John T. Rich, the twenty-third governor of Michigan, was born in Conneautville, Pennsylvania on April 23, 1841. His education was attained in the public schools of Vermont and Michigan. Rich entered into a career in public service in 1869, serving as a member and chairman of the board of supervisors of Lapeer County, a position he held three years. He also served as a member of the Michigan House of Representatives from 1873 to 1881, serving as speaker the last two terms. He was a delegate to the Republican State Conventions in 1873, 1875 and 1878, was a member of the Michigan State Senate from January 1881 until March 1881, and served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1881 to 1883. Rich won election to the Michigan governorship in 1892, and was reelected to a second term in 1894. During his tenure, a railroad strike, as well as an iron mine strike was dealt with. Also, three members of the State Canvassing Board were ousted from office for falsifying phony returns on a salary raise vote for state officeholders. After completing his term, Rich left office on January 1, 1897. He continued to stay politically active, serving as the U.S. collector of customs from 1898 to 1906. He also served as the state treasurer of Michigan from 1908 to 1909, and was the collector of customs at Port Huron, Michigan from 1908 to 1913. Governor John T. Rich passed away on March 28, 1926, and was buried in the Mount Hope Cemetery in Lapeer, Michigan.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 2, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.