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Michigan’s Lone Yooper Governor: Chase Osborn

Time for an Upper Peninsula history lesson…

The State of Michigan has seen 47 governors since 1837 when Michigan was admitted as the 26th state of the union. Of those 47 governors only one has been a Yooper.

Michigan Governor Chase OsbornChase Osborn became the 27th Governor of Michigan in 1911 and to this day remains the only Michigan Governor from the Upper Peninsula.

Governor Osborn was born January 22, 1860 in Huntington County, Indiana. While in his 20s Osborn moved to Sault Ste Marie where he operated The Sault News and in 1889 became the postmaster of Sault Ste Marie.

After losing the nomination for the Republican candidate in 1908, he was later elected Governor in 1911 and served through 1913, and did not run for a second term. In 1928 he was nominated as a candidate for the Vice President of the United States, but was defeated by Charles Curtis for the Republican nomination.

Osborn was a member of several organization that have a strong presence in the Upper Peninsula: Elks, Lions Club, Kiwanis, The National Rifle Association and others. Among various involvements and an author of several books his most notable writing is an autobiography titled The Iron Hunter, published in 1919, which was reprinted in 2002.

Franklin Roosevelt discussed the possibilities of the Mackinac Bridge with Osborn, and although Osborn had a significant role in the Mackinac Bridge, he was never able to see the final product, passing away in 1949, eight years prior to the opening of the bridge.

Although he passed away in Poulan, GA he was buried on Sugar Island, near Sault Ste Marie. Chase Osborn lived to be 89 years old.

How long will it be before we see another Michigan Governor from the Upper Peninsula? Only time will tell!


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