William Edward Purcell (August 3, 1856 – November 23, 1928) was a United States Senator from North Dakota. Born in Flemington, New Jersey, he attended the common schools, studied law, and was admitted to the bar of New Jersey in 1880, commencing practice in Flemington. He moved to Wahpeton, Dakota Territory, in 1881 and continued the practice of law; in 1888 he was appointed by President Grover Cleveland as United States attorney for the Territory of Dakota. He resigned in 1889, having been elected a member of the constitutional convention for the new State of North Dakota. From 1889 to 1891 he was district attorney of Richland County, North Dakota and was a member of the North Dakota Senate from 1907 to 1909.