Jump to Navigation

Kansas Governors

Gov. Alf Landon speaking from a railroad car.The governor of the State of Kansas heads the executive branch, which includes the lieutenant governor, secretary of state, and attorney general. Territorial governors were appointed by the U. S. President. After statehood, for more than 100 years, the electorate filled these offices every two years. Beginning with the 1974 election, the term of office became four years.

The Kansas State Archives houses the records of all Kansas governors, with the exception of George Docking, Robert Docking and Robert Bennett. George Docking destroyed his records after leaving office; Robert Docking and Bennett deposited theirs at the Spencer Research Library at the University of Kansas. Much of the information for this page was taken from Kansas Governors by Homer E. Socolofsky. Read short biographies of the Kansas governors.

This chronological guide to Kansas governors and their records includes name, term of office, biographical notes and link to description of records.

Territorial Period, 1854-1861

Reeder, Andrew H.
Commissioned June 29, 1854, took the oath of office 7 July, arrived in Kansas Territory on October 7, served to April 17, 1855.
Born: July 12, 1807.
Died: July 5, 1864.
Democrat.

Woodson, Daniel
April 17 - June 23, 1855 (Acting)
Born: May 24, 1824, Albemarle County, Virginia
Died: October 5, 1894, Claremore, Indian Territory (though resident of Coffeyville, KS).
Democrat from Virginia.

Reeder, Andrew H.
June 23 - August 16, 1855

Woodson, Daniel
August 16 - September 7, 1855

Shannon, Wilson
Commissioned August 10, 1855, sworn in September 7; served until June 24, 1856
Born: February 24, 1802.
Died: August 30, 1877.
Democrat.

Woodson, Daniel
June 24 - July 7, 1856 (Acting)

Shannon, Wilson
July 7 - August 18, 1856; sworn in the 2nd time June 13, 1856

Woodson, Daniel
August 18 - September 9, 1856 (Acting)

Geary, John White
September 9, 1856 - March 12, 1857; resigned March 4 to take effect March 20.
Born: December 30, 1819, Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania
Died: February 8, 1873, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Democrat from Pennsylvania.

Woodson, Daniel
March 12 - April 16, 1857 (Acting)

Stanton, Frederick P.
April 16 - May 27, 1857 (Acting)
Born: December 22, 1841, Alexandria, Virginia.
Died: June 4, 1984
Democrat from Tennessee.

Walker, Robert
Sworn in May 9, 1857; served May 27 - November 16, 1857
Born: July 23, 1801, Northumberland, Pennsylvania.
Died: November 11, 1869 in Washington, D. C.
Democrat from Washington, D. C.

Stanton, Frederick P.
November 16 - December 21, 1857 (Acting)

Denver, James W.
December 21, 1857 - May 12, 1858 (acting); appointed and served May 12 - July 3, 1858
Born: October 23, 1817.
Died: August 9, 1892.
Democrat.

Walsh, Hugh Sleight
July 3 - July 30, 1858 (Acting)
Born: November 10, 1810 Newburgh, New York.
Died: April 23, 1877, Grantville, Kansas.
Democrat from Kansas Territory.

Denver, James W.
July 30 - October 10, 1858

Walsh, Hugh Sleight
October 10 - December 18, 1858 (Acting)

Medary, Samuel
Took the oath December 1, 1858; commission dated December 22; served December 18, 1858 - August 1, 1859
Born: February 25, 1801.
Died: November 7, 1864.
Democrat from Ohio.

Walsh, Hugh Sleight
August 1 - September 15, 1859 (Acting)

Medary, Samuel
September 15, 1859 - April 15, 1860

Walsh, Hugh Sleight
April 15 - June 16, 1860 (Acting)

Medary, Samuel
June 16 - September 11, 1860

Beebe, George M.
September 11 - November 26, 1860 (Acting)
Born: October 28, 1836.
Died: March 4, 1927.
Democrat.

Medary, Samuel
November 26 - December 17, 1860

Beebe, George M.
December 17, 1860 - February 9, 1861

After Statehood

1. Robinson, Charles
February 9, 1861 - January 12, 1863
Born: July 21, 1818, Hardwick, Massachusetts.
Died: August 17, 1894, Lawrence, Kansas.
Republican physician from Lawrence.
finding aid

2. Carney, Thomas
January 12, 1863 - January 9, 1865
Born: August 20, 1824, Delaware County, Ohio.
Died: July 28, 1888, Leavenworth, Kansas.
Republican grocer from Leavenworth.
finding aid

3. Crawford, Samuel Johnson
January 9, 1865 - November 4, 1868; resigned to take command of the 19th Kansas Regiment.
Born: April 10, 1835, Lawrence County, Indiana.
Died: October 21, 1913, Topeka, Kansas.
Republican lawyer from Garnett. The youngest man to serve as Kansas governor; aged 29 years when he took office.
finding aid

