EZEKIEL A. STRAW, the forty-second governor of New Hampshire, was born in Salisbury, New Hampshire on December 30, 1819. After his family moved to Massachusetts, young Ezekiel was educated in the common schools in Lowell. He later attended the Phillips Andover Academy. Straw established a successful career with the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company, where he started out as an engineer, and later became the company’s president in 1871. He first entered politics as a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, a position he held from 1859 to 1864. He served as a member of the New Hampshire State Senate from 1864 to 1866, and was senate president from 1865 to 1866. He also served as a staff member in the governor’s office in 1869; and was a member of the executive board of the planning commission for the 1870 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. Straw next secured the Republican gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote in 1872. He won reelection to a second term in 1873. During his tenure, the initiation of a manual and industrial training system for public schools was promoted; the war deficit was reduced; and a local liquor option bill was lobbied for. After completing his term, Straw returned to his various business interests. He returned briefly to politics in 1876, serving as a delegate to the Republican National Convention. Governor Ezekiel A. Straw passed away in Manchester on October 23, 1882.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 3, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.