J. C. B. Ehringhaus, Governor, 1932-1936

J. C. B. Ehringhaus, GovernorOn July 31, 1949, Depression-era governor John Christoph Blucher Ehringhaus, died.

Born in Elizabeth City in 1882, Ehringhaus represented Pasquotank County in the General Assembly and served as the modern-day equivalent of a district attorney before becoming governor.

Ehringhaus is probably best remembered for balancing the state’s budget during the turbulent times of the Great Depression. He improved the way the state’s public schools were managed, while ensuring no teachers lost their jobs or pay, and made certain that the schools kept functioning eight months a year with busing and textbook rentals.

Ehringhaus cut the state budget and returned the government to fiscal stability, while increasing its power with the introduction of a state sales tax to fund the public school system. He reorganized the prisons to make them self-sufficient and left the state with a $5 million surplus.

An advocate for farmers, Ehringhaus closed the state’s tobacco markerts in 1933 and traveled to Washington, D.C. to demand the federal government set higher prices for the crop. He publicly supported Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal programs, but did little to help implement them.

Ehringhaus’s popularity declined in the mid-1930s, and he returned to his law practice in Raleigh after his term.

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