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List of governors of Nebraska

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Governor of Nebraska
Seal of Nebraska.svg
Seal of Nebraska
Pete Ricketts

since January 8, 2015
StyleThe Honorable
ResidenceNebraska Governor's Mansion
Term length4 years, renewable once
Inaugural holderDavid Butler
FormationConstitution of Nebraska
Salary$105,000 (2013)[1]

The Governor of Nebraska holds the "supreme executive power" of the U.S. state of Nebraska as provided by the fourth article of the Nebraska Constitution. The current office holder is Pete Ricketts, a Republican, who was sworn in on January 8, 2015. The current Lieutenant Governor is Mike Foley, who also assumed office on January 8, 2015.

Governors of Nebraska must be at least 30 years old and have been citizens and residents of the state for five years before being elected. Before 1966, the governor was elected to a two-year term. The state constitution was amended in a 1962 referendum so that beginning with the 1966 election, the governor would be elected to a four-year term; in 1966, this was further amended to place a term limit of two consecutive terms. The lieutenant governor is subject to the same limitations and runs on a combined ticket with the governor. Governors are limited to two consecutive terms but there is no limit on the total number of terms one may serve.

If the governor becomes incapacitated or is out of the state, the Lieutenant Governor acts as Governor; if there is a vacancy or permanent incapacitation, the Lieutenant Governor becomes Governor. However, if both offices become vacant, the next person in the line of succession is the Speaker of the Nebraska Legislature.

