William Russell Willcox

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William Willcox
William Russell Willcox circa 1915-1916 (cropped).jpg
Chair of the Republican National Committee
In office
June 27, 1916 – February 13, 1918
Preceded byCharles D. Hilles
Succeeded byWill H. Hays
Postmaster of New York City
In office
January 1, 1905 – July 1, 1907
PresidentTheodore Roosevelt
Preceded byCornelius Van Cott
Succeeded byEdward M. Morgan
Personal details
William Russell Willcox

(1863-04-11)April 11, 1863
Smyrna, New York, U.S.
DiedApril 9, 1940(1940-04-09) (aged 76)
Bay Shore, New York, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
EducationUniversity of Rochester (BA)
Columbia University (LLB)

William Russell Willcox (April 11, 1863 – April 9, 1940) was an American politician from New York.[1][2][3][4] On January 1, 1905 he became the Postmaster of New York City.[5] By 1909 he was chairman of the New York Public Service Commission.[1] He served on the Railway Wage Commission in 1918.


Railway Wage Commission with a seated James Harry Covington, Franklin Knight Lane, Charles Caldwell McChord, and William Russell Willcox. Standing are William A. Ryan and Frederick William Lehmann.

He was born on April 11, 1863 in Smyrna, New York to Thomas L. Willcox.[6] He attended the state normal school in Brockport, New York. He later attended the University of Rochester.[1][2]

He served as principal of the Webster Academy and Spring Valley High School. He then attended Columbia Law School, and was admitted to the bar in 1890.[1][2]

Around 1900 he married Martha J. Havemeyer, descendant of Mayor William Frederick Havemeyer.[2][7]

Around 1901 Mayor Seth Low appointed him to the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation where he served for two years as president of the commission.[1]

On January 1, 1905 he became the Postmaster of New York City. He was appointed by Theodore Roosevelt.[2][5]

On July 1, 1907 he became chairman of the New York Public Service Commission.[1]

Willcox served as chairman of the Republican National Committee from 1916 to 1918.[2] He encouraged Republican congressmen during votes for the 19th Amendment

Willcox resigned after being appointed to the Railway Wage Commission, also known as the U.S. Railroad Commission in 1918. Others appointed by the Woodrow Wilson administration were U.S. Secretary of the Interior Franklin Knight Lane, Charles Caldwell McChord of the Interstate Commerce Commission and D.C. chief justice J. Harry Covington. The commission investigated railroad wages.

He became a widower in 1939.[7] He died on April 9, 1940 a Southside Hospital in Bayshore, New York.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "William Russell Willcox". New York Red Book. 1909. Retrieved January 3, 2014. William Russell Willcox Chairman of the Public Service Commission for the First District, New York City, was born in Smyrna, Chenango County, N. Y. in 1863,
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Hughes Picks His Chairman". The Milwaukee Journal. June 27, 1916. Retrieved January 5, 2014. William Russell Willcox was born Smyrna, New York in 1863. ...
  3. ^ a b "Wm. R. Willcox, Ex-Public Official. Served as Chairman of the National Republicans From 1916 to 19l8. Dies at 77 [sic]. Headed Hughes Campaign. Attorney Was a Former New York Postmaster. Onetime Park Board President". New York Times. April 11, 1940. Retrieved December 20, 2013. William Russell Willcox, chairman of the Republican National Committee from 1916 to 1918, who managed the Presidential campaign of Charles Evans Hughes, died here yesterday of pneumonia in Southside Hospital. Mr. Willcox, who ... chairman of the Public Service Commission and chairman of the New York and ...
  4. ^ Some sources spell his name as "Wilcox," but the proper spelling is "Willcox." This is the spelling he used when he filled out his passport application of June 14, 1924.
  5. ^ a b "Rush of Election Mail. Postmaster Willcox Increases His Force to Meet the Emergency" (PDF). New York Times. November 1, 1906. Retrieved January 3, 2014. Under authority from Washington, Postmaster Willcox took steps yesterday to handle the enormous election mail properly and expeditiously. He promoted 100 clerks, who were receiving $600, to $700 per year, added twenty-five new men to his force from the Civil Service list, and distributed them among the thirty-nine Post Offices in the city.
  6. ^ His New York Red Book biography uses the year "1863" but his passport application from June 14, 1924 uses "April 11, 1861".
  7. ^ a b "Mrs. William R. Willcox. Wife of Ex-Postmaster Was a Scion of Mayor Havemeyer". New York Times. March 14, 1939. Retrieved January 3, 2014. Mrs. Martha J. Willcox, wife of William R. Willcox, former chairman of the Republican National Committee, died Saturday at her home, 28 Cottage Place, Babylon ...

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Charles D. Hilles
Chair of the Republican National Committee
Succeeded by
Will H. Hays