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George Wylie Hunt

Gov. George Wylie Hunt

  • January 12, 1911 - January 6, 1919
    January 29, 1923 - January 7, 1929
    January 5, 1931 - January 2, 1933
  • Democrat
  • November 1, 1859
  • December 24, 1934
  • Missouri
  • Married Duett Ellison; one child


George Wylie Paul Hunt, Arizona’s first governor, was born on November 1, 1859, in Huntsville, Missouri. His education was limited to eight years in both public and private schools. Hunt moved to Arizona in search of gold, but instead entered politics. Working at the Old Dominion Commercial Company in 1890, he later became secretary and president of the company. In 1904 he was elected the first mayor of Globe, Arizona. Hunt served in the Arizona Territorial Legislature in 1892 and 1894, and in the Arizona Territorial Council in 1896, 1898, 1904, 1906, and 1908, serving as president in 1905 and 1909. He also was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1900, and presided over the 1910 Arizona Constitutional Convention that led to statehood. Hunt became Arizona’s first governor on October 24, 1911, was reelected six times. In 1916 Thomas Campbell was declared the winner and held office for nearly one year before the Arizona Supreme Court determined that in fact Hunt had won reelection. During his seven terms in office, a pension plan passed for teachers with 25 years of service, the State Bureau of Mines was started, and the legislature passed a prohibition statute. The state law library and the Bureau of Statistics were created, and programs to pave and expand the highway systems with convict labor were initiated. Because of his advanced age and charges of political patronage in the newly established highway patrol, Hunt retired from public life, leaving office on January 2, 1933. He died on December 24, 1934, and is buried at the Papago Park Cemetery, Phoenix, Arizona.


Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

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