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List of Governors of Missouri

Governor of Missouri
Seal of Missouri
Jay Nixon

since January 12, 2009
Style The Honorable
Residence Missouri Governor's Mansion
Term length Four years, renewable once (maximumly lifetime)
Inaugural holder Alexander McNair
Formation Constitution of Missouri
Salary $133,821 (2013)[1]

Following is a list of Governors of Missouri since its territory became part of the United States.

Number of Governors of Missouri by party affiliation
Party Governors
Democratic 38
Republican 13
Democratic-Republican 3
Liberal Republican 1

Missouri was part of the Louisiana Purchase in which the United States purchased from France in 1803. In its first year it was part of Louisiana. In 1804 all of the territory above what is modern-day Louisiana was broken off and administered by a governor based in St. Louis, Missouri until statehood.

Prior to the purchase both France and Spain administered the territory in a similar manner. France initially had a commandant in charge of Upper Louisiana. Spain around 1770 began having a lieutenant governor in St. Louis and governor in New Orleans, Louisiana ruling the whole territory . For a list of governors under Spanish and French rule see Louisiana Governor. For a list of lieutenant governors ruling Upper Louisiana under French and Spanish control see List of commandants of the Illinois Country.

Since the state capitol moved to Jefferson City in 1826 the governor has lived on the same block in the Missouri Governor's Mansion a block east of the Missouri State Capitol (although the current mansion is the third one).

The current governor of Missouri is Jay Nixon.


  • Governors 1
    • Commandant of Louisiana 1.1
    • Governor of the District of Louisiana 1.2
    • Governors of Louisiana Territory and Missouri Territory 1.3
    • Governors of Missouri 1.4
    • Civil War 1.5
      • Missouri secession (Confederate) 1.5.1
      • Missouri Provisional Government (Union) 1.5.2
    • Notes 1.6
  • Other high offices held 2
  • Living former U.S. governors of Missouri 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Commandant of Louisiana

# Governor Appointed Left office Appointed by
1 Amos Stoddard (commandant) March 10, 1804 October 1, 1804 Thomas Jefferson

Governor of the District of Louisiana

On March 26, 1804, an act of congress divided Louisiana into two territories or districts: land south of the 33rd parallel became the Territory of Orleans; land north of the 33rd parallel, the District of Louisiana. The act took effect October 1, 1804, upon which the District of Louisiana was placed under the governance of Indiana Territory, then governed by William Henry Harrison.[2]

# Governor Appointed Left office Appointed by
1 William Henry Harrison October 1, 1804 July 4, 1805 Thomas Jefferson

Governors of Louisiana Territory and Missouri Territory

William Clark, 4th Governor of Missouri Territory

The citizens of the District of Louisiana, unhappy with the governance specified by the act of 1804, set about immediately to petition congress for a return to a military-style government to which they were accustomed under Spanish rule. Congress responded by passing an act on March 3, 1805 which changed the name of the District of Louisiana to the Territory of Louisiana. Power was vested in a governor who was appointed by the President to a term of 3 years. During times of vacancy, the secretary would act as governor.[2]

On June 4, 1812, the Territory of Louisiana was renamed to the Territory of Missouri to avoid confusion with the newly admitted state of Louisiana. Later, Arkansas Territory was separated from the Territory of Missouri on July 4, 1819.[2]

# Governor Appointed Left office Appointed by
1 James Wilkinson July 4, 1805 March 3, 1807 Thomas Jefferson
2 Meriwether Lewis March 3, 1807 October 11, 1809[C] Thomas Jefferson
3 Benjamin Howard April 17, 1810 October 31, 1812 James Madison
4 William Clark July 1, 1813 September 18, 1820 James Madison, James Monroe

Governors of Missouri


      Democratic-Republican (3)       Democratic (38)       Republican (13)       Liberal Republican (1)

