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Charles Hillman Brough

Gov. Charles Hillman Brough

  • January 10, 1917 - January 12, 1921
  • Democrat
  • July 9, 1876
  • December 26, 1935
  • Mississippi
  • Mississippi College, Johns Hopkins University, University of Mississippi
  • Married Anne Roark


CHARLES HILLMAN BROUGH, Arkansas’s 25th governor, was born in Clinton, Mississippi, on July 9, 1876. He graduated from Mississippi College in 1894, and earned a Ph.D. degree from John Hopkins University in 1898. Brough entered law school at the University of Mississippi in 1901, completing a two-year course in one year, and graduating with honors. Brough also had an extensive career in teaching. Mississippi College, Hillman College, and the University of Arkansas were among the schools where Brough taught many courses, including European and American history, economics, ethics, German, and philosophy. Brough entered politics in 1916, when he was elected Governor of Arkansas. He was sworn into office on January 10, 1917, and was reelected to a second term in 1918.

During his tenure, a state reformatory for women was founded, a girl’s industrial school was established, and an illiteracy commission was created. Under Gov. Brough, progressive legislation was enacted including more money for education, a compulsory school attendance law, vocational education, and the creation of the state commission of charities and corrections. A state law was passed allowing women to vote in all primary elections in Arkansas and Arkansas ratified the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote in all elections. The Arkansas Corporation Commission was also created and he oversaw state efforts to support World War I and the Influenza Pandemic of 1918. Brough pushed for a new state constitution in 1918, but it failed at the polls and he sent in the National Guard for race riots after the Elaine Massacre in 1919. After leaving office, he was a lecturer for the Redpath Chautauqua circuit, served as director of the State Public Information Bureau from 1925 to 1928, and was president of Central Baptist College in 1929. Brough also chaired the Virginia-District of Columbia Boundary Commission from 1934 to 1935. Dr. Charles Hillman Brough died in Washington, D.C., on December 26, 1935. He is buried at the Roselawn Memorial Park Cemetery, Little Rock, Arkansas.


Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

Donovan, Timothy P., and Willard B. Gatewood, Jr., The Governors of Arkansas, Essays in Political Biography, Fayetteville; The University of Arkansas Press, 1981

Herndon, Dallas T., Centennial History of Arkansas, Vol. 1, Chicago, Little Rock; The S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1922. 3 vols

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