Lewis G. Gorton (b. 1859 d. 1933)

Lewis G. Gorton President
State Agricultural College
1893–1895

Lewis Griffin Gorton was born November 18, 1859 at Waterloo, Michigan, the son of Aaron T. Gorton. He was a graduate of Chelsea High School, as well as of the Michigan Normal College (1879). He later obtained a M.S. degree from the South Dakota Agricultural College. He was married and had one son, Guy R. Gorton. Gorton taught science at the Michigan Military Academy and later became the principal of Duffield School (1883–1885) and Bishop School (1885–1893) both in Detroit, Michigan. In 1893 he was selected to succeed Oscar Clute as the President of the State Agricultural College because of his youth, educational experience and ability to maintain student discipline at the Bishop School.

He was apparently well liked by the students and successfully eliminated rowdy student behavior. He also directed the establishment of the short course program in which individuals received six weeks of intensive instruction on farm related topics. However, the Secretary and the President of the State Board of Agriculture did not agree with Gorton's policy relative to the students. In addition, a segment of the faculty did not support Gorton, feeling that he had been ill chosen. As a result, in fall 1895, the Board asked Gorton to resign. He refused on the grounds that any charges against him first be specified and that he be given an opportunity to answer these charges. The Board refused to do this and placed him on temporary suspension with pay until January 1, 1896 (the suspension was never made permanent).

Following his dismissal from the college, Gorton returned to Detroit and began a successful business career. Gorton first sold life insurance, but later became a stockbroker. He helped establish the Detroit Stock Exchange in which he later served as president and later still as secretary. He also was a director of the Guaranty Trust Company as well as the State Savings Bank. Lewis Gorton died on January 3, 1933 in Detroit, Michigan.

Finding aid to the Lewis G. Gorton papers (UA 2.1.6)


*Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to read PDF documents.