THOMAS T. CRITTENDEN was born near Shelbyville, Kentucky on January 1, 1832. His education was attained at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, where he graduated in 1855. He studied law, was admitted to the Kentucky bar in 1856. He then moved to Missouri in 1857, where he was admitted to the Missouri bar, establishing his legal career in Lexington, Missouri. During the Civil War, he served as captain of the 7th Missouri Cavalry Regiment, and later was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel. Crittenden first entered politics as the attorney general of Missouri, a position he held in 1864. He also served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1873 to 1875 and 1877 to 1879. Crittenden next secured the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor on November 2, 1880. He was inaugurated on January 10, 1881. During his tenure, the state board of health was established, as was the state bureau of mines and mine inspection. Also, outlaw gang activity was subdued; and a training school for nurses was initiated in St. Louis. After completing his term, Crittenden left office on January 12, 1885. He continued to stay politically active, serving as the U.S. consul general to Mexico, a post he held from 1893 to 1897. He also was a bankruptcy referee from 1898 to 1909. Governor Thomas T. Crittenden passed away on May 29, 1909, and was buried in the Forest Hills Cemetery, Kansas City, Missouri.
Messages and Proclamations of the Governors of the State of Missouri (Produced by the Missouri Historical Society)
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.