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Simon Bolivar Buckner

Gov. Simon Bolivar Buckner

  • August 30, 1887 - September 2, 1891
  • Democratic
  • April 1, 1823
  • January 8, 1914
  • Kentucky
  • West Point Academy
  • Married twice--Mary Jane Kingsbury, Delia Clairborne; two children
  • Army


SIMON B. BUCKNER was born in Hart County, Kentucky on April 1, 1823. His early education was attained in the public school system of his native state. In 1844, he graduated from West Point Academy, and then stayed on as a professor, teaching from 1844 to 1845, and again from 1848 to 1850. Buckner had a long and distinguished military career. During the Mexican War, he served as a captain and fought in numerous battles. In 1861, Governor Magoffin appointed him adjutant general, in charge of revising the state’s militia law. As the Civil War progressed, he served as a brigadier general for the Confederacy, and was in command of Fort Donelson when it fell. He was taken prisoner and later released. Buckner also fought in the Battle of Perryville, commanded a regiment at Chickamauga, and led the Department of East Tennessee. After his military service, he worked as editor of the Louisville Courier. Buckner first entered politics in 1887, winning his election to the Kentucky governorship. During his tenure, the budget was balanced, school laws were restructured, the parole system was improved, the new and modern prison facility at Eddyville was opened, and tax equalization was endorsed. Five years after leaving the governor’s office, Buckner was the vice presidential candidate on the Gold Democratic ticket. Governor Simon B. Buckner passed away on January 8, 1914, and was buried at the Frankfort Cemetery in Frankfort, Kentucky.


Classic Encyclopedia

Governors' Papers, Kentucky Department for Libraries & Archives, Public Records Division

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.

Recent Kentucky Governors