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John Jay Gosper (1841 – May 15, 1913) was an American politician and businessman who served as Secretary of State of Nebraska and Secretary of Arizona Territory. Much of his service in Arizona was spent as Acting Governor due to Governor John C. Frémont's virtual abandonment of his post.

During the American Civil War, Gosper volunteered for service in the Union Army. He reached the rank of colonel and lost his left leg in battle.[1] [2] Following the war he moved to Nebraska and was elected Secretary of State.[1]

Following his term in Nebraska, Gosper was appointed Secretary of Arizona Territory by President Rutherford B. Hayes.[1] He arrived in Arizona on May 30, 1877.[3] Gosper served as territorial secretary under Governors Hoyt and Frémont. Gosper County, Nebraska is named in his honor.[4]


  • Wagoner, Jay J. (1970). Arizona Territory 1863-1912: A Political history. Tucson: University of Arizona Press. ISBN 0-8165-0176-9. 
Political offices
Preceded by
William H. James
Secretary of State of Nebraska
1873 – 1875
Succeeded by
Preceded by
John Philo Hoyt
Secretary of Arizona Territory
1875 –1882
Succeeded by
H. M. Van Arman

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