President Woodrow Wilson appointed what Pennsylvanian as the United States’ first-ever Secretary of Labor?
Answer: William Bauchop Wilson
William Bauchop Wilson was born in Blantyre, Scotland, in 1862. He and his parents, Adam and Helen Nelson Wilson, immigrated in 1870 to Arnot, Tioga County, in north central Pennsylvania. He worked in the state’s coal mines from 1870 until 1898 and served as president of the District Miners' Union from 1888 to 1890. He ran for Tioga County Legislature in 1880 and for Congress in 1892. From 1900 to 1908 Wilson was secretary and treasurer of the National Union of Miners. He served as a member of Congress from 1907 until 1913 and during his tenure there was the chairman of the Committee on Labor.
Woodrow Wilson appointed William Wilson the first Secretary of Labor of the United States in 1913. While a member of President Wilson's cabinet, he was a member of the Council of National Defense, the Federal Board for Vocational Education, and the President's Mediation Commission. He also served as head of the United States housing program for war workers, for which he organized the Bureau of Industrial Housing and Transportation and the United State Housing Corporation. In the years following his service as Secretary of Labor, Wilson returned to Tioga County, Pennsylvania, where he continued his work in farming and mining. In 1926 he was a candidate for the United States Senate and was defeated by Republican William S. Vare. Wilson died on a train near Savannah, Georgia, on May 25, 1934.