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John Ellis Martineau
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John Ellis Martineau

John Ellis Martineau (2 December 18736 March 1937) was the Democratic Governor of Arkansas from 1927 to 1928.

John Ellis Martineau was born in Clay County, Missouri. He graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1896 and obtained his law degree there in 1899. After graduation he served as a school administrator.

From 1902 to 1905 he served as a member of the Arkansas House of Representatives. He was appointed chancellor of the First Chancery Court in 1907 and served in that capacity until 1927.

Martineau was elected Governor of Arkansas in the 1926 election. The Martineau administration established a Confederate pensions board and authorized state aid to cities for highway construction through the Martineau Road Plan. In 1927, Martineau was forced to deal with a major crisis when the Mississippi River broke free of its banks and covered 13% of the state during the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927. Martineau was named president of the Tri-State Flood Commission. In the May of 1927, Martineau called out the National Guard in response to the lynching of an African-American prisoner by a mob of 2,000 to 5,000 people in Little Rock. The crime gained national notoriety.

Martineau resigned from office on 2 March 1928 to accept an appointment to the Federal District Court of Eastern Arkansas, where he served until his death.

Martineau is buried at the Roselawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Little Rock.

Preceded by :
Tom Jefferson Terral
Governor of Arkansas
Succeeded by:
Harvey Parnell