JAMES G. SCRUGHAM, the fourteenth governor of Nevada, was born in Lexington, Kentucky on January 19, 1880. His education was attained at the University of Kentucky, where he earned a master’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1906. He then established a successful career in engineering, which eventually brought him to Nevada in 1903. He taught mechanical engineering at the University of Nevada from 1903 to 1914, and served as the school’s dean from 1914 to 1917. He also served during World War I as a major, and later attained the rank of lieutenant colonel. Scrugham first entered politics in 1917, serving as state engineer of Nevada, a position he held six years. He also served as a public service commissioner from 1919 to 1923. Scrugham next secured the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote in November 1922. During his tenure, an old age pension bill was sanctioned; a state park system was advanced; and the first airport in Las Vegas was opened. After running unsuccessfully for reelection, Scrugham secured an appointment as special adviser to the Secretary of the Interior, a post he held in 1927. He also served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1933 to 1942, and was a member of the U.S. Senate from 1942 to 1945. Governor James G. Scrugham passed away on June 2, 1945, and was buried in the Mountain View Cemetery in Reno, Nevada.
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.