List of governors of Indiana

The Governor of Indiana is the chief executive of the U.S. state of Indiana. The governor is the head of the executive branch of Indiana's state government and is charged with enforcing state laws.

The Indiana Statehouse in Indianapolis, which houses the office of the governor

While a territory, Indiana had two governors appointed by the President of the United States. Since statehood in 1816, it has had 49 governors, serving 51 distinct terms; Isaac P. Gray and Henry F. Schricker are the only governors to have served non-consecutive terms. Four governors have served two four-year terms; territorial governor William Henry Harrison served for over 12 years. The shortest-serving governor is Henry Smith Lane, who served two days before resigning to become a U.S. Senator. The current governor is Eric Holcomb, who took office on January 9, 2017.

Governors

Governors of the Territory of Indiana

Indiana Territory was formed on July 4, 1800, from the Northwest Territory. Despite remaining a territory for nearly 16 years, it had only two governors appointed by the President of the United States before it became a state.

Governors of the Territory of Indiana
No. Governor Term in office Appointed by
1 William Henry Harrison
    February 9, 1773 – April 4, 1841   
(aged 68)
January 10, 1801

December 28, 1812
John Adams
Thomas Jefferson
James Madison
John Gibson
    May 23, 1740 – April 10, 1822   
(aged 81)
December 28, 1812

March 3, 1813
acting[lower-alpha 1]
2 Thomas Posey
    July 9, 1750 – March 19, 1818   
(aged 67)
March 3, 1813

November 7, 1816
James Madison

Governors of the State of Indiana

Indiana was admitted to the Union on December 11, 1816.

The original 1816 Constitution of Indiana provided for the election of a governor and a lieutenant governor every three years, limited to six years out of any nine-year period.[2] The second and current constitution of 1851 lengthened terms to four years and set the commencement of the governor's term on the second Monday in the January following the election.[3] Governors were allowed to serve for four years in any eight-year period,[3] but a 1972 amendment permitted governors to serve for eight years in any twelve-year period.[4] Should the office of governor become vacant, the lieutenant governor becomes governor.[5] If the office of lieutenant governor is vacant, the president pro tempore of the Indiana Senate becomes governor;[5] this has happened once, when James B. Ray succeeded William Hendricks.[6]

Governors of the State of Indiana
No.[lower-alpha 2] Governor Term in office Party Election Lt. Governor[lower-alpha 3]
1   Jonathan Jennings
    March 27, 1784 – July 26, 1834   
(aged 50)
November 7, 1816

September 12, 1822
(resigned)[lower-alpha 4]
Democratic-
Republican
1816   Christopher Harrison
(resigned December 18, 1818)[lower-alpha 5]
Vacant
1819 Ratliff Boon
2 Ratliff Boon
    January 18, 1781 – November, 1844   
(aged 63)
September 12, 1822

December 5, 1822
(successor took office)
Democratic-
Republican
Succeeded from
Lieutenant
Governor
Vacant
3 William Hendricks
    November 12, 1782 – May 16, 1850   
(aged 67)
December 5, 1822

February 12, 1825
(resigned)[lower-alpha 6]
Democratic-
Republican
1822 Ratliff Boon
(resigned January 30, 1824)
Vacant
4 James B. Ray
    February 19, 1794 – August 4, 1848   
(aged 54)
February 12, 1825

December 7, 1831
(term limited)
Independent Succeeded from
President of
the Senate
[lower-alpha 7]
1825 John H. Thompson
1828 Milton Stapp
5 Noah Noble
    January 15, 1794 – February 8, 1844   
(aged 50)
December 7, 1831

December 6, 1837
(term limited)
Whig 1831 David Wallace
1834
6 David Wallace
    April 24, 1799 – September 4, 1859   
(aged 60)
December 6, 1837

December 9, 1840
(term limited)
Whig 1837 David Hillis
7 Samuel Bigger
    March 20, 1802 – September 9, 1846   
(aged 44)
December 9, 1840

December 6, 1843
(lost election)
Whig 1840 Samuel Hall
8 James Whitcomb
    December 1, 1795 – October 4, 1852   
(aged 56)
December 6, 1843

