Thomas W. Bartley

Last updated
Thomas Welles Bartley
Thomas W. Bartley.png
17th Governor of Ohio
In office
April 15, 1844 December 3, 1844
Alma mater Jefferson College

Thomas Welles Bartley (also known as Thomas W. Bartley) (February 11, 1812 – June 20, 1885) was an American Democratic politician from the U.S. state of Ohio. He served as the 17th governor of Ohio. Bartley was succeeded in office by his father, Mordecai Bartley, one of only a few instances of this occurring in high elected office in the United States.



Bartley was born in Jefferson County, Ohio. As a child he moved to Mansfield, Ohio with his family. Bartley attended Jefferson College and graduated in 1829. He studied law with Jacob Parker in Mansfield, Ohio, and studied law with Elijah Hayward in Washington, D.C.. Bartley was admitted to the bar in 1833, and began practice in Mansfield. [1]


Bartley served in the Ohio House of Representatives from 1839–1841 and then in the Ohio State Senate from 1841-1845. He was elected Speaker of the Senate in 1843. [2]

When Wilson Shannon resigned as governor on April 15, 1844, to take a diplomatic appointment as United States ambassador to Mexico, Bartley became Governor while concurrently remaining in the Senate. He served out the remainder of Shannon's term until December 3. [3] Bartley sought renomination under the Democratic Party, but lost at the state convention by a single vote - avoiding a contest against his father, who accepted the Whig nomination. [4] Bartley later served a contentious term on the Ohio State Supreme Court from 1852-1859.

Bartley lived in Mansfield, Ohio, and moved to Cincinnati, Ohio to practice law in 1863, and in 1867 to Washington, D.C., where he died in 1885. [1] He was interred at Glenwood Cemetery.

Family life

Grave of Thomas W. Bartley. Thomas Wells Bartley grave south side - Glenwood Cemetery - 2014-09-14.jpg
Grave of Thomas W. Bartley.

On October 9, 1837, Bartley married his first wife, Julia Maria Larwill, in Wooster, Ohio. Bartley married his second wife, Susan D. Sherman (October 10, 1825– January 10, 1876), sister of John Sherman and General William Tecumseh Sherman, on November 7, 1848,. Ellen McCoy, widow of one of General Sherman's staff officers, was his third wife. [1] [5]


Bartley was buried at Glenwood Cemetery in Washington, D.C. [6]

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  1. 1 2 3 "Thomas Welles Bartley". The Supreme Court of Ohio & The Ohio Judicial System. Retrieved 2011-08-29.
  2. "Ohio Governor Thomas Welles Bartley". National Governors Association. Retrieved July 12, 2012.
  3. "Thomas W. Bartley". Ohio History Central . Retrieved July 12, 2012.
  4. "THOMAS W. BARTLEY". The Ohio Historical Society. Archived from the original on May 13, 2012. Retrieved July 11, 2012.
  5. Kerr, William Tecumseh Sherman: A Family Chronicle 102 (1984)
  6. Baughman, A. J., ed. (1901). A Centennial biographical history of Richland County, Ohio. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company. p. 75.