List of Governors of Missouri

Last updated
Governor of Missouri
Coat of arms of Missouri.svg
Coat of arms of the state of Missouri
Mike Parson official photo (cropped).jpg
Mike Parson

since June 1, 2018
Style The Honorable
Residence Missouri Governor's Mansion
Term length Four years, renewable once
Inaugural holder Alexander McNair
Formation Constitution of Missouri
Deputy Mike Kehoe
Salary$133,820.88 (2017) [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 [A]
Democratic 38
Republican 15
Democratic-Republican 3
Liberal Republican 1

Missouri was part of the Louisiana Purchase, 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.

Louisiana Purchase Acquisition by the United States of America of Frances claim to the territory of Louisiana

The Louisiana Purchase was the acquisition of the Louisiana territory of New France by the United States from France in 1803. The U.S. paid fifty million francs ($11,250,000) and a cancellation of debts worth eighteen million francs ($3,750,000) for a total of sixty-eight million francs. The Louisiana territory included land from fifteen present U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. The territory contained land that forms Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska; the portion of Minnesota west of the Mississippi River; a large portion of North Dakota; a large portion of South Dakota; the northeastern section of New Mexico; the northern portion of Texas; the area of Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado east of the Continental Divide; Louisiana west of the Mississippi River ; and small portions of land within the present Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. Its non-native population was around 60,000 inhabitants, of whom half were African slaves.

France Republic with mainland in Europe and numerous oversea territories

France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.

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).

Missouri Governors Mansion building in Missouri, United States

The Missouri Governor's Mansion is a historic U.S. residence in Jefferson City, Missouri. It is located at 100 Madison Street. On May 21, 1969, it was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. It is located in the Missouri State Capitol Historic District.

Missouri State Capitol capitol building in Missouri

The Missouri State Capitol is the building that houses the legislative and executive branches of the government of the U.S. state of Missouri, as well as the Missouri General Assembly. Located in Jefferson City at 201 West Capitol Avenue, it is the third capitol in the city after the other two were demolished when they were damaged in fires. The domed building, designed by the New York City architectural firm of Tracy and Swartwout, was completed in 1917.

The current governor is Mike Parson, a member of the Republican Party.

Mike Parson American politician

Michael L. Parson is an American politician and former law enforcement officer who is the 57th Governor of Missouri, having taken office on June 1, 2018, after the resignation of Eric Greitens. Parson previously had been the 47th Lieutenant Governor of Missouri. Before that, he served as a Republican member of the Missouri House of Representatives from the 133rd district (2005–2011) and as a member of the Missouri Senate representing the 28th district (2011–2017). Parson was the Majority Caucus Whip in the Senate during the 96th General Assembly.

Republican Party (United States) Major political party in the United States

The Republican Party, also referred to as the GOP, is one of the two major political parties in the United States; the other is its historic rival, the Democratic Party.


Commandant of Louisiana

#PictureCommandantTook officeLeft officeAppointed by
1 Blank.gif Amos Stoddard March 10, 1804October 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]

33rd parallel north circle of latitude

The 33rd parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 33 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses North Africa, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America and the Atlantic Ocean.

Territory of Orleans territory of the USA between 1804-1812

The Territory of Orleans or Orleans Territory was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from October 1, 1804, until April 30, 1812, when it was admitted to the Union as the State of Louisiana.

District of Louisiana territory of the USA between 1804-1805

The District of Louisiana, or Louisiana District, was an official, temporary, United States government designation for the portion of the Louisiana Purchase that had not been organized into the Orleans Territory. It officially existed from March 10, 1804, until July 4, 1805, when it was incorporated as the Louisiana Territory.

#PictureGovernorTook officeLeft officeAppointed by
1 Rembrandt Peale - William Henry Harrison - Google Art Project.jpg   William Henry Harrison October 1, 1804July 4, 1805 Thomas Jefferson

Governors of Louisiana Territory and 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]

Louisiana Territory

The Territory of Louisiana or Louisiana Territory was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from July 4, 1805, until June 4, 1812, when it was renamed the Missouri Territory.

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]

#PictureGovernorTook officeLeft officeAppointed by
1 James Wilkinson.jpg   James Wilkinson July 4, 1805March 3, 1807 [B] Thomas Jefferson
2 Meriwether Lewis-Charles Willson Peale.jpg   Meriwether Lewis March 3, 1807October 11, 1809 [C] [D] Thomas Jefferson
3 Benjamin-howard.jpg   Benjamin Howard April 17, 1810October 31, 1812 [E] James Madison
4 William Clark-Charles Willson Peale.jpg   William Clark July 1, 1813September 18, 1820 James Madison
James Monroe

Governors of Missouri


   Democratic-Republican (3)   Democratic (38)   Republican (15)   Liberal Republican (1)

#GovernorTook officeLeft officeParty Lt. Governor Term(s)
1 Alexander mcnair.jpg Alexander McNair September 18, 1820November 15, 1824 Democratic-Republican William Henry Ashley 1
2 Frederick Bates.jpg Frederick Bates November 15, 1824August 4, 1825 Democratic-Republican Benjamin Harrison Reeves 13 [C]
3 Blank.gif Abraham J. Williams August 4, 1825January 20, 1826 Democratic-Republican Vacant13 [H]
4 Missouri Governor John Miller.jpg John Miller January 20, 1826November 19, 1832 Democratic Daniel Dunklin 1 13 [I]
5 Daniel Dunklin.jpg Daniel Dunklin November 19, 1832September 30, 1836 Democratic Lilburn W. Boggs 12 [J]
6 Lilburn-Boggs.jpg Lilburn Boggs September 30, 1836November 16, 1840 Democratic Franklin Cannon 1 12 [K]
7 GovThomasReynolds.JPG Thomas Reynolds November 16, 1840February 9, 1844 Democratic Meredith Miles Marmaduke 12 [C]
8 Meredith Miles Marmaduke.jpg Meredith Miles Marmaduke February 9, 1844November 20, 1844 Democratic Vacant12 [L]
9 John Cummins Edwards.jpg John C. Edwards November 20, 1844November 20, 1848 Democratic James Young 1
10 AustinAugustusKing.jpg Austin Augustus King November 20, 1848January 3, 1853 Democratic Thomas Lawson Price 1
11 Sterling Price.jpg Sterling Price January 3, 1853January 5, 1857 Democratic Wilson Brown 1
12 Hon. Trusten Polk, Mo - NARA - 528704.jpg Trusten Polk January 5, 1857February 27, 1857 Democratic Hancock Lee Jackson 13 [M]
13 Hancock Lee Jackson.jpg Hancock Lee Jackson February 27, 1857October 22, 1857 Democratic Vacant13 [N]
14 Robert M. Stewart, 14th governor of Missouri.jpg Robert Marcellus Stewart October 22, 1857January 3, 1861 Democratic Hancock Lee Jackson13 [I]
15 Claiborne fox jackson.jpg Claiborne Fox Jackson January 3, 1861July 23, 1861 Democratic Thomas Caute Reynolds 13 [O]
16 HamiltonRowanGamble.jpg Hamilton Rowan Gamble July 31, 1861January 31, 1864 Republican Willard Preble Hall 13 [P] [C]
17 Willard Preble Hall.jpg Willard Preble Hall January 31, 1864January 2, 1865 Republican Vacant13 [L]
18 Thomas Clement Fletcher.jpg Thomas Clement Fletcher January 2, 1865January 12, 1869 Republican George Rappeen Smith 1
19 Joseph W. McClurg - Brady-Handy.jpg Joseph W. McClurg January 12, 1869January 4, 1871 Republican Edwin O. Stanard 1
20 BGratzBrown.png B. Gratz Brown January 4, 1871January 3, 1873 Liberal Republican Joseph J. Gravely 1
21 Silas Woodson.jpg Silas Woodson January 3, 1873January 12, 1875 Democratic Charles Phillip Johnson 1
22 Charles Henry Hardin.jpg Charles Henry Hardin January 12, 1875January 8, 1877 Democratic Norman Jay Coleman 1
23 John smith phelps.jpg John Smith Phelps January 8, 1877January 10, 1881 Democratic Henry Clay Brockmeyer 1
24 Thomas Theodore Crittenden - Brady-Handy.jpg Thomas Theodore Crittenden January 10, 1881January 12, 1885 Democratic Robert Alexander Campbell 1
25 John S. Marmaduke.jpg John S. Marmaduke January 12, 1885December 28, 1887 Democratic Albert P. Morehouse 12 [C]
