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John Henry Stelle

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Office Dates:  Oct 06, 1940 - Jan 13, 1941

Succeeded

Born:  Aug 08, 1891

Passed:  Jul 05, 1962

Birth State:  Illinois

Party:  Democrat

Family:  Married Wilma Wiseheart

School(s):  Western Military Academy, Washington University

Military Service:  National Guard


JOHN H. STELLE, Illinois' thirty-first governor, was born in McLeansboro, Illinois, on August 8, 1891. He attended Western Military Academy, and earned a law degree from Washington University in 1916. After his discharge from the Illinois National Guard in 1919, Stelle entered public service. He served as assistant state auditor from 1933 to 1934, was the state treasurer from 1935 to 1937, and served as lieutenant governor of Illinois from 1937 to 1940. On October 6, 1940, Governor Henry Horner passed away, and Stelle, who was lieutenant governor at the time, assumed the duties of the governorship. During his short tenure, he fired appointees of Governor Horner's and replaced them with his own allies. After leaving the governor's office on January 13, 1941, Stelle served for one year, as national commander of the American Legion. As chairman of the Legion committee, Stelle drafted and petitioned for the passage of the GI Bill of Rights. Governor John H. Stelle died on July 5, 1962 and was buried at the City Cemetery in McLeansboro, Illinois.

Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

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