Home Of Two Governors

Oregon is in the unique position of having been home to two Illinois governors.

During the late 1830’s and early 1840’s, Thomas Ford resided in Oregon and was a circuit judge in Ogle County.  While serving in this position he received notice of his nomination by the Democratic Convention for the office of Governor.  In August of 1842 he was elected, and on the 8th of December was inaugurated as Governor of Illinois.

Ford was born at Uniontown, Pennsylvania in 1800, and died at Peoria, Illinois on November 2, 1850.


Frank Orren Lowden was born on January 26, 1861 in Sunrise Township, Minnesota.  He lived in Iowa from the age of 7 until his graduation from Iowa State University in 1885.  He obtained his law degree in 1887 from Illinois’ Union College in Chicago (now Northwestern University), and practiced law in Chicago for about 20 years.  His wife, Florence, was the daughter of George Pullman.

From 1906 to 1911 he served in the Illinois House of Representatives, and was elected Republican Governor of Illinois in 1916, serving in that position until 1921.

In 1900 Lowden had purchased farmland outside of Oregon, which later became known as Sinnissippi Farms.  He lived there until his death on March 20, 1943.

His legacy in Oregon and the surrounding area include the following, which are named after him:  Camp Lowden Boy Scout Camp, Lowden State Park and Lowden-Miller State Forest.