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James William Dawes

Gov. James William Dawes

  • January 4, 1883 - January 6, 1887
  • Republican
  • January 8, 1844
  • October 8, 1918
  • Ohio
  • Western Reserve College, Milwaukee Business College
  • Married Francis Anna Dawes


JAMES W. DAWES, the sixth governor of Nebraska, was born in McConnelsville, Ohio, on January 8, 1844. His early education was attained in the common schools in Ohio and Wisconsin. He later attended Western Reserve College in Ohio and the Milwaukee Business College. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1871. After moving to Crete, Nebraska, Dawes worked in the mercantile industry, as well as establishing his legal career. He first entered politics as a member of the 1875 State Constitutional Convention. He served as a member of the Nebraska State Senate in 1877, and was chairman of the Republican State Central Committee from 1876 to 1882. He also served as a delegate to the 1880 Republican National Convention, and was a four-term member of the National Republican Committee for Nebraska. Dawes next secured the Republican gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote in November 1882. He was reelected to a second term in 1884. During his tenure, educational advancements were achieved; the state’s agricultural production was increased; and industrial growth was developed. After completing his term, Dawes left office on January 6, 1887, and retired from political life. From 1898 to 1909 he served in the U.S. Army as paymaster, a post that placed him in Cuba and the Philippines. Governor James W. Dawes passed away on October 8, 1918, and was buried in the Forest Home Cemetery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.


Sobel, and 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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