Eli Houston Murray

Eli Houston Murray, twelfth Governor of the Territory of Utah

A native of Cloverport, Kentucky, born in 1843, Murray attained the rank of brigadier general during the Civil War and also completed a law degree at the University of Louisville. He married Evelyn Neal and was a U.S. marshal and newspaper editor before Rutherford B. Hayes named him governor in 1880. Murray certified the election of Allen G. Campbell (who never served) as delegate to Congress, although George Q. Cannon, an LDS church leader and a polygamist, received more than ten times as many votes. Murray’s attacks on the Mormons influenced national policy. Following the Cannon incident, twenty-three bills dealing with polygamy were introduced in Congress. Chester A. Arthur reappointed Murray, but Grover Cleveland dismissed him in 1886. Murray worked as a journalist in San Diego before returning to Kentucky. He died in Bowling Green in 1896. The city of Murray in Salt Lake County is named for him.