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Charles Spalding Thomas

Gov. Charles Spalding Thomas

  • January 10, 1899 - January 8, 1901
  • Democratic
  • December 6, 1849
  • June 24, 1934
  • Georgia
  • University of Michigan
  • Married Emma Fletcher; five children
  • Senator


CHARLES SPALDING THOMAS, Colorado’s 11th governor was born in Darien, Georgia, on December 6, 1849. In 1871 he graduated with a law degree from the University of Michigan. Thomas moved to Colorado where he sought relief from his tuberculosis condition, and opened a private law practice. He entered politics in 1875, as Denver’s city attorney, a position he held for two years.  He served as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention from 1884 to 1896. He was an unsuccessful candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1884, and was unsuccessful in his bid for the U.S. Senate in 1888, and for governor in 1894. On November 8, 1898, Thomas was elected Governor of Colorado, and on January 10, 1899, he was sworn into office. During his term, he advocated the initiation of an inheritance tax, funding was made available to finish the Colorado State Capitol, and party symbols were eliminated from election tickets. Teller County was formed, and an eight-hour workday was instated in the smelter and refining ore industries. Thomas left office on January 8, 1901, and returned to his law practice.  In 1913, he was chosen to finish the term of U.S. Senator Charles Hughes, and was reelected in 1914, serving until 1921. He also served as special counsel to the Korean Commission in Washington, D.C. Governor Charles S. Thomas died on June 24, 1934, and is buried at the Fairmont Cemetery in Denver.


Colorado State Archives

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.

Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

Recent Colorado Governors