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Denver Sylvester Dickerson

Gov. Denver Sylvester Dickerson

  • May 22, 1908 - January 2, 1911
  • Democratic
  • January 24, 1872
  • November 28, 1925
  • California
  • Married Una Reilly; eight children


DENVER S. DICKERSON, the eleventh governor of Nevada, was born in Millville, California on January 24, 1872. His education was limited and attained in the public schools of his native state. Before entering into politics, Dickerson had a successful career in publishing. He started as a printer’s assistant at an Idaho newspaper, and later became the owner and editor of the White Pine News and the Ely Mining Exposition. Dickerson first entered public service as clerk of White Pine County, a position he held in 1903. He also was the White Pine County recorder from 1904 to 1906, and served as the lieutenant governor of Nevada from 1907 to 1908. On May 22, 1908, Governor John Sparks died in office, and Dickerson, who was the lieutenant governor at the time, assumed the duties of the governorship. During his tenure, restructuring of state mental hospitals was endorsed; reforming the state prison system was lobbied for; and the reorganization of the state railroad commission was supported. After running unsuccessfully for a term of his own, Dickerson left office on January 2, 1911. He later secured an appointment as warden of the Nevada State Prison, a position he held from 1913 to 1919 and 1923 to 1925. He also served as the superintendent of federals prisons from 1920 to 1921. Governor Denver S. Dickerson passed away on November 28, 1925, and was buried in the Lone Mountain Cemetery in Carson City, Nevada.


Nevada State Archives: Denver Sylvester Dickerson 1908-1911

Nevada State Library and Archives: Nevada Governors' Biographical Information

The Political Graveyard

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.

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