List of Governors of Missouri

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Governor of Missouri
Seal of Missouri.svg
Seal of Missouri
Jay Nixon

since January 12, 2009
StyleThe Honorable
ResidenceMissouri Governor's Mansion
Term lengthFour years, renewable once (maximumly lifetime)
Inaugural holderAlexander McNair
FormationConstitution of Missouri
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Governor of Missouri
Seal of Missouri.svg
Seal of Missouri
Jay Nixon

since January 12, 2009
StyleThe Honorable
ResidenceMissouri Governor's Mansion
Term lengthFour years, renewable once (maximumly lifetime)
Inaugural holderAlexander McNair
FormationConstitution of Missouri

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[A]
Liberal Republican1

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.


Commandant of Louisiana[edit]

#GovernorAppointedLeft officeAppointed by
1Amos Stoddard (commandant)March 10, 1804October 1, 1804Thomas Jefferson

Governor of the District of Louisiana[edit]

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.[1]

#GovernorAppointedLeft officeAppointed by
1William Henry HarrisonOctober 1, 1804July 4, 1805Thomas Jefferson

Governors of Louisiana and Missouri Territory[edit]

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.[1]

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.[1]

#GovernorAppointedLeft officeAppointed by
1James WilkinsonJuly 4, 1805March 3, 1807[B]Thomas Jefferson
2Meriwether LewisMarch 3, 1807October 11, 1809[C][D]Thomas Jefferson
3Benjamin HowardApril 17, 1810October 31, 1812[E]James Madison
4William ClarkJuly 1, 1813September 18, 1820James Madison, James Monroe

Governors of Missouri[edit]