December 27, 1848
(resigned)[lower-alpha 8]
Democratic 1843 Jesse D. Bright
(resigned December 8, 1845)
Vacant
1846 Paris C. Dunning
9 Paris C. Dunning
    March 15, 1806 – May 9, 1884   
(aged 78)
December 27, 1848

December 5, 1849
(not candidate for election)
Democratic Succeeded from
Lieutenant
Governor
Vacant
10 Joseph A. Wright
    April 17, 1810 – May 11, 1867   
(aged 57)
December 5, 1849

January 12, 1857
(term limited)
Democratic 1849 James Henry Lane
1852[lower-alpha 9] Ashbel P. Willard
11 Ashbel P. Willard
    October 31, 1820 – October 4, 1860   
(aged 39)
January 12, 1857

October 4, 1860
(died in office)
Democratic 1856 Abram A. Hammond
12 Abram A. Hammond
    March 21, 1814 – August 27, 1874   
(aged 60)
October 4, 1860

January 14, 1861
(successor took office)
Democratic Succeeded from
Lieutenant
Governor
Vacant
13 Henry Smith Lane
    February 24, 1811 – June 19, 1881   
(aged 70)
January 14, 1861

January 16, 1861
(resigned)[lower-alpha 10]
Republican 1860 Oliver P. Morton
14 Oliver P. Morton
    August 4, 1823 – November 1, 1877   
(aged 54)
January 16, 1861

January 24, 1867
(resigned)[lower-alpha 11]
Republican Succeeded from
Lieutenant
Governor
Vacant
1864 Conrad Baker[lower-alpha 12]
15 Conrad Baker
    February 12, 1817 – April 28, 1885   
(aged 68)
January 24, 1867

January 13, 1873
(term limited)
Republican Succeeded from
Lieutenant
Governor
Vacant
1868 William Cumback
(resigned January 11, 1871)
Vacant
16 Thomas A. Hendricks
    September 7, 1819 – November 25, 1885   
(aged 66)
January 13, 1873

January 8, 1877
(term limited)
Democratic 1872 Leonidas Sexton
17 James D. Williams
    January 16, 1808 – November 20, 1880   
(aged 72)
January 8, 1877

November 20, 1880
(died in office)
Democratic 1876 Isaac P. Gray
18 Isaac P. Gray
    October 18, 1828 – February 14, 1895   
(aged 66)
November 20, 1880

January 10, 1881
(successor took office)
Democratic Succeeded from
Lieutenant
Governor
Vacant
19 Albert G. Porter
    April 20, 1824 – May 3, 1897   
(aged 73)
January 10, 1881

January 12, 1885
(term limited)
Republican 1880 Thomas Hanna
20 Isaac P. Gray
    October 18, 1828 – February 14, 1895   
(aged 66)
January 12, 1885

January 14, 1889
(term limited)
Democratic 1884 Mahlon Dickerson Manson
(resigned July 1886)
Vacant
21 Alvin Peterson Hovey
    September 6, 1821 – November 23, 1891   
(aged 70)
January 14, 1889

November 23, 1891
(died in office)
Republican 1888 Ira Joy Chase
22 Ira Joy Chase
    December 7, 1834 – May 11, 1895   
(aged 60)
November 23, 1891

January 9, 1893
(lost election)
Republican Succeeded from
Lieutenant
Governor
Vacant
23 Claude Matthews
    December 14, 1845 – August 28, 1898   
(aged 52)
January 9, 1893

January 11, 1897
(term limited)
Democratic 1892 Mortimer Nye
24 James A. Mount
    March 24, 1843 – January 16, 1901   
(aged 57)
January 11, 1897

January 14, 1901
(term limited)
Republican 1896 William S. Haggard
25 Winfield T. Durbin
    May 4, 1847 – December 18, 1928   
(aged 81)
January 14, 1901

January 9, 1905
(term limited)
Republican 1900 Newton W. Gilbert
26 Frank Hanly
    April 4, 1863 – August 1, 1920   
(aged 57)
January 9, 1905

January 11, 1909
(term limited)
Republican 1904 Hugh Thomas Miller
27 Thomas R. Marshall
    March 14, 1854 – June 1, 1925   
(aged 71)
January 11, 1909

