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Forrest Smith

Gov. Forrest Smith

  • January 10, 1949 - January 12, 1953
  • Democratic
  • February 14, 1886
  • March 8, 1962
  • Missouri
  • Westminster College
  • Married Mildred Williams; two children


FORREST SMITH was born in Ray County, Missouri on February 14, 1886. His education was attained at Woodson Institute in Richmond, and at Westminster College in Fulton. Smith first entered politics as the Ray County deputy assessor, a position he held four years. He also served eight years as county clerk, was a member of the state tax commission from 1925 to 1932, and served as the state auditor of Missouri from 1933 to 1949. Smith next secured the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor on November 2, 1948. He was inaugurated on January 10, 1949. During his tenure, gambling problems within the state were investigated; the union curb law was eliminated; recruits were enlisted for service in the Korean War; and damage from severe flooding was dealt with. After completing his term, Smith left office on January 12, 1953 and retired from public service. Governor Forrest Smith passed away on March 8, 1962, and was buried in the Sunny Slope Cemetery in Richmond, Missouri.


Messages and Proclamations of the Governors of the State of Missouri (Produced by the Missouri Historical Society)

Missouri State Archives (Jefferson City, MO)

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.

Recent Missouri Governors