      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
John Ashcroft, 50th Governor of Missouri, U.S. Senator from Missouri, 79th U.S. Attorney General
Matt Blunt, 54th Governor of Missouri
# GovernorTook officeLeft officeParty Lieutenant Governor[F]Terms[G]
1Alexander McNairSeptember 18, 1820November 15, 1824Democratic-RepublicanWilliam Henry Ashley1
2Frederick BatesNovember 15, 1824August 4, 1825Democratic-RepublicanBenjamin Harrison Reeves13[C]
3Abraham J. WilliamsAugust 4, 1825January 20, 1826Democratic-Republicanvacant13[H]
4John MillerJanuary 20, 1826November 19, 1832DemocraticDaniel Dunklin1 13[I]
5Daniel DunklinNovember 19, 1832September 30, 1836DemocraticLilburn W. Boggs12[J]
6Lilburn W. BoggsSeptember 30, 1836November 16, 1840DemocraticFranklin Cannon1 12[K]
7Thomas ReynoldsNovember 16, 1840February 9, 1844DemocraticMeredith Miles Marmaduke12[C]
8Meredith Miles MarmadukeFebruary 9, 1844November 20, 1844Democraticvacant12[L]
9John C. EdwardsNovember 20, 1844November 20, 1848DemocraticJames Young1
10Austin Augustus KingNovember 20, 1848January 3, 1853DemocraticThomas Lawson Price1
11Sterling PriceJanuary 3, 1853January 5, 1857DemocraticWilson Brown1
12Trusten PolkJanuary 5, 1857February 27, 1857DemocraticHancock Lee Jackson13[M]
13Hancock Lee JacksonFebruary 27, 1857October 22, 1857Democraticvacant13[N]
14Robert Marcellus StewartOctober 22, 1857January 3, 1861DemocraticHancock Lee Jackson13[I]
15Claiborne Fox JacksonJanuary 3, 1861July 23, 1861DemocraticThomas Caute Reynolds13[O]
16Hamilton Rowan GambleJuly 31, 1861January 31, 1864RepublicanWillard Preble Hall13[P][C]
17Willard Preble HallJanuary 31, 1864January 2, 1865Republicanvacant13[L]
18Thomas Clement FletcherJanuary 2, 1865January 12, 1869RepublicanGeorge Rappeen Smith1
19Joseph W. McClurgJanuary 12, 1869January 4, 1871RepublicanEdwin O. Stanard1
20B. Gratz BrownJanuary 4, 1871January 3, 1873Liberal RepublicanJoseph J. Gravely1
21Silas WoodsonJanuary 3, 1873January 12, 1875DemocraticCharles Phillip Johnson1
22Charles Henry HardinJanuary 12, 1875January 8, 1877DemocraticNorman Jay Coleman1
23John Smith PhelpsJanuary 8, 1877January 10, 1881DemocraticHenry Clay Brockmeyer1
24Thomas Theodore CrittendenJanuary 10, 1881January 12, 1885DemocraticRobert Alexander Campbell1
25John S. MarmadukeJanuary 12, 1885December 28, 1887DemocraticAlbert P. Morehouse12[C]
26Albert P. MorehouseDecember 28, 1887January 14, 1889Democraticvacant12[L]
27David R. FrancisJanuary 14, 1889January 9, 1893DemocraticStephen Hugh Claycomb1
28William Joel StoneJanuary 9, 1893January 11, 1897DemocraticJohn Baptiste O'Meara1
29Lawrence Vest StephensJanuary 11, 1897January 14, 1901DemocraticAugust Henry Bolte1
30Alexander Monroe DockeryJanuary 14, 1901January 9, 1905DemocraticJohn Adams Lee1
Thomas L. Rubey
31Joseph W. FolkJanuary 9, 1905January 11, 1909DemocraticJohn C. McKinley1
32Herbert S. HadleyJanuary 9, 1909January 13, 1913RepublicanJacob Friedrich Gmelich1
33Elliot Woolfolk MajorJanuary 13, 1913January 8, 1917DemocraticWilliam Rock Painter1
34Frederick D. GardnerJanuary 8, 1917January 10, 1921DemocraticWallace Crossley1
35Arthur M. HydeJanuary 10, 1921January 12, 1925RepublicanHiram Lloyd1
36Samuel Aaron BakerJanuary 12, 1925January 14, 1929RepublicanPhillip Allen Bennett1
37Henry S. CaulfieldJanuary 14, 1929January 9, 1933RepublicanEdward Henry Winter1
38Guy Brasfield ParkJanuary 9, 1933January 11, 1937DemocraticFrank Gaines Harris1
39Lloyd C. StarkJanuary 11, 1937February 26, 1941DemocraticFrank Gaines Harris1[Q]
40Forrest C. DonnellFebruary 26, 1941January 8, 1945RepublicanFrank Gaines Harris1[R]
41Phil M. DonnellyJanuary 8, 1945January 10, 1949DemocraticWalter Naylor Davis1
42Forrest SmithJanuary 10, 1949January 12, 1953DemocraticJames T. Blair, Jr.1
43Phil M. DonnellyJanuary 12, 1953January 14, 1957DemocraticJames T. Blair, Jr.1
44James T. Blair, Jr.January 14, 1957January 9, 1961DemocraticEdward V. Long1
45John M. DaltonJanuary 9, 1961January 11, 1965DemocraticHilary A. Bush1
46Warren E. HearnesJanuary 11, 1965January 8, 1973DemocraticThomas F. Eagleton2
William S. Morris
47Christopher "Kit" BondJanuary 8, 1973January 10, 1977RepublicanWilliam C. Phelps1
48Joseph P. TeasdaleJanuary 10, 1977January 12, 1981DemocraticWilliam C. Phelps1
49Christopher "Kit" BondJanuary 12, 1981January 14, 1985RepublicanKenneth J. Rothman1
50John AshcroftJanuary 14, 1985January 11, 1993RepublicanHarriett Woods2
Mel Carnahan
51Mel CarnahanJanuary 11, 1993October 16, 2000DemocraticRoger B. Wilson1 12[C]
52Roger B. WilsonOctober 17, 2000January 8, 2001DemocraticJoe Maxwell12[L][S]
53Bob HoldenJanuary 8, 2001January 10, 2005DemocraticJoe Maxwell1
54Matt BluntJanuary 10, 2005January 12, 2009RepublicanPeter Kinder1
55Jay NixonJanuary 12, 2009IncumbentDemocraticPeter Kinder2

