Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Governors: Henry Hooper Blood


Henry Hooper Blood was born in Kaysville, Utah in 1872. He worked at a variety of occupations including manager of Kaysville Milling Company. Blood’s public service career began when he was elected as city recorder of Kaysville in 1893. In 1922, Blood was appointed to the State Highway Commission and in 1925 was selected chairman. This position gave Blood administrative experience and introduced him to local officials all over the state, which helped him in his bid for governor in 1932.

Blood served two terms as governor during the Great Depression. Utah’s unemployment rate was 36 percent—the fourth highest in the nation—and in 1934 the state experienced the worst drought in Utah’s history. Blood’s approach to the state’s problems was to drastically cut state expenditures, implement a pay-as-you-go policy, and obtain federal relief dollars through New Deal programs. He was particularly successful in securing funds for Civil Conservation Corps and Works Progress Administration projects, which included murals in the Capitol rotunda. He also worked hard for the construction of dams throughout the state, which provided both jobs and improved area water capacity. Despite his personal opposition to alcohol, Blood supported the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, making Utah the final state necessary for ratifying the 21st Amendment. He was the first governor to live in the Thomas Kearns mansion, which today still serves as the governor’s residence.

Gordon Nicholson Cope (1906–1999) spent much of his career in Utah, training with A.B. Wright and LeConte Stewart before going to Europe to study. He was the head of the art department at LDS University and a teacher for the Work Progress Administration. A gifted painter of both portraits and landscapes, Cope also worked on completing the murals in the Capitol’s rotunda.

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