(This is the fifth in our series recounting the history of inaugurations. It includes a lengthy list that is here for the historical record.)
When Eric Greitens becomes Governor of Missouri, there will be six living former governors: Nixon, Blunt, Holden, Wilson, Ashcroft, and Bond.
In 2009, when Jay Nixon took office for his first term there were seven living former governors: Blunt, Holden, Wilson, Ashcroft, Bond, Teasdale, and Hearnes. Hearnes died later that year and Teasdale died in 2014. The last time there were that many living former governors was when Arthur M. Hyde was inaugurated in 1921.
But has there been a time when there were more than seven?
We’ve combed some records to see if there ever was a time there were more than seven living former governors at the start of a new administration. And the answer is yes.
John Sappington Marmaduke (inaugurated in 1885) had eight living former governors when he took office, including John Cummins Edwards, who was the youngest governor in state history when he took office in 1844. His predecessor, Thomas Crittenden, also had eight living predecessors when he was sworn in in 1881. Charles Hardin (1875) had eight living predecessors. When Hamilton Gamble took over at the start of the Civil War after Claiborne Jackson fled to the Confederacy, there were eight predecessors including Jackson.
In 2009, when Jay Nixon took office there were seven living former governors: Blunt, Holden, Wilson, Ashcroft, Bond, Teasdale, and Hearnes. Hearnes died later that year and Teasdale died in 2014. The last time there were that many living former governors was when Arthur M. Hyde was inaugurated in 1921.
Here’s some miscellaneous information about governors as we get closer to getting a new one
Governors before age 40:
Bond (first term) 33 years 10 months 2 days Born 3/6/1939 Inaugurated 1/8/73
Blunt 34 years 1 month 21 days Born 11/20/1970 Inaugurated 1/10/2005
Folk 35 years 2 months 12 days Born 10/28/1869 Inaugurated 1/9/1905
Hadley 36 years 10 months 20 days Born 2/20/1872 Inaugurated 1/9/1909
Fletcher 37 years 11 months 11 days Born 1/22/1827 Inaugurated 1/2/1865
Stephens 38 years 22 days Born 12/21/58 Inaugurated 1/11/1897
Edwards 38 years 4 months 26 days Born 6/24/1806 Inaugurated 11/20/1844
Bond, Blunt, Folk, and Fletcher are the only governors to complete a term before they were 40. Fletcher’s term was only two years under the constitution then in effect and Bond was defeated in his first re-election before winning a second term four years later.
Most Living Governors at time of governor’s inauguration:
8–John Marmaduke 1885, Crittenden 1881, Hardin 1875, Gamble 1861, C. F. Jackson 1861
7—Nixon 2009, Hyde 1921, Gardner 1917, Phelps 1877, Woodson 1873, Brown 1871, McClurg 1869, Hall 1864
Fewest living governors at time of inauguration:
0—McNair 1820 (first state governor)
1—Bates 1825, Williams 1825, Miller 1828
2—Bond 1973, Bond 1981. Dunklin 1832, Miller 1825
Governors living to see the most successors:
10—Fletcher, 1865, McClurg 1869
9—MM Marmaduke 1885, King 1848, Major 1913
8—Polk 1857, Crittenden 1881, Park 1933, Hearnes 1965 (Greitens will be the eighth successor to Christopher Bond’s first term)
*Edwards’ remarkable record included 1857 when Trusten Polk resigned to go to the U.S. Senate after less than two months in office and Lt. Gov. Hancock L. Jackson served long enough to call the special election that put Robert Stewart in office; Claiborne F. Jackson’s abdication when he fled to the Confederacy after a year in office, the post-Civil War period when Governors had only two-year terms, the death of John Marmaduke and the succession of Albert Morehouse
Here’s a complete list if you’re up to reading all the way to the end:
Living Former Governors at each inauguration:
Greitens 2017—Nixon, Blunt, Holden, Wilson, Ashcroft, Bond 6
Nixon 2013—Blunt, Holden, Wilson, Ashcroft, Bond, Teasdale (d. 2014) 6
Nixon 2009—Blunt, Holden, Wilson, Ashcroft, Bond, Teasdale, Hearnes (d. 2009) 7
Blunt 2005—Holden, Wilson, Ashcroft, Bond, Teasdale, Hearnes 6
Holden 2001—Wilson, Ashcroft, Bond, Teasdale, Hearnes 5
Wilson 2000—Ashcroft, Bond, Teasdale, Hearnes 4
Carnahan 1997—Ashcroft, Bond, Teasdale, Hearnes 4
Carnahan 1993—Ashcroft, Bond, Teasdale, Hearnes 4
Ashcroft 1989—Bond, Teasdale, Hearnes 3
Ashcroft 1985—Bond, Teasdale, Hearnes 3
Bond 1981—Teasdale, Hearnes 2
