About Louis F. Hart, Governor
Louis Folwell Hart (January 4, 1862 – December 4, 1929) was the seventh Lieutenant Governor of the state of Washington and was the ninth Governor of Washington State from 14 June 1919 to 12 January 1925. He is most remembered for reorganizing the state's administrative structure by reducing the number of agencies and the consequent financial economies.
Hart was born in High Point, Missouri and studied law in Missouri. He married Ella James on 9 February 1881 in Missouri and over the course of years they had five children, three sons and two daughters.
Lured by the frontier, Hart and his wife moved to Snohomish, Washington in the late-1880s, where he practiced law. In 1899 they moved to Tacoma where he continued to practice law and was an insurance agent.
Winning the Republican nomination in 1912, Hart was elected as Washington’s seventh Lieutenant Governor and he was reelected in 1916.
During World War I Hart served chairman of the Selective Service Appeals Board for Southwest Washington. Hart became governor when the then governor Ernest Lister retired in 1919 due to failing health.
Hart was elected governor in his own right in 1920. Hart was instrumental in getting new road projects through the state legislature and strongly supported the creation of a state highway patrol. He oversaw the construction of a new State Capitol complex. Perhaps his greatest accomplishment was reorganizing the state's administrative structure, reducing the number of administrative agencies from 75 to 10.
Hart did not run for reelection in 1924, but instead retired to Tacoma where he practiced law, and served as the president of the State Good Roads Association.
Hart died on December 4, 1929, in Tacoma, Washington. He is interred at Masonic Memorial Park, Tumwater, Washington.