Frank Merriam

Governor of California
Born Dec 22, 1865

Frank Finley Merriam was an American politician who served as the 28th governor of California from June 2, 1934 until January 2, 1939. Assuming the governorship at the height of the Great Depression following the death of Governor James Rolph, Merriam famously defeated former Socialist Party member and Democratic candidate for Governor Upton Sinclair in the 1934 general elections.… Read More

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1865 Birth Born on December 22, 1865.


1888 22 Years Old After graduating from Lenox College at Hopkinton in 1888, Merriam served as the principal of the Hopkinton schools for two years and superintendent of schools at Postville for one year. … Read More


1896 30 Years Old Merriam was elected to the Iowa House of Representatives as a Republican at the age of 31 in 1896.
1903 37 Years Old Two years later, Merriam was elected as Iowa State Auditor, a post he would hold until 1903.


1910 44 Years Old In 1910 at the age of 44, Merriam moved to California.


1916 50 Years Old Following seven years of living in the state, Merriam was elected to the California State Assembly in 1916, representing the Long Beach area, beginning his rise in California politics.
1922 56 Years Old In 1922, while still serving in the Assembly, Merriam presided over the successful election campaign of former Bull Moose member and Republican candidate for Governor Friend Richardson.
1923 57 Years Old Name recognition from Richardson's successful campaign among fellow Republicans helped Merriam be elected by the Republican majority in the Assembly as its Speaker in 1923.


1926 - 1928 2 More Events
Running against Merriam in the 1934 elections was former Socialist Party member Upton Sinclair, who had surprisingly won the nomination of the Democratic Party for Governor. … Read More
1935 69 Years Old Hearst supporters challenged Merriam's and the Legislature's 1935 reform laws during a special referendum in 1936 with Proposition 2. … Read More
1937 71 Years Old Less than three years later, Governor Merriam was called upon to intervene in another labor dispute, the Stockton Cannery Strike of 1937 in which one person died and 50 injured. … Read More
1938 72 Years Old By the 1938 general elections, Merriam had lost much support from the right due to the 1935 tax reform laws and support for Social Security, while he garnered little support or sympathy from the left due to his troubled relationship with labor unions and the squelching of the Longshore Strike. … Read More
1941 75 Years Old After his defeat, Merriam retired from public life. In 1941 he joined the California Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.
1945 79 Years Old Following the death of former Governor and U.S. Senator Hiram Johnson in 1945, a brief write-in campaign for Merriam appeared, though it only garnered 500 votes.
1955 89 Years Old He died in Long Beach, California on April 25, 1955 at the age of 89.
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