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Samuel Roy McKelvie

Gov. Samuel Roy McKelvie

  • January 9, 1919 - January 3, 1923
  • Republican
  • April 15, 1881
  • January 6, 1956
  • Nebraska
  • University of Nebraska, Lincoln Business College
  • Married Flossie (Martha) DeArnold; two children


SAMUEL R. Mc KELVIE, the twentieth governor of Nebraska, was born near Fairfield, Nebraska, on April 15, 1881. His education was attained at the University of Nebraska, and at Lincoln Business College, where he graduated in 1901. Before entering politics, McKelvie established a successful career in journalism. He started editing the Nebraska Farmer in 1905, and eventually acquired ownership of the paper. McKelvie first entered politics as a member of the Lincoln City Council, a position he held from 1908 to 1909. He also was elected to one term in the Nebraska House of Representatives in 1910, and served as the lieutenant governor of Nebraska from 1913 to 1915. McKelvie next secured the Republican gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote in November 1918. He was reelected to a second term in 1920. During his tenure, a state park system was initiated; construction plans for a new state capitol building were approved; forty-one new amendments to the state constitution were sanctioned; roads and highways were advanced; the state accounting system was restructured; and the civil administration code was authorized. After completing his term, McKelvie continued to stay politically active. He was a member of the Federal Farm Board from 1929 to 1931, and served as a delegate to the 1928, 1932, and 1936 Republican National Conventions. He also returned to his publishing interests, as well as becoming involved in the cattle industry. Governor Samuel R. McKelvie passed away on January 6, 1956, and was buried in the Wyuka Cemetery in Lincoln, Nebraska.


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.

Samuel R. McKelvie National Forest

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