Granville Henderson Oury

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Granville Henderson Oury
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arizona Territory's At-large district
In office
March 4, 1881 – March 3, 1885
Preceded by John G. Campbell
Succeeded by Curtis C. Bean
Personal details
Born (1825-03-12)March 12, 1825
Abingdon, Virginia, U.S.
Died January 11, 1891(1891-01-11) (aged 65)
Tucson, Arizona Territory, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Profession Politician, Lawyer, Judge, Miner
Military service
Allegiance  Confederate States of America
Service/branch  Confederate States Army
Rank Confederate States of America Captain.png Captain

American Civil War:

Granville Henderson Oury (March 12, 1825 – January 11, 1891) was a nineteenth-century American politician, lawyer, judge, soldier and miner.

Early life and career[edit]

Born in Abingdon, Virginia, Oury and his family moved to Bowling Green, Missouri in 1836 where he pursued in academic studies, studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1848. That year, he moved to San Antonio, Texas and in 1849 to Marysville, California where he engaged in mining. He then moved to Tucson in 1856 and began a law practice and was appointed a district judge for New Mexico Territory in Mesilla. Oury was involved in the infamous Crabb Massacre of April 1857, during which no more than 100 Americans were killed after an eight-day battle with Mexican forces at Caborca, Sonora. The Americans were under the command of General Henry A. Crabb, a former California senator, who was allegedly trying to take over Sonora like the filibuster William Walker. Oury was one of the men General Crabb had recruited in Tucson, and he was given the rank of captain and ordered to follow the general into Mexico after recruiting more men. However, when news reached Tucson that a superior force of Mexicans was besieging Crabb's expedition, Major R. N. Wood and Captain Oury were sent across the international border to help their compatriots. Just after crossing the border, the rescue party encountered about 200 Mexicans. A skirmish ensued which forced the Americans back across the border into Arizona. There were no casualties on the Americans' side. Of the Crabb party, all were killed except a fourteen-year-old boy and possibly one other man depending on varying sources.[1][2][3]

Civil War[edit]

At the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, Oury was elected to the Provisional Confederate Congress representing the Arizona Territory. Around this time, hostile Apaches attacked the town of Tubac, located south of Tucson. Over the course of a few days the Apaches besieged to old Presidio until the settlers were rescued by Oury and a small band of Confederate militia from Tucson. Tubac was destroyed and abandoned but the settlers were saved due to Oury and his men. Oury later resigned his seat in the Confederate Congress to serve as a captain in Herbert’s Battalion of Arizona cavalry in the Confederate Army. He also served as a colonel on the staff of General Henry Hopkins Sibley in Texas and Louisiana from 1862 to 1864. He took the oath of allegiance at Fort Mason in Arizona on October 8, 1865.

Political career[edit]

After the end of the war, Oury returned to his law practice in Tucson, Arizona. He was elected to the 3rd Arizona Territorial Legislature in 1866, serving as Speaker of the House that year, and was appointed Arizona Territory Attorney General in 1869. He moved to Phoenix, Arizona in 1871 and was appointed district attorney for Maricopa County, Arizona serving from 1871 to 1873. That year his brother, William S. Oury, was involved in the Camp Grant Massacre in which over 140 Apache men, women and children were killed.[4][5] Granville was elected in 1873 and 1875 to the 7th and 8th Arizona Territorial Legislature, serving as Speaker during the 1873 session.

Oury unsuccessfully ran as a Democrat for the United States House of Representatives in 1878 and was appointed district attorney for Pinal County, Arizona in 1879. He was elected a Democrat to the United States House of Representatives in 1880, reelected in 1882, serving from 1881 to 1885, not running for reelection in 1884. He was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1884, returned to Florence, Arizona in 1885 and resumed practicing law. He once again served as district attorney for Pinal County, Arizona in 1889 and 1890. He died of throat cancer in Tucson, Arizona on January 11, 1891 and was interred in Masonic Cemetery in Florence, Arizona.

Note: According to Arizona Daily Star historical writer David Leighton, Oury Street, just north of downtown, in Tucson, AZ, is named in honor of brothers Granville and William Oury.


  • United States Department of State (1857–1861). Execution of Colonel Crabb and associates: Message from the President of the United States communicating official information and correspondence in relation to the execution of Colonel Crabb and his associates. James B. Steedman. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Confederate States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Representative to the Provisional Confederate Congress from Arizona Territory
Succeeded by
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
John G. Campbell
Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arizona Territory's at-large congressional district

March 4, 1881 – March 3, 1885
Succeeded by
Curtis C. Bean