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Governor Andrew Ryan McGill

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Office Dates:  Jan 05, 1887 - Jan 09, 1889

Born:  Feb 19, 1840

Passed:  Oct 31, 1905

Birth State:  Pennsylvania

Party:  Republican

Family:  Married twice--Eliza E. Bryant, Mary E. Wilson; five children

Military Service:  National Guard

Andrew R. McGill, the tenth governor of Minnesota, was born in Sagerstown, Pennsylvania on February 19, 1840. His education was attained in the public schools of his native state. He later studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1868. McGill served during the Civil War, as a private with the 9th Minnesota Volunteers, but was discharged in 1863, due to a physical disability. Before starting a career in politics, McGill taught school in Kentucky, served as a principal in St. Peter, Minnesota, and owned and edited the St. Peter Tribune. He first entered a career as a public servant in 1865, serving as the superintendent of public schools for Nicollet County, a position he held four years. He also served as the clerk of the Nicollet County District Court from 1865 to 1869, was the private secretary to Minnesota Governor Horace Austin in 1870, and served as the insurance commissioner of Minnesota from 1874 to 1886. McGill next secured the Republican gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote on November 2, 1886. During his tenure, a state normal school was established in Moorhead; the improvement of state railroad laws was promoted; iron ore was discovered in the Mesabi Range; liquor regulations were supported; and a state school tax was sanctioned. After completing his term, McGill left office on January 9, 1889. He continued to stay politically active, serving as a member of the Minnesota State Senate, a position he held from 1899 to 1905. He also served as the postmaster of St. Paul in 1900. Governor Andrew R. McGill passed away on October 31, 1905, and was buried in the Oakland Cemetery in St. Paul, Minnesota.


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.

The Political Graveyard

Minnesota Historical Society