January 13, 1913
(term limited)
Democratic 1908 Frank J. Hall
28 Samuel M. Ralston
    December 1, 1857 – October 14, 1925   
(aged 67)
January 13, 1913

January 8, 1917
(term limited)
Democratic 1912 William P. O'Neill
29 James P. Goodrich
    February 18, 1864 – August 15, 1940   
(aged 76)
January 8, 1917

January 10, 1921
(term limited)
Republican 1916 Edgar D. Bush
30 Warren T. McCray
    February 4, 1865 – December 19, 1938   
(aged 63)
January 10, 1921

April 30, 1924
(resigned)[lower-alpha 13]
Republican 1920 Emmett Forest Branch
31 Emmett Forest Branch
    May 16, 1874 – February 23, 1932   
(aged 57)
April 30, 1924

January 12, 1925
(not candidate for election)
Republican Succeeded from
Lieutenant
Governor
Vacant
32 Edward L. Jackson
    December 27, 1873 – November 18, 1954   
(aged 80)
January 12, 1925

January 14, 1929
(term limited)
Republican 1924 F. Harold Van Orman
33 Harry G. Leslie
    April 6, 1878 – December 10, 1937   
(aged 59)
January 14, 1929

January 9, 1933
(term limited)
Republican 1928 Edgar D. Bush
34 Paul V. McNutt
    July 19, 1891 – March 24, 1955   
(aged 63)
January 9, 1933

January 11, 1937
(term limited)
Democratic 1932 M. Clifford Townsend
35 M. Clifford Townsend
    August 11, 1884 – November 11, 1954   
(aged 70)
January 11, 1937

January 13, 1941
(term limited)
Democratic 1936 Henry F. Schricker
36 Henry F. Schricker
    August 30, 1883 – December 28, 1966   
(aged 83)
January 13, 1941

January 8, 1945
(term limited)
Democratic 1940 Charles M. Dawson
37 Ralph F. Gates
    February 24, 1893 – July 28, 1978   
(aged 85)
January 8, 1945

January 10, 1949
(term limited)
Republican 1944 Richard T. James
(resigned April 1, 1948)
Vacant
Rue J. Alexander
(appointed April 14, 1948)
(died January 2, 1949)
Vacant
38 Henry F. Schricker
    August 30, 1883 – December 28, 1966   
(aged 83)
January 10, 1949

January 12, 1953
(term limited)
Democratic 1948 John A. Watkins
39 George N. Craig
    August 6, 1909 – December 17, 1992   
(aged 83)
January 12, 1953

January 14, 1957
(term limited)
Republican 1952 Harold W. Handley
40 Harold W. Handley
    November 27, 1909 – August 30, 1972   
(aged 62)
January 14, 1957

January 9, 1961
(term limited)
Republican 1956 Crawford F. Parker
41 Matthew E. Welsh
    Septemember 15, 1912 – May 28, 1995   
(aged 82)
January 9, 1961

January 11, 1965
(term limited)
Democratic 1960 Richard O. Ristine
42 Roger D. Branigin
    July 26, 1902 – November 19, 1975   
(aged 73)
January 11, 1965

January 13, 1969
(term limited)
Democratic 1964 Robert L. Rock
43 Edgar Whitcomb
    November 6, 1917 – February 4, 2016   
(aged 98)
January 13, 1969

January 8, 1973
(not candidate for election)[lower-alpha 14]
Republican 1968 Richard E. Folz
44 Otis Bowen
    February 26, 1918 – May 4, 2013   
(aged 95)
January 8, 1973

January 12, 1981
(term limited)
Republican 1972 Robert D. Orr
1976
45 Robert D. Orr
    November 17, 1917 – March 10, 2004   
(aged 86)
January 12, 1981

January 9, 1989
(term limited)
Republican 1980 John Mutz
1984
46 Evan Bayh
    (1955-12-26) December 26, 1955
January 9, 1989

January 13, 1997
(term limited)
Democratic 1988 Frank O'Bannon
1992
47 Frank O'Bannon
    January 30, 1930 – September 13, 2003   
(aged 73)
January 13, 1997

