List of Governors of Oregon

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This article lists the individuals who have served as Governor of Oregon from the establishment of the Provisional Government in 1843 to the present day.

Number of Governors of Oregon by party affiliation
PartyGovernors
Democratic21
Republican20
Whig1
Independent1

Governors[edit]

Provisional Government[edit]

Meetings at Champoeg led up to the first constitution of the Oregon Country and several petitions for U.S. territorial status. The resulting acts also created this body as a provisional government for the region. The first executives of this government were a three-person, elected committee known as the Executive Committee. In 1845, elections for a chief executive were held. The first person in Oregon to hold the title of governor was George Abernethy, a prominent businessman.

#NamePictureTerm
1First Executive CommitteeOregon Provisional Government Seal.png1843–1844
2Second Executive CommitteeOregon Provisional Government Seal.png1844–1845
3George AbernethyGeorge Abernethy.jpg1845–1848

Governors of the Territory of Oregon[edit]

Oregon became a U.S. Territory in 1848. Like most other U.S. territorial governments, Oregon's territorial governor was appointed by the President of the United States. As transportation and communications were not as reliable or as fast as 21st-century methods, there were times when a departing governor left office and a new governor could not yet take over. This resulted in several local individuals acting as territorial governor until the new executive was appointed and arrived to take office.

President Polk initially appointed Brigadier General James Shields to be Oregon's first territorial governor and Shields was confirmed by the Senate, but he declined the position and Joseph Lane was appointed in his place.

PictureGovernorTook officeLeft officeAppointed byNotes
Joseph Lane (cwpbh-02170).jpgJoseph LaneMarch 3, 1849June 18, 1850James Polk
No image.svgKintzing PrichetteJune 18, 1850August 18, 1850Acting Governor
JPGaines.jpgJohn P. GainesAugust 18, 1850May 16, 1853Zachary Taylor
Joseph Lane (cwpbh-02170).jpgJoseph LaneMay 16, 1853May 19, 1853Acting Governor
George Law Curry 1853.jpgGeorge Law CurryMay 19, 1853Dec. 2, 1853Acting Governor
John Wesley Davis.jpgJohn W. DavisDecember 2, 1853August 1, 1854Franklin Pierce
George Law Curry 1853.jpgGeorge Law CurryAugust 1, 1854March 3, 1859Franklin Pierce

Governors of the State of Oregon[edit]

#PictureGovernorTook officeLeft officePartyTerms
[note 1]
1 Whiteaker.jpgJohn WhiteakerMarch 3, 1859September 10, 1862Democratic1
2 OrGovGibbs.jpgA. C. GibbsSeptember 10, 1862September 12, 1866Republican1
3OrGovWoods.jpgGeorge L. WoodsSeptember 12, 1866September 14, 1870Republican1
4La Fayette Grover - Brady-Handy.jpgLa Fayette GroverSeptember 14, 1870February 1, 1877Democratic1 12
[note 2]
5OrGovChadwick.jpgStephen F. ChadwickFebruary 1, 1877September 11, 1878Democratic12
6OrGovWWThayer.jpgW. W. ThayerSeptember 11, 1878September 13, 1882Democratic1
7Zenas Ferry Moody (1903).jpgZ. F. MoodySeptember 13, 1882January 12, 1887Republican1
8Governor Sylvester Pennoyer.jpgSylvester PennoyerJanuary 12, 1887January 14, 1895Democratic2
9OrGovWPLord.jpgWilliam Paine LordJanuary 14, 1895January 9, 1899Republican1
10Oregon Governor TT Geer.jpgT. T. GeerJanuary 9, 1899January 15, 1903Republican1
11George E Chamberlain.jpgGeorge ChamberlainJanuary 15, 1903March 1, 1909Democratic1 13
[note 2]
12Frank W. Benson 1910.JPGFrank W. BensonMarch 1, 1909June 17, 1910Republican13
[note 3]
13Oregon Governor Jay Bowerman.jpgJay BowermanJune 17, 1910January 11, 1911Republican13
14Oswald West.jpgOswald WestJanuary 11, 1911January 12, 1915Democratic1
15Withycombe.jpgJames WithycombeJanuary 12, 1915March 3, 1919Republican1 12
[note 4]
16Ben W Olcott.jpgBen W. OlcottMarch 3, 1919January 8, 1923Republican12
17Walter M. Pierce Oregon.jpgWalter M. PierceJanuary 8, 1923January 10, 1927Democratic1
18Isaac L. Patterson.jpgI. L. PattersonJanuary 10, 1927December 22, 1929Republican12
[note 4]
19No image.svgA. W. NorbladDecember 22, 1929January 12, 1931Republican12
20 Julius L. Meier 1911.pngJulius L. MeierJanuary 12, 1931January 14, 1935Independent1
21Charles H Martin.jpgCharles H. MartinJanuary 14, 1935January 9, 1939Democratic1
22No image.svgCharles A. SpragueJanuary 9, 1939January 11, 1943Republican1
23No image.svgEarl SnellJanuary 11, 1943October 30, 1947Republican1 13
[note 4]
24No image.svgJohn H. HallOctober 30, 1947January 10, 1949Republican13
25Douglas McKay.pngDouglas McKayJanuary 10, 1949December 17, 1952Republican13 + 12
[note 5]
26No image.svgPaul L. PattersonDecember 27, 1952February 1, 1956Republican12 + 13
[note 4]
27No image.svgElmo SmithFebruary 1, 1956January 14, 1957Republican13
28Robert D. Holmes.jpgRobert D. HolmesJanuary 14, 1957January 12, 1959Democratic13
29Mark hatfield.jpgMark HatfieldJanuary 12, 1959January 9, 1967Republican2
30No image.svgTom McCallJanuary 9, 1967January 13, 1975Republican2
31No image.svgRobert W. StraubJanuary 13, 1975January 8, 1979Democratic1
32Victor Atiyeh in 1986.jpgVictor G. AtiyehJanuary 8, 1979January 12, 1987Republican2
33Neil Goldschmidt.jpgNeil GoldschmidtJanuary 12, 1987January 14, 1991Democratic1
34Governor Barbara Roberts.jpgBarbara RobertsJanuary 14, 1991January 9, 1995Democratic1
35John Kitzhaber.jpgJohn KitzhaberJanuary 9, 1995January 13, 2003Democratic2
36Ted Kulongoski headshot Color 2007.JPGTed KulongoskiJanuary 13, 2003January 10, 2011Democratic2
37John Kitzhaber.jpgJohn KitzhaberJanuary 10, 2011IncumbentDemocratic1
[note 6]

