John M. Thayer was born in Bellingham, Norfolk County, Massachusetts on January 24, 1820. Mr. Thayer attended rural schools and later studied law at Brown University. Arriving in Nebraska in 1854, he quickly affiliated himself with the Republican Party and thereafter actively participated in politics. Thayer served as delegate to the Convention which organized the Republican Party in the Nebraska Territory and was elected to the Nebraska Territorial Legislature in 1860-61. Then the future governor resigned to become a colonel in the First Nebraska Infantry and was promoted to brigadier-general in 1862. After the Civil War he was elected as one of the first two United States senators from Nebraska and served in the Senate until 1871. President Grant appointed Thayer Governor of the Wyoming Territory in February 1875 and he took the oath of office March 1, 1875. His service ended on May 29, 1878 and he returned to Nebraska to resumed his law practice. Thayer also served two consecutive terms as Governor of Nebraska, January 6, 1887 to January 8, 1891 and in 1892 retired from public life to follow literary pursuits. John M. Thayer died March 19, 1906.
Term as Governor: Monday, March 01, 1875 - Wednesday, May 29, 1878