4. Green, Nehemiah
November 4, 1868 - January 11, 1869
Born: March 8, 1837, Hardin County, Ohio.
Died: January 12, 1890, Manhattan, Kansas.
Republican minister from Manhattan.
finding aid

5. Harvey, James Madison
January 11, 1869 - January 13, 1873
Born: September 21, 1833, Monroe County, Virginia.
Died: April 15, 1894 near Junction City, Kansas.
Republican soldier from Fort Riley.
finding aid

6. Osborn, Thomas Andrew
January 13, 1873 - January 8, 1877
Born: October 26, 1836, Meadville, Pennsylvania.
Died: February 4, 1898, Meadville, Pennsylvania.
Republican lawyer and printer from Leavenworth.
finding aid

7. Anthony, George Tobey
January 8, 1877 - January 13, 1879
Born: June 9, 1824, Mayfield, New York.
Died: August 5, 1896, Topeka, Kansas.
Republican publisher from Leavenworth.
finding aid

8. St. John, John Pierce
January 13, 1879 - January 8, 1883
Born: February 25, 1833, Brookfield, Indiana.
Died: August 31, 1916, Olathe, Kansas.
Republican lawyer from Olathe.
finding aid

9. Glick, George Washington
January 8, 1883 - January 12, 1885
Born: July 4, 1827, Greencastle, Ohio.
Died: April 13, 1911, Atchison, Kansas.
Democratic lawyer and farmer from Atchison.
finding aid

10. Martin, John Alexander
January 12, 1885 - January 14, 1889
Born: March 10, 1839, Brownsville, Pennsylvania.
Died: October 2, 1889, Atchison, Kansas.
Republican editor from Atchison.
finding aid

11. Humphrey, Lyman Underwood
January 14, 1889 - January 9, 1893
Born: July 25, 1844, Stark County, Ohio.
Died: September 12, 1915, Independence, Kansas.
Republican publisher from Independence.
finding aid

12. Lewelling, Lorenzo Dow
January 9, 1893 - January 14, 1895 Born: December 1, 1846, Salem, Iowa.
Died: September 3, 1900, Arkansas City, Kansas.
Populist businessman from Wichita.
finding aid

13. Morrill, Edmund Needham
January 14, 1895 - January 11, 1897
Born: February 12, 1834, Westbrook, Maine.
Died: March 14, 1909, San Antonio, Texas.
Republican banker from Hiawatha.

finding aid

14. Leedy, John Whitnah
January 11, 1897 - January 9, 1899
Born: March 8, 1849, Richland County, Pennsylvania.
Died: March 24, 1935, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Populist farmer from Le Roy.

15. Stanley, William Eugene
January 9, 1899 - January 12, 1903
Born: December 28, 1844, Danville, Ohio.
Died: October 13, 1910, Wichita, Kansas.
Republican lawyer from Wichita.

16. Bailey, Willis Joshua
January 12, 1903 - January 9, 1905
Born: October 12, 1854, Carroll County, Illinois.
Died: May 19, 1932, Kansas City.
Republican farmer and banker from Baileyville.

17. Hoch, Edward Wallis
January 9, 1905 - January 11, 1909
Born: March 17, 1849, Danville, Kentucky.
Died: June 1, 1925, Marion, Kansas.
Republican editor from Marion.

18. Stubbs, Walter Roscoe
January 11, 1909 - January 13, 1913
Born: November 7, 1858, Richmond, Virginia.
Died: March 25, 1929, Topeka, Kansas.
Republican contractor from Lawrence.

19. Hodges, George Hartshorn
January 13, 1913 - January 11, 1915
Born: February 6, 1866, Richland County, Wisconsin.
Died: October 7, 1947, Kansas City, Missouri.
Democratic lumberman from Olathe.

20. Capper, Arthur
January 11, 1915 - January 13, 1919
Born: July 14, 1865, Garnett, Kansas.
Died: December 19, 1951, Topeka, Kansas.
Republican publisher from Topeka.
finding aid

21. Allen, Henry Justin
January 13, 1919 - January 8, 1923
Born: September 11, 1868, Cory, Pennsylvania.
Died: January 17, 1950, Wichita, Kansas.
Republican publisher from Wichita.
finding aid

22. Davis, Jonathan McMillen
January 8, 1923 - January 12, 1925
Born: April 26, 1871, Bronson, Kansas.
Died: June 27, 1943, Fort Scott, Kansas.
Democratic stockman and author from Bronson.

23. Paulen, Ben Sanford
January 12, 1925 - January 14, 1929
Born: July 14, 1869, DeWitt County, Illinois.
Died: July 11, 1961, Fredonia, Kansas.
Republican banker from Fredonia.

24. Reed, Clyde Martin
January 14, 1929 - January 12, 1931
Born: Octobr 19, 1871, Champaign County, Illinois.
Died: November 8, 1949, Parsons, Kansas.
Republican publisher from Parsons.

