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Melcher of Barre, Elisha May of St. Johnsbury and
James E. Burke of West Rutland. The district dele-
gates chosen were Herbert C. Comings of Richford,
John D. Hanrahan of Rutland, Oscar C. Miller of New-
port and H. J. Volholm of Montpelier. A resolution
was adopted, after an exciting debate, recognizing Judge
Alton B. Parker of New York as the leading and most
available candidate for the Presidency. In the Demo-
cratic National Convention the Vermont delegates sup-
ported Alton B. Parker of New York for President and
Henry G. Davis of West Virginia for Vice President.
Bradley B. Smalley of Burlington was elected the Ver-
mont member of the National Committee.

A Republican State Convention, held June 30, balloted
for a candidate for Cxovernor with the following re-
sult: Charles J. Bell of Walden, 2>72>\ Zed S. Stanton
of Roxbury, 181 ; Joseph A. De Boer of Montpelier, 132.
Mr. Bell was thereupon declared the nominee of the
convention. Charles H. Stearns of Johnson was nomi-
nated over John A. Mead of Rutland, for Lieutenant
Governor, bv a vote of 358 to 317. The platform de-


clared that the Hcense-local-option law "should be given
a full, free and fair trial" and recommended that it be
amended "to give force and efficacy to its fundamental

A great ratification meeting was held at "The Bel-
fry" in Walden, the home of the candidate for Governor,
speeches being made by the candidate and the party lead-
ers. The Democratic State Convention nominated Eli
H. Porter of Wilmington as its candidate for Governor.

The one hundredth anniversary of the graduation of
its first class was observed by the University of Ver-
mont during the regular Commencement period of 1904.
The baccalaureate sermon was preached by President
Matthew H. Buckham Sunday, July 3. Among the
eminent graduates who spoke at the alumni conference
on Tuesday, July 5, were Hon. John A. Kasson of the
class of 1842, John H. Converse of the class of 1861,
Prof. Davis R. Dewey and Prof. John Dewey, both of
the class of 1879, and Prof. Kirby F. Smith of the class
of 1884. The principal speaker at the alumni break-
fast was Hon. Henry W. Hill of Buffalo, N. Y., of the
class of 1876. The corner stone of a new College of
Medicine building was laid on Tuesday afternoon by
Governor McCullough. The Commencement day ad-
dress was delivered by Darwin P. Kingsley of New York
of the class of 1881. The speakers at the corporation
dinner included Governor McCullough, Justice David J.
Brewer of the United States Supreme Court, Presidents
James B. Angell of the University of Michigan, W. J.
Tucker of D.-irtmontli, 1 lenry Hopkins of Williams and


Ezra Brainerd of Middlebury and Vice Principal Van
Moyce of McGill University.

The result of the vote for ("iovernor in 1*>04 was as
follows :

Charles J. Bell (Rep.) 48,115

Eli H. Porter (Dem.) 16,556

Homer F. Comings (Pro.) 1,175

Clarence E. Morse (Soc.) 769

Scattering 7

The majority for Charles J. Bell was 29,608. The
new Governor was born in Walden, March 10, 1845.
His grandfather, James Bell, was one of the famous
lawyers of the State, and his father, James D. Bell, was
prominent in public affairs. He attended the common
schools and at the age of seventeen enlisted in the
Fifteenth Vermont Volunteers for service in the Civil
War, reenlisting later in the First Vermont Cavalry.
He was a progressive and successful farmer. When
the State Grange was organized he was elected its
treasurer, a position he held twenty-two years, until he
was advanced to the position of State Master. The
growth of the organization in V^ermont was due in no
small measure to the energy and sagacity of Mr. Bell.
For seven years, or until his death, he was a member of
the executive committee of the National Grange, and for
six years its secretary. He represented Walden in the
Legislature of 1882, and was a Senator from Caledonia
county in 1894. Governor Woodbury appointed him as
one of the Board of Railroad Commissioners. He be-
came a member of the State Board of Agriculture in


1896, and two years later was chosen secretary of the
board, holding that position until his election as Gov-
ernor. He was a member of the Board of Cattle Com-
missioners for several years, serving as its secretary
from 1898 to 1902. He died suddenly in New York,
September 25, 1909.

John H. Merrifield of New fane was elected Speaker
in October, 1904. Governor McCullough announced in
his retiring message the settlement of the long pending
claims and counter-claims made by Vermont and the
United States, each against the other. The State had
presented a claim for more than $275,000 for interest
upon money borrowed to defray certain expenses in-
curred in equipping troops during the Civil War. The
National Government had presented as an offset a claim
for $543,780.25 for munitions furnished at the time of
the St. Albans Raid. The United States paid Vermont
the sum of $125,000 in February, 1903, and in accord-
ance with a special act of Congress passed in August,
1904, a second payment of $155,453.56 was made, mak-
ing a total amount of $280,453.56 paid by the Govern-
ment. The claim against Vermont made by the United
States was withdrawn with the exception of $1,619.64,
the value of a small amount of ordnance stores on hand.
The settlement of the long standing claim brought a sub-
stantial sum into the State treasury and was a credit-
able achievement.

The Governor appointed Fuller C. Smith of St.
Albans, Henry S. Bingham of Bennington and Horace
W. Bailey of Newbury, members of the Board of Rail-
road Commissioners. Ex-Governor Stickney was ap-


pointed a commissioner to supervise the marking of the
boundary hne between Vermont and New York. A Hfe
size portrait of Admiral Dewey, representing that officer
in full uniform and wearing the sword presented by the
Nation, was painted by W. D. Murphy of New York,
and had been hung in the State House corridor. A
bronze bust of Hiram A. Huse, former State Librarian,
the work of Charles A. Lopez of New York, had been
placed in the State Library. Reference was made to
Senator Proctor's notable achievement in securing the
records of the Vermont Conventions of 1776 and 1777,
and to the compilation of the Vermont Revolutionary
Rolls by Prof. J. E. Goodrich of the University of Ver-
mont. In the opinion of the Governor, public opinion
favored a further trial of the license-local option law.

