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ARTHUR C. MELLETTE

Arthur C. MelletteTenth Territorial Governor

  • Residence: Watertown, Dakota Territory
  • Years Served: 1889
  • Date of Inauguration: March 22, 1889
  • Age at Inauguration: 45
  • Politics: Republican
  • Born: Henry County, Indiana (near Muncie) - June 23, 1843
  • Died: Pittsburgh, Kansas - May 25, 1896

Political Background:

  • 1872-1874: Indiana Legislature
  • 1883: Constitutional Convention Delegate
  • 1889: Governor of Dakota Territory
  • 1889-1893: Governor of South Dakota

Governor Mellette came to Dakota of his own accord, rather than as a presidential appointment. He served in the Civil War, then studied and practiced law in Indiana. Mellette came to Springfield, Dakota Territory, in an attempt to improve his wife's poor health. From 1878 to 1883 he served as register of the Land Office at Springfield and then Watertown.

Mellette served as governor seven months before statehood. When the territory split into North Dakota and South Dakota, he became the first governor of South Dakota, and John Miller became governor of North Dakota.

Arthur Calvin Mellette was the last Territorial governor. When statehood split the Territory, Mellette became the first governor of South Dakota.

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