Governor Alexander Dockery is Born: February 11, 1845

Governor Alexander Dockery

Alexander Dockery was born on this date in Daviess County, Missouri, 1845. Dockery was born in Gallatin and attended what is now the Washington University School of Medicine. He graduated in 1865 and began working as a physician in Linneus. Eventually Dockery moved to Chillicothe where he met his wife, Mary Elizabeth Bird. He then served as the county physician for Livingston County and then undertook an early foray in politics as president of the Chillicothe board of education.

Dockery eventually began a career as a banker while also serving as a curator for the University of Missouri. With his credentials established Dockery became mayor of Gallatin after relocating there, before launching a campaign for the House of Representatives. He would serve the state of Missouri in that capacity for 16 years.

Continuing his rise in politics, Dockery became the 35th Governor of Missouri in 1901. During his gubernatorial tenure, he championed progressive policies, advocating for public education, railroad regulation, and fiscal responsibility. His administration marked a transformative period in Missouri’s history, as he navigated the state through economic challenges while fostering advancements in infrastructure.

Beyond the realm of state politics, Dockery’s influence resonated at the national level. He served as the Assistant Secretary of the Interior under President Grover Cleveland, contributing to the formulation of policies that shaped the nation’s approach to public lands and natural resources.

Later in his career Alexander Dockery would serve as assistant postmaster general under Woodrow Wilson, and in retirement he helped establish the Gallatin High School library in addition to donating land to the community for a public park. For many years the community celebrated a holiday to honor Dockery, upon which all the town’s schoolchildren were granted free admission to the theater. Dockery died on February 26 1921.