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  Trimble, Allen
NameAllen Trimble
Hillsboro, Ohio , United States
Born November 24, 1783
DiedFebruary 03, 1870 (86 years)
Last ModifedRBH
Dec 16, 2014 05:03pm
InfoAllen Trimble was born on November 24, 1783, in Augusta County, Virginia. In 1784, Trimble's family moved to Lexington, Kentucky. His father, James Trimble, had received some land near Lexington for his service with the Virginia militia during the American Revolution. Allen Trimble attended school, but he did not pursue his education after turning seventeen years of age, probably due to his poor health. The Trimble family did well in Kentucky. The Trimbles acquired slaves, but over time they became convinced of slavery's unjustness. Circa 1800, James Trimble freed his bondsmen and prepared to move to the Northwest Territory, where slavery was prohibited.

James Trimble died in 1803, leaving Allen as his family's main provider. Allen Trimble acquired property near Hillsboro, Ohio, and moved his family there in 1804. He spent the next several years as a farmer and, in his spare time, as a surveyor. In 1808, he became the Highland County clerk of courts and recorder of deeds. This position proved to be much more lucrative for Trimble than farming had been. It also began his career in politics. During the War of 1812, he served as a colonel in the Ohio militia and led an expedition against Native Americans residing in eastern Indiana. Upon the war's conclusion, Trimble would use his popularity and reputation as a military officer to seek political office.

Highland County voters elected Trimble to the Ohio House of Representatives in 1815. In 1817, the voters of Highland and Fayette Counties elected him to serve in the Ohio Senate. Between 1816 and 1826, Trimble's constituents selected him as their senator on five different occasions. Each time he defeated his opponents by sizable majorities. Trimble's fellow senators elected him Speaker of the Senate seven different times, illustrating his importance to Ohio's early history. He was so popular that in January 1822, he was appointed as acting governor of Ohio. Governor Ethan Allan Brown had stepped down to assume a position in the United States Senate. Trimble served as governor until December 28, 1822, the end of Brown's term.

Trimble sought the governor's seat in the election of 1822, but Jeremiah Morrow defeated him by a vote of 22,899 to 26,056. A third candidate, William W. Irwin, drew votes away from Trimble. In the election of 1824, Morrow once again defeated Trimble but the margin of victory, 39,526 votes for Morrow to 37,108 for Trimble, was much smaller. In this election, the two candidates agreed on the major issues, including support for a public school system and the development of internal improvements. The voters probably chose Morrow due to his previous experience as governor. In the election of 1826, Trimble won the governor's seat easily as Morrow was no longer a candidate. Trimble won reelection in 1828.

Politically, Trimble was a strong opponent of President Andrew Jackson and his policies. Jackson opposed federal government funds going to build internal improvements. Jackson also was a slaveholder. Trimble was one of Ohio's most vocal opponents to Jackson and his political party's, the Democratic Party's, ideas. Trimble was a supporter of the Whig Party. This party originated in the 1830s in direct opposition to Jackson.

Governor Trimble championed the need for public education. As acting governor in 1822, Trimble appointed Caleb Atwater's commission. The committee's report became the basis for Ohio's public school system. The governor also called for the development of colleges in Ohio. Trimble helped improve Ohio's transportation infrastructure with his strong support of canals. While Trimble was governor, the first section of the Ohio and Erie Canal from Cleveland to Akron was completed. Between his terms as governor, Trimble served as one of the original members of the Canal Fund Commission. The commission's purpose was to find money to finance the building of canals. As governor, Trimble personally selected the sites of several canals. Governor Trimble also faced complaints from white Ohioans about the growing number of free African Americans in the state. A supporter of the American Colonization Society's ideas, Trimble hoped to remove freed blacks in Ohio to Africa. Little came from his efforts, and the African-American population continued to grow. Trimble was typical of many white Ohioans during the early 1800s. Many of these people believed that slavery was unjust but that African Americans were inferior to whites.

Following his second full term as governor, Trimble retired from politics. He devoted the remainder of his life to farming. He became a breeder of horses and cattle, hoping to improve the quality of these animals. He also helped organize the Ohio Board of Agriculture and served as its first president from 1846 to 1848. His service with the Board of Agriculture shows that Trimble did not retire completely from public service following his stint as governor. In 1830, Trimble served as the Ohio State Temperance Society's original president. As this organization's leader, he called for laws limiting people's access to liquor. In 1850, Trimble again ran for governor of Ohio as the American Party's candidate. He was defeated. Following this last political defeat, Trimble retired to his home in Hillsboro. He died on February 3, 1870.


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