Governor #12: William J. Bulow.

Governor #12: William J. Bulow

Field review by the editors.

Pierre, South Dakota

In office 1927-1931

William Bulow only became governor of South Dakota because the previous candidate had been trampled to death by a bull six weeks before election day. He was an occasional hellraiser who left a massive state debt for his successor and who spent most of his post-gubernatorial life in Washington, DC, where he was a member of the Alfalfa Club, named for a plant that would "do anything for a drink."

Bulow's statue, by sculptor James Van Nuys, shows him waving his cowboy hat in the air while his other hand rests on a pediment decorated with images representing his life and career, such as the time he was attacked by a goose while trapped underneath the front porch of his house, and his pardoning of Deadwood's "Poker Alice" Ivers after she had been convicted of bootlegging and operating a brothel at the age of 77. There's also a small Mount Rushmore on the pediment, because Bulow was the one, so he said, who convinced sculptor Gutzon Borglum to limit his mountainside sculpture to the President's giant heads.

Also see: Trail of Governors

Governor #12: William J. Bulow

Address:
201 S. Pierre St., Pierre, SD
Directions:
On the west side of S. Pierre St. just south of its intersection with W. Pleasant Drive.
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Nearby Offbeat Places

Governor # 4: Charles Nelson HerreidGovernor # 4: Charles Nelson Herreid, Pierre, SD - < 1 mi.
Governor #22: Archie GubbrudGovernor #22: Archie Gubbrud, Pierre, SD - < 1 mi.
Governor # 6: Coe I. CrawfordGovernor # 6: Coe I. Crawford, Pierre, SD - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Governor # 1: Arthur Calvin Mellette, Pierre, SD - < 1 mi.

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