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Governor Horace Boies

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Office Dates:  Feb 27, 1890 - Jan 11, 1894

Born:  Dec 07, 1827

Passed:  Apr 04, 1923

Birth State:  New York

Party:  Democrat

Family:  Married twice--Adella King, Versalia M. Barber; four children

HORACE BOIES, Iowa's fourteenth governor, was born in Aurora, New York on December 7, 1827. His early education was limited and attained in New York's public school system. However, four years after working as a farm laborer, Boies decided to further his education. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1852. Three years later Boies entered into politics, serving as a one-term member of the New York House of Representatives. In 1867, he moved to Iowa and established a successful legal career in Waterloo. Boies won the 1889 Democratic gubernatorial nomination and became the first Democratic governor in more than thirty-five years. He was reelected to a second term in 1891. During his tenure, his primary focus was on securing legislation that would accommodate both sides of the liquor prohibition issue. He endorsed a license bill that would have permitted the determination of whether or not to sell liquor up to the localities; however, the bill was defeated twice during his administration. Boies left office after losing his bid for a third term. In 1893, he was offered an appointment as Secretary of Agriculture, but declined the appointment. He was a candidate for the Democratic nomination for president in 1892 and 1896. He also was an unsuccessful candidate for Congress in 1902. Governor Horace Boies died on April 4, 1923, and was buried at the Elmwood Cemetery in Waterloo, Iowa.


Annals of Iowa, 14 (1924): 371-8.

Cigar Band Museum

Journal of History, 47 (1949): 215-46.

The Political Graveyard

Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 2, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.