26 Albert-p-morehouse.jpg Albert P. Morehouse December 28, 1887January 14, 1889 Democratic Vacant12 [L]
27 DRFrancis.jpg David R. Francis January 14, 1889January 9, 1893 Democratic Stephen Hugh Claycomb 1
28 William Joel Stone in 1917.jpg William J. Stone January 9, 1893January 11, 1897 Democratic John Baptiste O'Meara 1
29 Lon Vest Stephens.JPG Lawrence Vest Stephens January 11, 1897January 14, 1901 Democratic August Henry Bolte 1
30 AlexanderDockery.jpg Alexander Monroe Dockery January 14, 1901January 9, 1905Democratic John Adams Lee 1
Thomas L. Rubey
31 Joseph Wingate Folk cph.3b47532.jpg Joseph W. Folk January 9, 1905January 11, 1909 Democratic John C. McKinley 1
32 Herbert S Hadley.jpg Herbert S. Hadley January 9, 1909January 13, 1913 Republican Jacob Friedrich Gmelich 1
33 Major 4276919334 4c6c662037 o.jpg Elliot Woolfolk Major January 13, 1913January 8, 1917 Democratic William Rock Painter 1
34 Frederick Dozier Gardner circa 1915.jpg Frederick D. Gardner January 8, 1917January 10, 1921 Democratic Wallace Crossley 1
35 Arthur M. Hyde.jpg Arthur M. Hyde January 10, 1921January 12, 1925 Republican Hiram Lloyd 1
36 Sam Aaron Baker.jpg Samuel Aaron Baker January 12, 1925January 14, 1929 Republican Phillip Allen Bennett 1
37 Henry Stewart Caulfield.jpg Henry S. Caulfield January 14, 1929January 9, 1933 Republican Edward Henry Winter 1
38 Guy Brasfield Park 1933.jpg Guy Brasfield Park January 9, 1933January 11, 1937 Democratic Frank Gaines Harris 1
39 Lloyd Stark Restored.png Lloyd C. Stark January 11, 1937February 26, 1941 Democratic Frank Gaines Harris1 [Q]
40 Forrest C. Donnell.jpg Forrest C. Donnell February 26, 1941January 8, 1945 Republican Frank Gaines Harris1 [R]
41 Phil Donnelly.jpg Phil M. Donnelly January 8, 1945January 10, 1949 Democratic Walter Naylor Davis 1
42 Forrest Smith.jpg Forrest Smith January 10, 1949January 12, 1953 Democratic James T. Blair, Jr. 1
43 Phil Donnelly.jpg Phil M. Donnelly January 12, 1953January 14, 1957 Democratic James T. Blair, Jr.1
44 James T. Blair.jpg James T. Blair, Jr. January 14, 1957January 9, 1961 Democratic Edward V. Long 1
45 Portrait of John M. Dalton.jpg John M. Dalton January 9, 1961January 11, 1965 Democratic Hilary A. Bush 1
46 Warren E. Hearnes.jpg Warren E. Hearnes January 11, 1965January 8, 1973Democratic Thomas F. Eagleton 2
William S. Morris
47 Portrait of Christopher S Bond.jpg Kit Bond January 8, 1973January 10, 1977 Republican William C. Phelps 1
48 Joseph P. Teasdale.jpg Joseph P. Teasdale January 10, 1977January 12, 1981 Democratic William C. Phelps1
49 Portrait of Christopher S Bond.jpg Kit Bond January 12, 1981January 14, 1985 Republican Kenneth J. Rothman 1
50 John Ashcroft official photo as Governor.jpg John Ashcroft January 14, 1985January 11, 1993Republican Harriett Woods 2
Mel Carnahan
51 CarnahanMel.jpg Mel Carnahan January 11, 1993October 16, 2000 Democratic Roger B. Wilson 1 12 [C]
52 Roger B. Wilson.jpg Roger B. Wilson October 16, 2000January 8, 2001 Democratic Joe Maxwell 12 [L] [S]
53 Bob Holden rep.jpg Bob Holden January 8, 2001January 10, 2005 Democratic Joe Maxwell1
54 Matt Blunt.jpg Matt Blunt January 10, 2005January 12, 2009 Republican Peter Kinder 1
55 Jay Nixon 2016.jpg Jay Nixon January 12, 2009January 9, 2017 Democratic Peter Kinder2
56 Eric Greitens 2018.jpg Eric Greitens January 9, 2017June 1, 2018 Republican Mike Parson 12
57 Mike Parson official photo (cropped).jpg Mike Parson June 1, 2018Incumbent Republican Mike Kehoe 12 [L]

