Four 19th century Rapides Parish residents served Louisiana as governor.
Joseph Marshall Walker (1784-1856), a Bayou Rapides cotton planter, was governor 1850-53 — the first to be installed in the newly-designated Baton Rouge capital. During his administration improvements were made in water and railway transportation, telegraph lines built, levees and drainage improved and a state banking system established.
Thomas Overton Moore (1804-1877), a Bayou Robert planter, was governor 1860-64, including the two-months period of independence when Louisiana seceded from the Union but had not joined the Confederacy. During his term the capital was twice moved to escape the Federal troops' invasion.
James Madison Wells (1808-1899), a Bayou Boeuf plantation owner, was elected lieutenant governor of federally-occupied Louisiana in 1864 and served as governor from 1865 to 1867. He sought reconciliation between Unionists and Secessionists.
Newton Crain Blanchard (1849-1922), born and reared on Bayou Jean de Jean, was governor 1904-08. His administration was known for progressive reform.