Born in Bountiful, Utah, CHARLES RENDELL MABEY graduated from the University of Utah in 1896 with a teaching certificate. During the next decade, he was a teacher and school administrator but also served a tour of duty in the Philippines during the Spanish-American War and spent three years as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Germany (1900-1903). His public service included Justice of the Peace, City Councilman, and Mayor of Bountiful, and he was elected to two terms in the Utah House of Representatives. He was commissioned a Captain in the Artillery during World War I, completing active duty in December, 1918. Elected governor two years later, he was a strong advocate of public education, and a large number of new schools were built during his gubernatorial administration. He also promoted new highway construction in Utah, utilizing federal grants and a gasoline sales tax. And it was at his recommendation that the state legislature approved Utah’s participation in the Colorado River Compact. However, depressed economic conditions, combined with Mabey’s record of spending for education and highways and his independent style in the face of Republican Party pressure, led to his defeat for reelection in 1924. After leaving office, he remained active in business, civic, and church affairs, holding state and national positions in the American Legion and serving on the general board of the Young Mens Mutual Improvement Association (YMMIA) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 4. Westport, CT: Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.
Charles R. Mabey Papers, 1899-1959 (Mss B75), Utah State Historical Society
Charles Mabey, Fifth Utah Governor, Dies,” Deseret News, April 27, 1959, pages A1 and A9; “Charles Mabey, 81, Ex-Governor, Dies,” Salt Lake Tribune, April 27, 1959, pages A1-A2.