KINSLEY S. BINGHAM, the eleventh governor of Michigan, was born in Camillus, New York on December 16, 1808. His early education was attained in the common schools of his native state. He later studied law in Syracuse, and then established a legal practice in Green Oak, Michigan. Bingham first entered public service, holding several different local offices, which included postmaster, justice of the peace, and judge of probate. In 1837, he was elected to the Michigan House of Representatives, where he was reelected four times and also served as speaker in 1838, 1839 and 1842. He also was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1847 to 1851. Bingham next secured the Republican gubernatorial nomination, and went on to win election to the governorship on November 7, 1854. He was reelected to a second term in 1856. During his tenure, a personal liberty law was sanctioned; and the Michigan Agricultural College was founded, as well as the State Reform School. Also, legislation that regulated the lumber industry was authorized; and several new counties and villages were established. After completing his term, Bingham left office on January 5, 1859. He continued to stay politically active, serving as a member of the U.S. Senate, a position he held from 1859 to 1861. Governor Kinsley S. Bingham passed away on October 5, 1861, and was buried in the Old Village Cemetery in Brighton, 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.