LOUIS FOLWELL HART was born in High Point, Missouri. After studying law in Missouri, he moved to Washington. During World War I, he served as president of the State Senate and chairman of the Selective Service Appeals Board for Southwest Washington. He was elected Lieutenant Governor in 1912 and reelected in 1916. He became governor when Ernest Lister was forced to retire due to ill health, and was elected governor in his own right in 1920. As governor, Hart oversaw construction of the new Capitol complex and supported improved highway systems and a state highway patrol. He was also responsible for reorganizing the state's administrative structure, reducing the number of administrative agencies from 75 to 10. Due to illness, he did not run for reelection in 1924, retiring instead to the practice of law in Tacoma.

Sources:

Official Records at Washington State Archives, 1919-1925, 30.5 cubic feet.

List of finding aids available at the Division of Archives and Records Management, Office of the Secretary of State. Available in hard copy: Guide to the Papers of the Governors of Washington, Volume 3: 1919-1957—Governor Hart through Governor Langlie.

The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. 23. New York: James T. White & Company.

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

Washington State Library: Governors of Washington State