Moses Alexander (Governor)

Photo of Moses Alexander

Burial Date: 1932
Location: Section BI-5-5

In 1914, Alexander became the first Jewish Governor in the United States. He went on to earn a reputation for wit, eloquence and progressivism. Alexander, who came to Boise a year after statehood to found a men's clothing store, twice was elected Governor (as a Democrat) and twice Mayor of Boise. As Governor, he started the state highway system, workers' compensation and the State Insurance Commission. He led the way for statewide prohibition in 1916. He vowed to save taxpayers money.

After a statehouse visit, he said, "Not until I came to an office marked 'Bee Inspector' did I fully realize how badly the people of this state had been stung." He made good on his pledge, calling for tax cuts, abolition and consolidation of agencies and a cut in the governors salary. His most difficult test came during strikes in the sawmills, woods and mines of Northern Idaho. Sympathetic to labors demands, he resisted calls for martial law. Finally he ordered 1000 troops north. No serious conflicts occurred.

When he died at the age of 78 in 1932, Alexander was warmly eulogized. "Alexander had no superior", said Alfred Budge, Supreme Court Chief Justice. "He was a superb statesman."

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