About La Fayette Grover, Governor, US Senator
La Fayette Grover (November 29, 1823 – May 10, 1911) was a Democratic politician and lawyer from the US state of Oregon. He was the fourth Governor of Oregon, serving from 1870 to 1877. A native of Maine, he previously was a member of the Oregon Territorial Legislature, represented Oregon in the United States House of Representatives, and was a member of the Oregon Constitutional Convention in 1857. Grover later served one term in the United States Senate.
Early life and career
Grover was born in Bethel, Maine. He 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 set up practice in Salem.
The Oregon Territorial legislature elected him prosecuting attorney for Oregon 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 out of the Rogue River Indian War. He then was appointed by the Secretary of War in 1856 to a board of commissioners to audit the Indian war expenses of Oregon and Washington.
Career after statehood
In 1857 he was a delegate to the Oregon Constitutional Convention, representing Marion County. Then, 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, instead resuming his law practice and the manufacture of woolens.
Grover was elected Governor of Oregon in 1871 and served until 1877 when he resigned, having been elected to the United States Senate. Grover served 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, instead resuming his law practice, and retiring from public life. Grover died in Portland, Oregon, on May 10, 1911 and was interred in River View Cemetery.
Electoral college dispute
During the 1876 Presidential Election, Oregon's statewide result clearly had 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 then 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.