This site utilizes JavaScript to enhance the user interface and productivity for users. Ensure you have Java Script enabled in your browser to take full advantage. Jay Bowerman

Governor Jay Bowerman

- +

Office Dates:  Jun 17, 1910 - Jan 08, 1911


Born:  Aug 15, 1876

Passed:  Oct 25, 1957

Birth State:  Iowa

Party:  Republican

Family:  Married twice--Elizabeth Hoover, three children; Wayfe Hockett, two children

School(s):  Willamette University

JAY BOWERMAN was born in Hesper, Iowa. He moved to Oregon in 1893, where he studied law at Willamette University, completing a law degree at the age of twenty. He went on to practice law in Salem and Condon, interrupted briefly by service during the Spanish-American War. He won election to the state Senate in 1904 and was reelected in 1908, serving as President from 1909 to 1911. In his capacity as Senate President, he was asked by Governor Frank Benson, who was plagued by ill health, to assume the role of Acting Governor. During his brief service as governor, Bowerman advocated the establishment of a Board of Control to provide for a single purchasing agent for state institutions that would promote fiscal savings. The Board was not established until the following gubernatorial administration, however. In an effort to reduce the risk of loss by bank failures, Bowerman banned Oregon bankers from using speculative stock as assets if they had actively promoted those stocks. He sought election as governor in his own right on a platform advocating modernization of highways, economies in government administration, and tight control of state land management. He was defeated by his Democratic opponent, however, after being labeled an opponent of direct government for having been nominated by the Republican Party in assembly despite the fact that Oregonians had adopted a direct primary law prohibiting party nominating conventions. After leaving office, Bowerman moved to Portland and resumed the practice of law. He was reelected President of the Senate but retired after the 1911 session.


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.

Oregon State Archives