Thomas Kirker

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Thomas Kirker
Thomas Kirker at statehouse.jpg
2nd Governor of Ohio
In office
March 4, 1807 – December 12, 1808
Preceded by Edward Tiffin
Succeeded by Samuel H. Huntington
4th Speaker of the Senate of Ohio
In office
December 1, 1806 – December 3, 1809
Preceded by James Pritchard
Succeeded by Duncan McArthur
In office
December 3, 1810 – December 5, 1813
Preceded by Duncan McArthur
Succeeded by Othniel Looker
In office
December 5, 1814 – December 3, 1815
Preceded by Othniel Looker
Succeeded by Peter Hitchcock
10th Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives
In office
December 2, 1816 – November 30, 1817
Preceded by Matthias Corwin
Succeeded by Duncan McArthur
Personal details
Born 1760
County Tyrone, Ireland
Died February 20, 1837
(aged 76–77)
Adams County, Ohio
Political party Democratic-Republican
Religion Presbyterian

Thomas Kirker (1760 – February 20, 1837) was a Democratic-Republican politician from Ohio. He served as the second Governor of Ohio.


Kirker was born in County Tyrone, Ireland. He moved with his family to Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 1779.[1] Kirker married Sarah Smith in 1790, and moved with his wife to Kentucky. Three years later, they moved to Liberty Township, Adams County, Ohio.[2] Kirker was a consistent Presbyterian, serving as an elder in the West Union congregation from 1808 until his death.[3]


He was a delegate to the Ohio Constitutional Convention in 1802.[4] He served in the first Ohio House of Representatives in 1803 and then in the Ohio State Senate from 1803 to 1815.

While serving as Speaker of the Senate, Kirker became Governor upon the resignation of Edward Tiffin to take a seat in the U.S. Senate. Kirker's term was extended through the 1807–1808 meeting of the Assembly due to the disqualification of Return J. Meigs, Jr. who had won the 1807 election to the governorship but had been disqualified by the Assembly as he had not met the residency requirements.[5]

Kirker ran for re-election in 1808, but lost badly to Samuel H. Huntington. Kirker later returned to the Assembly, serving in the House of Representatives from 1816 to 1817 and in the State Senate from 1821 to 1825.[2]

He was the Ohio Presidential elector in 1824 for Henry Clay.[6]

Kirker retired from politics, and returned to his home at his Liberty Township farm. Upon his death he was buried in a family burial plot on the farm.[5]

Gravestone of Thomas Kirker


  1. "Thomas Kirker". Ohio Historical Society. Retrieved July 11, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Thomas Kirker". Ohio History Central. Retrieved July 11, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Evans, Nelson W., and Emmons B. Stivers. A History of Adams County, Ohio from Its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time: Including Character Sketches of the Prominent Persons Identified with the First Century of the County's Growth and Containing Numerous Engravings and Illustrations. West Union: Stivers, 1900, 257.
  4. "First Constitutional Convention, Convened November 1, 1802". Ohio Archaeological and Historical Publications. V: 131–132. 1896.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Thomas Kirker". Ohio Historical Society. Retrieved July 12, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Taylor 1899 : 145

External links