Governors



After the American Revolution, the land that is present-day Wisconsin was part of Virginia, Massachusetts and Connecticut. Virginia ceded the land in 1784, with Massachusetts ceding it in 1785 and Connecticut in 1786. On 13 Jul 1787, the Northwest Territory was established, of which Wisconsin was a part. Wisconsin remained a part of the Northwest Territory until 1800. During that time, the territorial governor was Arthur St Clair. In 1800, Northwest Territory was divided to create new states. From 1800 to 1809, Wisconsin was part of Indiana Territory. From 1809 to 1818, Wisconsin was part of Illinois Territory. When Illinois became a state, Wisconsin became part of Michigan Territory in 1818 until 1836 when Wisconsin was it's own territory.



Territorial Governors

GovernorAppointedLeft Office
Henry Dodge30 Apr 183613 Sep 1841
James Duane Doty30 Sep 184121 Jun 1844
Nathaniel P Tallmadge21 Jun 18448 Apr 1845
Henry Dodge8 Apr 184523 Jun 1848
John Catlin23 Jun 18483 Mar 1849


Governors were initially voted to a two-year term according to the state constitution. In the 1880s, the state constitution was amended changing the year of election from odd to even years and officials serving that term had their terms extended to three years. Initially, Lieutenant Governors were elected on a separate ticket at the same time. In 1967, the state constitution was again amended to change the governor/lieutenant governor term to four years and put them on the same ticket. A governor is not limited to the number of terms he/she can serve.



After Statehood

GovernorTook OfficeLeft OfficeLt Governor
Nelson Dewey07 Jun 184805 Jan 1852John E Holmes
Samuel W Beall
Leonard J Farwell05 Jan 185202 Jan 1854Timothy Burns
William A Barstow02 Jan 185421 Mar 1856James T Lewis
Arthur MacArthur Sr
Arthur MacArthur Sr21 Mar 185625 Mar 1856None
Coles Bashford25 Mar 185604 Jan 1858Arthur MacArthur Sr
Alexander W Randall04 Jan 185806 Jan 1862Erasmus D Campbell
Butler G Noble
Louis P Harvey06 Jan 186219 Apr 1862Edward Salomon
Edward Salomon19 Apr 186204 Jan 1864None
James T Lewis04 Jan 186401 Jan 1866Wyman Spooner
Lucius Fairchild01 Jan 186601 Jan 1872Wyman Spooner
Thaddeus C Pound
Cadwallader C Washburn01 Jan 187205 Jan 1874Milton H Pettit
William Robert Taylor05 Jan 187403 Jan 1876Charles D Parker
Harrison Ludington03 Jan 187607 Jan 1878Charles D Parker
William E Smith07 Jan 187802 Jan 1882James M Bingham
Jeremiah McLain Rusk02 Jan 188207 Jan 1889Sam S Fifield
George W Ryland
William D Hoard07 Jan 188905 Jan 1891George W Ryland
George W Peck05 Jan 189107 Jan 1895Charles Jonas
William H Upham07 Jan 189504 Jan 1897Emil Baensch
Edward Scofield04 Jan 189707 Jan 1901Emil Baensch
Jesse Stone
Robert M LaFollette Sr07 Jan 190101 Jan 1906Jesse Stone
James O Davidson
James O Davidson01 Jan 190602 Jan 1911None
William D Connor
John Strange
Francis E McGovern02 Jan 191104 Jan 1915Thomas Morris
Emanuel L Philipp04 Jan 191503 Jan 1921Edward F Dithmar
John J Blaine03 Jan 192103 Jan 1927George F Comings
Henry A Huber
Fred R Zimmerman03 Jan 192707 Jan 1929Henry A Huber
Walter J Kohler Sr07 Jan 192905 Jan 1931Henry A Huber
Philip LaFollette05 Jan 193102 Jan 1933Henry A Huber
Albert G Schmedeman02 Jan 193307 Jan 1935Thomas J O'Malley
Philip LaFollette07 Jan 193502 Jan 1939Thomas J O'Malley
Henry A Gunderson
Herman L Ekern
Julius P Heil02 Jan 193904 Jan 1943Walter S Goodland
Orland S LoomisElected but never took office Walter S Goodland
Walter S Goodland04 Jan 194312 Mar 1947None
Oscar Rennebohm
Oscar Rennebohm12 Mar 194701 Jan 1951None
George M Smith
Walter J Kohler Jr01 Jan 195107 Jan 1957George M Smith
Warren P Knowles
Vernon W Thomson07 Jan 195705 Jan 1959Warren P Knowles
Gaylord A Nelson05 Jan 195907 Jan 1963Philleo Nash
Warren P Knowles
John W Reynolds Jr07 Jan 196304 Jan 1965Jack B Olson
Warren P Knowles04 Jan 196504 Jan 1971Patrick J Lucey
Jack B Olson
Patrick J Lucey04 Jan 197106 Jul 1977Martin J Schreiber
Martin J Schreiber06 Jul 197703 Jan 1979None
Lee S Dreyfus03 Jan 197903 Jan 1983Russell A Olson
Anthony S Earl03 Jan 198305 Jan 1987James T Flynn
Tommy Thompson05 Jan 198701 Feb 2001Scott McCallum
Scott McCallum01 Feb 200106 Jan 2003Margaret A Farrow
Jim Doyle06 Jan 200303 Jan 2011Barbara Lawton
Scott Walker03 Jan 2011 Rebecca Kleefisch




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