Iowa Heritage Digital Collections
State Library of Iowa

1913-1917, George W. Clarke


1913-1917, George W. Clarke



George Washington Clarke, Iowa's twenty-first governor, was born in Shelby County, Indiana on October 24, 1852. In 1856 the Clarke family moved to Davis County, Iowa, settling one mile east of Drakesville. He taught school in Bloomfield before attending Oskaloosa College, from which he graduated in 1877. After graduating from Oskaloosa College, Clarke earned his law degree from the University of Iowa, and then established a legal career in Adel, Iowa. Clarke married Arletta Greene on June 17, 1888. He served four years as Justice of the Peace and in 1882 formed a partnership with John B. White for the practice of law. Clarke entered politics in 1900, serving as a member of the Iowa House of Representatives, a position he held eight years, the last four of which were as speaker. From 1909 to 1913, he served as lieutenant governor of Iowa. Clarke won the 1912 Republican gubernatorial nomination and was sworn into office on January 16, 1913. He was reelected to a second term in 1914. During his tenure, he endorsed restructuring election procedures; he advocated for securing a workmen's compensation bill; and he was a proponent of establishing a state highway commission; and for modifying and controlling investment companies. Clarke retired from politics after his term ended on January 11, 1917. He served as dean of Drake University Law School from 1917 to 1918, and returned to his law practice in Des Moines. Governor George W. Clarke died on November 28, 1936, and was buried in Adel, Iowa. His papers are in the collection of the University of Iowa. He is the grandfather of University of Iowa's Heisman Trophy winner, Nile Kinnick.


State Library of Iowa and State Historical Society of Iowa


1913; 1914; 1915; 1916; 1917;


National Governor's Association, Wikipedia


This digital image may be used for educational purposes, as long as it is not altered in any way. No commercial reproduction or distribution of this file is permitted without written permission of the State Historical Society of Iowa.


Still Image