La Fayette Grover

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.

La Fayette Grover
La Fayette Grover - Brady-Handy.jpg
4th Governor of Oregon
In office
September 14, 1870 – February 1, 1877
Preceded byGeorge L. Woods
Succeeded byStephen F. Chadwick
United States Senator
from Oregon
In office
March 4, 1877 – March 3, 1883
Preceded byJames K. Kelly
Succeeded byJoseph 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 byNone (Position created)
Succeeded byLansing Stout
Personal details
Born(1823-11-29)November 29, 1823
Bethel, Maine
DiedMay 10, 1911(1911-05-10) (aged 87)
Portland, Oregon
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Elizabeth Carter


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 a member of a commission sent 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 statehoodEdit

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 3, 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 disputeEdit

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. He died at his home in Portland, Oregon, on May 10, 1911, and was interred in River View Cemetery.[4]

Selected worksEdit

  • Grover, La Fayette (1874). Report of Governor Grover to General Schofield on the Modoc War : and reports of Major General John F. Miller and General John E. Ross, to the Governor : also letter of the governor to the Secretary of the Interior on the Wallowa Valley Indian question. Salem, OR: M.V. Brown, State Printer. Retrieved March 8, 2014.


  1. ^ "Biographical Sketch of La Fayette Grover". Crafting the Oregon Constitution. Oregon State Archives. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
  2. ^ "Oregon Governor Lafayette Grover". National Governors Association. Retrieved August 24, 2012.
  3. ^ "Grover, La Fayette, (1823 - 1911)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved August 25, 2012.
  4. ^ "Man Who Nearly Defeated Hayes". The Spokesman-Review. Portland. May 12, 1911. p. 10. Retrieved March 31, 2022 – via

External linksEdit

Party political offices
Preceded by Democratic nominee for Governor of Oregon
1870, 1874
Succeeded by
U.S. 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
Political offices
Preceded by Governor of Oregon
Succeeded by
U.S. Senate
Preceded by U.S. senator (Class 2) from Oregon
Served alongside: John H. Mitchell, James H. Slater
Succeeded by