BOYS A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
GIRLS A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Alabama Governors

If you are going by given first names, John and William will tie for most common name of Alabama governors. Wager Swayne was a distinguished Union general during the Civil War, who was appointed governor of Alabama during the early days of Reconstruction. He always went by his middle name, Wager. That wasn’t a whim on his parents’ part — it was his mother’s maiden name.  But, Yale statistics for the classes of 1855-59 confirm that his given name was John.

So we’re counting 6 governors for Alabama with the given name John:

  • John Anthony Winston (b. 1812) served 1853-57
  • John Gayle (b. 1792) served 1831-35
  • John Gill Shorter (b. 1818) served 1861-63
  • John Malcolm Patterson (b. 1921) served 1959-63
  • John Murphy (b. 1786) served 1825-29
  • John “Wager” Swayne (b. 1834) served 1867-68

There were also 6 with the given name William:

  • William Calvin Oates (b. 1835) served 1894-96
  • William Dorsey Jelks (b. 1855) served 1900, 1901-07
  • William Hugh Smith (b. 1826) served 1868-70
  • William James Samford (b. 1844) served 1900-01
  • William Woodward Brandon (b. 1868) served 1923-27
  • William Wyatt Bibb (b. 1781), served 1819-20

There were 5 governors named Thomas:

  • Thomas Bibb (b. 1783) served 1820-21
  • Thomas Erby Kilby (b. 1865) served 1919-23
  • Thomas Goode Jones (b. 1844) served 1890-94
  • Thomas Hill Watts (b. 1819) served 1863-65
  • Thomas Seay (b. 1846) served 1886-90

We’re not giving George Wallace extra points for his multiple terms, but we are counting Chauncey Sparks as a George since that was his given name, so that makes 3 governors from Alabama to have that name.

  • George Chauncey “Chauncey” Sparks (b. 1884)
    served 1943-47
  • George Corley Wallace, Jr. (b. 1919) served 1963-67,
    71-79, 83-87
  • George Smith Houston (b. 1811) served 1874-78

There were 2 named Benjamin:

  • Benjamin Fitzpatrick (b. 1802) served 1841-45
  • Benjamin Meek Miller (b. 1864) served 1931-35

Charles also accounts for two governors of Alabama.

  • Charles Henderson (b. 1860) served 1915-19
  • Charles Samuel McDowell (b. 1871) served 1924

On his mom’s side, Bibb Graves was a descendant of two governors: William Wyatt Bibb and his brother, Thomas Bibb. Graves went by Bibb, but his given name was David, so that makes him the second David to become Governor of Alabama.

  • David “Bibb” Graves (b. 1874) served 1927-31, 1935-39
  • David Peter Lewis (b. 1820) served 1872-74

The 2 Alabama governors named James were father and son.  Little Jim is a pretty big guy, but he is called Little Jim to distinguish him from his father.

  • James Elisha “Big Jim” Folsom (b. 1908) served 1947-51, 1955-59
  • James Elisha “Little Jim” Folsom, Jr. (b. 1949, son of Big Jim) served 1993-95

There was only one Alabama governor with the names on the following list. Besides being the only Lurleen, Mrs. Wallace also was the only female governor so far, as well as the only First Lady of the state to become governor .

  • Albert Brewer (b.1928) served 1968-71
  • Andrew Barry Moore (b. 1807) served 1857-61
  • Arthur Pendleton Bagby (b. 1794) served 1837-41
  • Braxton Bragg “B. B.” Comer (b. 1848) served 1907-11
  • Clement Comer Clay (b. 1789) served 1835-37
  • Don Eugene Siegelman (b. 1946) served 1999-2003
  • Edward Asbury O’Neal (b. 1818) served 1882-86
  • Emmet O’Neal (b. 1853, served 1911-15
    son of Gov. Edward A. O’Neal)
  • Forrest Hill “Fob” James, Jr. (b. 1934)
    served 1979-83, 1995-99
  • Frank Murray Dixon (b. 1892) served 1939-43
  • Gabriel Moore (b. c. 1785) served 1829-31
  • Harold “Guy” Hunt (b.) served 1987-93
  • Henry W. Collier (b. 1801) served 1849-53
  • Hugh McVay (b. 1766) served 1837
  • Israel Pickens (b. 1780) served 1821-25
  • Jere Locke Beasley (b. 1928) served 1972
  • Joseph Forney Johnston (b. 1843) served 1896-1900
  • Joshua Lanier Martin (b. 1799) served 1845-47
  • Lewis Eliphalet Parsons (b. 1817) served 1865
  • Lurleen Brigham Burns Wallace (b. 1926) served 1967-68
  • Reuben Chapman (b. 1799) served 1847-49
  • Rufus Willis Cobb (b. 1829) served 1878-82
  • Russell McWhorter Cunningham (b. 1855) served 1904-05
  • Samuel B. Moore (b. 1789) served 1831
  • Seth “Gordon” Persons (b. 1902) served 1951-55

Note: Why do we put the middle name in and then again in quotes in some cases? To show that it was really part of the individual’s given name. Any names in quotations indicate that was the name the person was generally known as.

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