List of governors of Missouri

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Governor of Missouri
Gouverneurs du Missouri
Seal of Missouri.svg
Mike Parson official photo (cropped).jpg
Mike Parson

since June 1, 2018
StyleThe Honorable
ResidenceMissouri Governor's Mansion
Term lengthFour years, renewable once[1]
PrecursorGovernor of Missouri Territory
Inaugural holderAlexander McNair
FormationSeptember 18, 1820
(201 years ago)
 (1820-09-18) Constitution of Missouri
DeputyLieutenant Governor of Missouri
SalaryUS$133,820.88 per year
WebsiteOfficial Website

The 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]
Party Governors
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.

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 in the Missouri Governor's Mansion a block east of the Missouri State Capitol (although the current mansion is the third one).

Two governors have served non-consecutive terms, Phil M. Donnelly and Kit Bond.

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


Commandant of Louisiana[edit]

# Picture Commandant Took office Left office Appointed by
1 Blank.gif Amos Stoddard March 10, 1804 October 1, 1804 Thomas Jefferson

Governor of the District of Louisiana[edit]

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.[3]

# Picture Governor Took office Left office Appointed by
1 Rembrandt Peale - William Henry Harrison - Google Art Project.jpg   William Henry Harrison October 1, 1804 July 4, 1805 Thomas Jefferson

Governors of Louisiana Territory and Missouri Territory[edit]

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.[3]

On June 4, 1812, the Territory of Louisiana was renamed 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.[3]

# Picture Governor Took office Left office Appointed by
1 James Wilkinson.jpg   James Wilkinson July 4, 1805 March 3, 1807[B] Thomas Jefferson
2 Meriwether Lewis-Charles Willson Peale.jpg   Meriwether Lewis March 3, 1807 October 11, 1809[C][D] Thomas Jefferson
3 Benjamin-howard.jpg   Benjamin Howard April 17, 1810 October 31, 1812[E] James Madison
4 William Clark-Charles Willson Peale.jpg   William Clark July 1, 1813 September 18, 1820 James Madison
James Monroe
5 Alexander mcnair.jpg Alexander McNair September 18, 1820 August 9, 1821 (term continued as state governor)/November 15, 1824 Democratic-Republican

Governors of Missouri[edit]


