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Erik Visits an American Grave, Part 183

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This is the grave of David Clough.

Born in 1846 in Lyme, New Hampshire, he grew up poor on a farm that relied on a lot of logging. He went into that as a career and moved to Minnesota in 1872, just before that state’s forests would be ravaged to feed the Gilded Age economy. He went into politics soon after, being elected to the Minneapolis city council in 1883. He then moved to the Minnesota state senate before being elected lieutenant governor. When the governor resigned to run for the Senate, Clough became governor of Minnesota in 1895, where he would serve until 1899, winning reelection to a 2-year term in 1897. He was a pretty nondescript Republican Gilded Age governor. He was a pro-business hack who also support constitutional changes to prohibit non-citizens from voting in Minnesota elections. He did sign a bill to raise taxes on some industries, so he had a bit of an independent streak from time to time. But very little he did was not in cahoots with leading Minnesota industrialists, especially his good buddy, the Great Northern Railway head James J. Hill. After Clough left the governor’s office in 1899, Hill convinced him to move to Washington, where he would become an important player in the timber industry, with a particular interest in keeping the woods and mills union-free. He helped build one of the largest mills in the Northwest, on the Everett waterfront. Clough became Everett’s leading industrialists and was the leading figure in orchestrating the Everett Massacre of 1916. Behind the scenes of course, he would never be out on the front lines killing radicals. But he hired his men to do so and the vigilante attacks on IWW members in Everett live in infamy today. He would live there the rest of his life, which ended in 1924.

David Clough is buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Everett, Washington.

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