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Iowa Governors

Here is a list of governors of Iowa since the state’s admission to the Union in 1846. The most common name among them is William. The most uncommon names begin with B — Bourke and Buren.

Buren R. Sherman was born in 1836, the year Vice-President Martin Van Buren ran for President and won. Van Buren was nominated at the 1835 Democratic National Convention and was also a former Governor of New York, where the Shermans resided. Could this be the reason they named their baby boy Buren, hoping for a political future for him? If so, it worked. Several future governors were named after American heroes, George Washington, Francis Marion and Daniel Webster.

William: 4 Iowa Governors
William Milo Stone (1827-93) Term: 1864-68
William Larrabee (1832-1912) Term: 1886-90
William Lloyd Harding (1877-1934) Term: 1917-21
William S. Beardsley (1901-54) Term: 1949-54

Robert: 3 Iowa Governors
Robert Donald Blue (1898-1989) Term: 1945-1949
Robert David Fulton (b. 1929) Term: 1969
Robert Dolph Ray (b. 1928) Term: 1969-1983

George: 2 Iowa Governors
George Washington Clarke (1852-1936) Term: 1913-1917
George Allison Wilson (1884-1953) Term: 1939-1943

John: 2 Iowa Governors
John Henry Gear (1825-1900) Term: 1878-82
John Hammill (1875-1936) Term: 1925-1931

Leo: 2 Iowa Governors
Leo Elthon (1898-1967) Term: 1954-1955
Leo Arthur Hoegh (1908-2000) Term: 1955-1957

Samuel: 2 Iowa Governors
Samuel Jordan Kirkwood (1813-94) Terms: 1860-64, 1876-77
Samuel Merrill (1822-99) Term: 1868-72

Only one:
Albert Baird Cummins  (1850-1926) Term: 1902-1908
Ansel Briggs (1806-81) Term: 1846-50
Beryl Franklin Carroll (1860-1939) Term: 1909-1913
Bourke Blakemore Hickenlooper (1896-1971) Term: 1943-1945
Buren Robinson Sherman (1836-1904) Term: 1882-86
Chester John “Chet” Culver (b. 1966) Term: 2007-2011
Clyde Laverne Herring (1879-1945) Term: 1933-1937
Cyrus Clay Carpenter (1829-98) Term: 1872-76
Daniel Webster Turner (1877-1969) Term: 1931-1933
Francis Marion Drake (1830-1903) Term: 1896-98
Frank Darr Jackson (1854-1938) Term: 1894-96
Harold Everett Hughes (1922-96) Term: 1963-1969
Herschel Cellel Loveless (1911-89) Term: 1957-1961
Horace Boies (1827-1923) Term: 1890-94
James Wilson Grimes (1816-72) Term: 1854-58
Joshua G. Newbold (1830-1903) Term: 1877-1878
Leslie Mortier “L.M.” Shaw (1848-1932) Term: 1898-1902
Nathan Edward Kendall (1868-1936) Term: 1921-25
Nelson George Kraschel (1889-1957) Term: 1937-39
Norman Arthur Erbe (1919-2000) Term: 1961-63
Ralph Phillips Lowe (1805-83) Term: 1858-60
Stephen Hempstead (1812-83) Term: 1850-54
Terry Edward Branstad (b. 1946), Terms: 1983-99, 2011-present
Thomas James “Tom” Vilsack (b. 1950) Term: 1999-2007
Warren Garst (1850-1924) Term: 1908-09

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