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Thomas Carney

Gov. Thomas Carney

  • January 12, 1863 - January 9, 1865
  • Republican
  • August 20, 1824
  • July 28, 1888
  • Ohio
  • Married Rebecca Ann Canaday; Five children


THOMAS CARNEY, the second governor of Kansas, was born near Tipton, Ohio on August 20, 1824. His education was limited and attained in the rural schools of his native state. After working as a farmer, Carney learned the mercantile business, and then moved to Kansas, where he launched a successful wholesale business. Carney entered politics in 1861, serving as a member of the Kansas House of Representatives, an office he held until 1862. Carney won the 1862 Republican gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor on November 4, 1862. He was sworn into office on January 12, 1863. During his tenure, he devoted his efforts to developing the state, and addressed the issues that the Civil War had presented. Funding was needed for arms and ammunition, and in an effort to secure it; Carney went to New York to sell state bonds. Also, a border patrol was personally organized and paid for by the governor. They were hired to defend the Kansas-Missouri border, but were released three days before Quantrill made his violent attack on Lawrence. After leaving office on January 9, 1865, Carney became mayor of Leavenworth, an office he held from 1865 to 1866. He also served as director of the Lawrence and Fort Gibson Railroad Company, and was instrumental in the founding of the First National Bank in Leavenworth. Governor Thomas Carney died on July 28, 1888, and was buried at the Mt. Muncie Cemetery in Leavenworth, Kansas.


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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