Sid McMath

From FranaWiki
Bust of Sid McMath at Arkansas State Capitol. Photo by Phil Frana.

Sidney Sanders McMath served as Democratic governor of the State of Arkansas from 1949 to 1953.

McMath was a member of the U.S. Marines during World War II. He was a veteran of Guadalcanal, and the Solomons and Bougainville campaigns. Upon his return from war McMath opened a law office in Hot Springs, Arkansas. He served two years, from 1946 to 1948, as chief prosecuting attorney in Garland and Montgomery counties before launching a successful campaign for the Governor's Office on a platform of better highways and educational institutions. Under his stewardship Arkansas added 2,300 miles of paved highway using funds made available by a $28 million general obligation bond issue passed by the state's voters in 1949.

McMath campaigned unsuccessfully for a third term as governor after allegations of improprieties in the awarding of state construction contracts in return for party kickbacks.

McMath was born in rural Columbia County, and was a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.


  • James E. Lester, A Man for Arkansas: Sid McMath and the Southern Reform Tradition (Little Rock: Rose Publishing, 1976).
  • James E. Lester, "Sidney Sanders McMath," in The Governors of Arkansas, eds. Timothy P. Donovon and Willard B. Gatewood, Jr., 202-207 (Fayetteville: The University of Arkansas Press, 1981).

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