BENJAMIN BAKER MOEUR was born in Decherd, Tennessee, on December 22, 1869. In 1896, he graduated from Arkansas Industrial University, earning a medical degree. Moeur moved to Tempe, Arizona that same year, established a medical practice, and became involved in several business ventures. He entered politics in 1910 as a member of the Arizona Constitutional Convention. Moeur served on the Tempe School Board for 8 years and 12 years on the Tempe Normal School Board (now Arizona State University). On November 8, 1932, he was elected Governor of Arizona, and on January 2, 1933, was sworn into office. Moeur was reelected to a second term as governor on November 6, 1934. His terms in office were at the height of the Great Depression, and Moeur took several steps to ease the economic situation. He initiated sales, luxury, and income taxes, reduced property taxes by 40 percent, and submitted a budget to the legislature with a $4.5-million cut in expenditures. Also during his administrations, work began on the Yuma-Gila Reclamation Project, the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified by Arizona, and the spillway of the Boulder Dam was officially opened to provide irrigation water to land within the state. Moeur ran unsuccessfully in 1936 in his third bid for governor. He left office on January 4, 1937, and died on March 16, 1937, just two months after leaving office. Dr. Benjamin B. Moeur is buried at the Butte Cemetery, Tempe, Arizona.

Sources:

Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

Tempe Historical Museum

Political Graveyard