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Silas Woodson

Gov. Silas Woodson

  • January 8, 1873 - January 12, 1875
  • Democratic
  • May 18, 1819
  • October 9, 1896
  • Kentucky
  • Married three times--Mary Jane Me Roberts (1842), one son; Olivia Adams (1846); Virginia Juliet Lard (1866), three children


SILAS WOODSON was born in Knox County, Kentucky on May 18, 1819. His early education was attained in the public schools of his native state. He later studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1840. Woodson first entered politics as a member of the Kentucky Legislature, a position he held in 1842 and 1853. He was a delegate to the 1849 Kentucky Constitutional Convention, and served as the circuit attorney from 1843 to 1848. He moved to Missouri in 1854. Woodson secured the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor on November 5, 1872. He was sworn into office on January 8, 1873. During his tenure, the state tax rate was reduced; the southeast Missouri state teachers’ college was founded; construction on the Eads bridge in St, Louis was completed; the state deficit was cut; and the first kindergarten class was launched in St. Louis. After completing his term, Woodson left office on January 12, 1875. Ten years later, he secured an appointment to serve as judge of the Buchanan County Criminal Court, a position he held until 1895. Governor Silas Woodson passed away on October 9, 1896, and was buried in the Mt. Mora Cemetery in St. Joseph, Missouri.


Messages and Proclamations of the Governors of the State of Missouri (Produced by the Missouri Historical Society)

Missouri Secretary of State

Missouri State Archives (Jefferson City, MO)

The Political Graveyard

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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