This article lists the individuals who have served as governor of Oregon from the establishment of the Provisional Government between 1841 and 1843 to the present day.

Governors

Champoeg Meetings

The Champoeg Meetings, including a constitutional committee, held from February 1841 until May 1843, served as a de facto government before the government was officially established. While early attempts at establishing a government had been unsuccessful because of discontent between English American and French Canadian settlers over the question, whom they should choose as governor, several other officers were elected at these meetings, including the position of Supreme Judge as the highest position at the second meeting. For lack of a government the Supreme Judge also received executive and legislative duties and was mostly chosen as the chairman of the following meetings.[1][2]

Executive Term start Term end
Jason Lee missionary.png
Chairman Jason Lee[3] February 17, 1841
David Leslie.png
Chairman David Leslie[4] February 18, 1841
1
Ira Babcock.jpg
Supreme Judge Ira Babcock February 18, 1841 May 2, 1843
Vacant[5] May 2, 1843 July 5, 1843

Provisional Government

The meetings at Champoeg led up to the first constitution of the Oregon Country and several petitions for U.S. territorial status. The resulting acts also created this body as a provisional government for the region. The first executives of this government were a three-person, elected committee known as the executive committee. In 1845, elections for a chief executive were held. The first person in Oregon to hold the title of governor was George Abernethy, a prominent businessman.

Executive Term start Term end
1
Oregon Provisional Government Seal.png
First Executive Committee
David HillAlanson BeersJoseph Gale
July 5, 1843 May 14, 1844
2
Oregon Provisional Government Seal.png
Second Executive Committee
Peter G. StewartOsborne RussellWilliam J. Bailey
May 14, 1844 June 3, 1845
3
George Abernethy.jpg
George Abernethy June 3, 1845 March 3, 1849[6]

Governors of the Territory of Oregon

Oregon became a U.S. Territory in 1848. Like most other U.S. territorial governments, Oregon's territorial governor was appointed by the President of the United States. As transportation and communications were not as reliable or as fast as 21st-century methods, there were times when a departing governor left office and a new governor could not yet take over. This resulted in several local individuals acting as territorial governor until the new executive was appointed and arrived to take office.

President Polk initially appointed Brigadier General James Shields to be Oregon's first territorial governor and Shields was confirmed by the Senate, but he declined the position and Joseph Lane was appointed in his place.

  Democratic (3)       Whig (1)

Governor Term in office Appointed by Party
1
Joseph Lane (2).jpg
  Joseph Lane
    December 14, 1801 – April 19, 1881   
(aged 79)
March 3, 1849

June 18, 1850
James K. Polk Democratic
No image.svg
Kintzing Prichette
    June 24, 1800 – April 12, 1869   
(aged 68)
June 18, 1850

August 18, 1850
Acting Governor Democratic
2
John P Gaines.png
  John P. Gaines
    September 22, 1795 – December 9, 1857   
(aged 62)
August 18, 1850

May 16, 1853
Millard Fillmore Whig
Joseph Lane (2).jpg
  Joseph Lane
    December 14, 1801 – April 19, 1881   
(aged 79)
May 16, 1853

May 19, 1853
Acting Governor Democratic
George Law Curry 1853.jpg
George Law Curry
    July 2, 1820 – July 28, 1878   
(aged 58)
May 19, 1853

December 2, 1853
Acting Governor Democratic
3
John Wesley Davis.jpg
John W. Davis
    April 16, 1799 – August 22, 1859   
(aged 60)
December 2, 1853

August 1, 1854
Franklin Pierce Democratic
4
George Law Curry 1853.jpg
George Law Curry
    July 2, 1820 – July 28, 1878   
(aged 58)
August 1, 1854

March 3, 1859
Franklin Pierce Democratic

Governors of the State of Oregon

  Democratic (16)       Republican (19)       Independent (1)

