Secretary of State

Nathaniel Gaither

Term of OfficeOctober 2, 1861 - August 18, 1862
Governor during his term of OfficeGov. Beriah Magoffin
Spouse(s)Susan Shelby Magoffin
ParentsDr. Nathaniel & Martha (Morrison) Gaither
ResidenceKentucky (Adair County; Mercer County)
OccupationAttorney; School Commissioner
Birth Date1/1/1835
Birth PlaceKentucky (Adair County)
Date of Death12/19/1894
Place of Death
Other State Offices HeldKentucky Legislature (1859-1861)
County Offices HeldAdair County School Commissioner; Adair County Attorney
Military ServiceCivil War (6th Ky Cavalry, CSA)
NoteExact date of birth unknown. Gaither was appointed Secretary of State by his father-in-law, Gov. Beriah Magoffin.

Nathaniel Gaither was the son of Dr. Nathaniel (1788-1862) and Martha (Morrison) Gaither (1778-1837) who were married in 1817. He was born in 1835 in Adair County.

Gaither was admitted to practice law in Adair County. He served as a school commissioner and county attorney. He represented Adair County in the Kentucky Legislature in 1859-61. He married Susan Shelby Magoffin, daughter of Governor Beriah Magoffin. She is listed as a communicant in the Columbia Presbyterian Church in 1863.

Gaither was appointed Secretary of State by his father-in-law, Governor Beriah Magoffin, in October 1861 to replace Thomas B. Monroe who had resigned to join the Confederate Army. In 1862, Gaither himself also resigned to join the Confederate Army and served with the Sixth Kentucky Cavalry CSA.

After the war, he settled in Harrodsburg and practiced law there. He is listed as living in Harrodsburg in 1870 and 1880 as a lawyer with no family. He died on December 19, 1894.


Adair County Census, 1860;

Mercer County Census 1870, 1880, and 1900;

Collins, "History of Kentucky, Vol. I," (1874), page 32; ibid Vol. II, page 350;

Harrodsburg Historical Society Files;

Perrin, "History of Kentucky,Vol. IV," (1885), page 862;

Michael C. Watson, "An Adair County History, Vol. I," (2001), pp. 71, 83, 221, 226.