Governor # 7: Robert Scadden Vessey.

Governor # 7: Robert Scadden Vessey

Field review by the editors.

Pierre, South Dakota

In office 1909-1913

Robert Vessey worked for years as a lumberjack, and then as a shopkeeper, before serving two terms as South Dakota's governor, beginning in 1909. He supported anti-profanity laws, prohibited gambling and drinking on passenger trains, and banned the distribution of free liquor on Election Day. He was the first U.S. governor in America to endorse Mother's Day, which he did via executive proclamation during his first year in office.

Vessey was not known as a great orator, but apparently he was good at one-on-one salesmanship. His statue, by sculptors Lee Leuning and Sherri Treeby, show him wearing his merchant's apron, with a pencil tucked behind his ear, arms outstretched, welcoming a customer. It stands outside the offices of the South Dakota Retailers Association, which was founded by Vessey.

Also see: Trail of Governors

Governor # 7: Robert Scadden Vessey

Address:
320 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD
Directions:
On the northwest corner of E. Capitol Avenue and N. Nicollet Avenue, near the offices of the South Dakota Retailers Association.
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Nearby Offbeat Places

Governor #29: Walter Dale MillerGovernor #29: Walter Dale Miller, Pierre, SD - < 1 mi.
Governor #15: Leslie JensenGovernor #15: Leslie Jensen, Pierre, SD - < 1 mi.
Governor #13: Warren Everett GreenGovernor #13: Warren Everett Green, Pierre, SD - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Governor #22: Archie Gubbrud, Pierre, SD - < 1 mi.

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