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Accession Number 1900.001
Catalog Number 1900.001.004
Object Name Painting
Other Name Portrait
Title Thomas Kirker
Description Bust portrait of Ohio's second governor, Thomas Kirker (1807- 1808). He is seen wearing a high-collared white shirt, a dark jacket and a black tie across his neck. He has short brown hair.
Date 1875
Artist Uhl, Silas Jerome, 1841-1916
Notes Thomas Kirker (1760-1837) was born in County Tyrone, Ireland. In 1802 he represented Adams County, Ohio, at the Ohio Constitutional Convention. He served in the first Ohio House of Representatives in 1803 and then in the Ohio Senate from 1803 to 1815 where he was twice Speaker of the Senate in 1810-1813 and 1814-1815. He became Ohio's second governor when Edward Tiffin resigned to become a U.S. senator. Kirker's term extended through the 1807-1808 meeting of the Ohio General Assembly when Return J. Meigs won the election, but was disqualified because he had not met the residency requirements.

Kirker ran for re-election in 1808 but lost to Samuel Huntington. Kirker returned to the General Assembly, serving in the Ohio House from 1816-1817 and the Ohio Senate 1821-1825. Kirker died on his farm in Adams County, Ohio on February 19th,1837.
People Kirker, Thomas, 1760-1837
Martin, Silas, 1841-1906
Smith, William H., 1833-1896
Uhl, S. Jerome, 1841-1916
Signed Name S. Jerome Uhl 10-12-13-09
Sig Loc Upper Left
Image size 24" x 20"
Frame size 27.5" x 24"
Frame desc Twentieth century gilt molded frame
Provenance In 1867, the Ohio General Assembly passed a joint resolution relative to the governors of Ohio. The legislators resolved that "the secretary of state, on the first Monday of January next, whether the portraits of the governors of Ohio, state and territorial, can be procured, and if so, whether original portraits or copies, and the probable expense of procuring such portraits for the governor's office."

William Henry Smith, Ohio's sixteenth secretary of state, was tasked with contacting the descendants of all governors to date. He corresponded with families and sometimes traveled the country to meet them.

In 1875, there are several magazine and newspaper reports describing the new portrait of Governor Kirker by Columbus, Ohio, artist Silas Martin. The Ohio Auditor's report for 1875 shows a payment of $65 on March 19 to Silas Martin for a portrait of Kirker.

In 1897 a Columbus newspaper comments on the poor condition of Kirker's portrait, which hangs in the rotunda.

The current portrait is signed by S. Jerome Uhl and was possibly commissioned to replace Kirker's old portrait.

The Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board took over the care of the Statehouse and its collections in 1988.
Search Terms Ohio Governor
Ohio Governor's Portraits
Subjects Governors
Portrait paintings
Collection Statehouse Artwork Collection/Governors' Portraits