Ephraim F. Morgan

Ephraim F. Morgan Brief Biography

Ephraim Franklin Morgan (January 16, 1869January 15, 1950) was born on a farm near Forksburg, Marion County, West Virginia, a descendent of the first white settler of western Virginia, Morgan Morgan, and his son David Morgan. He studied at Fairmont State Normal School and graduated from the West Virginia University law school in 1897. After establishing a law practice in Fairmont, Morgan enlisted in the First West Virginia Infantry during the Spanish-American War. Following the war, he became the Fairmont city attorney. He served as a judge of the Marion County Intermediate Court from 1907 to 1912 and as a member of the West Virginia Public Service Commission from 1915 to 1920. In 1902, he married Alma Bennett.

At the time Morgan became governor, a virtual state of war existed between union coal miners and coal operators. The United Mine Workers union was protesting for the right to organize miners in the southwestern part of the state. In late summer 1921, the governor called upon President Warren G. Harding to dispatch federal troops to end an armed miners' march in Boone and Logan counties. After the conflict ended, Morgan used National Guard troops to discourage miners from again taking up arms. A more detailed discussion of the 1921 armed miners' march and the Battle of Blair Mountain can be found in Clayton D. Laurie's "The United States Army and the Return to Normalcy in Labor Dispute Interventions: The Case of the West Virginia Coal Mine Wars, 1920-1921" in West Virginia History, Volume 50 (1991).

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