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Flem Davis Sampson

Gov. Flem Davis Sampson

  • December 13, 1927 - December 8, 1931
  • Republican
  • January 25, 1875
  • May 25, 1967
  • Kentucky
  • Union College; Valparaiso University
  • Married Susie Steele; three children


FLEMON D. SAMPSON was born near London, Kentucky on January 25, 1875. His education was attained at Union College, and at Valparaiso University, where he earned both an A.B. degree and an LL.B. degree. He established a successful legal career, serving as the city attorney for Barbourville. Sampson entered public service in 1905, winning his election and becoming judge for Knox County, a position he held until 1909. He also served on the bench of the 34th Judicial District from 1911 to 1916, was elected judge of the Kentucky Court of Appeals in 1916 and 1924, and served as the chief justice from 1923 to 1924. Sampson won the 1927 Republican gubernatorial nomination, was elected governor, and sworn into office on December 13, 1927. During his tenure, the Kentucky progress commission was initiated, the state park system was improved, and the free textbook program was sanctioned but never secured the needed funding. Also, highway progression was endorsed, and efforts were made in controlling governmental costs during the Great Depression. After Sampson left office on December 8, 1931, he returned to his legal career, retiring from politics. At the age of ninety-one he served on the State Constitutional Revision Committee. Governor Flem D. Sampson passed away on May 25, 1967, and was buried at the Barbourville Cemetery in Barbourville, Kentucky.


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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.


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