Civil War[edit]

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)[edit]

Missouri Provisional Government (Union)[edit]


  • 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.[2]
  • 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.[3]
  • E. ^ Howard resigned from office to accept a commission as brigadier general of the Eighth Military Department.[4]
  • 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.[5]
  • 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.[6] Jackson had fled the capital and aligned himself with the Confederacy.
  • P. ^ Gamble was elected the provisional governor of Missouri by the state convention.[6]
  • 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.[7][8]
  • 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.[7][8]
  • 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.[9][10]

Other high offices held[edit]

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.

GovernorGubernatorial termU.S. CongressOther offices held
Benjamin Howard1809–1812 (territorial)U.S. Representative from Kentucky
John Miller1826–1832H
John C. Edwards1844–1848H
Austin Augustus King1848–1853H
Sterling Price1853–1857H
Trusten Polk1857S*
Willard Preble Hall1864–1865H
Joseph W. McClurg1869–1871H
B. Gratz Brown1871–1873S
John S. Phelps1877–1881HMilitary Governor of Arkansas[11]
Thomas Theodore Crittenden1881–1885H
David R. Francis1889–1893Ambassador to Russia, U.S. Secretary of the Interior
William J. Stone1893–1897HS
Alexander Monroe Dockery1901–1905H
Arthur M. Hyde1921–1925U.S. Secretary of Agriculture
Henry S. Caulfield1929–1933H
Forrest C. Donnell1941–1945S
Christopher "Kit" Bond1973–1977
John Ashcroft1985–1993SU.S. Attorney General
Mel Carnahan1993–2000Posthumously elected U.S. Senator

Living former governors[edit]

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

GovernorGubernatorial termDate of birth
Christopher "Kit" Bond1973–1977
(1939-03-06) March 6, 1939 (age 75)
John Ashcroft1985–1993(1942-05-09) May 9, 1942 (age 72)
Roger B. Wilson2000–2001(1948-10-10) October 10, 1948 (age 66)
Bob Holden2001–2005(1949-08-24) August 24, 1949 (age 65)
Matt Blunt2005–2009(1970-11-20) November 20, 1970 (age 43)





  1. ^ a b c Shoemaker, Floyd Calvin (1916). Missouri's Struggle for Statehood, 1804-1821. Jefferson City: The Hugh Stephens Printing Co. OCLC 4014912. Retrieved 2008-09-16. 
  2. ^ 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. OCLC 1199284. Retrieved 2008-09-17. 
  3. ^ 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. OCLC 302121. Retrieved 2008-09-17. 
  4. ^ Herndon, Dallas Tabor (1922). Centennial History of Arkansas 1. Chicago, Little Rock: S. J. Clarke Publishing Company. p. 138. ISBN 978-0-89308-068-6. OCLC 11549182. 
  5. ^ "POLK, Trusten". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 2008-09-17. 
  6. ^ a b Journal of the Missouri State Convention Held at Jefferson City, July, 1861. St. Louis: George Knapp & Co., Printers and Binders. 1861. OCLC 2650423. Retrieved 2008-09-18. 
  7. ^ a b "Politics In Missouri". The New York Times. 1941-02-22. 
  8. ^ a b "Orders Donnell Seated". The New York Times. 1941-02-20. 
  9. ^ Bellamy, Clayton (2000-10-17). "Missouri Gov Mel Carnahan Killed In Plane Crash". Retrieved 2008-09-17. 
  10. ^ Fountain, John W. (2000-10-19). "Pilot Sought Better Weather Before Crash". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-09-17. 
  11. ^ "PHELPS, John S.". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 2008-09-17. 

External links[edit]