The Henry Toll Fellowship Program was named for Henry Wolcott Toll who founded The Council of State Governments in 1933.
An innovative champion of state governments, Toll demonstrated leadership by recognizing the national need for cooperation among the states and taking steps to fix the problem.
Toll, a Denver native who served as a Colorado state senator from 1922 until 1930, saw a need to address conflicting laws regarding taxation, among other issues. Toll recognized the need for more state interaction in the 1920s and founded the American Legislators’ Association, CSG’s forerunner. He also believed the world would benefit from more interaction among all branches of government. In 1933, Articles of Organization were adopted that formed CSG.
One sentence in the Articles of Organization stated, “In thousands of instances the laws of the states are in conflict, their practices are discordant, their regulations are antagonistic and their polices are either competitive or repugnant to one another. Such disharmony cannot continue.”
Toll, a Harvard-educated lawyer and World War I veteran, served as the CSG director until 1938 then continued to be active in civic affairs, receiving honors from many organizations.
When Toll stepped down as executive director, he believed CSG was on its way to becoming the organization he had envisioned. More than 35 years later, Toll visited CSG and praised the thousands of state officials who had contributed to the council’s success.
Toll remained the CSG honorary president until his death in 1975, but his legacy has continued to influence the work of CSG through various programs, including the Henry Toll Fellowship Program.