Whether great or average, state's governors always interesting


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If walls could talk, the ones in Statehouse room 206 could tell quite a tale.

That’s the office of the governor, where the present occupant is packing up in preparation for a new job in West Lafayette.

Voters will soon select a new resident for 206. Whether it is Mike Pence, John Gregg, or Rupert Boneham, one thing is certain. He will be the 50th governor of Indiana.

Those who came before brought a wide variety of personalities to the office.

The first governor, Jonathan Jennings, got Indiana off to a solid start in 1816. Working in the first capitol at Corydon, he fought hard to keep slavery out of the state and pushed for the construction of roads and schools.

One of the most memorable chief executives came along three years after Jennings. James Brown Ray saw the move to the new capital of Indianapolis.

Gov. Ray had a dramatic bent. In 1825, three men were sentenced to hang for the murder of innocent native Americans. One of them was just a boy, and appeals went to the governor for a pardon. A large crowd was on hand in Pendleton where the execution was to take place.

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