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Robert J. Reynolds

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Robert J. Reynolds
47th Governor of Delaware
In office
January 20, 1891 – January 15, 1895
Preceded byBenjamin T. Biggs
Succeeded byJoshua H. Marvil
Member of the Delaware House of Representatives
In office
January 6, 1869 – January 6, 1871
Personal details
Born(1838-03-17)March 17, 1838
Smyrna, Delaware, U.S.
DiedJune 10, 1909(1909-06-10) (aged 71)
Kent County, Delaware, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Louvenia Riggs
Hester Thomas
Residence(s)Kent County, Delaware

Robert John Reynolds (March 17, 1838 – June 10, 1909) was an American politician from Petersburg in South Murderkill Hundred, Kent County, Delaware. He was a member of the Democratic Party, who served in the Delaware General Assembly, and as Governor of Delaware.

Early life and family[edit]

Reynolds was born in Smyrna, Delaware, son of Robert Wright and Sallie Gilder Marvel Reynolds. He married Louvenia Riggs and had one child, Byron, and later married Hester Thomas, with whom he had no children. They lived at "Golden Ridge", near Petersburg in South Murderkill Hundred, Kent County, Delaware and were members of the Methodist Church.

Professional and political career[edit]

Reynolds was elected to the State House in 1868 and served the 1869/70 session. From 1879 until 1883 he was state treasurer, and in 1890 was elected the Governor of Delaware, defeating Harry A. Richardson, the Republican candidate. He served from January 20, 1891, until January 15, 1895.

During these years free textbooks were first provided to public school students, and Delaware State College was established in Dover.

Death and legacy[edit]

Reynolds died at his home near Petersburg at South Murderkill Hundred, Kent County, Delaware, and is buried at the Loudon Park Cemetery, in Baltimore, Maryland.


Elections are held the first Tuesday after November 1. Members of the Delaware General Assembly took office the first Tuesday of January. State representatives have a two-year term. The governor takes office the third Tuesday of January and has a four-year term.

Delaware General Assembly
(sessions while Governor)
Year Assembly Senate Majority Speaker House Majority Speaker
1891–1892 86th Democratic John P. Donohoe Democratic William L. Sirman
1893–1894 87th Democratic Charles B. Houston Democratic J. Harvey Whiteman
Public Offices
Office Type Location Began office Ended office notes
State Representative Legislature Dover January 6, 1869 January 6, 1871
State Treasurer Executive Dover 1879 1883
Governor Executive Dover January 20, 1891 January 15, 1895
Delaware General Assembly service
Dates Assembly Chamber Majority Governor Committees District
1869–1870 75th State House Democratic Gove Saulsbury Kent at-large
Election results
Year Office Subject Party Votes % Opponent Party Votes %
1890 Governor Robert J. Reynolds Democratic 17,801 51% Harry A. Richardson Republican 17,258 49%


  • Conrad, Henry C. (1908). History of the State of Delaware. Lancaster, Pennsylvania: Wickersham Company.
  • Hoffecker, Carol E. (2004). Democracy in Delaware. Wilmington, Delaware: Cedar Tree Books. ISBN 1-892142-23-6.
  • Martin, Roger A. (1984). A History of Delaware Through its Governors. Wilmington, Delaware: McClafferty Press.
  • Martin, Roger A. (1995). Memoirs of the Senate. Newark, Delaware: Roger A. Martin.


External links[edit]

Places with more information[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by Democratic nominee for Governor of Delaware
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Governor of Delaware
Succeeded by