John M. Dalton

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John M. Dalton
45th Governor of Missouri
In office
January 9, 1961 – January 11, 1965
Lieutenant Hilary A. Bush
Preceded by James T. Blair, Jr.
Succeeded by Warren E. Hearnes
34th Attorney General of Missouri
In office
Governor Phil M. Donnelly (1953-1957)
James T. Blair, Jr. (1957-1961)
Preceded by Jonathan E. "Buck" Taylor
Succeeded by Thomas Eagleton
Personal details
Born (1900-11-09)November 9, 1900
Vernon County, Missouri
Died Script error: The function "death_date_and_age" does not exist.
Jefferson City, Missouri
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Geraldine (Hall) Dalton
Profession Politician
Religion Presbyterian

John Montgomery Dalton (November 9, 1900 – July 7, 1972) was a Democratic politician from the state of Missouri. He was the 45th Governor of Missouri and the state's 34th Attorney General.

Personal history

Dalton was born in rural Vernon County, Missouri in 1900 to parents Frederick Alfred and Ida Jane (Dunlap)(Poage) Dalton. He had three brothers and two sisters.[1] One brother, Sidna P. Dalton, would serve as Chief Justice of the Missouri Supreme Court. John Dalton received his secondary education at Columbia High School in Columbia, Missouri, and then attended the University of Missouri where he earned a law degree in 1923.[2] After passing the Missouri Bar he returned to southern Missouri, establishing a law practice in Kennett, where he also served as city attorney from 1944 to 1953.[3] John Dalton and his wife Geraldine were the parents of two children. Dalton died July 7, 1972 in Jefferson City, Missouri and is buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery in Kennett.

Political history

John Dalton first entered statewide politics in 1952, running for and winning the first of two consecutive terms as Missouri Attorney General. In November 1960 Dalton won election to be Missouri's 45th Governor, his term running from January 9, 1961 to January 11, 1965.

Gubernatorial highlights: Governor Dalton signed legislation requiring all passenger vehicles in Missouri to have seat belts, and established a drivers license points system for traffic violations.[4] Other actions including securing funding for a new headquarters for the Missouri Highway Patrol, creation of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, and furthering desegregation of Missouri schools.[3]


  • The Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center at the University of Missouri is named for the late Governor.[5]
  • A portion of U.S. Highway 412 in Dunklin County bears the name "Governor John M. Dalton Memorial Highway."[6]
  • Gov. Dalton was a Master Mason, serving as Grand Orator for the Grand Lodge of Missouri[7]


  1. Missouri. Retrieved on October 12, 2011.
  2. John M. Dalton. Retrieved on October 12, 2011.
  3. 3.0 3.1 [1] Archived June 29, 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  4. Daily Dunklin Democrat: Local News: Part of US 412 now 'Gov. John M. Dalton Memorial Highway' (06/29/05). (June 29, 2005). Retrieved on October 12, 2011.
  5. MU in Brick and Mortar - Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center. Retrieved on October 12, 2011.
  6. Section 227-358 Governor John M. Dalton Memorial Highway. (August 28, 2010). Retrieved on October 12, 2011.
  7. The Political Graveyard - Freemasons, retrieved December 10, 2012<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
Legal offices
Preceded by
Jonathan E. Taylor
Missouri State Attorney General
Succeeded by
Thomas Eagleton
Political offices
Preceded by
James T. Blair, Jr.
Governor of Missouri
Succeeded by
Warren E. Hearnes