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O the Executive Department of the State is committed the active

administration of public affairs. Called into existence by the

legislative department, it is subject to the limitations fixed by law, and to the interpretations of the law by the judiciary of the state.

Beginning with the appointment of Governor Arthur St. Clair, by the Congress in October, 1787, this department (of that territory which is now the state of Ohio) has been graced and dignified by the services of some of the most honored names in the history of the American Republic.




EORGE K. NASH, the present Governor of Ohio (see Part I,

facing page 7), was born in Medina County, August 14, 1842.

His early life was spent on the farm where his parents settled after emigrating from Massachusetts. His early education was obtained at the district schools of his township, where he prepared for college, entering Oberlin at the age of twenty. During his sophomore year at this institution the great struggle between the North and South had reached a crisis, and like many of the patriotic youth of his time, he felt it his duty to respond to the call to arms. Accordingly he enlistod as a private in the 150th 0. N. G., serving with his characteristic integrity and thoroughness until discharged. Immediately after the close of the war, he began the study of law, and in 1867 was admitted to the Bar.

Since that time his career as a lawyer has been one of steady advancement and increasing renown. In 1870 he was elected Prosecuting Attorney of Franklin County and at the end of the term was chosen to succeed himself. In 1877 he was the Republican candidate for Attorney-General, and though defeated with his party, he made a gallant fight. In 1879 he again ran for the same office and was elected. Two years later he was re-elected, thus holding the important and honorable position of AttorneyGeneral for a period of four years. Further and higher honors awaited him. In 1883 Governor Foster, his warm friend and supporter, appointed him a member of the Supreme Court Commission, which body was created to aid the Supreme Court in completing unfinished work. This commission sat for two years, and when its work was finished, Judge Nash, as he then became known, returned to the practice of the law.

Although taking a great interest in politics and doing much work for his party in various capacities, the duties of his profession consumed by far the greater portion of his time. In the spring of 1899 he became a candidate for nomination for Governor, and at the convention held in Columbus in the following June was successful, being nominated on the second ballot by 461 votes out of a total of 820 cast. The following November, after a spirited and interesting campaign, he was elected Governor by a plurality of 49,000 votes. In 1901 he was renominated by acclamation, and re-elected by a plurality of 67,567.


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The Constitution of Ohio provides that “The supreme executive power of the state shall be vested in the Governor.”

The Governor.

He is elected by the people for a term of two years. He must be an elector and not hold any other office under the authority of the State or the United States. In case of death, removal or other disability, the Lieutenant-Governor shall execute the office of Governor. The Governor must see that the laws are faithfully executed and may request of the executive officials reports of their respective departments.

At every session of the General Assembly he must report the condition of the state by message, recommending therein such legislation as may to him seem proper. He may convene the General Assembly upon extraordinary occasions. He may adjourn it in case of disagreement upon this subject between the two branches thereof.

The Governor is Commander-in-Chief of the army and navy and custodian of the Great Seal of the State.

He may grant reprieves, commutations and pardons.

Such, briefly, are the constitutional provisions relating to the Chief Executive. It will be observed that the customary veto power is withheld.

In addition to the powers conferred and duties imposed upon the Governor by the Constitution, are those which the General Assembly has seen fit to provide by statute, and it is through these that the greater portion of the actual duties of this office arise, as well as most of the appointive power of the Governor. As Commander-in-Chief of the army and navy,

it seems appropriate that he should appoint the Adjutant-General, and the sixteen other members of his military staff.

There are certain state offices not created by the Constitution whose chief incumbents are nominated by the Governor, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate appointed. Such are the Commissioner of Insurance, Commissioner of Railroads and Telegraphs, Commissioner of Labor Statistics, Inspector of Workshops and Factories, Chief Mine Inspector, State Fire Marshal, Chief Examiner of Stationary Engineers, State Pension Claim Agent, and Chief Engineer of Public Works.

Numerous commissions, such as the Canal Commission, Shiloh Battlefield Commission, and Fish and Game Commission, containing from two to seven members each, with terms varying from one to five years,

have been created by law. Here vacancies are constantly occurring, which are filled by the Governor, and frequently he is called upon, when the General Assembly provides for some new commission, to appoint an entire board.

The Governor is ex-officio the President of the State Board of Charities, composed of six members, who are appointed for a term of three years. This Board exercises a general supervision of the public institutions, and is of valuable aid to the Governor in overseeing the numerous large state properties. There are thirteen benevolent, two penal and two corrective institutions in this state. Each of these is managed by a board of trustees,

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