Teasdale 1977—Bond, Hearnes, Donnell (d. 1980) 3
Bond 1973—Hearnes, Donnell 2
Hearnes 1969—Dalton (d. 1972), Donnell, Stark (d. 1972) 3
Hearnes 1965—Dalton, Donnell, Caulfield (d. 1966), Stark 4
Dalton 1961—Blair (d. 1962), Donnelly (d. 1961), Smith (d. 1962), Caulfield, Stark 5
Blair 1957—Donnelly, Smith, Caulfield, Stark 4
Donnelly 1953—Smith, Donnell, Stark, Caulfield 4
Smith 1949—Donnell, Stark, Caulfield, Major (d. 1949) 4
Donnelly 1945—Stark, Caulfield, Park (d. 1946), Major, Hyde (d. 1947) 5
Donnell 1941—Stark, Caulfield, Park, Major, Hyde 5
Stark 1937—Caulfield, Park, Major, Hyde 4
Park 1933—Caulfield, Major, Hyde, Gardner (d. 1933), Baker (d. 1933) 5
Caulfield 1929—Major, Hyde, Baker, Gardner 4
Baker 1925—Major, Hyde, Hadley (d.1927), Dockery (d. 1926), Francis (d. 1927), Gardner 6
Hyde 1921—Major, Hadley, Dockery, Francis, Folk (d. 1923), Stephens (d. 1923), Gardner 7
Gardner 1917—Major, Hadley, Dockery, Francis, Folk, Stephens Stone (d. 1918) 7
Major 1913—Hadley, Dockery, Francis, Folk, Stephens, Stone 6
Hadley 1909—Dockery, Francis, Folk, Stephens, Stone, Crittenden (d. 1909) 6
Folk 1905—Dockery, Francis, Stephens, Stone, Crittenden 5
Dockery 1901—Francis, Stephens, Stone, Crittenden 4
Stephens 1897—Francis, Stone, Crittenden, McClurg (d. 1900), Fletcher (d. 1899) 5
Stone 1893—Francis, Crittenden, McClurg, Woodson (d. 1896), Fletcher 5
Francis 1889—Morehouse (d. 1891) Crittenden, McClurg, Woodson, Hardin (d.1892) Fletcher 6
*Morehouse 1887—Crittenden, McClurg, Woodson, Hardin, Fletcher, Edwards (d. 1888) 6
John Marmaduke 1885—Crittenden, McClurg, Woodson, Hardin, Fletcher, Phelps (d. 1886), Brown (d.1885) Edwards 8
Crittenden 1881—McClurg, Woodson, Hardin, Fletcher, Phelps, Brown, Hall (d. 1882), Edwards 8
Phelps 1877—McClurg, Woodson, Hardin, Fletcher, Brown, Hall, Edwards 7
**Hardin 1875—McClurg, Woodson, Fletcher, Brown, Hall, Edwards, Polk (d. 1876), H. Jackson (d. 1876) 8
**Woodson 1873—McClurg, Fletcher, Brown, Hall, Edwards, Polk, H. Jackson 7
**Brown 1871—McClurg, Fletcher, Hall, Edwards, Polk, H. Jackson, Stewart (d. 1871) 7
**McClurg 1869—Fletcher, Hall, Edwards, Polk, H. Jackson, Stewart, King (d. 1870) 7
Fletcher 1865—Hall, Edwards, Polk, H. Jackson, Stewart, King, Price (d. 1867) 7
*Hall 1864—Edwards, Polk, H. Jackson, Stewart, King, Price. MM Marmaduke (d. 1864) 7
*Gamble 1861—Edwards, Polk, H. Jackson, King, Price, C. F. Jackson (d. 1862), MM Marmaduke, Stewart 7
C. F. Jackson 1861—Edwards, Polk, H. Jackson, Stewart, King, Price, MM Marmaduke, Boggs (d.1860) 8
Stewart 1857—Edwards, Polk, H. Jackson, King, Price, Boggs, MM Marmaduke 7
*Hancock Jackson 1857—Edwards, Polk, King, Price, Boggs, MM Marmaduke 6
Polk 1857—Edwards, King, Price, Boggs, MM Marmaduke 5
Price 1853—Edwards, King, Boggs, MM Marmaduke 4
***King 1848—Edwards, Boggs, MM Marmaduke 3
Edwards 1844—Boggs, MM Marmaduke, Dunklin (d. 1844), Miller (d. 1846) 4
*MM Marmaduke 1844—Boggs, Dunklin, Miller 3
Reynolds 1840—Boggs, Dunklin, Miller 3
Boggs 1836—Dunklin, Miller, Williams (d. 1839) 3
Dunklin 1832—Miller, Williams 2
Miller 1828—Williams 1
*Miller 1825—Williams, McNair (d. 1826) 2
McNair—1820—First state governor (Missouri admitted to the Union August 10, 1821)
*Morehouse succeeded John Marmaduke, who died in office
*Hall succeeded Hamilton Gamble, who died in office
*Gamble was installed in office July 31 1861 after Governor Jackson fled to the Confederacy
*Hancock Lee Jackson was Lt. Governor when Polk resigned in 1857 after serving the shortest term of any Missouri Governor to become a U. S. Senator. Jackson served until October, 1857 when Robert M. Stewart was sworn in after a special election.
*Meredith Miles Marmaduke succeeded Thomas Reynolds, who committed suicide Feb. 9, 1844.
*John Miller succeeded Frederick Bates, who died in office, and Abraham J. Williams, who became acting governor because Bates’ Lt. Governor, Benjamin Reeves, had resigned to join a surveying party for the Santa Fe Trail.
*Senate President pro Tem Abraham J. Williams served only long enough to call a special election to replace Frederick Bates, who had died.
**The 1865 Missouri Constitution limited governors to two years in office. The 1875 Constitution restored four-year terms
***King was elected on November 7, 1848 and sworn in thirteen days later, serving more than four years before Price’s term began with the now customary January inauguration.