Lister, Ernest, 1870-1919

Alternative names
Birth 1870-06-15
Death 1919-06-14

Biographical notes:

Ernest Lister was born in Halifax, England on June 15, 1870. His family immigrated to the United States in 1884 to be near Lister's uncle, who was Mayor of Tacoma, WA. Lister operated a foundry and woodworking shop in Tacoma and won election to the Tacoma City Council in 1894 as a Populist. After managing John Rogers' successful gubernatorial campaign, he was appointed chairman of the State Board of Control, giving him authority over the State's welfare institutions. He and Rogers both joined the Democratic Party in 1900, and he made an unsuccessful bid for the general election and Lister won the election. Lister was the only Democrat in Washington's executive branch of government. He won reelection in 1916, again as the only victorious Democrat. As governor, he supported agricultural aid, irrigation and reclamation projects, and state industrial accident insurance. He vetoed legislation that would have denied civil rights to members of the Industrial Workers of the World. And his efforts helped bring the eight-hour work day to the Pacific Northwest. He became ill during his second term and relinquished his office to the Lieutenant Governor. He passed away one day before his forty-ninth birthday.

From the description of Ernest Lister, Governor, Democratic candidate for re-election, circa 1916. (Washington State Library, Office of Secretary of State). WorldCat record id: 227005154


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