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Sterling Price

Gov. Sterling Price

  • January 3, 1853 - January 5, 1857
  • Democratic
  • September 11, 1809
  • September 29, 1867
  • Virginia
  • Hampden-Sydney College
  • Married Martha Head; six children
  • Representative
  • Army, National Guard


STERLING PRICE was born in Prince Edward, Virginia on September 11, 1809.His education was attained at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia. He studied law, was admitted to the bar and then established his legal career in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1846, during the Mexican War, he served as colonel of the 2nd Missouri Infantry and rose to the rank of brigadier general by the time he was discharged in 1848. Price first entered politics in 1836, serving as a member and speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives, a position he held from 1840 to 1844. He also served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1845 to 1846. Price next secured the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor on August 2, 1852. He was sworn into office on January 3, 1853. During his tenure, Washington University was established; the state’s school system was restructured; the Missouri state teachers’ association was initiated; and a state geological survey was created. After completing his term, Price left office on January 5, 1857. He continued to stay politically active, serving as the state bank commissioner, a post he held from 1857 to 1861. He also presided over the 1860 State Convention, and served during the Civil War as a major general in the Confederate Army. Governor Sterling Price passed away on September 29, 1867, and was buried in Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri.


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

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.

Western Historical Manuscripts Collection (Columbia, MO)

Western Historical Manuscripts Collection (Rolla, MO)

Recent Missouri Governors