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David Rowland Francis

David Rowland Francis
1850–1927
Political Dignitary

As a young man, he came to St. Louis from Kentucky and was one of the early graduates of Washington University. He was elected Mayor in 1885, Governor of the State in 1889 and appointed Secretary of the Interior by President Cleveland in 1896. As President of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, he saw the St. Louis World’s Fair through its triumphal year.

In 1916, President Wilson appointed him Ambassador to Imperial Russia where he served until the Bolshevik Revolution forced out all diplomats. He never fully recovered from the exposure he suffered during his escape from Russia back to the United States.