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I'm Mr. Beat I'm in Lucas, Kansas, standing in front of the homes of one of the most interesting people in American history that you have not heard of Samuel Dinsmoor So, you may have not heard about Samuel P. Dinsmoor, but his story is about as Americana as it gets. Dinsmoor was born near Coolville, Ohio, on March 8, 1843. His youth abruptly ended after enthusiastically signing up for the Union Army after the Civil War began. Standing at just five-foot five inches, fellow soldiers nicknamed him “Little One.” He later claimed to be involved in 18 big battles during his three years in the war. He spent much of his service as a nurse, likely assisting in amputations and often witnessing horrifying deaths. Incredibly, Dinsmoor made it through the war with no major injuries. However, just a few days after the war was over, a commander’s horse he was riding threw him off, slicing his head open. Always abstaining from alcohol, he refused to sip liquor as doctors stitched his head up. He then returned home to Ohio and soon moved west to the Mississippi River, settling on the Illinois side just north of St. Louis. In 1869, he began a brief career as a schoolteacher. During this time, he fell in love with a woman four years older than him named Frances Barlow Journey. They married on August 24, 1870. The two exchanged vows on horseback in a stream bed, and yes, the presiding minister was also on a horse. After the wedding, Dinsmoor quit teaching to farm, helping run a 341-acre property near the river that Frances had inherited after her first husband died. Frances and Dinsmoor managed one of the highest valued farms in the area. For 18 years, the family grew and lived a peaceful life. Yet, when Dinsmoor was 45 years old, he decided to move the family west to Kansas, leaving their prosperous and comfortable life back in Illinois behind. It’s not clear why he decided to do this, but some speculate it was because of how promoters hyped Kansas up. By the time Dinsmoor arrived in Lucas, Kansas, his family had grown to five children, although his two stepchildren, now in their mid twenties, stayed behind. As soon as Dinsmoor arrived, he bought a small farm east of Lucas for $800. Unfortunately, the family arrived in Lucas at a time of economic downturn. Kansas farmers struggled, in particular, due to drought, which caused crop failures and major dust storms. By the end of the 1880s, many couldn’t pay back loans due to lower crop production. It’s unknown how badly this widespread depression hurt Dinsmoor, but regardless his family moved to Nebraska just two years after arriving in Lucas. Dinsmoor later sold insurance for a company based out of Omaha, so perhaps this explains why the family made the move. However, less than one year after living in Nebraska, they lost everything in a house fire. This is probably why they ended up back on their land in Lucas less than one year later. Back in Lucas, Dinsmoor became heavily involved in the trendy Populist movement. By 1892, Dinsmoor was probably the biggest Populist supporter in Lucas. The local newspaper called him a radical due to his outspoken and sometimes controversial views. In 1896, Dinsmoor served as a delegate at the Populist national convention in St. Louis. He also held large Populist rallies at his house, sometimes attracting as many as 300 people. That same year, he achieved his first and only elected office, as justice of the peace of Fairview Township. However, just as the Populist Party began to fade in the late 1890s, so did Dinsmoor’s political ambitions. In 1898, he lost a state representative race, which devastated him. He vowed to never run for public office again after that. After the Populist movement declined, he became committed to the growing socialist movement. In 1905, at the age of 62, Dinsmoor sold his farm and moved into Lucas, buying land that would later be world famous and on the National Register of Historic Places. Despite not having any experience in architecture or engineering, he built a stone log cabin almost entirely by himself, completing it two years later. But he always had cement, and couldn’t stop creating with it. After he built a cement fence, he built a grape arbor that reaches from the back porch to the road. From there, at the end of the arbor facing the street, he created Adam and Eve, although Adam started out as a scarecrow he messed up. Unlike the Adam and Eve of the Book of Genesis, these were 8-foot tall and had marble eyes. After Adam and Eve, Dinsmoor began constructing the first of his eventual 29 concrete trees, some as high as 40 feet. Over the next 22 years, Dinsmoor used 130 tons of cement to create over 150 life-sized statues. Today, if these statues were cut up and sold at an auction, they’d likely sell for millions of dollars. Many of the earlier statues were references to the Bible, while his later ones were references to Populism or Dinsmoor’s political views. He often criticized monopolies, the plutocrats, and special interests that took hold of governments. By 1915, people not only in Lucas but also from outside town began to notice. Dinsmoor loved to mess with the tourists. By connecting a pipe from a his basement to the Tree of Life and Death, he would talk through the tree as visitors walked by, usually freaking them out. Always opportunistic, he made money from the tourists whenever possible. He even charged for postcards from pictures of the sculptures for up to 10 cents each. On his most famous postcard, he took a double exposed photo to make it look like he was looking at himself dead in a casket. By 1916, more than 100 people were visiting what became known as Dinsmoor’s Garden of Eden every week. In 1917, at the height the Garden of Eden becoming a major tourist attraction, Francis died, and Dinsmoor became a widower. He had built a mausoleum for her after she died, but the town did not let him bury her there. And so, in the middle of the night, Dinsmoor and his friend, Thomas Banks, dug up her remains from the cemetery and placed her in the mausoleum. The town never bothered to get the body back. Perhaps to keep his mind off of the loss, Dinsmoor kept on building and expanding the concrete garden. Sometime in 1921, he met a 17-year old Czech immigrant in town named Emilie Brozek. Eventually, Dinsmoor talked her into moving in as a housekeeper. Um, yeah, the two married on April 22, 1924, with Brozek already pregnant with his child. Dinsmoor was 81. Brozek was just 20. The age gap added a new element to the story of the Garden of Eden, and the national press delighted in telling the story of this new “Adam and Eve.” That same year, Dinsmoor constructed probably his most controversial sculpture, called the “Crucifixion of Labor.” Dinsmoor depicted labor, or mankind, as tortured while the figures of a lawyer, doctor, preacher, and banker, who he argued reaped the rewards of labor on the backs of everyone else, just watch. It was the last sculpture he made. By 1929, he was completely blind due to cataracts. Emilie and Dinsmoor had two children, Emily Jane and John. John was born when Dinsmoor was 84 years old. John would grow up to fight in the Vietnam War, and it was the only case I could ever find where the dad fought in the Civil War and the son fought in the Vietnam War. Near the end of his life, Dinsmoor created a will stating that the Garden of Eden, his home, and the Mausoleum remain strictly for educational purposes after he passed. He died from a stroke on July 21, 1932. He had planned his burial out, of course. His body would be placed in the mausoleum next to Francis and preserved, with a glass-topped concrete casket he had built years before. He wanted everyone to be able to view his corpse for one dollar to help cover maintenance costs of the property. Next to the casket, a cement jug he created was placed so that, if he was summoned to hell, he could fill up on water before he went. Today, Dinsmoor’s Garden of Eden preserves his legacy of individualism and nonconformism. Dinsmoor didn’t care what others thought about him. However, when others did care, he opportunistically seized the moment. He was a radical in Lucas. He was ahead of his time, but today many of his views as well as his Garden of Eden are more popular than ever. So that's all about Samuel Dinsmoor If you happen to be on Interstate 70 between Denver and Kansas City, you should take a little detour to Lucas Kansas Check out the Garden of Eden and the home that Samuel Dinsmoor built with his bare hands. It took him 22 years to build that thing. It's a really cool place. Thanks for watching!