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

# Governor Took office Left office Party Lt. Governor Term(s)
1 Alexander mcnair.jpg Alexander McNair September 18, 1820/August 10, 1821 (term began as territorial governor) November 15, 1824 Democratic-Republican William Henry Ashley 1
2 Frederick Bates.jpg Frederick Bates November 15, 1824 August 4, 1825 Democratic-Republican Benjamin Harrison Reeves 13[C]
3 Blank.gif Abraham J. Williams August 4, 1825 January 20, 1826 Democratic-Republican Vacant 13[H]
4 Missouri Governor John Miller.jpg John Miller January 20, 1826 November 19, 1832 Democratic Daniel Dunklin 1+13[I]
5 Daniel Dunklin.jpg Daniel Dunklin November 19, 1832 September 30, 1836 Democratic Lilburn W. Boggs 12[J]
6 Lilburn-Boggs.jpg Lilburn Boggs September 30, 1836 November 16, 1840 Democratic Franklin Cannon 1+12[K]
7 GovThomasReynolds.JPG Thomas Reynolds November 16, 1840 February 9, 1844 Democratic Meredith Miles Marmaduke 12[C]
8 Meredith Miles Marmaduke.jpg Meredith Miles Marmaduke February 9, 1844 November 20, 1844 Democratic Vacant 12[L]
9 John Cummins Edwards.jpg John C. Edwards November 20, 1844 November 20, 1848 Democratic James Young 1
10 AustinAugustusKing.jpg Austin Augustus King November 20, 1848 January 3, 1853 Democratic Thomas Lawson Price 1
11 Sterling Price.jpg Sterling Price January 3, 1853 January 5, 1857 Democratic Wilson Brown 1
12 Hon. Trusten Polk, Mo - NARA - 528704.jpg Trusten Polk January 5, 1857 February 27, 1857 Democratic Hancock Lee Jackson 13[M]
13 Hancock Lee Jackson.jpg Hancock Lee Jackson February 27, 1857 October 22, 1857 Democratic Vacant 13[N]
14 Robert M. Stewart, 14th governor of Missouri.jpg Robert Marcellus Stewart October 22, 1857 January 3, 1861 Democratic Hancock Lee Jackson 13[I]
15 Claiborne fox jackson.jpg Claiborne Fox Jackson January 3, 1861 July 23, 1861 Democratic Thomas Caute Reynolds 13[O]
16 HamiltonRowanGamble.jpg Hamilton Rowan Gamble July 31, 1861 January 31, 1864 Republican Willard Preble Hall 13[P][C]
17 Willard Preble Hall.jpg Willard Preble Hall January 31, 1864 January 2, 1865 Republican Vacant 13[L]
18 Thomas Clement Fletcher.jpg Thomas Clement Fletcher January 2, 1865 January 12, 1869 Republican George Smith 1
19 Joseph W. McClurg - Brady-Handy.jpg Joseph W. McClurg January 12, 1869 January 4, 1871 Republican Edwin O. Stanard 1
20 BGratzBrown.png B. Gratz Brown January 4, 1871 January 3, 1873 Liberal Republican Joseph J. Gravely 1
21 Silas Woodson.jpg Silas Woodson January 3, 1873 January 12, 1875 Democratic Charles Phillip Johnson 1
22 Charles Henry Hardin.jpg Charles Henry Hardin January 12, 1875 January 8, 1877 Democratic Norman Jay Coleman 1
23 John smith phelps.jpg John Smith Phelps January 8, 1877 January 10, 1881 Democratic Henry Clay Brockmeyer 1
24 Thomas Theodore Crittenden - Brady-Handy.jpg Thomas Theodore Crittenden January 10, 1881 January 12, 1885 Democratic Robert Alexander Campbell 1
25 John S. Marmaduke.jpg John S. Marmaduke January 12, 1885 December 28, 1887 Democratic Albert P. Morehouse 12[C]
26 Albert-p-morehouse.jpg Albert P. Morehouse December 28, 1887 January 14, 1889 Democratic Vacant 12[L]
27 DRFrancis.jpg David R. Francis January 14, 1889 January 9, 1893 Democratic Stephen Hugh Claycomb 1
28 William Joel Stone in 1917 (cropped).jpg William J. Stone January 9, 1893 January 11, 1897 Democratic John Baptiste O'Meara 1
29 Lon Vest Stephens.JPG Lawrence Vest Stephens January 11, 1897 January 14, 1901 Democratic August Henry Bolte 1
30 AlexanderDockery.jpg Alexander Monroe Dockery January 14, 1901 January 9, 1905 Democratic John Adams Lee 1
Thomas L. Rubey
31 Joseph Wingate Folk cph.3b47532.jpg Joseph W. Folk January 9, 1905 January 11, 1909 Democratic John C. McKinley 1
32 HerbertSHadley.jpg Herbert S. Hadley January 9, 1909 January 13, 1913 Republican Jacob Friedrich Gmelich 1
33 Major 4276919334 4c6c662037 o crop.jpg Elliot Woolfolk Major January 13, 1913 January 8, 1917 Democratic William Rock Painter 1
34 Frederick Dozier Gardner circa 1915.jpg Frederick D. Gardner January 8, 1917 January 10, 1921 Democratic Wallace Crossley 1
35 Arthur M. Hyde.jpg Arthur M. Hyde January 10, 1921 January 12, 1925 Republican Hiram Lloyd 1
36 Sam Aaron Baker.jpg Samuel Aaron Baker January 12, 1925 January 14, 1929 Republican Phillip Allen Bennett 1
37 Henry Stewart Caulfield.jpg Henry S. Caulfield January 14, 1929 January 9, 1933 Republican Edward Henry Winter 1
38 Guy Brasfield Park 1933.jpg Guy Brasfield Park January 9, 1933 January 11, 1937 Democratic Frank Gaines Harris 1
39 Lloyd Stark Restored.png Lloyd C. Stark January 11, 1937 February 26, 1941 Democratic Frank Gaines Harris 1[Q]
40 Forrest C. Donnell.jpg Forrest C. Donnell February 26, 1941 January 8, 1945 Republican Frank Gaines Harris 1[R]
41 Phil Donnelly.jpg Phil M. Donnelly January 8, 1945 January 10, 1949 Democratic Walter Naylor Davis 1
42 Forrest Smith.jpg Forrest Smith January 10, 1949 January 12, 1953 Democratic James T. Blair Jr. 1
43 Phil Donnelly.jpg Phil M. Donnelly January 12, 1953 January 14, 1957 Democratic James T. Blair Jr. 1
44 James T. Blair.jpg James T. Blair Jr. January 14, 1957 January 9, 1961 Democratic Edward V. Long 1
45 Portrait of John M. Dalton.jpg John M. Dalton January 9, 1961 January 11, 1965 Democratic Hilary A. Bush 1
46 Warren E. Hearnes.jpg Warren E. Hearnes January 11, 1965 January 8, 1973 Democratic Thomas F. Eagleton 2
William S. Morris
47 Portrait of Christopher S Bond.jpg Kit Bond January 8, 1973 January 10, 1977 Republican William C. Phelps 1
48 Joseph P. Teasdale (cropped).jpg Joseph P. Teasdale January 10, 1977 January 12, 1981 Democratic William C. Phelps 1
49 Portrait of Christopher S Bond.jpg Kit Bond January 12, 1981 January 14, 1985 Republican Kenneth J. Rothman 1
50 John Ashcroft official photo as Governor (cropped).jpg John Ashcroft January 14, 1985 January 11, 1993 Republican Harriett Woods 2
Mel Carnahan
51 CarnahanMel.jpg Mel Carnahan January 11, 1993 October 16, 2000 Democratic Roger B. Wilson 1+12[C]
52 Roger B. Wilson.jpg Roger B. Wilson October 16, 2000 January 8, 2001 Democratic Joe Maxwell 12[L][S]
53 Bob Holden rep.jpg Bob Holden January 8, 2001 January 10, 2005 Democratic Joe Maxwell 1
54 Matt Blunt.jpg Matt Blunt January 10, 2005 January 12, 2009 Republican Peter Kinder 1
55 Jay Nixon 2016.jpg Jay Nixon January 12, 2009 January 9, 2017 Democratic Peter Kinder 2
56 Eric Greitens 2018.jpg Eric Greitens January 9, 2017 June 1, 2018 Republican Mike Parson 12
57 Mike Parson official photo (cropped).jpg Mike Parson June 1, 2018[4] Incumbent Republican Mike Kehoe 12[L]

