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Lyman Underwood Humphrey

Gov. Lyman Underwood Humphrey

  • January 14, 1889 - January 9, 1893
  • Republican
  • July 25, 1844
  • September 12, 1915
  • Ohio
  • University of Michigan
  • Married Amanda Leonard; two children
  • National Guard


LYMAN U. HUMPHREY, the eleventh governor of Kansas, was born in New Baltimore, Ohio on July 25, 1844. In 1867, he graduated from the University of Michigan, earning a law degree. After working as a teacher and learning the newspaper business, Humphrey established the Independence Tribune and a successful legal practice in Independence, Kansas. During the Civil War, he served as first lieutenant of Company I, 76th Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, fought in over twenty battles, and was wounded twice before he was mustered out in 1865. Humphrey entered politics in 1876, serving as a one-term member of the Kansas State Senate. In 1877, he was chosen to replace the lieutenant governor who had resigned. He then won election to his own two-year term. He also served as judge pro tempore of the District Court, and was reelected to the Kansas State Senate, serving from 1885 to 1889. Humphrey won the 1888 Republican gubernatorial nomination, and was sworn into the governor’s office on January 14, 1889. He was reelected to a second term in 1890. During his tenure, tighter management of state agencies was proposed, cutting back on interest rates was lobbied for, new labor laws were advocated, and the appointment of Bishop W. Perkins to the U.S. Senate was confirmed. Also, the state’s population rose significantly, the prohibition issue was addressed, appropriations were secured for agricultural advancements, and the development of the state house was progressing. Humphrey ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 1892, and did not seek reelection to the governor’s office. After leaving office on January 9, 1893, he retired from public service. Governor Lyman U. Humphrey died on September 12, 1915, and was buried at the Mt. Hope Cemetery in Independence, Kansas.


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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