Territorial governors

See List of Governors of Missouri for the period from 1805 to 1821. Between 1821 and 1854, the land was unorganized territory.

Before statehood, governors were appointed to a four-year term by the President of the United States.[A]


  Democratic (8)   Republican (2)

# Governor
Party Took office Left office Notes
William Walker (Wyandot leader).jpg
  William Walker
July 23, 1853 October 16, 1854 Not recognized by the federal government
Francis Burt.jpg
  Francis Burt
Democratic October 16, 1854 October 18, 1854 Died
Thomas B Cuming.jpg
  Thomas B. Cuming
Democratic October 18, 1854 February 23, 1855 Acting
Mark Whitaker Izard.jpg
  Mark W. Izard
Democratic February 23, 1855 October 25, 1857 Resigned
Thomas B Cuming.jpg
  Thomas B. Cuming
Democratic October 25, 1857 January 12, 1858 Acting
William Alexander Richardson - Brady-Handy.jpg
  William A. Richardson
Democratic January 12, 1858 December 5, 1858 Resigned
  J. Sterling Morton
Democratic December 5, 1858 May 2, 1859 Acting
  Samuel W. Black
Democratic May 2, 1859 February 24, 1861 Resigned
  J. Sterling Morton
Democratic February 24, 1861 March 6, 1861 Acting
Algernon Paddock - Brady-Handy.jpg
  Algernon S. Paddock
Republican March 6, 1861 May 15, 1861 Acting
Alvin Saunders - Brady-Handy.jpg
  Alvin Saunders
Republican May 15, 1861 March 1, 1867

State governors

Popularly elected, beginning in 1866, to a two-year term. In 1962, the voters approved a constitutional amendment expanding terms beginning in 1966 to four years. In 1966, the voters limited the number of consecutive full terms that any one governor could serve to two (i.e. only one possible re-election while still in office after election to a full term.)[B]


  Republican (26)   Democratic (12)   Fusion (Democratic/Populist) (2)

