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Montana Governors

Montana became a state on November 8, 1889 and its first governor was Joseph Kemp Toole. The state would go on to be governed by more men named John than any other name. The most unique given first name was Milford.

We were actually looking to see if Tim was short for Timothy on Governor Babcock’s first name. According to a book entitled “As I Remember: Stories of Eastern Montana’s Pioneers (Vol. 2).” Milford was his first name on his birth certificate. An aunt nicknamed him “Tiny Tim” as a little boy. The nickname stuck and eventually was whittled down to just Tim. Governor Holt went by his middle name, Elmer. His given name was William.

Click on the first names of the people who have governed Montana to learn the name meaning and see what other people with the same name grew up to be.

6 Montana governors were named John

  • John Ezra Rickards (1848-1927) Term: 1893-97
  • John Edward Erickson (1863-1946) Term: 1925-33
  • John Hugo Aronson (1891-1978) Term: 1953-1961
  • John Woodrow Bonner (1902-70) Term: 1949-53

2 Montana governors were named Joseph

  • Joseph Kemp Toole (1851-1929) Terms: 1889-93, 1901-08
  • Joseph Moore Dixon (1867-1934) Term: 1921-25

2 Montana governors were named Samuel

  • Samuel Clarence Ford (1882-1961) Term: 1941-49
  • Samuel Vernon Stewart (1872-1939) Term: 1913-21

Only one:

  • Brian David Schweitzer (b. 1955) Term: 2005-2013
  • Donald Grant Nutter (1915-62) Term: 1961-1962
  • Edwin Lee Norris (1865-1924) Term: 1908-13
  • Forrest Howard Anderson (1913-89) Term: 1969-1973
  • Frank Henry Cooney (1872-1935) Term: 1933-35
  • Judy Martz (b. 1943) Term: 2001-2005
  • Marc Racicot (b. 1948) Term: 1993-2001
  • Robert Burns Smith (1854-1908) Term: 1897-1901
  • Roy Elmer Ayers (1882-1955) Term: 1937-41
  • Stanley Graham “Stan” Stephens (b. 1929) Term: 1989-1993
  • Stephen Clark “Steve” Bullock (b. 1966) Term: 2013-present
  • Theodore “Ted” Schwinden (b. 1925) Term: 1981-1989
  • Thomas Lee Judge (1934-2006) Term: 1973-1981
  • Tim Milford Babcock (1919-2015) Term: 1962-1969
  • William “Elmer” Holt (1884-1945) Term: 1935-37
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