Fun Facts about Ohio Governors

John Kasich will be inaugurated on Monday, January 10th as the 69th Governor of Ohio. In honor of our new Governor, here are some interesting facts about our past Governors.

Edward Tiffin

Who was Ohio’s first governor?
Edward Tiffin was inaugurated on March 3, 1803 in Chillicothe, Ohio’s first capitol.

Which Governor was inaugurated in Zanesville?
Return Jonathan Meigs, Jr. was the first and only Governor to be inaugurated in Zanesville in 1810. Zanesville served as Ohio’s capitol from 1810-1812.

Who delivered the longest inaugural address?
Wilson Shannon delivered his 75 minute inaugural address on December 13, 1838.

William Dennison

Who was the first Ohio governor to work in the Ohio Statehouse?
Salmon P. Chase moved into his office in the Ohio Statehouse in 1857, though the building was not yet completed. His successor, William Dennison, Jr., was Governor when the Statehouse was completed in 1861.

Rutherford B. Hayes

Which Ohio governors were also elected President?
Rutherford B. Hayes served as Governor from 1867-1875. He was elected President in 1876. William McKinley served as Governor from 1892-1896. He was elected President in 1896.

Who was the only Governor to serve as president of the Ohio Historical Society?
Rutherford B. Hayes kept busy after leaving the White House. Among his many civic activities he was president of OHS from 1892-1893.

Who served the shortest term in office?
John M. Pattison served the shortest term of an elected Governor. He took office on January 8, 1906 and died on June 18, 1906. John W. Brown served for eleven days, January 3-14, 1957, when Governor Frank Lausche resigned to take his seat in the U.S. Senate.

Andrew Harris

Who was the last Civil War veteran to serve as Governor?
Andrew Harris was the last Civil War veteran to serve as Governor when he took office in 1906. Harris was also Ohio’s last Governor to wear a beard.

Who was the first Governor to live in the Governor’s mansion in Bexley?
C. William O’Neill moved to the mansion after his inauguration on January 14, 1957.

How long was the original term for Ohio governor?
From 1803 through 1958 Governor’s served 2 year terms. Michael DiSalle began the first 4 year term when he took office in 1959.

Which Governor was elected to the most terms?
Frank J. Lausche, who served from 1945-1947 and from 1949-1957, was elected to five, 2 year terms that equaled 10 years of service.

James A. Rhodes

Who was the longest serving Governor?
James A. Rhodes, was elected to four, 4 year terms and served 16 years from 1962-1970 and 1974-1982.

Nancy Putnam Hollister

Who was Ohio’s first female governor?
Nancy Putnam Hollister became the first female Governor when she took over for George Voinovich from December 31, 1998 to January 10, 1999.

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3 Responses to Fun Facts about Ohio Governors

  1. C. Baker says:

    Your site says that Wm Dennison was the first to serve in the Statehouse while the “” site says that Salmon P. Chase was the first to serve in the Ohio Statehouse. Hmmm? I’m curious as to which is correct?!

    • ohiohistory says:


      Dennison was the first Ohio Governor to work in the completed Statehouse. His predecessor Salmon P. Chase moved into his office in the Statehouse in 1857, though the building was not yet complete. It seems that the folks at Capitol Square are technically correct here. We will look at revising this.

      L.Wood, Curator for Visual Resources

      • C. Baker says:

        Thanks for telling me why there was the varying reports…and not that it matters (except to those of us who are history buffs.) I figured it might be a technicality of some sort. THanks again for your time~

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