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James E. Boyd

Gov. James E. Boyd

  • February 8, 1892 - January 13, 1893
  • Democratic
  • September 9, 1834
  • April 30, 1906
  • Other
  • Married Anna H. Henry; five children


JAMES E. BOYD, the eighth governor of Nebraska, was born in County Tyrone, Ireland, on September 9, 1834. His education was limited and attained in the common schools of Ireland and Ohio. After moving to Omaha, Nebraska, in 1856, he worked as a carpenter, rancher, and railroad contractor. Boyd first entered politics as a one-term member of the Nebraska House of Representatives, a position he was elected to in 1866. He served as a delegate to the State Constitutional Conventions in 1871 and 1875, and was president of the Omaha City Council in 1880. He also served as the mayor of Omaha from 1881 to 1883 and 1885 to 1887; was a delegate to the 1884, 1888 and 1892 Democratic National Conventions; and served as a member of the Democratic National Committee from 1884 to 1892. Boyd next secured the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and was elected the state’s first Democratic governor in November 1890. However, he did not take office as scheduled in January, 1891, due to a controversy involving his U.S. citizenship eligibility. After a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Boyd took office on February 8, 1892. During his tenure, railroad regulations were promoted and the Newberry railroad act was vetoed. Boyd completed his term and left office on January 13, 1893. After two failed congressional bids, Boyd retired from politics in 1894. Governor James E. Boyd passed away on April 30, 1906, and was buried in the Forest Lawn Cemetery in Omaha, Nebraska.


Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 3, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

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