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David Bennett Hill
New York

Gov. David Bennett Hill

  • January 6, 1885 - January 1, 1892
  • Democratic
  • August 29, 1943
  • October 20, 1910
  • New York
  • Succeeded
  • Senator


DAVID B. HILL, the thirty-second governor of New York, was born in Havana, New York on August 29, 1843. His education was attained in the public schools of his native state. He went on to study law, and in 1864 he was admitted to the bar. He established his legal career, serving as the city attorney of Elmira in 1864. Hill first entered politics as a member and speaker of the New York House of Representatives, a position he held from 1871 to 1872. He also served as alderman of Elmira from 1880 to 1881, as well as serving as mayor in 1882; and was the lieutenant governor of New York from 1882 to 1885. On January 6, 1885 Governor Grover Cleveland resigned from office, and Hill, who was the lieutenant governor at the time, assumed the duties of the governorship. He was elected to his own gubernatorial term on November 3, 1885 and won reelection to a second term on November 6, 1888. During his tenure, child labor reform laws were supported; the state’s economy flourished; a state forestry preserve was lobbied for; and the first inmate ever was executed by means of the electric chair. After leaving the governorship, Hill served in the U.S. Senate, an office he held from 1892 to 1897. Afterwards, he retired from political life. He returned to his legal practice, as well as serving as president of the New York State Bar Association from 1885 to 1887. Governor David B. Hill passed away on October 20, 1910 and was buried in the Montour Cemetery in Montour Falls, New York.


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



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