Other high offices held[edit]

This is a table of congressional seats, other federal offices, and other governorships held by governors. All representatives and senators mentioned represented Oregon except where noted.

Denotes those offices that the governor resigned to take.
NameGubernatorial termU.S. CongressOther offices heldSource
HouseSenate
Joseph Lane1848–1850
1853–1853
SDelegate to the U.S. House of Representatives from Oregon Territory[1]
John P. Gaines1850–1853U.S. Representative from Kentucky[2]
John W. Davis1853–1854U.S. Representative from Indiana; United States Commissioner to China[3]
John Whiteaker1859–1862H[4]
George L. Woods1911–1915Governor of Utah Territory[5]
La Fayette Grover1866–1877HS*[6]
William Paine Lord1895–1899United States Minister to Argentina[7]
George Chamberlain1903–1909S*[8]
Walter M. Pierce1923–1927H[9]
Charles H. Martin1935–1939H[10]
Douglas McKay1949–1952United States Secretary of the Interior*[11]
Mark Hatfield1959–1967S[12]
Neil Goldschmidt1987–1991United States Secretary of Transportation[13]

Living former governors[edit]

As of 21 November 2012 (2012-11-21), five former governors were alive. The most recent governor to die was Mark Hatfield (1959–1967). He died on August 7, 2011. The most recently serving governor to die was Robert W. Straub, who left office on January 9, 1979 and died on November 27, 2002 at the age of 82.

NameGubernatorial termDate of birth
Victor G. Atiyeh1979–1987(1923-02-20) February 20, 1923 (age 90)
Neil Goldschmidt1987–1991(1940-06-16) June 16, 1940 (age 73)
Barbara Roberts1991–1995(1936-12-21) December 21, 1936 (age 77)
John Kitzhaber1995–2003, 2011-present(1947-03-05) March 5, 1947 (age 66)
Ted Kulongoski2003–2011(1940-11-05) November 5, 1940 (age 73)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ a b Resigned to take an elected seat in the United States Senate
  3. ^ Resigned due to ill health
  4. ^ a b c d Died while in office
  5. ^ Resigned to take the position as United States Secretary of the Interior
  6. ^ Also served two consecutive terms from 1995 to 2003.

References[edit]

General
Constitution
Specific
  1. ^ "Lane, Joseph". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved July 15, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Gaines, John Pollard". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved July 15, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Davis, John Wesley". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved July 15, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Whiteaker, John". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved July 15, 2010. 
  5. ^ "George Lemuel Woods". Utah History to Go. State of Utah. Retrieved July 15, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Grover, La Fayette". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved July 15, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Former U.S. Ambassadors to Argentina". Embassy of the United States, Argentina. U.S. Department of State. Retrieved July 15, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Chamberlain, Geroge Earle". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved July 15, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Pierce, Walter Marcus". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved July 15, 2010. 
  10. ^ "Martin, Charles Henry". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved July 15, 2010. 
  11. ^ "Past Secretaries of the Department of the Interior". U.S. Department of the Interior. Retrieved July 15, 2010. 
  12. ^ "Hatfield, Mark". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved July 15, 2010. 
  13. ^ "Biographical Sketches of the Secretaries of Transportation". U.S. Department of Transportation. Retrieved July 15, 2010. 

External links[edit]