Samuel Roy McKelvie

Samuel Roy McKelvie (April 15, 1881 – January 6, 1956) was an American politician from the U.S. state of Nebraska. McKelvie served as the 19th Governor of Nebraska, from 1919 to 1923. He was also the 13th Lieutenant Governor of Nebraska, from 1913 to 1915.

Samuel Roy McKelvie
19th Governor of Nebraska
In office
January 9, 1919 – January 3, 1923
LieutenantPelham A. Barrows
Preceded byKeith Neville
Succeeded byCharles W. Bryan
19th Lieutenant Governor of Nebraska
In office
GovernorJohn H. Morehead
Preceded byMelville R. Hopewell
Succeeded byJames Pearson
Personal details
Born(1881-04-15)April 15, 1881
near Fairfield, Nebraska
DiedJanuary 6, 1956(1956-01-06) (aged 74)
Mesa, Arizona
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Martha Groves De Arnold 1886-1976

McKelvie was born near Fairfield, Nebraska. He attended the University of Nebraska and graduated from Lincoln Business College in 1901. He married Martha (Flossie) DeArnold on June 19, 1904 and the couple had two children.[1] As Martha McKelvie, his spouse was a noted silent movie columnist, and, starting three years after his death, the author of what became a total of twenty-four books, one of them, Presidents, Politicians and People I Have Known, a memoir.[2]


From 1902 to 1905, McKelvie sold advertising for the Twentieth Century Farmer of Omaha, Nebraska. The editor of Nebraska Farmer beginning in 1905, he became principal owner and publisher of that paper by 1908.[3]

McKelvie was the Republican gubernatorial nominee in 1918, and defeated Democratic incumbent Keith Neville. Reelected in 1920, he saw a state park system initiated, construction plans for a new state capitol building approved, the state accounting system restructured, and forty-one new amendments to the state constitution sanctioned during his tenure.[4] On April 15, 1922, a few months before leaving the governorship, McKelvie helped break ground for the current Nebraska State Capitol.

After stepping down from the governorship, McKelvie returned to his publishing position at Nebraska Farmer. He was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1936 and 1944.

Death and legacyEdit

McKelvie died on January 6, 1956 at his winter home near Mesa, Arizona after suffering two heart attacks.[5] He is interred at Wyuka Cemetery in Lincoln, Nebraska.

The Samuel R. McKelvie National Forest is named after him.[6]


  1. ^ "Samuel Roy McKelvie". National Governors Association. Retrieved September 24, 2012.
  2. ^ "Martha Groves McKelvie". Nebraska State Historical Society. Retrieved August 30, 2015.
  3. ^ Samuel Roy McKelvie. Encyclopedia of Nebraska. Retrieved September 24, 2012.
  4. ^ "Samuel Roy McKelvie". National Governors Association. Retrieved September 24, 2012.
  5. ^ "Samuel Roy McKelvie" (PDF). Nebraska History. org. Retrieved September 24, 2012.
  6. ^ "Samuel R. McKelvie National Forest". Cool State Parks. Retrieved September 22, 2012.

External linksEdit

Party political offices
Preceded by
Abraham L. Sutton
Republican nominee for Governor of Nebraska
1918, 1920
Succeeded by
Charles H. Randall
Political offices
Preceded by
Melville R. Hopewell
Lieutenant Governor of Nebraska
Succeeded by
James Pearson
Preceded by
Keith Neville
Governor of Nebraska
Succeeded by
Charles W. Bryan