Governor William Stratton

William Stratton was governor from 1951 to 1960. He moved to Morris in 1936 when he was transferred here by Northern Illinois Public Service Co. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1941. He was re-elected in 1946. After serving two terms as State Treasurer he decided to run for Illinois Governor in 1951 on the Republican ticket. He was elected at the age of 38. He was re-elected in 1956, then defeated by Otto Kerner in 1960.

He announced his candidacy for governor from the front porch of his house at 437 Vine St. There was even a baby elephant on the front lawn. This was his political headquarters. During his tenure he built the first 200 miles of Illinois toll roads, Interstate 80, pushed a 200 million dollar bond issue to build universities and mental hospitals, and helped build O’Hare International Airport and McCormick Place.

Stratton Park is named after him because he would relax there on his boat. Governor Stratton died in 2001 at the age of 87.

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