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James Frank Hanly

Gov. James Frank Hanly

  • January 9, 1905 - January 11, 1909
  • Republican
  • April 4, 1863
  • August 1, 1920
  • Illinois
  • Married Eva Augusta Rachel Simmer; one child
  • Representative


JAMES FRANKLIN HANLY, Indiana’s twenty-sixth governor, was born near St. Joseph, Champaign County, Illinois, on April 4, 1863. His early education was limited and attained in the common schools of Illinois. After taking a short course at Eastern Illinois Normal School, Hanly taught school in the winter and worked summers doing manual labor. He was admitted to the bar in 1889, and established a legal practice in Williamsport, Indiana. Hanley entered politics in 1890, serving as a one-term member to the Indiana State Senate. He also served as a member to the U.S. House of Representatives from 1895 to 1897, and made an unsuccessful run for the U.S. Senate in 1899. Hanly won the 1904 Republican gubernatorial nomination and was elected governor by a majority of nearly 85,000 votes. During his tenure, the coliseum was built on the state fairgrounds, a tuberculosis hospital was constructed near Rockville, and the Industrial School for Girls was established at Clermont. Also, temperance legislation and a local option bill were enacted, and gambling and liquor transactions were campaigned against, as well as political corruption, which resulted in the embezzlement trial of several state officials. After leaving office, Hanly assembled a group of prohibition lecturers, the Flying Squadron, and in 1916 he was the Prohibition candidate for president of the Untied States. Governor J. Frank Hanly was killed in an automobile accident on August 1, 1920, and was buried at the Hillside Cemetery in Williamsport, Indiana.


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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