GEORGE KILBON NASH was born in York Township, Ohio and attended Oberlin College for two years. He served in the Union Army during the Civil War, after which he studied law in Columbus, Ohio and was admitted to the Bar. He went on to win appointment as Chief Clerk in the office of Ohio’s Secretary of State in 1869. During the following decade he was twice elected Prosecuting Attorney of Franklin County and from 1880 to 1884 served as Attorney General in the administration of Ohio Governor Charles Foster. Foster later appointed Nash to the Supreme Court Commission, established to help the court clear its docket. Although Nash lost the Republican gubernatorial nomination in 1895, he won nomination four years later after serving as Chairman of the Republican State Executive Committee. During Nash’s administration, gubernatorial powers were enhanced through a constitutional amendment giving the governor some veto power as well as through measures giving the governor and his/her appointees control over the affairs of many local governments. Nash established a uniform auditing system for state offices and institutions and undertook investigations of state schools and hospitals. Also during his administration, laws were enacted requiring corporations to pay a fee of one-tenth of one percent on their capital investments; raising the public utility tax to one percent of gross receipts; and taxing out-of-state insurance companies two-and-one-half percent of their gross Ohio receipts. At the same time, the direct property tax was reduced from 28 to 13-1/2 cents per hundred dollars of valuation. Nash died just eight months after completing his second term as governor.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 3. Westport, CT: Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.
The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. 5. New York: James T. White & Company.