Wilson, William Bauchop, 1862–1934, American labor leader, U.S. Secretary of Labor (1913–21), b. Blantyre, Scotland. Coming as a child to the United States in 1870, he worked in Pennsylvania coal mines after 1871 and helped organize (1890) the United Mine Workers of America. He was (1900–1908) secretary-treasurer of the labor union and, as a Democrat, served (1907–13) in the House of Representatives. As chairman (1912–13) of the House Labor Committee, he helped draft the bill creating the Dept. of Labor. The first Secretary of Labor in U.S. history, William B. Wilson organized the department and introduced machinery for mediation in labor disputes.
See R. W. Babson, W. B. Wilson and the Department of Labor (1919).