Back to former Colorado governors
Oliver Henry Nelson Shoup

Gov. Oliver Henry Nelson Shoup

  • January 14, 1919 - January 9, 1923
  • Republican
  • December 13, 1869
  • September 30, 1940
  • Illinois
  • Colorado College
  • Family: Married twice--Unetta Small, Alice Hackett; four children


OLIVER HENRY NELSON SHOUP, Colorado’s 22nd governor was born in Champaign County, Illinois, on December 13, 1869. His family moved to Colorado Springs in 1882, and Oliver finished his education in the public school system and at Colorado College. After working in several different companies, Shoup made his mark and fortune in the oil industry. He served as the first president of the Midwest Oil Company and the Midwest Refining Company in 1914. He also served as director to numerous banks in Colorado. Shoup first entered politics when he was elected governor of Colorado on November 5, 1918. He was reelected to a second term on November 2, 1920. During his tenure, the State Highway Department was founded, the Colorado National Guard was restructured, and the duplication of departments was removed from state government. The bonded debt of the state was decreased, and Shoup strongly endorsed prohibition for Colorado and the nation. In 1921, a special session was summoned and the legislature committed to assist the southern counties that were ruined by flooding. Legislation was enacted allocating for flood control construction at Pueblo, and for the Moffat Tunnel Improvement District, which subsidized a tunnel through the Continental Divide. Shoup declined to run for a third term, and left office on January 9, 1923. Returning to his business ventures, Shoup ran again for governor in 1926, but was unsuccessful. Governor Oliver Shoup died on September 30, 1940 and is buried at the Evergreen Cemetery in Colorado Springs.


Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

Colorado State Archives

The Political Graveyard

Recent Colorado Governors