James M. Harvey, Governor

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James Madison Harvey

Death: Died
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas Jefferson Harvey and Margaret Handley Walker

Managed by: Private User
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About James M. Harvey, Governor


James Madison Harvey (September 21, 1833 – April 15, 1894) was a United States Senator from Kansas and fifth Governor of Kansas.


Born near Salt Sulphur Springs, Virginia (now West Virginia), Harvey attended common schools in Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa. He married Charlotte Richardson Carter and they had nine children.


Harvey became a civil engineer and headed west as a prospector to Pike's Peak in 1859 as a Fifty-Niner. After meeting several discouraged miners along the way, Harvey decided to settle instead in Kansas Territory, so he acquired a plot of land in Riley County near Fort Riley and engaged in agricultural pursuits. From 1861 to 1864, he served with the Union Army during the Civil War, advancing to the rank of captain in the 4th Kansas Infantry, which failed to complete organization and was consolidated with other recruits to form the 10th Kansas Infantry. He attained the rank of Captain, commanding the 14th Regiment, Kansas State Militia.

Harvey was elected to the Kansas House of Representatives, 1865–1866, and then elected to the Kansas Senate in 1867–1868. He was Governor of Kansas for two terms, serving from 1868 to 1872, and then elected as a Republican to the U.S. Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Alexander Caldwell, where he served from February 2, 1874, to March 3, 1877.

After his U.S. Senate term, Harvey worked as a government surveyor in New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, and Oklahoma, before returning to Kansas in 1890 to resume agricultural pursuits. Harvey County, Kansas, is named for him.


Harvey died near Junction City, Kansas in 1894. Interment was in Highland Cemetery, Junction City.

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James M. Harvey, Governor's Timeline

Age 61