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Joseph Dorsett Bedle
New Jersey

Gov. Joseph Dorsett Bedle

  • January 19, 1875 - January 15, 1878
  • Democratic
  • January 5, 1831
  • October 21, 1894
  • New Jersey
  • Married Althea F. Randolph; six children


Joseph D. Bedle, the twenty-ninth governor of New Jersey, was born in Matawan, New Jersey on January 5, 1831. His early education was attained in the schools of his native city. He later studied law at a school in Ballston Spa, New York, and then was admitted to practice in both New York and New Jersey. After establishing a successful legal practice, he secured an appointment to serve on the bench of the New Jersey Supreme Court, a position he held from 1865 to 1875. Bedle next secured the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote on November 3, 1874. During his tenure, a state board of health was established; a general election act was authorized; several new orphanages were founded; and a boundary commission was organized to settle the dispute between New York and New Jersey. After completing his term, Bedle resumed his legal career. He returned briefly to politics in 1894, serving on the New Jersey Constitutional Commission. Governor Joseph D. Bedle passed away on October 21, 1894, and was buried in the Maplewood Cemetery in Freehold, New Jersey.


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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