OTHNEIL LOOKER, the fifth governor of Ohio, was born on Long Island, New York on October 4, 1757. His education was limited and attained through his mother’s tutorage. During the American Revolution, he served in the New Jersey militia as a private. After his military service, he taught school in Vermont and New York. Looker first entered politics as a member of the New York Assembly, a position he held from 1803 to 1804. After receiving a war service land grant in 1804, Looker moved to Hamilton County, Ohio and resumed his political career. He served as a member of the Ohio House of Representatives from 1807 to 1819; was a member of the Ohio State Senate from 1810 to 1814; and served as senate speaker from 1813 to 1814. On March 24, 1814 Governor Return J. Meigs retired from office, and Looker, who was senate speaker at the time, assumed the duties of the governorship. During his nine months in office, an expedition was sent to secure lower Lake Michigan from Indian attacks. After running unsuccessfully for a gubernatorial term of his own, Looker returned to his duties in the state senate, where he served until 1817. In his last position, he served on the Common Pleas Court bench, a position he held from 1817 to 1824. Governor Othneil Looker passed away on July 23, 1845, and was buried in the family plot in Palestine, Illinois.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 3, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.