1824: Cyrus Luce Born, Future Governor of Michigan

July 2, 2018 all-day

I cyrus luce portrait

Governor Cyrus Luce was born July 2, 1824.

Born in Ohio in 1824, he moved with his parents to Indiana and later on his own to Branch County about 1849.  He purchased and cleared about 80 acres for a farm and developed a lifetime relationship with the Grange, an organization that advocated for the interests of farmer 

He soon became involved in township, local and state politics, serving on the Board of Agriculture, in the legislature, and as a member of the 1867 constitutional convention.

Running as a Republican party candidate, Luce was elected Governor of Michigan in November 1886, defeating George L. Yaple, taking office on January 1, 1887. He was reelected in 1888 and served two two-year terms. During his tenure, a local liquor option law was sanctioned and a state game warden was established, reportedly the first salaried state game wardenship in the United States. To fill this position Luce appointed William Alden Smith, who would later represent Michigan in the U.S. Senate.

Luce County, in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is named for Luce. He was the last governor of the state to have a county named in his honor. His administration was marked by rapid population growth and development in northern Michigan, led by the lumber industry. A state landmark, the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, was built in 1887 during his administration.

Luce’s portrait is the only piece in the Michigan Capitol Collection of rendered in charcoal.

Cyrus Luce Portrait

Source: Cyrus G. Luce wikipedia entry