Governor Term in office Party Election
1
Gov John Whiteaker.jpg
  John Whiteaker
    May 4, 1820 – October 2, 1902   
(aged 82)
March 3, 1859

September 10, 1862
Democratic 1858
2
Oregon Governor AC Gibbs.jpg
  A. C. Gibbs
    July 9, 1825 – December 29, 1886   
(aged 61)
September 10, 1862

September 12, 1866
Republican 1862
3
George Lemuel Woods portrait.jpg
George Lemuel Woods
    July 30, 1832 – January 7, 1890   
(aged 57)
September 12, 1866

September 14, 1870
Republican 1866
4
La Fayette Grover - Brady-Handy.jpg
La Fayette Grover
    November 29, 1823 – May 10, 1911   
(aged 87)
September 14, 1870

February 1, 1877
[note 1]
Democratic 1870
1874
5
Oregon Governor Stephen Chadwick.jpg
Stephen F. Chadwick
    December 25, 1825 – January 15, 1895   
(aged 69)
February 1, 1877

September 11, 1878
Democratic Succeeded from
Secretary of
State
6
Oregon Governor William Wallace Thayer.jpg
W. W. Thayer
    July 15, 1827 – October 15, 1899   
(aged 72)
September 11, 1878

September 13, 1882
Democratic 1878
7
Zenas Ferry Moody (1903).jpg
Zenas Ferry Moody
    May 27, 1832 – March 14, 1917   
(aged 84)
September 13, 1882

January 12, 1887
Republican 1882
8
Governor Sylvester Pennoyer.jpg
Sylvester Pennoyer
    July 6, 1831 – May 30, 1902   
(aged 70)
January 12, 1887

January 14, 1895
Democratic-Populist 1886
1990
9
OrGovWPLord.jpg
William Paine Lord
    July 20, 1838 – February 17, 1911   
(aged 72)
January 14, 1895

January 9, 1899
Republican 1894
10
Oregon Governor TT Geer.jpg
Theodore Thurston Geer
    March 12, 1851 – February 21, 1924   
(aged 72)
January 9, 1899

January 15, 1903
Republican 1898
11
George E Chamberlain.jpg
George Earle Chamberlain
    January 1, 1854 – July 9, 1928   
(aged 74)
January 15, 1903

March 1, 1909
[note 1]
Democratic 1902
1906
12
Frank W. Benson 1910.JPG
Frank W. Benson
    March 20, 1858 – April 14, 1911   
(aged 53)
March 1, 1909

June 17, 1910
[note 2]
Republican Succeeded from
Secretary of
State
13
Oregon Governor Jay Bowerman.jpg
Jay Bowerman
    August 15, 1876 – October 25, 1957   
(aged 81)
June 17, 1910

January 11, 1911
Republican Succeeded from
President of
the Senate
14
Oswald West.jpg
Oswald West
    May 20, 1873 – August 22, 1960   
(aged 87)
January 11, 1911

January 12, 1915
Democratic 1910
15
Withycombe.jpg
James Withycombe
    March 21, 1854 – March 3, 1919   
(aged 64)
January 12, 1915

March 3, 1919
[note 3]
Republican 1914
1918
16
Ben W Olcott.jpg
Ben W. Olcott
    October 15, 1872 – July 21, 1952   
(aged 79)
March 3, 1919

January 8, 1923
Republican Succeeded from
Secretary of
State
17
Walter M. Pierce Oregon.jpg
Walter M. Pierce
    May 30, 1861 – March 27, 1954   
(aged 92)
January 8, 1923

January 10, 1927
Democratic 1922
18
Isaac L. Patterson.jpg
I. L. Patterson
    September 17, 1859 – December 21, 1929   
(aged 70)
January 10, 1927

December 21, 1929
[note 3]
Republican 1926
19
A. W. Norblad as circuit judge.jpg
A. W. Norblad
    March 19, 1881 – April 17, 1960   
(aged 79)
December 21, 1929

