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Kansas Governors

Gov. Alf Landon speaking from a railroad car.The Kansas Governor 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, and for more than 100 years, governors were elected every two years. Beginning with the 1974 election, the term of office became four years.

See a chronological list of Kansas governors with links to biographies.

Territorial Governors
1. Andrew H. Reeder Commissioned June 29, 1854
Oath of office July,1854
October 7, 1854-April 17, 1855
2. Daniel Woodson April 17-June 23, 1855 (acting)
3. Andrew H. Reeder June 23-August 16,1855
4. Daniel Woodson August 16-September 7,1855
5. Wilson Shannon Commissioned August 10, 1955
September 7, 1855-June 24,1856
6. Daniel Woodson June 24-July 7, 1856 (acting)
7. Daniel Woodson August 18-September 9, 1856 (acting)
8. John White Geary September 9, 1856-March 12, 1857
Resigned March 4, to take effect March 20
9. Daniel Woodson March 12-April 16, 1857 (acting)
10. Frederick P. Stanton April 16-May 27, 1857
11. Robert Walker Oath May 9, 1857
May 27-November 16, 1857
12. Frederick P. Stanton November 16-December 21, 1857 (acting)
13. James W. Denver December 21, 1857 - May 12, 1858 (acting)
May 12-July 3, 1858
14. Hugh Sleight Walsh July 3-July 30, 1858 (acting)
15. James W. Denver July 30-October 10, 1858
16. Hugh Sleight Walsh October 10-December 18, 1858 (acting)
17. Samuel Medary Oath December 1, 1858
December 18, 1858-August 1, 1859
18. Hugh Sleight Walsh August 1-September 15, 1859 (acting)
19. Samuel Medary September 15, 1859-April 15, 1860
20. Hugh Sleight Walsh April 15-June 16, 1860 (acting)
21. Samuel Medary June 16-September 11,1860
22. George M. Beebe September 11-November 26, 1860 (acting)
23. Samuel Medary November 26-December 17, 1860
24. George M. Beebe December 17, 1860-February 9, 1861
Kansas Governors
1. Charles Robinson February 9, 1861-January 12, 1863
2. Thomas Carney January 12, 1863-January 9, 1865
3. Samuel Johnson Crawford January 9, 1865-November 4, 1868
4. Nehemiah Green November 4, 1868-January 11, 1869
5. James Madison Harvey January 11, 1869-January 13, 1873
6. Thomas Andrew Osborn January 13, 1873-January 8, 1877
7. George Tobey Anthony January 8, 1877-January 13, 1879
8. John Pierce St. John January 13, 1879-January 8, 1883
9. George Washington Glick January 8, 1883-January 12, 1885
10. John Alexander Martin January 12, 1885-January 14, 1889
11. Lyman Underwood Humphrey January 14, 1889-January 9, 1893
12. Lorenzo Dow Lewelling January 9, 1893-January 14, 1895
13. Edmund Needham Morrill January 14, 1895-January 11, 1897
14. John Witnah Leedy January 11, 1897-January 9, 1899
15. William Eugene Stanley January 9, 1899-January 12, 1903
16. Willis Joshua Bailey January 12, 1903-January 9, 1905
17. Edward Wallis Hoch January 9, 1905-January 11, 1909
18. Walter Roscoe Stubbs January 11, 1909-January 13, 1913
19. George Hartshorn Hodges January 13, 1913-January 11, 1915
20. Arthur Capper January 11, 1915-January 13, 1919
21. Henry Justin Allen January 13, 1919-January 8, 1923
22. Jonathan McMillen Davis January 8, 1923-January 12, 1925
23. Ben Sanford Paulen January 12, 1925-January 14, 1929
24. Clyde Reed Martin January 14, 1929-January 12, 1931
25. Harry Hines Woodring January 12, 1931-January 9, 1933
26. Alfred Mossman Landon January 9, 1933-January 11, 1937
27. Walter Augustus Huxman January 11, 1937-January 9, 1939
28. Payne Ratner January 9, 1939-January 11, 1943
29. Andrew F. Schoeppel January 11, 1943-January 13, 1947
30. Frank Carlson January 13, 1947-November 28, 1950
31. Frank L. Hagaman November 28, 1950 - January 8, 1951
32. Edward F. Arn January 8, 1951-January 10, 1955
33. Fred Hall January 10, 1955-January 3, 1957
34. John McCuish January 3, 1957-January 14, 1957
35. George Docking January 14, 1957-January 9, 1961
36. John Anderson, Jr. January 9, 1961-January 11, 1965
37. William H. Avery January 11, 1965-January 9, 1967
38. Robert B. Docking January 9, 1967-January 13, 1975
39. Robert F. Bennett January 13, 1975-January 8, 1979
40. John William Carlin January 8, 1979-January 12, 1987
41. John Michael Hayden January 12, 1987-January 14, 1991
42. Joan Finney January 14, 1991-January 9, 1995
43. William Preston Graves January 9, 1995-January 13, 2003
44. Kathleen Sebelius January 13, 2003-April 28, 2009
45. Mark Parkinson April 28, 2009-January 10, 2011
46. Samuel Dale Brownback January 10, 2011-

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.
finding aid

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.
finding aid

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.
finding aid

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.

finding aid

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.

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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.
Died: September 15, 2014, 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.
Died: October 9, 2000, 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

The State Archives houses 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. 

See each governor's Annual Message or State of the State address on the Kansas State Library website.

Entry: Kansas Governors

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: February 2017

Date Modified: February 2017

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.