Utah Department of Administrative Services

Division of Archives & Records Service

Governors' Records at the Utah State Archives

The Governor is the chief administrative officer of the state and the sole official organ of communication between the government of this state and the government of any other state and of the United States (U.C.A. Title 67, Chapter 1, 2000). As a result, Governors' papers become a valuable historical source. Not only are they biographical accounts of a Governor's term, but also a chronicle of statewide and sometimes national events. For example, the constituent's correspondence in Governor Blood's papers serve as a diary portraying the losses suffered by Utah citizenry during the Depression. Governor Rampton's papers chronicle the battle of civil and women's rights in Utah and the nation. The interaction between state offices is also found in various series. A researcher may find specific reference to broad topics within the records.

Governors' records are not the place to research if looking for an individual unless that individual is of significant distinction, e.g., Joe Hill or some state and federal officials. These records are most useful when researching either a specific governor or a historical topic such as prohibition, irrigation, coal shortages, and World Wars. These records shed light on Utah's involvement in and reaction to national issues and problems specific to Utah. The Governors' records are also advantageous when researching a time frame because commonly a researcher will find events and responses during the time of interest. In short, these series are a record of Utah's history within the state and nationally.

Ongoing records

These record series have been or are maintained during more than one Governors' administration.

Board and commission files, 1980- Series 9393
Messages to the legislature, 1851- Series 182
Publications, 1975- Series 19536
State boards and commissions annual reports, 1996- Series 20935
Task force reports, 1896- Series 25403

The following is a list of Utah's Governors. Many of the territorial Governors' records are not found at the Utah State Archives. For Brigham Young's records contact the LDS Church Historical Department. The National Archives might also serve as resource for territorial Governors' records.

List of Governors from Territorial to Statehood

Click on the linked names for a short biography and a list of record series for that governor.

Territorial Governors Secretaries of the Territory
Brigham Young (1850 -1857)

Boughton D. Harris (1850 - 1851)
Willard Richards (1851 - 1852) [Acting]
Benjamin G. Ferris (1852 - 1853)
Almon W. Babbitt (1853 - 1856)
William H. Hooper (1856 - 1857) [Acting]

Alfred Cumming (1857 -1861) John Hartnett (1857 - 1860)
Francis H. Wootton (1860 - 1861)
John W. Dawson (1861 -1861) Frank Fuller (1861 - 1863)
Stephen Selwyn Harding (1862 -1863)
James Duane Doty (1863 -1865) Amos Reed (1863 - 1867)
Charles Durkee (1865 -1869) Edwin P. Higgins (1867 - 1869)
Stephen A. Mann (1869 -1870) S. A. Mann (1869 - 1870)
John Wilson Shaffer (1870 -1870) Charles C. Crowe (1870)
Vernon H. Vaughan (1870 -1871) Vernon H. Vaughan (1870 - 1871)
George Lemuel Woods (1871 -1875) George A. Black (1871 - 1876)
Samuel Beach Axtell (1875 -1875)
George W. Emery (1875 -1880) Moses M. Bane (1876 - 1877)
Levi P. Luckey (1877 - 1879)
Eli Houston Murray (1880 -1886) Arthur L. Thomas (1879 - 1887)
Caleb Walton West (1886 -1888) William C. Hall (1887 - 1889)
Arthur Lloyd Thomas (1889 -1893) Elijah Sells (1889 - 1893)
Caleb Walton West (1893 -1896) Charles C. Richards (1893 - 1896)
State Governors Secretaries of State
Heber Manning Wells (1896 -1905) James T. Hammond (1896 - 1905)
John Christoper Cutler (1905 -1909) Charles S. Tingey (1905 - 1913)
William Spry (1909 -1917) David Mattson (1913 - 1917)
Simon Bamberger (1917 -1921) Harden Bennion (1917 - 1921)
Charles Rendell Mabey (1921 -1925) H. E. Crockett (1921 - 1929)
George Henry Dern (1925 -1933) Milton H. Welling (1929 - 1937)
Henry Hooper Blood (1933 -1941) E. E. Monson (1937 - 1949)
Herbert Brown Maw (1941 -1949)
J. Bracken Lee (1949 -1957) Heber Bennion, Jr. (1949 - 1953)
George Dewey Clyde (1957 -1965) Lamont F. Toronto (1957-1965)
Calvin L. Rampton (1965 -1977) Clyde L. Miller (1965 - 1977)
  Secretary of State changed to Lieutenant Governor (1976)
State Governors, continued Lieutenant Governors
Scott M. Matheson (1977 -1985) David S. Monson (1977 - 1985)
Norman H. Bangerter (1985 -1993) W. Val Oveson (1985 - 1993)
Michael Okerlund Leavitt (1993 - 2003) Olene S. Walker (1993 - 2003)
Olene S. Walker (2003 - 2005) Gayle McKeachnie (2003 - 2004)
Jon M. Huntsman, Jr. (2005 - 2009) Gary R. Herbert (2005 - 2009)
Gary R. Herbert (2009-present) Gregory S. Bell (2009 - 2013)
Spencer J. Cox (2013-present)