# Governor
Party Took office Left office Lt. Governor Notes
Hon. David Butler. Governor Nebraska - NARA - 528665.jpg
  David Butler
Republican February 21, 1867 June 2, 1871 None [2]
William H. James.gif
  William H. James
Republican June 2, 1871 January 13, 1873 None Secretary of State[3]
Robert Wilkinson Furnace.jpg
  Robert Wilkinson Furnas
Republican January 13, 1873 January 11, 1875 None
Silas Garber published 1913.jpg
  Silas Garber
Republican January 11, 1875 January 9, 1879 None
Othman A. Abbott
Albinus Nance.jpg
  Albinus Nance
Republican January 9, 1879 January 4, 1883 Edmund C. Carns
James William Dawes.jpg
  James W. Dawes
Republican January 4, 1883 January 6, 1887 Alfred W. Agee
Hibbard H. Shedd
John Milton Thayer - Brady-Handy.jpg
  John Milton Thayer
Republican January 6, 1887 February 8, 1892 Hibbard H. Shedd
George D. Meiklejohn
Thomas J. Majors
James E Boyd Nebraska Governor.jpg
  James E. Boyd
Democratic February 8, 1892 January 13, 1893 Thomas J. Majors [4]
Lorenzo Crounse - Brady-Handy.jpg
  Lorenzo Crounse
Republican January 13, 1893 January 3, 1895 Thomas J. Majors
Silas A. Holcomb.jpg
  Silas A. Holcomb
January 3, 1895 January 5, 1899 Robert E. Moore
James E. Harris
  William A. Poynter
January 5, 1899 January 3, 1901 Edward A. Gilbert
Charles Henry Dietrich.jpg
  Charles H. Dietrich
Republican January 3, 1901 May 1, 1901 Ezra P. Savage Resigned[5]
Ezra Savage ca 1901 (sketch).jpg
  Ezra P. Savage
Republican May 1, 1901 January 8, 1903 None Lt-Gov.[6]
John H. Mickey2.jpg
  John H. Mickey
Republican January 8, 1903 January 3, 1907 Edmund G. McGilton
  George L. Sheldon
Republican January 3, 1907 January 7, 1909 Melville R. Hopewell
  Ashton C. Shallenberger
Democratic January 7, 1909 January 5, 1911 Melville R. Hopewell
Chester Aldrich cph.3b35048.jpg
  Chester H. Aldrich
Republican January 5, 1911 January 9, 1913 Melville R. Hopewell
  John H. Morehead
Democratic January 9, 1913 January 4, 1917 Samuel R. McKelvie (Republican)
James Pearson (Democratic)
  Keith Neville
Democratic January 4, 1917 January 9, 1919 Edgar Howard
  Samuel R. McKelvie
Republican January 9, 1919 January 3, 1923 Pelham A. Barrows
  Charles W. Bryan
Democratic January 3, 1923 January 8, 1925 Fred G. Johnson (Republican)
Adam McMullen 1928.jpg
  Adam McMullen
Republican January 8, 1925 January 3, 1929 George A. Williams
Arthur J. Weaver.jpg
  Arthur J. Weaver
Republican January 3, 1929 January 8, 1931 George A. Williams
  Charles W. Bryan
Democratic January 8, 1931 January 3, 1935 Theodore Metcalfe (Republican)
Walter H. Jurgensen (Democratic)
Gov. Roy L. Cochran.jpg
  Robert Leroy Cochran
Democratic January 3, 1935 January 9, 1941 Walter H. Jurgensen (Democratic)
Nate M. Parsons (Democratic)
William E. Johnson (Republican)
Dwight P. Griswold (1893–1954).jpg
  Dwight Griswold
Republican January 9, 1941 January 9, 1947 William E. Johnson
Roy W. Johnson
Val Peterson.jpg
  Val Peterson
Republican January 9, 1947 January 8, 1953 Robert B. Crosby
Charles J. Warner
Robert Crosby (Governor of Nebraska).jpg
  Robert B. Crosby
Republican January 8, 1953 January 6, 1955 Charles J. Warner
Gov. Victor Andeson.jpg
  Victor E. Anderson
Republican January 6, 1955 January 8, 1959 Charles J. Warner
Dwight W. Burney
Ralph G. Brooks.jpg
  Ralph G. Brooks
Democratic January 8, 1959 September 9, 1960 Dwight W. Burney Died.[7]
Dwight W. Burney.jpg
  Dwight W. Burney
Republican September 9, 1960 January 5, 1961 Dwight W. Burney Lt-Gov.[6]
Gov. Frank Morrison.jpg
  Frank B. Morrison
Democratic January 5, 1961 January 5, 1967 Dwight W. Burney (Republican)
Philip C. Sorensen (Democratic)
Gov. Norbert Tiemann.jpg
  Norbert Tiemann
Republican January 5, 1967 January 7, 1971 John E. Everroad
1979 p80 J James Exon.jpg
  J. James Exon
Democratic January 7, 1971 January 4, 1979 Frank Marsh (Republican)
Gerald T. Whelan (Democratic)
Charles Thone 1977 congressional photo.jpg
  Charles Thone
Republican January 4, 1979 January 6, 1983 Roland A. Luedtke
Senator Bob Kerrey.jpg
  J. Robert Kerrey
(b. 1943)
Democratic January 6, 1983 January 9, 1987 Donald F. McGinley
Kay A. Orr.jpg
  Kay A. Orr
(b. 1939)
Republican January 9, 1987 January 9, 1991 William E. Nichol [8]
Ben Nelson official photo.jpg
  Ben Nelson
(b. 1941)
Democratic January 9, 1991 January 7, 1999 Maxine B. Moul
Kim M. Robak
Mike Johanns official Senate photo.jpg
  Mike Johanns
(b. 1950)
Republican January 7, 1999 January 20, 2005 David I. Maurstad
David Heineman
Dave Heineman official photo (cropped).jpg
  Dave Heineman
(b. 1948)
Republican January 20, 2005 January 8, 2015 Rick Sheehy
Lavon Heidemann
John E. Nelson
Pete Ricketts by Gage Skidmore (cropped).jpg
  Pete Ricketts
(b. 1964)
Republican January 8, 2015 Incumbent[11] Mike Foley


