Iowa Heritage Digital Collections
State Library of Iowa

1860-1864, Samuel Kirkwood, 1876-1877 second term


1860-1864, Samuel Kirkwood, 1876-1877 second term



Samuel J. Kirkwood, Governor of Iowa 1876-1877, was forn in Harford County, Maryland on December 20, 1813. He attended country schools and the academy of John McLeod in Washington, D.C. He clerked in a drug store and taught school. He moved to Mansfield, Richmond County, Ohio, in 1835 and continued teaching until 1840. He then studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1843. He practiced in Mansfield and then served as prosecuting attorney of Richland County from 1845-1849. He served as a member of the State constitutional convention in 1850 and 1851. He moved to Coralville, Johnson County, Iowa in 1855 and engaged in the milling business. He served in the Iowa Senate from 1856-1859 and was Governor of Iowa from 1860-1864. He was appointed by President jAbraham Linclon as Minister to Denmark in 1863, but declined the position. He was elected as a Republican to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of James Harlan and served from January 13, 1866 to March 3, 1867. He resumed the practice of law and also served as president of the Iowa & Southwestern Railroad Company. He served as Governor of Iowa again from 1876-1877 when he resigned to accept a Cabinet position - Secretary of the Interior in the Cabinet of of President James Garfield from 1881-1882. Upon the death of President Garfield, he resigned. He was an unsuccessful candidate for election in 1886 to the Fiftieth Congress.. He resumed the practice of law and became president of the Iowa City National Bank. He died died in Iowa City, Johnson County, Iowa, September 1, 1894. He was interred in Oakland Cemetary


State Library of Iowa and State Historical Society of Iowa


1860; 1861; 1862; 1863; 1864; 1876; 1877;


Dictionary of American Biography; Clark, Dan E. Samuel Jordan Kirkwood. Iowa City: State Historical Society of Iowa, 1917; Hake, Herbert. ""The Political Firecracker: Samuel J. Kirkwood."" Palimpsest 56 (January/February 1975): 2-14.


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