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Dunning, Paris Chipman

15 Mar. 1806–10 May 1884

A portrait of Indiana Governor Paris Chipman Dunning by James Forbes. Image from the Indiana Historical Bureau.Paris Chipman Dunning, physician, lawyer, and governor of Indiana, was born in Greensboro, the son of James and Rachel North Dunning. He had two brothers, John and Thomas. After attending the Greensboro Academy he studied medicine at Transylvania University, Lexington, Ky., for a year and then studied law. He was admitted to the bar in 1833 and in the same year was elected to the house of representatives in the General Assembly of Indiana, where he had moved about 1823 following the death of his father. After serving three successive terms he was elected to the state senate for three more successive terms. He was president pro tem of the senate in 1863 and 1865. Elected lieutenant governor, he served in that office until Governor James Whitcourt resigned upon being elected to the U.S. Senate in 1848. Dunning served as governor from 27 Dec. 1848 to 5 Dec. 1849.

In addition to holding elective office, Dunning was a physician and a lawyer. From 1838 to 1841 he served on the board of trustees of Indiana State College. He was a Democrat and a delegate to the national convention of his party in 1860. In 1826 he married Sarah Alexander; they were the parents of five children: Martha, Mary, Rachel, Paris, and James. His wife died in 1863 and in 1865 he married Mrs. Ellen Lane Ashford by whom he had a son, Smith Lane. After completing the term as governor, Dunning returned to his home in Bloomington and it was there that he died. He was buried in Rose Hill Cemetery.


Biographical Directory of the Indiana General Assembly (1980).

Robert Sobel and John Raimo, Biographical Directory of Governors of the United States, vol. 1 (1978).

Additional Resources:

"Indiana Governor Paris Chipman Dunning (1806 - 1884)." Indiana Historical Bureau. (accessed October 7, 2013).

"Paris C. Dunning (1806 -- 1884)." Monroe County Public Library. Bloomington, Indiana. (accessed October 7, 2013).


Image Credits:

Forbes, James. "Paris Chipman Dunning." Painting. Indiana Historical Bureau. (accessed October 7, 2013).

Origin - location: