George Washington Steele, Republican. Served from 1890 to 1891. Born
December 13, 1839, in Fayette County, Indiana, the first Territorial Governor
read law and was admitted to the bar after completing his studies at Ohio
Wesleyan University. He left his law practice in Hartford City, Indiana, to
volunteer in the Union Army where he served throughout the Civil War.
Returning home, he entered business at Marion, Indiana, and as a Republican,
served his locality in Congress from March 4, 1883, to March 3, 1889. His
experience in Congress and as an Army officer may have influenced President
Harrison to select him as the initial Governor of Oklahoma Territory. He took the
oath of office in Guthrie on May 22, 1890, and found his hands full trying to bring
order out of the chaotic legislative fights that he encountered. The school
systems, plus three colleges, and the State Library were all established in the
course of his term. He resigned effective October 18, 1891, and returned to
Indiana where he continued in public service until shortly before his death in
Marion, July 12, 1922. Steele is buried in the I.O.O.F. Cemetery in Marion, Indiana.
Photograph and biographical sketch of George Washington Steele.
Oklahoma Department of Libraries
Electronic Publication Date
Photograph in Oklahoma State Archives Division, Oklahoma Department of Libraries, Oklahoma City, OK
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