Thomas Gordon McLeod

65th Governor of the State of South Carolina 1923 to 1927

Date Born: December 17, 1868

Date Died: December 11, 1932

Place Born: Lynchburg, SC

Place Buried: Bethlehem Methodist Churchyard in Bishopville, SC

Residence: Lee County, SC

Occupation: Lawyer, Teacher


Wofford College: Graduated 1892

South Carolina House of Representatives: 1901-1902

South Carolina Senate: 1902-1906

Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina" 1907-1911

1922 - McLeod was elected governor without opposition, receiving 34,065 votes.

1924 - Governor McLeod was re-elected without opposition, receiving 53,545 votes.

1926 – An amendment to the state constitution extended gubernatorial terms to four years and prohibited governors from being elected to consecutive terms


Thomas Gordon McLeod was born on December 17, 1868 in Lynchburg, SC to William James McLeod, a former captain in the Confederate Army, and Amanda McMillan (Rogers) McLeod. He attended Lynchburg Academy and graduated from Wofford College and the University of Virginia Law School.

After his graduation from Wofford College in 1892, he taught school for two years. He thereafter read law in the office of Purdy & Reynolds in Sumter and was admitted to the South Carolina bar in 1896.

Beginning in 1903, Tom McLeod served as a pillar of the Bishopville/Lee County community for the next twenty years. He affiliated with Robert E. Dennis in 1905 to form the firm of McLeod and Dennis, and conducted a general practice as a member of both the Lee County and the Sumter County Bar Associations.

In 1900, Thomas Gordon McLeod was elected as one of five men to represent Sumter County in the House of Representatives of the:
- 64th General Assembly that met from 1901-1902

In 1902, Thomas Gordon McLeod was elected as the first man to represent the newly-created Lee County in the SC Senate of the:
- 65th General Assembly that met from 1903-1904
- 66th General Assembly that met from 1905-1906

Also in 1902, Thomas Gordon McLeod married Elizabeth Jamie Alford, daughter of William McDonald Alford and Sarah Elizabeth (McLean) Alford of Marion County, and they had four children.

In 1906, he was elected Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina and re-elected again in 1908. He won in a Democratic runoff election against former Governor Coleman Livingston Blease in the 1922 gubernatorial election, becoming the next governor of South Carolina. Re-elected in 1924, McLeod served as Governor of SC until his term expired in 1927.

Thomas Gordon McLeod served as a Trustee of Winthrop College, 1916-27 and Board Chair, 1923-27; Trustee, Columbia College, 1917-19; and Trustee, Textile Industrial Inst. (now Spartanburg Methodist College), 1922-24. He was also a prominent Methodist Churchman.

Tom McLeod was an early proponent of equal rights for women. He was the Architect of Guaranteed State Aid to Public Schools and was the founder of the State System of Highways, the State Highway Trust Fund, and the "Pay-as-You-Go" Road Construction Program.

Upon leaving office he became the president of the Bishopville Telephone Company. He died on December 11, 1932, in Bishopville and is buried in the Bethlehem Methodist Churchyard.


Thomas Gordon McLeod was born in Lynchburg, SC. He graduated from Wofford College in 1892, studied law, and was admitted to the South Carolina bar in 1896, after which he began a private law practice in Bishopville. He served for two years in the SC House of Representatives and for four years in the SC Senate, after which he was Lieutenant Governor from 1907 until 1911. McLeod was elected governor more than a decade later, and although he took office during an agricultural depression, he sought increased support for education and a more equitable general property tax. Tax reform was in fact a special interest of the governor's, but the state legislature failed to pass many of the recommendations for reform that had resulted from a tax convention held in 1925. McLeod was re-elected for a second term, and during his final year in office, the state constitution was amended to permit four-year gubernatorial terms. He was ineligible for re-election, however, and after leaving office he went on to serve as district manager of the Life and Casualty Insurance Company of Nashville, Director of the Bishopville National Bank, and President of the Bishopville Telephone Company.

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