Thomas Kirker
2nd Governor of Ohio
In office
March 4, 1807 – December 12, 1808
Preceded byEdward Tiffin
Succeeded bySamuel H. Huntington
4th Speaker of the Senate of Ohio
In office
December 1, 1806 – December 3, 1809
Preceded byJames Pritchard
Succeeded byDuncan McArthur
In office
December 3, 1810 – December 5, 1813
Preceded byDuncan McArthur
Succeeded byOthniel Looker
In office
December 5, 1814 – December 3, 1815
Preceded byOthniel Looker
Succeeded byPeter Hitchcock
10th Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives
In office
December 2, 1816 – November 30, 1817
Preceded byMatthias Corwin
Succeeded byDuncan McArthur
Member of the Ohio Senate
In office
Member of the Ohio House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Born1760 (1760)
County Tyrone, Kingdom of Ireland
Died (aged 76–77)
Adams County, Ohio, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic-Republican

Thomas Kirker (1760 – February 19, 1837) was a Democratic-Republican politician from Ohio. He served as the second Governor of Ohio.


Kirker was born in County Tyrone in the Kingdom of Ireland. He moved with his family to Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 1779.[1] Kirker married Sarah Smith in 1790, and moved with his wife to Kentucky. Three years later, they moved to Liberty Township, Adams County, Ohio.[2] Kirker was a consistent Presbyterian, serving as an elder in the West Union congregation from 1808 until his death.[3]


He was a delegate to the Ohio Constitutional Convention in 1802.[4] He served in the first Ohio House of Representatives in 1803 and then in the Ohio State Senate from 1803 to 1815.

While serving as Speaker of the Senate, Kirker became Governor upon the resignation of Edward Tiffin to take a seat in the U.S. Senate. Kirker's term was extended through the 1807–1808 meeting of the Assembly due to the disqualification of Return J. Meigs Jr. who had won the 1807 election to the governorship but had been disqualified by the Assembly as he had not met the residency requirements.[5]

Kirker ran for re-election in 1808, but lost badly to Samuel H. Huntington. Kirker later returned to the Assembly, serving in the House of Representatives from 1816 to 1817 and in the State Senate from 1821 to 1825.[2]

He was the Ohio Presidential elector in 1824 for Henry Clay.[6]

Kirker retired from politics, and returned to his home at his Liberty Township farm. He died on February 19, 1837.[7] Upon his death he was buried in a family burial plot on the farm.[5]

Gravestone of Thomas Kirker
Gravestone of Thomas Kirker

See also


  1. ^ "Thomas Kirker". Ohio Historical Society. Archived from the original on May 13, 2012. Retrieved July 11, 2012.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  2. ^ a b "Thomas Kirker". Ohio History Central. Retrieved July 11, 2012.
  3. ^ Evans, Nelson W., and Emmons B. Stivers. A History of Adams County, Ohio from Its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time: Including Character Sketches of the Prominent Persons Identified with the First Century of the County's Growth and Containing Numerous Engravings and Illustrations. West Union: Stivers, 1900, 257.
  4. ^ Ryan, Daniel Joseph (1896). "First Constitutional Convention, Convened November 1, 1802". Ohio Archaeological and Historical Publications. V: 131–132.
  5. ^ a b "Thomas Kirker". Ohio Historical Society. Retrieved July 12, 2012.
  6. ^ Taylor, William Alexander; Taylor, Aubrey Clarence (1899). Ohio statesmen and annals of progress: from the year 1788 to the year 1900 ... 1. State of Ohio. p. 145.
  7. ^ The Ohio politics almanac