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John H. Gear

John Henry Gear (April 7, 1825 - July 14, 1900) was the 11th Governor of Iowa, United States Representative, and Senator.

Born in Ithaca, New York, he attended the common schools and moved to Galena, Illinois in 1836, to Fort Snelling, Iowa, in 1838, and to Burlington in 1843, where he engaged in mercantile pursuits. He was mayor of Burlington in 1863 and a member of the Iowa House of Representatives from 1871 to 1877, serving as speaker for two terms.

Gear was Governor of Iowa from 1878 to 1881. He was elected as a Republican to represent Iowa's 1st congressional district in the U.S. House for the Fiftieth and Fifty-first Congresses, serving from March 4, 1887 to March 3, 1891. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1890, but was appointed by President Benjamin Harrison as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, serving from 1892 to 1893. He returned to the U.S. House for one final term, winning the 1892 1st district election, then serving in the Fifty-third Congress, from March 4, 1893 to March 3, 1895.

In 1894, Gear was elected by the Iowa General Assembly to the United States Senate. He was reelected in 1900. He served from March 4, 1895, until his death on July 14, 1900, before the start of his second term. He had been chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Pacific Railroads in the Fifty-fourth through Fifty-Sixth Congresses.

He died, aged 75, in Washington, D.C., and his interment was in Aspen Grove Cemetery in Burlington.


Political offices
Preceded by
Joshua G. Newbold
Governor of Iowa
1878 –1881
Succeeded by
Buren R. Sherman
United States Senate
Preceded by
James F. Wilson
United States Senator (Class 2) from Iowa
Served alongside: William B. Allison
Succeeded by
Jonathan P. Dolliver


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