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Leslie Mortier Shaw

Gov. Leslie Mortier Shaw

  • January 13, 1898 - January 16, 1902
  • Republican
  • November 2, 1848
  • March 28, 1932
  • Vermont
  • Cornell College; Iowa College of Law
  • Married Alice Crawshaw; three children
  • Cabinet secretary


LESLIE M. SHAW, Iowa’s seventeenth governor, was born in Morristown, Vermont on November 2, 1848. He attended the People’s Academy in Morristown, graduated from Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa in 1874, and earned his law degree from the Iowa College of Law in 1876. Shaw established successful legal and banking careers in Denison, Iowa. He foresaw the importance of starting up a bank, and did so, establishing the Bank of Denison. Shaw first entered politics in 1897, winning the Republican gubernatorial nomination. He went on to win the popular election and was sworn into office on January 13, 1898. He was reelected to a second term in 1899. During his tenure, a state board of control was initiated that governed sixteen existing state agencies. Also, Governor Shaw was asked to speak in Washington, D.C. on the subject of economics and finance, and earned a reputation as a knowledgeable and eloquent speaker. He also became a proponent of restructuring the national currency system, and later played a key role in the founding of the Federal Reserve System. After leaving office, Shaw was appointed by President Theodore Roosevelt as secretary of treasury, a position he held until March 1907. Shaw continued to use his finance expertise by serving as president of the Carnegie Trust Company, and later as president First Mortgage Guarantee and Trust Company. Governor Leslie M. Shaw died on March 28, 1932, and was buried at the Oakland Cemetery in Denison, Iowa.



Annals of Iowa, 34 (1958): 321-30, 338-42.

Leslie Mortier Shaw Webpage

Palimpsest, 28 (1947): 353-66.

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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