Cyrus G. Luce
|21st Governor of Michigan|
January 1, 1887 – January 1, 1891
|Lieutenant||1. James H. MacDonald
2. William Ball
|Preceded by||Russell Alger|
|Succeeded by||Edwin B. Winans|
|Born||July 2, 1824
|Died||March 18, 1905
|Spouse(s)||1. Julia A. Dickinson
2. Mary Thompson
Early life in Ohio and Indiana
Luce was born in Windsor, Ashtabula County, Ohio. His father, a veteran of the War of 1812 from Tolland, Connecticut, settled in the Connecticut Western Reserve after the war. When he was twelve years old, Cyrus moved west with his family to Steuben County, Indiana. After leaving school at age 17, Luce worked from 1841 until 1848 in a woolen mill, carding wool and dressing the unfinished cloth for sale.
In 1848, he was a Whig Party candidate for the Indiana House of Representatives for the district including Steuben and DeKalb counties. He lost a close election, and in the same year he purchased 80 acres (320,000 m2) of uncultivated land near Gilead, Michigan in Branch County not far from the Indiana state line.
Life and Politics in Michigan
Luce cleared the land for farming and in 1849 married Julia A. Dickinson of Gilead. Over time, he expanded his landholdings with additional purchases. He became an active member of the Grange in 1874, and remained active in the organization for many years afterwards.
In 1852, he was elected to represent Gilead Township on the Branch County Board of Supervisors. In 1854, he was elected as a candidate of the newly formed Republican party to the Michigan State House of Representatives, serving from 1855 to 1856. He was elected Branch County Treasurer in 1858 and again in 1860. In 1864, he was named to fill a seat in the Michigan Senate and was re-elected in 1866. In July, 1879, Luce was appointed State Oil Inspector by Governor Charles Croswell, and re-appointed by Gov. David Jerome in 1881.
His first wife Julia died in August 1882, and Luce married Mary Thompson of Bronson, Michigan in November 1883.
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, the position of state game warden was established and a local liquor option law was sanctioned.
Death and legacy
Luce died at the age of 80 in Coldwater, Michigan, and is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery adjacent to that municipality.
Luce County, in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, is named for him. 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.
- Political Graveyard
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- Memorial Library
- Michigan Historical Marker
- National Governors Association
Russell A. Alger
|Governor of Michigan
Edwin B. Winans