William Rush Merriam Photo

William Rush Merriam

Born: Jul 26, 1849

Death: Feb 18, 1931

Birthplace: United States of America

Nationality: United States

William Rush Merriam

Date of Birth : Jul 26, 1849
Date of Death : Feb 18, 1931
Birth Place : United States of America

William Rush Merriam was an American politician. The son of Minnesota House Speaker John L. Merriam, he served in the Minnesota House of Representatives in 1883 and 1887 and was the Speaker of the House in 1887. He served as the 11th Governor of Minnesota from January 9, 1889 to January 4, 1893. He was a Republican. By 1888 a split in the state Republican Party was reflected in an unorthodox selection of a gubernatorial candidate. Instead of supporting the reform-minded incumbent, Andrew Ryan McGill, a majority of party stalwarts rallied behind William Merriam, an ambitious St. Paul banker and speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives. Merriam's re-election campaign two years later was affected by another, more widespread phenomenon, the Farmers' Alliance. This third party of disaffected Republicans and Democrats was dedicated to promoting the commercial and social interests of agrarian America. Merriam defeated the Alliance candidate in 1890, but the upstart party significantly eroded his plurality. As governor, Merriam was a thrifty executive who was more interested in limiting spending than in legislative reform.

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