Creel, Enrique Clay (1854–1931)

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Creel, Enrique Clay (1854–1931)

Enrique Clay Creel (b. 30 August 1854; d. 17 August 1931), Mexican banker, governor of Chihuahua (1904–1911). Born in Chihuahua, Creel was the son of the U.S. consul there. He married the daughter of General Luis Terrazas and subsequently headed the financial and industrial enterprises of the Terrazas family. He was the leading Mexican banker of the pre-Revolutionary era and was a founder and manager of the Banco Minero de Chihuahua and several other banks. He also had widespread interests in food processing, mining, textiles, and manufacturing. He served as the most prominent Mexican officer or board member of several foreign corporations. Creel also entered politics, serving in Chihuahua's state legislature in 1882–1885 and 1897–1900. He was an alternate federal deputy from Chihuahua in 1892–1894 and a full deputy from Durango in 1900–1902 and from Chihuahua in 1902–1906.

In 1904 the governor of Chihuahua resigned in Creel's favor. Creel was elected on his own in 1907 and served to 1911. Creel was a member of the Científicos, a positivist group led by José Y. Limantour, the secretary of the treasury (1892–1911) under dictator Porfirio Díaz. As governor he tried to implement positivist principles by streamlining and modernizing state government, which caused protests from fiercely independent municipalities. While serving as governor, he was also Mexican ambassador to the United States (1907–1908) and secretary for foreign relations (1910–1911).

During the Mexican Revolution, when he fled for his life, Creel suffered heavy financial losses. He returned to Mexico from exile in the early 1920s and served as a financial adviser to President Álvaro Obregón Salido.

See alsoMexico, Wars and Revolutions: Mexican Revolution .


Francisco R. Almada, Gobernadores del Estado de Chihuahua (1980), furnishes basic biographical information. Mark Wasserman, "Enrique C. Creel: Business and Politics in Mexico, 1880–1930," in Business History Review 59 (Winter 1985): 645-662, examines Creel's public and business career.

Additional Bibliography

Wasserman, Mark. "Strategies for Survival of the Porfirian Elite in Revolutionary Mexico: Chihuahua during the 1920s." Hispanic American Historical Review 67 (February 1987): 87-107.

                                                  Mark Wasserman