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Governor Thomas Welles Bartley

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Office Dates:  Apr 15, 1844 - Dec 03, 1844


Born:  Feb 11, 1812

Passed:  Jun 20, 1885

Birth State:  Ohio

Party:  Democratic

Family:  Married to Susan Sherman and two others; several children

THOMAS W. BARTLEY, the seventeenth governor of Ohio, was born in Jefferson County, Ohio on February 11, 1812. His education was attained at Jefferson College in Pennsylvania, where he graduated in 1831. He went on to study law, and then established his legal career in Richland County. Bartley first entered politics as the prosecuting attorney for Richland County, a position he held two terms. He also served as a member of the Ohio House of Representatives from 1839 to 1841; and was a member of the state Senate from 1841 to 1845, serving as senate speaker from 1843 to 1844. On April 15, 1844 Governor Wilson Shannon resigned from office, and Bartley, who was senate speaker at the time, assumed the duties of the governorship. He served in this capacity until December 3, 1844, when his father, Governor-elect Mordecai Bartley was sworn into office. Bartley then returned to his duties in the state senate. In 1845 he secured an appointment to serve as U.S. district attorney for the Northern district of Ohio, a position he held four years. In his last position, Bartley served on the Ohio State Supreme Court bench from 1852 to 1859, serving three of those years as chief justice. Governor Thomas W. Bartley passed away on June 20, 1885, and was buried in Washington, D.C.


Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 3, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

The Ohio Historical Center

The Ohio Historical Society

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