Silas Woodson

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Silas Woodson

Silas Woodson (born May 18, 1819 in Knox County , Kentucky , † October 9, 1896 in Saint Joseph , Missouri ) was an American politician and from 1873 to 1875 the 21st governor of Missouri.

Early years and political advancement

Silas Woodson attended local schools in his home in Kentucky. After studying law, he was admitted to the bar in 1840. He was elected to the Kentucky Legislature in 1842 and 1853. In 1849 he was a delegate to a conference to revise the Kentucky constitution. After moving to Missouri in 1854, he became politically active in his new home. On November 5, 1872 he was elected as the candidate of the Democratic Party for the new governor of his state. He began a 36-year period during which only members of the Democratic Party were elected governor of Missouri. It was not until 1909 that Herbert Hadley , a Republican, won an election again.

Missouri governor

Silas Woodson took up his new office on January 8, 1873. During his two-year tenure, Missouri cut taxes and established a school for teachers. The Eads Bridge was completed in St. Louis . At that time, the first kindergarten was also opened in St. Louis. Despite the tax cut, the governor managed to reduce the budget deficit.

Further years of life

After his tenure in January 1875, Woodson retired from politics. Between 1885 and 1895 he was a judge at a district court. Silas Woodson was married a total of three times and had a total of four children.


  • Robert Sobel and John Raimo (Eds.): Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789–1978. Volume 2, Meckler Books, Westport, 1978. 4 volumes.

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