  1. ^ "CSG Releases 2013 Governor Salaries". The Council of State Governments. June 25, 2013. Retrieved November 23, 2014.
  2. ^ Elected, but not inaugurated, before Nebraska's statehood. Impeached and removed from office for misappropriation of state funds; the impeachment was expunged six years later.
  3. ^ As state secretary of state, acted as governor for unexpired term.
  4. ^ a b James Boyd won the 1890 election, and was sworn in on January 8, 1891. However, due to a question of his U.S. citizenship and eligibility for the office, he did not take office until February 8, 1892.
  5. ^ Resigned to take an elected seat in the United States Senate.
  6. ^ a b As lieutenant governor, became governor for unexpired term.
  7. ^ Died in office.
  8. ^ First and (as of June 2016) only female governor of Nebraska
  9. ^ Resigned to become United States Secretary of Agriculture.
  10. ^ As lieutenant governor, succeeded to the office of governor for Johann's unexpired term, and was later elected in his own right.
  11. ^ Ricketts' second term began January 10, 2019, and will expire January 2023


Other high offices held

This is a table of other governorships, congressional seats and other national public offices held by governors of Nebraska. All representatives and senators mentioned represented Nebraska except where noted.

* denotes those offices which the governor resigned to take.
p. = Political Party; D = Democrat; R = Republican;
the footnotes [P 1], etc., indicate the presidential administration(s) under which an unelected Federal office was held (see Appointing presidents below the table).
Name p. Service as
U.S. Congress Other offices held
(beyond Nebraska)
House Senate
William A. Richardson D 1858 (territorial) U.S. Representative & Senator from Illinois (D, 1847–1856; 1861-1865)
J. Sterling Morton D 1858–1859
1861 (territorial)
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture[P 1]
Algernon Paddock R 1861 (territorial) S
Alvin Saunders R 1861–1867 (territorial) S
John Milton Thayer R 1887–1892 S Governor of Wyoming Territory (1875-1878) [P 2]
Lorenzo Crounse R 1893–1895 H
Charles Henry Dietrich R 1901 S *
Ashton C. Shallenberger D 1909–1911 H
John H. Morehead D 1913–1917 H
Charles W. Bryan D 1923–1925
1924 Democratic nominee for Vice President (lost)
Robert Leroy Cochran D 1935–1941 Ambassador (UNRRA; Am. Mission for Aid to Greece)[P 3][C]
Dwight Griswold R 1941–1947 S
Val Peterson R 1947–1953 Ambassador to Denmark;[P 4] Ambassador to Finland[P 5]
J. James Exon D 1971–1979 S
Charles Thone R 1979–1983 H
Bob Kerrey D 1983–1987 S
Ben Nelson D 1991–1999 S
Mike Johanns R 1999–2005 S U.S. Secretary of Agriculture * [P 6]

Appointing presidents

  1. ^ Grover Cleveland (D, 1893-1897)
  2. ^ Ulysses Grant (R, 1869-1877) and Rutherford B. Hayes (R, 1877-1881)
  3. ^ Franklin Roosevelt (D, 1933-45) and Harry Truman (D, 1945-53)
  4. ^ Dwight Eisenhower (R, 1953-1961)
  5. ^ Richard Nixon (R, 1969-1974)
  6. ^ George W. Bush (R, 2001-2009)

Living former governors of Nebraska

As of January 2019, five former U.S. governors of Nebraska are still living. The oldest of these is Kay A. Orr (born 1939; served 1987–1991). The most recent Governor to die was Charles Thone (born 1924; served 1979–1983), on March 7, 2018.

Name Gubernatorial term Date of birth (and age)
Bob Kerrey 1983–1987 (1943-08-27) August 27, 1943 (age 76)
Kay A. Orr 1987–1991 (1939-01-02) January 2, 1939 (age 80)
Ben Nelson 1991–1999 (1941-05-17) May 17, 1941 (age 78)
Mike Johanns 1999–2005 (1950-06-18) June 18, 1950 (age 69)
Dave Heineman 2005–2015 (1948-05-12) May 12, 1948 (age 71)

See also


External links

This page was last edited on 15 September 2019, at 00:58
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