September 13, 2003
(died in office)
Democratic 1996 Joe Kernan
2000
48 Joe Kernan
    April 8, 1946 – July 29, 2020   
(aged 74)
September 13, 2003

January 10, 2005
(lost election)
Democratic Succeeded from
Lieutenant
Governor
Vacant
Kathy Davis
(appointed October 20, 2003)
49 Mitch Daniels
    (1949-04-07) April 7, 1949
January 10, 2005

January 14, 2013
(term limited)
Republican 2004 Becky Skillman
2008
50 Mike Pence
    (1959-06-07) June 7, 1959
January 14, 2013

January 9, 2017
(not candidate for election)
Republican 2012 Sue Ellspermann
(resigned March 2, 2016)
Vacant
Eric Holcomb
(appointed March 3, 2016)
51 Eric Holcomb
    (1968-05-02) May 2, 1968
January 9, 2017

present[lower-alpha 15]
Republican 2016 Suzanne Crouch
2020

Succession

Notes

  1. John Gibson is sometimes known as Indiana's second territorial governor. He actually only served as acting governor of the Indiana Territory during the absences of Governor William Henry Harrison.[1]
  2. The official site labels Eric Holcomb as the 51st governor;[7] based on this, repeat non-consecutive terms are numbered.
  3. Does not include acting lieutenant governors. All lieutenant governors represented the same party as their governor.
  4. Jennings resigned to take an elected seat in the United States House of Representatives.
  5. Jennings was appointed a United States commissioner to conclude a treaty with native tribes on April 15, 1818; after this time, Harrison was acting as governor. However, by accepting the post, Harrison believed Jennings had vacated the seat, and thus felt he had succeeded Jennings to the governorship. The state legislature declined to confirm this, and Harrison resigned on December 18, 1818.[8]
  6. Hendricks resigned to take an elected seat in the United States Senate.
  7. As the office of lieutenant governor was vacant, Ppresident pro tempore of the Senate Ray succeeded Hendricks.
  8. Whitcomb resigned to take an elected seat in the United States Senate.
  9. First term under the 1851 constitution, which lengthened terms to four years.[3]
  10. Lane resigned to take an elected seat in the United States Senate.
  11. Morton resigned to take an elected seat in the United States Senate.
  12. Baker acted as governor from October 1865 to March 1866 while Morton sought treatment for a stroke and handed over executive powers.[9]
  13. McCray resigned following his conviction for mail fraud, and served three years in prison until he was pardoned by President Herbert Hoover.[10]
  14. It is unknown if the 1972 constitutional amendment allowing for a second term would have impacted Whitcomb; either way, he did not run in the 1972 election.
  15. Holcomb's second term will expire on January 2025; He will be term-limited.

References

General
  • Funk, Arville L (1983) [1969]. A Sketchbook of Indiana History. Rochester, Indiana: Christian Book Press.
  • Indiana Historical Bureau. "Lieutenant Governors". State of Indiana. Retrieved May 27, 2008.
  • "Indiana Governors". National Governors Association. Archived from the original on February 4, 2009. Retrieved December 6, 2008.
  • McLauchlan, William P. (1996). The Indiana State Constitution. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 0-313-29208-6.
  • "Previous Governors". State of Indiana. Archived from the original on December 1, 2008. Retrieved December 6, 2008.
  • Woollen, William Wesley (1975). Biographical and Historical Sketches of Early Indiana. Ayer Publishing. ISBN 0-405-06896-4.
  • Year Book of the State of Indiana. 1919.
Constitutions
Specific
  1. "John Gibson Letters". Indiana State Library. Archived from the original on December 2, 2008. Retrieved December 6, 2008.
  2. 1816 Const. art. IV, § 3
  3. IN Const. art. V, § 1
  4. McLauchlan p. 94
  5. IN Const. art. V, § 10
  6. Woollen, p. 56
  7. "About the Governor". State of Indiana. Retrieved November 17, 2018.
  8. 1919 Year Book, p. 981
  9. "Indiana Governor Conrad Baker". National Governors Association. Archived from the original on January 4, 2010. Retrieved July 13, 2010.
  10. "Warren Terry McCray". Indiana Historical Bureau. Archived from the original on November 16, 2008. Retrieved December 6, 2008.

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