusta (Beecher) were the parents of William Alexander Gaston (1859–1927), who ran for governor of Massachusetts in 1902 and 1903 but lost.

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William Gaston, Governor's Timeline

October 3, 1820
Killingly, Windham, CT
April 23, 1853
Age 32
Roxbury, Litchfield, CT
May 1, 1859
Age 38
Roxbury (Boston), Massachusetts, USA
February 8, 1861
Age 40
Boston, Suffolk, MA
January 19, 1894
Age 73
Boston, Suffolk, MA