25. Woodring, Harry Hines
January 12, 1931 - January 9, 1933
Born: May 31, 1890, Elk City, Kansas.
Died: September 9, 1967, Topeka, Kansas.
Democratic banker from Neodesha.
finding aid

26. Landon, Alfred Mossman
January 9, 1933 - January 11, 1937
Born: September 9, 1887, W. Middlesex, Pennsylvania.
Died: October 12, 1987, Topeka, Kansas.
Republican oilman from Independence.

27. Huxman, Walter Augustus
January 11, 1937 - January 9, 1939
Born: Februbary 16, 1887, Pretty Prairie, Kansas.
Died: June 25, 1972, Topeka, Kansas.
Democratic lawyer from Hutchinson.
finding aid

28. Ratner, Payne
January 9, 1939 - January 11, 1943
Born: October 3, 1896, Casey, Illinois.
Died: December 27, 1974, Wichita, Kansas.
Republican lawyer from Parsons.

29. Schoeppel, Andrew F.
January 11, 1943 - January 13, 1947<
Born: November 23, 1894, Claflin, Kansas.
Died: January 21, 1962, Bethesda, Maryland.
Republican lawyer from Ness City.
finding aid

30. Carlson, Frank
January 13, 1947 - November 28, 1950; resigned to become U.S. senator
Born: January 23, 1893, Concordia, Kansas.
Died: May 30, 1987, Concordia, Kansas.
Republican farmer/stockman from Concordia.
finding aid

31. Hagaman, Frank L.
November 28, 1950 - January 8, 1951; completed Frank Carlson's term
Born: June 1, 1894, Bushnell, Illinois.
Died: June 23, 1966, Kansas City. Republican lawyer from Kansas City.
finding aid

32. Arn, Edward F.
January 8, 1951 - January 10, 1955
Born: May 19, 1906, Kansas City, Kansas.
Died: January 22, 1998, Wichita, Kansas.
Republican lawyer from Wichita.
finding aid

33. Hall, Fred
January 10, 1955 - January 3, 1957; resigned to become a justice of the Kansas Supreme Court
Born: July 24, 1916, Dodge City, Kansas.
Died: March 18, 1970, Shawnee, Kansas.
Republican lawyer from Dodge City
finding aid

34. McCuish, John
January 3, 1957 - January 14, 1957; completed Fred Hall's term.
Born: June 22, 1906, Leadville, Colorado.
Died: March 12, 1962, Newton, Kansas.
Republican publisher from Newton.

35. Docking, George
January 14, 1957 - January 9, 1961
Born: February 23, 1904, Clay Center, Kansas.
Died: January 20, 1964, Kansas City, Kansas.
Democratic banker from Lawrence.
Records destroyed.

36. Anderson, John, Jr.
January 9, 1961 - January 11, 1965
Born: May 8, 1917, Olathe, Kansas.
Republican lawyer from Olathe.
finding aid

37. Avery, William H.
January 11, 1965 - January 9, 1967
Born: August 11, 1911, Wakefield, Kansas.
Died: November 4, 2009, Wakefield, KS.
Republican stockman from Wakefield.

38. Docking, Robert B.
January 9, 1967 - January 13, 1975
Born: October 9, 1925, Kansas City, Missouri.
Died: October 8, 1983, Arkansas City, Kansas.
Democratic banker from Arkansas City; son of Governor George Docking.
At KU Spencer Research Library

39. Bennett, Robert F.
January 13, 1975 - January 8, 1979
Born: May 23, 1927, Kansas City, Missouri.
Republican lawyer from Overland Park.
At KU Spencer Research Library

40. Carlin, John William
January 8, 1979 - January 12, 1987
Born: August 3, 1940, Salina, Kansas.
Democratic dairy farmer from Smolan.

41. Hayden, John Michael (Mike)
January 12, 1987 - January 14, 1991
Born: March 16, 1944, Atwood, Kansas.
Republican insurance agent from Atwood.

42. Finney, Joan
January 14, 1991 - January 9, 1995
Born: February 12, 1925, Topeka, Kansas.
Died: July 28, 2001, Topeka, Kansas.
Democratic State Treasurer from Topeka; the first woman governor of Kansas and the oldest to date, aged 65 when she took office.

43. Graves, William Preston
January 9, 1995 - January 13, 2003
Born: January 9, 1953, Salina, Kansas.
Republican Secretary of State from Salina.

44. Sebelius, Kathleen
January 13, 2003 - April 28, 2009
Born: May 15, 1948, Cincinnati, OH.
Democratic Insurance Commissioner from Topeka; daughter of John Gilligan, Governor of Ohio, 1971-1975.

45. Parkinson, Mark
April 28, 2009 - January 10, 2011
Born: June 24, 1957, Wichita, Kansas.
Democratic Lt. Governor

46. Brownback, Samuel Dale
January 10, 2011 -
Born: September 12, 1956, Garnett, Kansas
Republican U. S. Senator from Topeka