BLOOD, HENRY H.
Henry H. Blood
Henry Hooper Blood was a prominent businessman and seventh governor
of the state of Utah. He was born in Kaysville, Utah, to William Hooper
Blood, a farmer and city councilman, and Jane Wilkie Hooper. He attended
local schools and Brigham Young Academy in Provo. He married Minnie Barnes
in 1896 and they had four children. Before serving an LDS mission to England
between 1901 and 1904, he served as Kaysville city recorder, Davis County
treasurer, and minutes clerk of the Utah State Senate.
Blood was president of the LDS North Davis Stake for twenty-two years and
also a member of the Davis County School Board. Manager of Kaysville Milling
Co., he was also a director of several banks and other companies. Governor
Simon Bamberger named him to the first Public Utilities Commission. Later,
as chair of the State Road Commission, he oversaw one of the largest staffs
and budgets in state government. Nominated by the Democrats to run for governor
in 1932, Blood defeated Republican William W. Seegmiller, a former legislator.
When Blood took office in 1933, more than a third of the work force was
unemployed and the percentage of Utahns on relief was among the highest
in the nation, a situation exacerbated in 1934 by the worst drought in the
state's history. The governor pushed for a sales tax - reluctantly set by
the legislature at two percent - to qualify the state for federal funds,
and got lending institutions to agree to a ninety-day moratorium on foreclosures
in order to give families a chance to refinance their homes and farms. He
lobbied intensively in Washington, and Utah ranked near the top in it portion
of per capita federal spending during the Depression. The WPA, CCC, and
other federal programs created jobs and helped build highways, public buildings,
recreational facilities, and irrigation/reclamation works; the programs
also sponsored arts and historical records projects.
A fiscal conservative, Blood vetoed many bills but approved the creation
of a Department of Public Welfare and a system of state-owned liquor stores.
Endorsed by Franklin D. Roosevelt, he won renomination in 1936 despite a
strong challenge from liberal Democrats led by Herbert B. Maw. He defeated
Republican Ray E. Dillman, former state senate president, and Ogden Mayor
Harman W. Peery, an Independent-Progressive.
Blood approved many bills passed by the 1937 legislature but warned about
the future cost of retirement funds, the governor's mansion, vocational
and adult education programs, and a junior college in Price (now the College
of Eastern Utah). He also signed a direct primary election law. By 1939
he was even more cost conscious and vetoed proposals for junior colleges
in Richfield and Roosevelt, as well as low-cost housing and slum clearance,
medical and dental cooperatives, and a miner's hospital addition to the
Ogden sanatorium. He sought amendments to the state constitution to make
the judiciary nonpartisan, promoted tourism, and worked to improve Utah's
terrible highway safety record.
In January 1941 Blood accepted a call to serve as a mission president in
California for the LDS Church. He died in Salt Lake City in 1942 following
a short illness.
Miriam B. Murphy