Elliot W. Major was born in Lincoln County, Missouri on October 20, 1864. His early education was attained in the Lincoln County public schools, and later at Watson Seminary in Pike County. He then studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1885. Major first entered politics as a member of the Missouri State Senate, a position he held from 1897 to 1901. He also served as the attorney general of Missouri from 1909 to 1913. Major next secured the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor in November 1912. During his tenure, the state highway department was established; the Oliver flag was authorized as the official state flag; and the state board of pardons, state commission for the blind, and the state public service commission were initiated. After completing his term, Major left office on January 8, 1917. He then retired from public service and returned to his legal career in St. Louis. Governor Elliot W. Major passed away on July 9, 1949, and was buried in the City Cemetery in Bowling Green, Missouri.
Archives of the University of Missouri at Columbia
Messages and Proclamations of the Governors of the State of Missouri (Produced by the Missouri Historical Society)
Missouri State Archives (Jefferson City, MO)
Missouri Secretary of State
Official Manual of the State of Missouri (2005-2006)
Previous editions are not available online, but are in hard copy in the State Archives.
The Political Graveyard
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 2, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.