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Josiah Williams Begole

Gov. Josiah Williams Begole

  • January 1, 1883 - January 1, 1885
  • Democratic (Fusionist)
  • January 20, 1815
  • June 5, 1896
  • New York
  • Married Harriet A. Miles; five children
  • Representative


JOSIAH W. BEGOLE, the nineteenth governor of Michigan, was born in Groveland, New York on January 20, 1815. His education was attained in the common schools of Mount Morris, and at Temple Hill Academy in Genesco, New York. In 1836, he moved to Flint, Michigan, where he worked as a farmer and a teacher. He eventually became involved in the lumber and banking industries. Begole entered politics in 1856, serving as the treasurer of Genesee County, a position he held until 1864. He also served as a member of the Michigan State Senate from 1870 to 1871, was a member of the Flint city council for three years, served as a delegate to the 1872 Republican National Convention, and was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1873 to 1875. Begole won election to the Michigan governorship in 1882, and was sworn into office on January 1, 1883. During his tenure, the Republican controlled legislature opposed most of Begole’s initiatives, however, the establishment of the state bureau of labor statistics was of the few acts that was approved. After running unsuccessfully for reelection, Begole left office on January 1, 1885, and retired from public service. Governor Josiah W. Begole passed away on June 5, 1896, and was buried in the Glenwood Cemetery in Flint, Michigan.


Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 2, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

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