Sterling Price, 11th Governor of Missouri
David R. Francis, 27th Governor of Missouri, 20th U.S. Secretary of the Interior
Kit Bond, 47th and 49th Governor of Missouri, U.S. Senator from Missouri
John Ashcroft, 50th Governor of Missouri, U.S. Senator from Missouri, 79th U.S. Attorney General
Mel Carnahan, 51st Governor of Missouri
Matt Blunt, 54th Governor of Missouri
Jay Nixon, 55th Governor of Missouri and the state's 40th Attorney General (1993—2009)
#   Governor Took office Left office Party   Lieutenant Governor Terms
1 Alexander McNair September 18, 1820 November 15, 1824 Democratic-Republican William Henry Ashley 1
2 Frederick Bates November 15, 1824 August 4, 1825 Democratic-Republican Benjamin Harrison Reeves 13[C]
3 Abraham J. Williams August 4, 1825 January 20, 1826 Democratic-Republican vacant 13
4 John Miller January 20, 1826 November 19, 1832 Democratic Daniel Dunklin 1 13[I]
5 Daniel Dunklin November 19, 1832 September 30, 1836 Democratic Lilburn W. Boggs 12
6 Lilburn W. Boggs September 30, 1836 November 16, 1840 Democratic Franklin Cannon 1 12
7 Thomas Reynolds November 16, 1840 February 9, 1844 Democratic Meredith Miles Marmaduke 12[C]
8 Meredith Miles Marmaduke February 9, 1844 November 20, 1844 Democratic vacant 12[L]
9 John C. Edwards November 20, 1844 November 20, 1848 Democratic James Young 1
10 Austin Augustus King November 20, 1848 January 3, 1853 Democratic Thomas Lawson Price 1
11 Sterling Price January 3, 1853 January 5, 1857 Democratic Wilson Brown 1
12 Trusten Polk January 5, 1857 February 27, 1857 Democratic Hancock Lee Jackson 13
13 Hancock Lee Jackson February 27, 1857 October 22, 1857 Democratic vacant 13
14 Robert Marcellus Stewart October 22, 1857 January 3, 1861 Democratic Hancock Lee Jackson 13[I]
15 Claiborne Fox Jackson January 3, 1861 July 23, 1861 Democratic Thomas Caute Reynolds 13
16 Hamilton Rowan Gamble July 31, 1861 January 31, 1864 Republican Willard Preble Hall 13[C]
17 Willard Preble Hall January 31, 1864 January 2, 1865 Republican vacant 13[L]
18 Thomas Clement Fletcher January 2, 1865 January 12, 1869 Republican George Rappeen Smith 1
19 Joseph W. McClurg January 12, 1869 January 4, 1871 Republican Edwin O. Stanard 1
20 B. Gratz Brown January 4, 1871 January 3, 1873 Liberal Republican Joseph J. Gravely 1
21 Silas Woodson January 3, 1873 January 12, 1875 Democratic Charles Phillip Johnson 1
22 Charles Henry Hardin January 12, 1875 January 8, 1877 Democratic Norman Jay Coleman 1
23 John Smith Phelps January 8, 1877 January 10, 1881 Democratic Henry Clay Brockmeyer 1
24 Thomas Theodore Crittenden January 10, 1881 January 12, 1885 Democratic Robert Alexander Campbell 1
25 John S. Marmaduke January 12, 1885 December 28, 1887 Democratic Albert P. Morehouse 12[C]
26 Albert P. Morehouse December 28, 1887 January 14, 1889 Democratic vacant 12[L]
27 David R. Francis January 14, 1889 January 9, 1893 Democratic Stephen Hugh Claycomb 1
28 William Joel Stone January 9, 1893 January 11, 1897 Democratic John Baptiste O'Meara 1
29 Lawrence Vest Stephens January 11, 1897 January 14, 1901 Democratic August Henry Bolte 1
30 Alexander Monroe Dockery January 14, 1901 January 9, 1905 Democratic John Adams Lee 1
Thomas L. Rubey
31 Joseph W. Folk January 9, 1905 January 11, 1909 Democratic John C. McKinley 1
32 Herbert S. Hadley January 9, 1909 January 13, 1913 Republican Jacob Friedrich Gmelich 1
33 Elliot Woolfolk Major January 13, 1913 January 8, 1917 Democratic William Rock Painter 1
34 Frederick D. Gardner January 8, 1917 January 10, 1921 Democratic Wallace Crossley 1
35 Arthur M. Hyde January 10, 1921 January 12, 1925 Republican Hiram Lloyd 1
36 Samuel Aaron Baker January 12, 1925 January 14, 1929 Republican Phillip Allen Bennett 1
37 Henry S. Caulfield January 14, 1929 January 9, 1933 Republican Edward Henry Winter 1
38 Guy Brasfield Park January 9, 1933 January 11, 1937 Democratic Frank Gaines Harris 1
39 Lloyd C. Stark January 11, 1937 February 26, 1941 Democratic Frank Gaines Harris 1
40 Forrest C. Donnell February 26, 1941 January 8, 1945 Republican Frank Gaines Harris 1
41 Phil M. Donnelly January 8, 1945 January 10, 1949 Democratic Walter Naylor Davis 1
42 Forrest Smith January 10, 1949 January 12, 1953 Democratic James T. Blair, Jr. 1
43 Phil M. Donnelly January 12, 1953 January 14, 1957 Democratic James T. Blair, Jr. 1
44 James T. Blair, Jr. January 14, 1957 January 9, 1961 Democratic Edward V. Long 1
45 John M. Dalton January 9, 1961 January 11, 1965 Democratic Hilary A. Bush 1
46 Warren E. Hearnes January 11, 1965 January 8, 1973 Democratic Thomas F. Eagleton 2
William S. Morris
47 Christopher "Kit" Bond January 8, 1973 January 10, 1977 Republican William C. Phelps 1
48 Joseph P. Teasdale January 10, 1977 January 12, 1981 Democratic William C. Phelps 1
49 Christopher "Kit" Bond January 12, 1981 January 14, 1985 Republican Kenneth J. Rothman 1
50 John Ashcroft January 14, 1985 January 11, 1993 Republican Harriett Woods 2
Mel Carnahan
51 Mel Carnahan January 11, 1993 October 16, 2000 Democratic Roger B. Wilson 1 12[C]
52 Roger B. Wilson October 17, 2000 January 8, 2001 Democratic Joe Maxwell 12[L]
53 Bob Holden January 8, 2001 January 10, 2005 Democratic Joe Maxwell 1
54 Matt Blunt January 10, 2005 January 12, 2009 Republican Peter Kinder 1
55 Jay Nixon January 12, 2009 Incumbent Democratic Peter Kinder 2