January 12, 1931
Republican Succeeded from
Persident of
the Senate
20
Julius L. Meier 1911.png
Julius Meier
    December 31, 1874 – July 14, 1937   
(aged 62)
January 12, 1931

January 14, 1935
Independent 1930
21
Charles H. Martin.jpg
Charles H. Martin
    October 1, 1863 – September 22, 1946   
(aged 82)
January 14, 1935

January 9, 1939
Democratic 1934
22
Charles A. Sprague.jpg
Charles A. Sprague
    November 12, 1887 – March 13, 1969   
(aged 81)
January 9, 1939

January 11, 1943
Republican 1938
23
Earl Snell.jpg
Earl Snell
    July 11, 1895 – October 28, 1947   
(aged 52)
January 11, 1943

October 30, 1947
[note 3]
Republican 1942
1946
24
John Hubert Hall.jpg
John Hubert Hall
    February 7, 1899 – November 14, 1970   
(aged 71)
October 30, 1947

January 10, 1949
Republican Succeeded from
Speaker of
the House
25
Douglas McKay.png
Douglas McKay
    June 24, 1893 – July 22, 1959   
(aged 66)
January 10, 1949

December 27, 1952
[note 4]
Republican 1948§
1950
26
Paul Patterson.jpg
Paul L. Patterson
    July 18, 1900 – January 31, 1956   
(aged 55)
December 27, 1952

January 31, 1956
[note 3]
Republican Succeeded from
President of
the Senate
1954
27
Elmo Smith portrait.jpg
Elmo Smith
    November 19, 1909 – July 15, 1968   
(aged 58)
January 31, 1956

January 14, 1957
Republican Succeeded from
President of
the Senate
28
Robert D. Holmes.jpg
Robert D. Holmes
    May 11, 1909 – June 6, 1976   
(aged 67)
January 14, 1957

January 12, 1959
Democratic 1956§
29
Mark Hatfield – 1967 (cropped).jpg
Mark Hatfield
    July 12, 1922 – August 7, 2011   
(aged 89)
January 12, 1959

January 9, 1967
Republican 1958
1962
30
Tom McCall 2.jpg
Tom McCall
    March 22, 1913 – January 8, 1983   
(aged 69)
January 9, 1967

January 13, 1975
Republican 1966
1970
31
Robert William "Bob" Straub in 1968 running for State Treasurer, from- Marion County Voters
Robert W. Straub
    May 6, 1920 – November 27, 2002   
(aged 82)
January 13, 1975

January 8, 1979
Democratic 1974
32
Victor Atiyeh in 1986.jpg
Victor Atiyeh
    February 20, 1923 – July 20, 2014   
(aged 91)
January 8, 1979

January 12, 1987
Republican 1978
1982
33
Neil Goldschmidt.jpg
Neil Goldschmidt
    (1940-06-16) June 16, 1940 (age 82)
January 12, 1987

January 14, 1991
Democratic 1986
34
Roberts 1988.jpg
Barbara Roberts
    (1936-12-21) December 21, 1936 (age 85)
January 14, 1991

January 9, 1995
Democratic 1990
35
Governor Kitzhaber.jpg
John Kitzhaber
    (1947-03-05) March 5, 1947 (age 75)
January 9, 1995

January 13, 2003
Democratic 1994
1998
36
Ted kulongoski.jpg
Ted Kulongoski
    (1940-11-05) November 5, 1940 (age 82)
January 13, 2003

January 10, 2011
Democratic 2002
2006
37
Governor Kitzhaber.jpg
John Kitzhaber
    (1947-03-05) March 5, 1947 (age 75)
January 10, 2011

February 18, 2015
[note 5]
[note 6]
Democratic 2010
2014
38
Kate Brown in 2017.jpg
Kate Brown
    (1960-06-21) June 21, 1960 (age 62)
February 18, 2015

Incumbent
[note 7]
Democratic Succeeded from
Secretary of
State
2016§
2018
39
Tina Kotek (cropped).jpg
Tina Kotek (elect)
    (1966-09-30) September 30, 1966 (age 56)
Taking office
January 9, 2023
Democratic 2022

Other high offices held

This is a table of congressional seats, other federal offices, and other governorships held by governors. All representatives and senators mentioned represented Oregon except where noted.

