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Governor Wilson Shannon

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Office Dates:  Dec 31, 1838 - Dec 16, 1840 , Dec 14, 1842 - Apr 15, 1844


Born:  Feb 24, 1802

Passed:  Aug 30, 1877

Birth State:  Ohio

Party:  Democratic

Family:  Married twice—Elizabeth Ellis, Sarah Osbun; eight children

School(s):  Ohio University; Franklin College; Transylvania University

National Office(s) Served:  Representative, Ambassador

WILSON SHANNON, the fourteenth and sixteenth governor of Ohio, was born in Mount Olivet, Ohio on February 24, 1802. His education was attained at Ohio University, at Franklin College, and at Transylvania University. He went on to study law, and then established his legal career in St. Clairsville, Ohio. Shannon first entered politics as prosecuting attorney for Belmont County, a position he held from 1833 to 1835. He also served as state prosecuting attorney in 1835. Shannon next secured the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote in 1838 general election. He was defeated in his 1840 reelection bid, but won reelection to a second term in 1842. During his tenure, the state's banking system was improved; and internal programs were initiated. Shannon resigned from office on April 15, 1844. He then served as U.S. Minister to Mexico, a post he held from 1844 to 1845. He also served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1853 to 1855; and was governor of the Kansas Territory from 1855 to 1856. Governor Wilson Shannon passed away on August 30, 1877, and was buried in the Oak Hill Cemetery in Lawrence, Kansas.


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.

Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

The Ohio Historical Center