Educated acada., and Oswego (New York) Normal and Training School, 1870-1873, medical department University of Michigan, 1873-1874.
Principal of a business college and academic, Freeport, Illinois, 1875-1876. Professor Rock River U., Dixon, Illinois, 1876-1877. Principal Dixon (Illinois) Business College and Academy, 1878-1879.
Superintendent schools, Pittsfield, Illinois, 1879-1884. Founded, 1884, president, Ferris Institute, since 1884. President Big Rapids (Michigan) Savings Bank.
Democratic candidate for Congress, 1892, for government of Michigan, 1904. Elected governor for terms 1913-1914 and 1915-1916. United States senator, term 1923-1929.
Married Helen F. Gillespie, 1874.