Denotes those offices that the governor resigned to take.
Governor Gubernatorial term U.S. Congress Other offices held Source
House Senate
Joseph Lane 1848–1850
1853–1853
S Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives from Oregon Territory [7]
John P. Gaines 1850–1853 U.S. Representative from Kentucky [8]
John W. Davis 1853–1854 U.S. Representative from Indiana; United States Commissioner to China [9]
John Whiteaker 1859–1862 H [10]
George L. Woods 1866–1870 Governor of Utah Territory [11]
La Fayette Grover 1870–1877 H S* [12]
William Paine Lord 1895–1899 United States Minister to Argentina [13]
George Chamberlain 1903–1909 S* [14]
Walter M. Pierce 1923–1927 H [15]
Charles H. Martin 1935–1939 H [16]
Douglas McKay 1949–1952 United States Secretary of the Interior* [17]
Mark Hatfield 1959–1967 S [18]
Neil Goldschmidt 1987–1991 United States Secretary of Transportation [19]

Living former governors of Oregon

As of November 16, 2022, there are four former governors of Oregon who are currently living, the oldest governor of Oregon being Barbara Roberts (served 1991–1995, born 1936). The most recent death of a former governor of Oregon and also the death of a former governor of Oregon who served most recently was of Victor Atiyeh, (served 1979–1987) on July 20, 2014.[20]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b Resigned to take an elected seat in the United States Senate
  2. ^ Resigned due to ill health
  3. ^ a b c d Died while in office
  4. ^ Resigned to take the position as United States Secretary of the Interior
  5. ^ Also served two consecutive terms from 1995 to 2003.
  6. ^ Resigned due to an ethics scandal.
  7. ^ Brown's full term will expire on January 9, 2023; She will be term limited.

References

General

  • "Governors of Oregon". National Governors Association. Archived from the original on June 29, 2011.
  • "Governor Records". Oregon State Archives. Retrieved July 15, 2010.

Constitution

Specific

  1. ^ DR. IRA L. BABCOCK, biography from Oregon Government, retrieved 15 May 2017
  2. ^ A History of Oregon, 1792-1849, retrieved 15 May 2017
  3. ^ Chaired the first Champoeg Meeting.
  4. ^ Chaired the second Champoeg Meeting, during which Babcock was elected Supreme Judge.
  5. ^ Albert E. Wilson was elected Supreme Judge, but declined to serve.
  6. ^ While Abernethy's term officially ended August 14, 1848, he continued to act as Governor until Lane arrived in 1849.
  7. ^ "Lane, Joseph". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  8. ^ "Gaines, John Pollard". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  9. ^ "Davis, John Wesley". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  10. ^ "Whiteaker, John". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  11. ^ "George Lemuel Woods". Utah History to Go. State of Utah. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  12. ^ "Grover, La Fayette". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  13. ^ "Former U.S. Ambassadors to Argentina". Embassy of the United States, Argentina. U.S. Department of State. Archived from the original on May 27, 2010. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  14. ^ "Chamberlain, George Earle". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  15. ^ "Pierce, Walter Marcus". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  16. ^ "Martin, Charles Henry". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  17. ^ "Past Secretaries of the Department of the Interior". U.S. Department of the Interior. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  18. ^ "Hatfield, Mark". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  19. ^ "Biographical Sketches of the Secretaries of Transportation". U.S. Department of Transportation. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  20. ^ Mapes, Jeff (July 20, 2014). "Republican Vic Atiyeh, who guided Oregon through economic upheaval, dies at 91". The Oregonian. Retrieved 2014-07-20.