Civil War[edit]

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)[edit]

Missouri Provisional Government (Union)[edit]


  • 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.[5]
  • 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.[6]
  • E. ^ Howard resigned from office to accept a commission as brigadier general of the Eighth Military Department.[7]
  • 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.[8]
  • 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.[9] Jackson had fled the capital and aligned himself with the Confederacy.
  • P. ^ Gamble was elected the provisional governor of Missouri by the state convention.[9]
  • 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.[10][11]
  • 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.[10][11]
  • 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.[12][13]


Other high offices held[edit]

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.

Governor Gubernatorial term U.S. Congress Other offices held
House Senate
Benjamin Howard 1809–1812 (territorial) U.S. Representative from Kentucky
John Miller 1826–1832 H
John C. Edwards 1844–1848 H
Austin Augustus King 1848–1853 H
Sterling Price 1853–1857 H
Trusten Polk 1857 S*
Willard Preble Hall 1864–1865 H
Joseph W. McClurg 1869–1871 H
B. Gratz Brown 1871–1873 S
John S. Phelps 1877–1881 H Military Governor of Arkansas[14]
Thomas Theodore Crittenden 1881–1885 H
David R. Francis 1889–1893 Ambassador to Russia, U.S. Secretary of the Interior
William J. Stone 1893–1897 H S
Alexander Monroe Dockery 1901–1905 H
Arthur M. Hyde 1921–1925 U.S. Secretary of Agriculture
Henry S. Caulfield 1929–1933 H
Forrest C. Donnell 1941–1945 S
Kit Bond 1973–1977
John Ashcroft 1985–1993 S U.S. Attorney General
Mel Carnahan 1993–2000 Posthumously elected U.S. Senator

Living former governors of Missouri[edit]

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.

Governor Gubernatorial term Date of birth (and age)
Kit Bond 1973–1977
(1939-03-06) March 6, 1939 (age 82)
John Ashcroft 1985–1993 (1942-05-09) May 9, 1942 (age 79)
Roger B. Wilson 2000–2001 (1948-10-10) October 10, 1948 (age 73)
Bob Holden 2001–2005 (1949-08-24) August 24, 1949 (age 72)
Matt Blunt 2005–2009 (1970-11-20) November 20, 1970 (age 50)
Jay Nixon 2009–2017 (1956-02-13) February 13, 1956 (age 65)
Eric Greitens 2017–2018 (1974-04-10) April 10, 1974 (age 47)



  • "Missouri History - Governors". Missouri Secretary of State. Retrieved 2008-09-11.
  • "Missouri History - Lieutenant Governors". Missouri Secretary of State. Retrieved 2008-09-11.



  1. ^ "Missouri Constitution of 1875". Article V, Section 12. A person who has served as governor for more than one and one-half terms in two consecutive terms shall not be elected governor for the succeeding term.
  2. ^ "CSG Releases 2015 Governor Salaries". The Council of State Governments. June 25, 2013. Retrieved November 23, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c Shoemaker, Floyd Calvin (1916). Missouri's Struggle for Statehood, 1804-1821. Jefferson City: The Hugh Stephens Printing Co. OCLC 4014912. Retrieved 2008-09-16.
  4. ^ Parson's full term began on January 11, 2021.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ "POLK, Trusten". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 2008-09-17.
  9. ^ a b 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.
  10. ^ a b "Politics In Missouri". The New York Times. 1941-02-22.
  11. ^ a b "Orders Donnell Seated". The New York Times. 1941-02-20.
  12. ^ Bellamy, Clayton (2000-10-17). "Missouri Gov Mel Carnahan Killed In Plane Crash". Retrieved 2008-09-17.
  13. ^ Fountain, John W. (2000-10-19). "Pilot Sought Better Weather Before Crash". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-09-17.
  14. ^ "PHELPS, John S." Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 2008-09-17.

External links[edit]