William Kavanaugh Oldham

Gov. William Kavanaugh Oldham


March 10, 1913 - March 13, 1913

May 20, 1865

May 6, 1938


Central University (Richmond)

Succeeded, Resigned

Birth State

Married Lillian Munroe; Two children


WILLIAM KAVANAUGH OLDHAM was born in Richmond, Kentucky, on May 20, 1865.  He attended Central University in Richmond, and settled in Pettus, Lonoke County, Arkansas, in 1885. Oldham entered politics in 1907 as a member of the Arkansas House of Representatives. He served in the Arkansas Senate from 1911 to 1913, and was chosen to serve as president of the senate in 1913. Governor Joseph T. Robinson resigned from office on March 10, 1913, and Oldham, president of the Senate at the time, became acting governor. Oldham served in this capacity for six days, abdicating his duties to J. Marion Futrell, who was the newly elected president of the Senate. After leaving the governor’s office, Oldham retired from public life, returning to his farm. William K. Oldham died in Pettus, on May 6, 1938, and is buried at the Oaklawn Cemetery, Little Rock, Arkansas.


Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

Donovan, Timothy P., and Willard b. Gatewood, Jr., The Governors of Arkansas, Essays in Political Biography, Fayetteville; The University of Arkansas Press, 1981

Herndon, Dallas T., Centennial History of Arkansas, Vol. 1, Chicago, Little Rock; The S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1922. 3 vols.