Back to former Iowa governors
William Lloyd Harding

Gov. William Lloyd Harding

  • January 11, 1917 - January 13, 1921
  • Republican
  • October 3, 1877
  • December 17, 1934
  • Iowa
  • Morningside College; University of South Dakota
  • Married Carrie Lamoreux; one child


WILLIAM LLOYD HARDING, Iowa’s twenty-second governor, was born in Sibley, Iowa on October 3, 1877. From 1897 to 1901, he attended Morningside College, and then went on to earn his law degree from the University of South Dakota. Harding entered politics in 1906, serving as a member of the Iowa House of Representatives, a position he held for six years. He also served as Iowa’s lieutenant governor from 1913 to 1917. Harding won the 1916 Republican gubernatorial nomination and was sworn into the governor’s office on January 11, 1917. He was reelected to a second term in 1918. During his tenure, World War I issues were addressed. As governor, Harding issued a state directive that only English be spoken in the state. Also, rural schools were consolidated; a state survey was authorized to establish locations of scenic and historic interests; a state park system was planned; and scandals surfaced relating to pardons and appointments. Several resignations resulted, and an impeachment proposal was initiated but denied, however, a censure motion was approved. Harding’s administration was tainted, and he left office on January 13, 1921. He later served as president of the Great Lakes-Saint Lawrence Waterway Association. Governor William L. Harding died on December 17, 1934, and was entombed in a mausoleum at the Graceland Park Cemetery in Sioux City, Iowa.



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.

Visser, John Event. "William L. Harding and the Republican Party in Iowa, 1906-1920." Thesis, 1957. Microfilm JK2358 I885.

Recent Iowa Governors