John Christoph Blucher Ehringhaus

52nd Governor of the State of North Carolina - 1933 to 1937

Date Born: February 5, 1882

Date Died: July 31, 1949

Place Born: Elizabeth City, NC

Place Buried:
Episcopal Cemetery,
Elizabeth City, NC

Residence: Pasquotank County, NC and Raleigh, NC

Occupation: Lawyer

John Christoph Blucher Ehringhaus was born on February 5, 1882 in Elizabeth City, NC, the son of Erskine Ehringhaus and Catherine Colville (Matthews) Ehringhaus. He attended public schools in Elizabeth City and was graduated from the Atlantic Collegiate Institute of that city in 1898. At age sixteen, he enrolled in the University of North Carolina, where he obtained a bachelor's degree with Phi Beta Kappa honors in three years. He remained at the university to study for a law degree, which he received in 1903. Admitted to the North Carolina bar in the same year, he returned to practice law in Elizabeth City.

In 1905, John Christoph Blucher Ehringhaus was first elected to represent Pasquotank County in the NC House of Representatives of the:
- 96th General Assembly that met in 1905
- 97th General Assembly that met from 1907-1908

While in the legislature, he was co-author of the bill creating East Carolina Teacher's Training School, which later became East Carolina University. He also supported legislation creating a high school system for the state. Both bills presaged his great interest in education, an enduring concern when he later became governor.

In 1910, John Christoph Blucher Ehringhaus was elected Solicitor for the First Judicial District, which included the counties of Currituck, Camden, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Chowan, Gates, Tyrell, Dare, Hyde, Beaufort, and Washington. Re-elected twice, he served in this capacity until 1922.

On 4 January 4, 1912, John Christoph Blucher Ehringhaus married Matilda Bradford Haughton, daughter of Thomas Benbury Haughton and Susan (Lamb) Haughton; they had three children.

For the remainder of the 1920s, John Christoph Blucher Ehringhaus busied himself with his flourishing law practice and with civic duties, including the Masons, Odd Fellows, and Elks; and with work for the Democratic party. In 1925, he was active in obtaining a toll bridge to link his native Albemarle area more closely to the rest of the state and to reduce the area's dependence on Virginia, its natural neighbor.

In the 1932 general election, John Christoph Blucher Ehringhaus was elected by the people as the next Governor of North Carolina. He served one term from January 5, 1933 to January 7, 1937. Gov. Ehringhaus was noted for his support of economy in government, of creating a state sales tax, and of the state assuming financial responsibility for the public school system. His stern insistence on economy in government led to an early cut of the budget by nearly one-third. He inherited a deficit of $15 million in the state treasury but left office with a surplus of $5 million because of his successful battle for a three-percent sales tax in the 1933 session of the legislature.

In 1937, after leaving the governor's office, John Christoph Blucher Ehringhaus briefly served as U.S. Assistant Attorney General to prosecute some special cases. He then purchased a home in Raleigh and returned to his private law practice. In 1946, Ehringhaus moved from his home to a suite in the Sir Walter Hotel. He died there of heart failure on July 31, 1949, three weeks after suffering an acute attack of rheumatic fever. He was later buried in the Episcopal Cemetery in Elizabeth City, NC.

John Christoph Blucher Ehringhaus (5 February 1882 – 31 July 1949) was the Democratic governor of the state of North Carolina from 1933 to 1937.

Serving the state during the Depression, Ehringhaus encouraged the North Carolina General Assembly to create a state agency that would help rural areas of the state receive electricity services in order to revive the lagging economy.

Asked how to say his name, he told The Literary Digest "My name is pronounced as if spelled ear'en-house." (Charles Earle Funk, What's the Name, Please?, Funk & Wagnalls, 1936.)

A dormitory at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Ehringhaus' alma mater (class of 1902) is named in his honor.

The second longest bridge in the state of North Carolina, a 3.5 mile stretch over the Albemarle Sound, is named in honor of this former governor.

Ehringhaus' grave is located in Elizabeth City, NC.

Before being elected Governor in 1932, this Elizabeth City native had graduated from the University of North Carolina, studied law, served in the Legislature, and was a district solicitor. When Governor Ehringhaus took office during the Depression, he had strong support from the Legislature to extend the public school term to eight months, create a rental system for school textbooks, and increase the transportation to rural schools.

During his term, a parole system was established and coordinated with the welfare program, workmen's compensation laws were passed, and voluntary crop control measures were approved. Ehringhaus expanded the Labor Department, reorganized the Utilities Commission, and obtained federal aid to peanut and potato farmers. After ending his terms as Governor, he practiced law in Raleigh and served as special assistant to the US District Attorney.

John Christoph Blucher Ehringhaus, overnor of North Carolina, was born in Elizabeth City, NC on February 5, 1882. His education was attained at the Atlantic Christian Collegiate Institute, and at the University of North Carolina, where he earned an undergraduate degree in 1901 and a law degree in 1903. Ehringhaus first entered politics in 1905, serving as a member of the NC House of Representatives, a position he held again from 1907 to 1908. He also served as solicitor of the 1st Judicial District from 1910 to 1922. Ehringhaus next secured the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote in the 1932 general election. During his tenure, school legislation was sanctioned, as well as the initiation of a rental schoolbook program. Also, the state penal system was improved; workmen compensation laws were authorized; and the utilities commission was restructured. After leaving the governorship, Ehringhaus returned to his legal career, serving as the special assistant to the U.S. district attorney. John C.B. Ehringhaus passed away on July 31, 1949, and was buried in Elizabeth City, NC.

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