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 succeeded to the governorship and filled unexpired gubernatorial 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. ^ Lieutenant governor Boggs succeeded to governorship and filled the unexpired gubernatorial term of Dunklin and was later elected governor in his own right.
  • L. a b c d e Lieutenant governor succeeded to governorship, to fill unexpired gubernatorial term.
  • M. ^ Polk resigned to take an elected seat in the United States Senate. [6]
  • N. ^ Lieutenant governor succeeded to governorship and filled unexpired gubernatorial 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.

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

Living former governors of Missouri

As of June 2018, there are seven former governors of Missouri who are currently living, the oldest governor of Missouri being Kit Bond (served 1973–1977 and 1981–1985, born 1939). The most recent governor of Missouri to die was Joseph P. Teasdale (served 1977–1981, born 1936) on May 8, 2014. The most recently serving governor of Missouri to die was Mel Carnahan, who served from January 11, 1993 until his death in a plane crash at the age of sixty-six on October 16, 2000.

GovernorGubernatorial termDate of birth (and age)
Kit Bond 1973–1977
March 6, 1939 (age 80)
John Ashcroft 1985–1993May 9, 1942 (age 76)
Roger B. Wilson 2000–2001October 10, 1948 (age 70)
Bob Holden 2001–2005August 24, 1949 (age 69)
Matt Blunt 2005–2009November 20, 1970 (age 48)
Jay Nixon 2009–2017February 13, 1956 (age 63)
Eric Greitens 2017–2018April 10, 1974 (age 45)

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  1. "CSG Releases 2013 Governor Salaries". The Council of State Governments. June 25, 2013. Retrieved November 23, 2014.
  2. 1 2 3 Shoemaker, Floyd Calvin (1916). Missouri's Struggle for Statehood, 1804-1821. Jefferson City: The Hugh Stephens Printing Co. OCLC   4014912 . Retrieved 2008-09-16.
  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. OCLC   1199284 . Retrieved 2008-09-17.
  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. OCLC   302121 . Retrieved 2008-09-17.
  5. 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.
  6. "POLK, Trusten". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress . Retrieved 2008-09-17.
  7. 1 2 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.
  8. 1 2 "Politics In Missouri". The New York Times. 1941-02-22.
  9. 1 2 "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." Biographical Directory of the United States Congress . Retrieved 2008-09-17.