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Lawrence Vest Stephens

Gov. Lawrence Vest Stephens

  • January 11, 1897 - January 14, 1901
  • Democratic
  • December 1, 1858
  • January 10, 1923
  • Missouri
  • Washington and Lee University
  • Married Margaret Nelson


LAWRENCE V. STEPHENS was born in Boonville, Missouri on December 1, 1858. His education was attained at Cooper Institute, the Kemper Family School, and at Washington and Lee University in Virginia, where he earned a law degree in 1877. Before entering into a political career, Stephens worked as a bookkeeper, an editor, and telegraph operator. He first entered public service as the state treasurer of Missouri, a position he held from 1890 to 1897. Stephens next secured the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor on November 3, 1896. He was sworn into office on January 11, 1897. During his tenure, the Kansas City Unity School of Christianity was established; the Missouri Historical Society was initiated; the state school for the feeble-minded and epileptic in Marshall was founded; and troops were deployed for service in the Spanish-American War. After completing his term, Stephens left office on January 14, 1901 and retired from political life. Governor Lawrence V. Stephens passed away on January 10, 1923, and was buried in the Walnut Grove Cemetery in Boonville, Missouri.


Boonville Area Chamber of Commerce

Messages and Proclamations of the Governors of the State of Missouri (Produced by the Missouri Historical Society)

Missouri State Archives (Jefferson City, MO)

The Political Graveyard

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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