William Russell Willcox

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William Russell Willcox
William Russell Willcox circa 1915-1916.jpg
Postmaster of New York City
In office
January 1, 1905 – 1909
Appointed by Theodore Roosevelt
Chairman of the Republican National Committee
In office
Preceded by Charles D. Hilles
Succeeded by Will H. Hays
Chairman of the New York Public Service Commission
In office
July 1, 1907 – circa 1910
Personal details
Born (1863-04-11)April 11, 1863
Smyrna, New York
Died Script error: The function "death_date_and_age" does not exist.
Bayshore, New York
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.

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.


He was born in 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]

In 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. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 "William Russell Willcox". New York Red Book. 1909. Retrieved 2014-01-03. 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, line feed character in |quote= at position 148 (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 "Hughes Picks His Chairman". The Milwaukee Journal. June 27, 1916. Retrieved 2014-01-05. William Russell Willcox was born Smyrna, New York in 1863. ...<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 "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 2013-12-20. 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 ...<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  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. 5.0 5.1 "Rush of Election Mail. Postmaster Willcox Increases His Force to Meet the Emergency". New York Times. November 1, 1906. Retrieved 2014-01-03. 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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. His New York Red Book biography uses the year "1863" but his passport application from June 14, 1924 uses "April 11, 1861".
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Mrs. William R. Willcox. Wife of Ex-Postmaster Was a Scion of Mayor Havemeyer". New York Times. March 14, 1939. Retrieved 2014-01-03. 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 ...<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

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