Civil War

Missouri, a slave state, was a border state during the civil war under Union control. However, it was officially recognized as a Confederate state by the Confederate government and was represented in the Confederate Congress and by a star on the Confederate flag. There were two competing governments for the course of the war. The Emancipation Proclamation did not consider Missouri a seceding state therefore it was not part of reconstruction. The Missouri Provisional Government is considered the official one on this list.

Missouri secession (Confederate)

Missouri Provisional Government (Union)

  • 1861-64 - Hamilton Rowan Gamble
  • 1864-65 - Willard Preble Hall


  • A. ^ Table only includes state governors. 52 people have served as governor, two twice; the table includes these non-consecutive terms as well.
  • B. ^ Wilkinson was removed from office by President Thomas Jefferson due to heavy criticism regarding his actions as governor and suspected involvement in the Aaron Burr conspiracy.[3]
  • C. a b c d e f Died in office.
  • D. ^ Lewis committed suicide or was murdered in Tennessee while en route to Washington to answer complaints about his actions as governor.[4]
  • E. ^ Howard resigned from office to accept a commission as brigadier general of the Eighth Military Department.[5]
  • F. ^ Vacancies in the office of the lieutenant governor are only listed if they lasted for the entire term. For a complete list of vacancies, see List of Lieutenant Governors of Missouri.
  • G. ^ The fractional terms of some governors are not to be understood absolutely literally; rather, they are meant to show single terms during which multiple governors served, due to resignations, deaths and the like.
  • H. ^ As president of the state senate, Williams filled the unexpired term of Bates until a special election could be held. The office of lieutenant governor had been vacant following the resignation of Reeves in July 1865.
  • I. a b Elected in a special election.
  • J. ^ Dunklin resigned from office to be Surveyor General of Missouri and Illinois.
  • K. ^ As lieutenant governor, Boggs filled the unexpired term of Dunklin and was later elected in his own right.
  • L. a b c d As lieutenant governor, filled unexpired term.
  • M. ^ Polk resigned to take an elected seat in the United States Senate.[6]
  • N. ^ As lieutenant governor, filled unexpired term until a special election could be held.
  • O. ^ The Missouri state convention declared the executive department of the state had expatriated itself and their offices vacant.[7] Jackson had fled the capital and aligned himself with the Confederacy.
  • P. ^ Gamble was elected the provisional governor of Missouri by the state convention.[7]
  • Q. ^ Stark stayed on as governor beyond the scheduled January 13 departure because the election of Donnell was challenged by the Missouri House of Representative.[8][9]
  • R. ^ The Missouri House of Representatives refused to certify the election of Donnell on his scheduled January 13 inauguration until being ordered to do so by the Missouri Supreme Court after the House challenged the election which Donnell won by 3,613 votes.[8][9]
  • S. ^ Wilson assumed office at 1:10 AM after Carnahan's body had been formally identified. The date is muddied by online resources which give conflicting dates. The National Governors Association biography lists October 18 as the start date. However, a New York Times article entitled "Pilot Sought Better Weather Before Crash," implies that the swearing in occurred on October 18 or perhaps even on October 19. The article was published on October 19 and it says the official change occurred at 1:10 AM, immediately after Carnahan was identified.[10][11]

Other high offices held

This is a table of congressional, other governorships, and other federal offices held by governors. All representatives and senators mentioned represented Missouri except where noted. * denotes those offices which the governor resigned to take.

