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Clough, David Marston (D.M.), (1846–1924)

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Reference Department, Minnesota Historical Society
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Governor David M. Clough

Governor David M. Clough, 1895.

What David Marston (D.M.) Clough lacked in education and polish he made up for in common sense and drive, serving as Minnesota's thirteenth governor during his rise from lumberman to lumber baron.

D.M. Clough was born on December 27, 1846, in Lyme, New Hampshire. He was the fourth of fourteen children. His parents were Welsh farmers who resettled in 1857 in Spencer Brook, Minnesota, near the Rum River. Clough helped his family earn a living from the land by raising crops and cutting timber. His education was limited because he worked almost year-round from an early age.

Clough started a logging business, Clough Brothers, with his brother, Gilbert, in 1870. He married schoolteacher Adelaide (Addie) Barton in Spencer Brook in 1867, and they moved to Minneapolis in 1872 to expand the logging business. In Minneapolis, Clough built a sawmill for the logs he and his brother were harvesting.

A lifelong Republican, Clough was elected to the Minneapolis City Council in 1883 and then to the state senate in 1886. From the senate, he advanced to the office of lieutenant governor in 1892 under Republican Governor Knute Nelson. When Nelson resigned to run for a seat in the US Senate, Clough became governor of Minnesota. He held that position from January 31, 1895, to January 2, 1899.

During Clough's first administration, voters ratified significant amendments to the state constitution, including those establishing a Board of Pardons, withdrawing the right of aliens to vote, and authorizing municipalities to frame "home rule" charters. During his second term as governor, which he won narrowly in 1896, the legislature raised taxes on several private industries and enacted child labor laws.

Clough decided not to run for reelection in 1898. Instead, he supported successful candidate John Lind against his own party's candidate, William H. Eustis.

In 1900, railroad magnate James J. Hill urged Clough to invest in lumber in Washington state. Clough moved to Everett, Washington, and championed the interests of mill owners there until his death of heart disease on August 27, 1924, at age seventy-seven.

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Governor David M. Clough
Governor David M. Clough
David M. Clough
David M. Clough
Republican State Ticket 1894
Republican State Ticket 1894
D.M. Clough campaign ribbon
D.M. Clough campaign ribbon
David M. Clough
David M. Clough
David M. Clough
David M. Clough

Turning Point

In 1870, Clough starts his own logging business, Clough Brothers, with his brother, Gilbert, and sets himself up for financial and political success.

Chronology

1846
D.M. Clough is born on December 27 in Lyme, New Hampshire.
1857
His family resettles at Spencer Brook, Minnesota, near the Rum River.
1867
He marries schoolteacher Adelaide (Addie) Barton in Spencer Brook.
1870
Clough starts a logging business, Clough Brothers, with his brother, Gilbert.
1872
He moves to Minneapolis with Addie to expand the logging business.
1883
Clough, a Republican, is elected to the Minneapolis City Council.
1886
He is elected to the state senate.
1892
Clough advances to the office of lieutenant governor under Governor Knute Nelson.
1895
He becomes governor on January 31 and holds the office until 1899.
1898
He decides not to run for reelection and instead supports John Lind for governor.
1924
Clough dies in Everett, Washington, on August 27 at age seventy-seven.