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Oliver Perry Morton

Gov. Oliver Perry Morton

  • January 16, 1861 - January 23, 1867
  • Republican
  • August 4, 1823
  • November 1, 1877
  • Indiana
  • Miami University in Ohio
  • Married Lucinda M. Burbank; five children
  • Succeeded, Resigned
  • Senator


OLIVER P. MORTON, Indiana’s fourteenth governor, was born in Salisbury, Indiana, on August 4, 1823. After working for four years as a hatter’s apprentice, Morton attended Miami University in Ohio, and then went on to study law in Indiana and Ohio. In 1852, he was chosen to serve on the bench of the Sixth Judicial Circuit Court. Morton entered politics as a Democrat, but in 1854, he changed parties, and became actively involved in the organization of the Republican Party. Morton was an unsuccessful gubernatorial candidate in 1856, but in 1860 he won election to the lieutenant governorship of Indiana. On January 16, 1861, Governor Henry Lane resigned from office, and Morton, who was lieutenant governor at the time, assumed the duties of the governorship. He was elected to his own gubernatorial term in 1864. During his tenure, the Civil War had started and the governor responded to Lincoln’s call for troops by providing six thousand men. When the legislature neglected to grant funding for the war effort, Morton personally raised money to equip and pay the soldiers. Morton suffered a stroke in 1865, which paralyzed his legs and forced him to turn over his executive duties, for a short time, to Lieutenant Governor Conrad Baker. After rebuilding his health, Morton resigned from the governorship on January 24, 1867, upon his election to the U.S. Senate. He served in the senate until his death in 1877. Governor Oliver P. Morton died on November 1, 1877, and was buried at the Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis, Indiana.


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.

Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

Morrisson-Reeves Library

Indiana Historical Bureau

Recent Indiana Governors