Governor Gubernatorial term U.S. Congress Other offices held
House Senate
Benjamin Howard 1809–1812 (territorial) U.S. Representative from Kentucky
John Miller 1826–1832 H
John C. Edwards 1844–1848 H
Austin Augustus King 1848–1853 H
Sterling Price 1853–1857 H
Trusten Polk 1857 S*
Willard Preble Hall 1864–1865 H
Joseph W. McClurg 1869–1871 H
B. Gratz Brown 1871–1873 S
John S. Phelps 1877–1881 H Military Governor of Arkansas[12]
Thomas Theodore Crittenden 1881–1885 H
David R. Francis 1889–1893 Ambassador to Russia, U.S. Secretary of the Interior
William J. Stone 1893–1897 H S
Alexander Monroe Dockery 1901–1905 H
Arthur M. Hyde 1921–1925 U.S. Secretary of Agriculture
Henry S. Caulfield 1929–1933 H
Forrest C. Donnell 1941–1945 S
Christopher "Kit" Bond 1973–1977
John Ashcroft 1985–1993 S U.S. Attorney General
Mel Carnahan 1993–2000 Posthumously elected U.S. Senator

Living former U.S. governors of Missouri

As of May 2015, there are five former U.S. governors of Missouri who are currently living at this time, the oldest U.S. governor of Missouri being Christopher "Kit" Bond (1973–1977, 1981–1985, born 1939). The most recent U.S. governor of Missouri to die was Joseph P. Teasdale (1977–1981), May 8, 2014. The most recently serving U.S. governor of Missouri to die was Mel Carnahan, who died in office at the age of sixty-six on October 16, 2000.

Governor Gubernatorial term Date of birth (and age)
Christopher "Kit" Bond 1973–1977
(1939-03-06) March 6, 1939
John Ashcroft 1985–1993 (1942-05-09) May 9, 1942
Roger B. Wilson 2000–2001 (1948-10-10) October 10, 1948
Bob Holden 2001–2005 (1949-08-24) August 24, 1949
Matt Blunt 2005–2009 (1970-11-20) November 20, 1970



  • "Missouri History - Governors". Missouri Secretary of State. Retrieved 2008-09-11. 
  • "Missouri History - Lieutenant Governors". Missouri Secretary of State. Retrieved 2008-09-11. 


  • "1945 Constitution of the State of Missouri" (PDF). Missouri Secretary of State. 2007. Retrieved 2008-09-11. 
  • Thorpe, Francis Newton (1909). The Federal and State Constitutions: Colonial Charters, and Other Organic Laws of the States, Territories, and Colonies, Now Or Heretofore Forming the United States of America IV. Washington: Government Printing Office. Retrieved 2008-09-12. 
  • Constitution of Missouri—1820
  • Constitution of Missouri—1865
  • Constitution of Missouri—1875


  1. ^ "CSG Releases 2013 Governor Salaries". The Council of State Governments. June 25, 2013. Retrieved November 23, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c Shoemaker, Floyd Calvin (1916). Missouri's Struggle for Statehood, 1804-1821. Jefferson City: The Hugh Stephens Printing Co.  
  3. ^ Houck, Louis (1908). A History of Missouri from the Earliest Explorations and Settlements Until the Admission of the State Into the Union 2. Chicago: R. R. Donnelley & Sons Company.  
  4. ^ Lewis, Meriwether; Clark, William; Coues, Elliott; Jefferson, Thomas (1893). History of the Expedition Under the Command of Lewis and Clark 1. New York: Francis P. Harper.  
  5. ^ Herndon, Dallas Tabor (1922). Centennial History of Arkansas 1. Chicago, Little Rock: S. J. Clarke Publishing Company. p. 138.  
  6. ^ "POLK, Trusten".  
  7. ^ a b Journal of the Missouri State Convention Held at Jefferson City, July, 1861. St. Louis: George Knapp & Co., Printers and Binders. 1861.  
  8. ^ a b "Politics In Missouri". The New York Times. 1941-02-22. 
  9. ^ a b "Orders Donnell Seated". The New York Times. 1941-02-20. 
  10. ^ Bellamy, Clayton (2000-10-17). "Missouri Gov Mel Carnahan Killed In Plane Crash". Retrieved 2008-09-17. 
  11. ^ Fountain, John W. (2000-10-19). "Pilot Sought Better Weather Before Crash". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-09-17. 
  12. ^ "PHELPS, John S.".  

External links

  • Office of the Governor of Missouri
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