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
Party Governors
Democratic 21
Republican 20
Whig 1
Independent 1

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.

# Name Picture Term
1 First Executive Committee Oregon Provisional Government Seal.png 1843–1844
2 Second Executive Committee Oregon Provisional Government Seal.png 1844–1845
3 George Abernethy George Abernethy.jpg 1845–1848

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.

Picture Governor Took office Left office Appointed by Notes
Joseph Lane (cwpbh-02170).jpg Joseph Lane March 3, 1849 June 18, 1850 James Polk
No image.svg Kintzing Prichette June 18, 1850 August 18, 1850 Acting Governor
JPGaines.jpg John P. Gaines August 18, 1850 May 16, 1853 Zachary Taylor
Joseph Lane (cwpbh-02170).jpg Joseph Lane May 16, 1853 May 19, 1853 Acting Governor
George Law Curry 1853.jpg George Law Curry May 19, 1853 December 2, 1853 Acting Governor
John Wesley Davis.jpg John W. Davis December 2, 1853 August 1, 1854 Franklin Pierce
George Law Curry 1853.jpg George Law Curry August 1, 1854 March 3, 1859 Franklin Pierce

Governors of the State of Oregon[edit]

Parties

      Democratic       Republican

# Picture Governor Took office Left office Party Terms
[note 1]
1   Whiteaker.jpg John Whiteaker March 3, 1859 September 10, 1862 Democratic 1
2   Oregon Governor AC Gibbs.jpg A. C. Gibbs September 10, 1862 September 12, 1866 Republican 1
3 Oregon Governor George Lemuel Woods.jpg George L. Woods September 12, 1866 September 14, 1870 Republican 1
4 La Fayette Grover - Brady-Handy.jpg La Fayette Grover September 14, 1870 February 1, 1877 Democratic 1 12
[note 2]
5 Oregon Governor Stephen Chadwick.jpg Stephen F. Chadwick February 1, 1877 September 11, 1878 Democratic 12
6 Oregon Governor William Wallace Thayer.jpg W. W. Thayer September 11, 1878 September 13, 1882 Democratic 1
7 Zenas Ferry Moody (1903).jpg Z. F. Moody September 13, 1882 January 12, 1887 Republican 1
8 Governor Sylvester Pennoyer.jpg Sylvester Pennoyer January 12, 1887 January 14, 1895 Democratic 2
9 OrGovWPLord.jpg William Paine Lord January 14, 1895 January 9, 1899 Republican 1
10 Oregon Governor TT Geer.jpg T. T. Geer January 9, 1899 January 15, 1903 Republican 1
11 George E Chamberlain.jpg George Chamberlain January 15, 1903 March 1, 1909 Democratic 1 13
[note 2]
12 Frank W. Benson 1910.JPG Frank W. Benson March 1, 1909 June 17, 1910 Republican 13
[note 3]
13 Oregon Governor Jay Bowerman.jpg Jay Bowerman June 17, 1910 January 11, 1911 Republican 13
14 Oswald West.jpg Oswald West January 11, 1911 January 12, 1915 Democratic 1
15 Withycombe.jpg James Withycombe January 12, 1915 March 3, 1919 Republican 1 12
[note 4]
16 Ben W Olcott.jpg Ben W. Olcott March 3, 1919 January 8, 1923 Republican 12
17 Walter M. Pierce Oregon.jpg Walter M. Pierce January 8, 1923 January 10, 1927 Democratic 1
18 Isaac L. Patterson.jpg I. L. Patterson January 10, 1927 December 22, 1929 Republican 12
[note 4]
19 A. W. Norblad as circuit judge.jpg A. W. Norblad December 22, 1929 January 12, 1931 Republican 12
20   Julius L. Meier 1911.png Julius L. Meier January 12, 1931 January 14, 1935 Independent 1
21 Charles H Martin.jpg Charles H. Martin January 14, 1935 January 9, 1939 Democratic 1
22 No image.svg Charles A. Sprague January 9, 1939 January 11, 1943 Republican 1
23 No image.svg Earl Snell January 11, 1943 October 30, 1947 Republican 1 13
[note 4]
24 No image.svg John H. Hall October 30, 1947 January 10, 1949 Republican 13
25 Douglas McKay.png Douglas McKay January 10, 1949 December 17, 1952 Republican 13 + 12
[note 5]
26 No image.svg Paul L. Patterson December 27, 1952 February 1, 1956 Republican 12 + 13
[note 4]
27 No image.svg Elmo Smith February 1, 1956 January 14, 1957 Republican 13
28 Robert D. Holmes.jpg Robert D. Holmes January 14, 1957 January 12, 1959 Democratic 13
29 Mark hatfield.jpg Mark Hatfield January 12, 1959 January 9, 1967 Republican 2
30 No image.svg Tom McCall January 9, 1967 January 13, 1975 Republican 2
31 No image.svg Robert W. Straub January 13, 1975 January 8, 1979 Democratic 1
32 Victor Atiyeh in 1986.jpg Victor G. Atiyeh January 8, 1979 January 12, 1987 Republican 2
33 Neil Goldschmidt.jpg Neil Goldschmidt January 12, 1987 January 14, 1991 Democratic 1
34 Governor Barbara Roberts.jpg Barbara Roberts January 14, 1991 January 9, 1995 Democratic 1
35 John Kitzhaber.jpg John Kitzhaber January 9, 1995 January 13, 2003 Democratic 2
36 Ted Kulongoski headshot Color 2007.JPG Ted Kulongoski January 13, 2003 January 10, 2011 Democratic 2
37 John Kitzhaber.jpg John Kitzhaber January 10, 2011 Incumbent Democratic 1
[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.
Governor Gubernatorial term U.S. Congress Other offices held Source
House Senate
Joseph Lane 1848–1850
1853–1853
S Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives from Oregon Territory [1]
John P. Gaines 1850–1853 U.S. Representative from Kentucky [2]
John W. Davis 1853–1854 U.S. Representative from Indiana; United States Commissioner to China [3]
John Whiteaker 1859–1862 H [4]
George L. Woods 1911–1915 Governor of Utah Territory [5]
La Fayette Grover 1866–1877 H S* [6]
William Paine Lord 1895–1899 United States Minister to Argentina [7]
George Chamberlain 1903–1909 S* [8]
Walter M. Pierce 1923–1927 H [9]
Charles H. Martin 1935–1939 H [10]
Douglas McKay 1949–1952 United States Secretary of the Interior* [11]
Mark Hatfield 1959–1967 S [12]
Neil Goldschmidt 1987–1991 United States Secretary of Transportation [13]

Living former governors[edit]

As of September 2014, three former governors were alive, the oldest being Barbara Roberts (1991–1995, born 1936). The most recent death of a former governor and also the death of a former governor who served most recently was of Victor Atiyeh, who left office on January 12, 1987 and died on July 20, 2014.[14]

Governor Gubernatorial term Date of birth
Neil Goldschmidt 1987–1991 (1940-06-16) June 16, 1940 (age 74)
Barbara Roberts 1991–1995 (1936-12-21) December 21, 1936 (age 77)
Ted Kulongoski 2003–2011 (1940-11-05) November 5, 1940 (age 74)

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, George 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. 
  14. ^ Mapes, Jeff (July 20, 2014). "Republican Vic Atiyeh, who guided Oregon through economic upheaval, dies at 91". The Oregonian. Retrieved 2014-07-20. 

External links[edit]