La Fayette Grover

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La Fayette Grover
La Fayette Grover - Brady-Handy.jpg
4th Governor of Oregon
In office
September 14, 1870 – February 1, 1877
Preceded by George L. Woods
Succeeded by Stephen F. Chadwick
United States Senator
from Oregon
In office
March 4, 1877 – March 3, 1883
Preceded by James K. Kelly
Succeeded by Joseph N. Dolph
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Oregon's At-large district
In office
February 14, 1859 – March 3, 1859
Preceded by None (Position created)
Succeeded by Lansing Stout
Personal details
Born (1823-11-29)November 29, 1823
Bethel, Maine
Died May 10, 1911(1911-05-10) (aged 87)
Portland, Oregon
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Elizabeth Carter
Profession Lawyer

La Fayette Grover (November 29, 1823 – May 10, 1911) was a Democratic politician and lawyer from the U.S. state of Oregon. He was the fourth Governor of Oregon, represented Oregon in the United States House of Representatives, and served one term in the United States Senate.


Grover was born in Bethel, Maine, and was educated at Bethel's Gould Academy and Brunswick's Bowdoin College. He studied law and earned entry into the bar association in Philadelphia in 1850. He moved to Oregon in 1851 and began his law practice in Salem.


The Oregon Territorial legislature elected him prosecuting attorney for Oregon's second judicial district and auditor of public accounts for the Oregon Territory. From 1853 to 1855, he was a member of the Territorial House of Representatives. In 1854, he was appointed by the United States Department of the Interior to audit the claims from the Rogue River Indian War. He was appointed by the Secretary of War in 1856 to a board of commissioners to audit the Indian war expenses of Oregon and Washington.

After statehood

In 1857, he was a delegate to the Oregon Constitutional Convention, representing Marion County.[1] When Oregon gained statehood, he was elected to the 35th United States Congress as Oregon's member of the House of Representatives, serving from February 15, 1859, to March 4, 1859. He did not run for reelection in 1858, and resumed his law practice and the manufacture of woolens.

Grover was elected Governor of Oregon in 1870 and was reelected in 1874.[2] He served as governor until 1877, when he resigned to serve in the United States Senate.[3] Grover served in the Senate from March 4, 1877, to March 4, 1883, serving in the 46th United States Congress as the chairman of the Senate Committee on Manufactures. He did not run for reelection in 1883.

Electoral college dispute

During the 1876 Presidential Election, Oregon's statewide result clearly favored Rutherford Hayes, but then-governor Grover claimed that elector John Watts was constitutionally ineligible to vote since he was an “elected or appointed official”. Grover substituted a Democratic elector in his place. The two Republican electors dismissed Grover's action and each reported three votes for Hayes, while the Democratic elector, C. A. Cronin, reported one vote for Samuel Tilden and two votes for Hayes. The vote was critical because the electoral college without John Watts's vote was tied 184–184. A 15-member Electoral Commission ultimately awarded all three of Oregon's votes to Hayes.


Grover resumed his law practice, retiring from public life. Grover died in Portland, Oregon, on May 10, 1911, and was interred in River View Cemetery.[4]

Selected works


  1. "Biographical Sketch of La Fayette Grover". Crafting the Oregon Constitution. Oregon State Archives. Retrieved 2014-06-23.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Oregon Governor Lafayette Grover". National Governors Association. Retrieved August 24, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Grover, La Fayette, (1823 - 1911)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved August 25, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "La Fayette Grover". Find A Grave. Retrieved 26 August 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Position created
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Oregon's at-large congressional district

February 14, 1859 – March 3, 1859
Succeeded by
Lansing Stout
Political offices
Preceded by
George L. Woods
Governor of Oregon
Succeeded by
Stephen F. Chadwick
United States Senate
Preceded by
James K. Kelly
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Oregon
Served alongside: John H. Mitchell, James H. Slater
Succeeded by
Joseph N. Dolph