Governor Bell, in his inaugural message, favored cen-
tral schools and better highways. He suggested the re-
striction of automobiles to a few trunk line roads. The
opposition to these vehicles in the early period of their
use was very great. Horses were frightened at their
appearance and many people considered it unsafe for
women and children to drive on the highways. For a
few years there was much bitterness against automobile
owners, and at one time it seemed likely that an unfor-
tunate class prejudice would develop; but with the in-
creasing use of automobiles, and the fact that horses in
time became accustomed to the machines, this spirit of
hostility passed. At one time, however, this subject
provoked heated discussion in the Legislature. The
Governor also proposed the establishment of speed re-
strictions. He recommended the creation of the office of


Attorney General, calling attention to the fact that in
two years the State had paid out $4,280.07 for special
legal counsel. Enlarged powers for the Cattle Commis-
sioners were favored. At the close of Governor Bell's
speech. Governor Bachelder of New Hampshire, a per-
sonal friend and associate in National Grange affairs,
addressed the joint assembly.

Senator Proctor was reelected on October 19, receiving
all the votes in the Senate. In the House the Senator
received 205 votes, while 31 were cast for John H. Senter
of Montpelier, the Democratic candidate.

The legislation enacted in 1904 included an act pro-
viding that a ballot and check list should be used in
caucuses upon petition of five per cent of the voters.
From the Board of Agriculture the Governor was
authorized to designate one member, who should serve
as Forestry Commissioner. All waste or uncultivated
land reforested should be exempt from taxation for a
period of ten years. A collateral inheritance tax of five
per cent was imposed. The sum paid by the United
States in settlement of Civil War claims was set aside as
the nucleus of a permanent school fund, and a commis-
sion of six members was authorized for its management.
The office of Attorney General was established as an
elective position, and the salary was fixed at two thou-
sand, five hundred dollars. The office of Fish and Game
Commissioner was created, the salary being fixed at one
thousand dollars. Licenses for non-resident deer hunt-
ers were fixed at fifteen dollars. Boards of medical
registration and dental examiners were established, also
a board to regulate the practice of osteopathy. Pro-


vision was niadt; fur the inspection of foods and drtigs,
and an act was passed making illegal the employment of
child labor in mills, factories and work shops. The
license-local option law was amended in several sections,
the appointment of local boards of license commissioners
being vested in the Assistant Judges of the county courts.

A joint resolution adopted, directing the Governor
to purchase "a suitable silver service, suitably inscribed"
for the battleship Vermont and to arrange for its presen-
tation, the cost of the gift not to exceed five thousand
dollars. Another joint resolution adopted declared "that
the people of Vermont look with disfavor upon reci-
procity with Canada, without a definite statement of

The Presidential Electors chosen in 1904 were Walter
H. Berry of Bennington, Edward B. Flinn of Spring-
field, Frank A. Bond of Middlebury and Arthur F. Stone
of St. Johnsbury.

Roosevelt's majority in Vermont was 29,031. The
vote for President by counties was as follows :

Rep. Dem. Pro. Soc.

Addison 3,146 366 76 19

Bennington 2,419 745 48 44

Caledonia 2,944 580 61 26

Chittenden 3,848 1,432 7Z 97

Essex 750 233 5 5

Franklin 2,522 881 76 13

Grand Isle 343 109 10 4

Lamoille 1,521 296 43 1

Orange 2,259 587 69 14

Orleans 2,563 328 42 3


Rutland 5,772 1,367 97 248

Washington 3,807 1,247 80 148

Windham 3,735 809 55 153

Windsor 4,830 797 57 84

Total 40,459 9,777 792 859

Thirty-three towns and cities voted in March, 1905, to
license the sale of liquor.

The Vermont Society, Sons of the American Revolu-
tion, erected a memorial tower in Ethan Allen Park,
Burlington, in honor of the hero of Ticonderoga, on land
which was part of the property owned by Ethan Allen
and occupied by him at the time of his death. This stone
tower stands on Indian Rock, a lookout used by the red
men in prehistoric times. The dedicatory exercises were
held on August 16, 1905. The orator of the occasion
was Hon. Charles W. Fairbanks of Indiana, Vice Presi-
dent of the United States. Mrs. Julia C. R. Dorr of
Rutland wrote a poem for the occasion, entitled "The
Voice of the Tower." Among the distinguished guests
present were Hon. Ethan Allen Hitchcock of Missouri,
Secretary of the Interior and a grandson of Ethan Allen,
Justice D. J. Brewer of the United States Supreme Court,
Gov. John McLane of New Hampshire, Hon. John A.
Kasson of Washington, Hon. William F. Vilas of Wis-
consin, Maj. Gen. James F. Wade, U. S. A., Ex-Senator
George F. Edmunds, Governor Bell, Senator Proctor,
Assistant Secretary of the Navy Darling, Congressmen
Foster and Haskins, and many prominent Vermonters.
A military parade was a feature of the occasion. In the


evening- a reception and banquet were given in honor of
the giiests.

While in Vermont, Vice President Fairbanks visited
Proctor, Rutland and Manchester, The grandfather of
the Indiana statesman was one of the early settlers of
Barnard, Vt., and on a hill farm in that town his father
was born.

On July 27, 1905, the Vermont Society of Colonial
Dames dedicated a memorial at Salisbury near the site
of the cabin occupied by Ann Story, a heroine of the
Revolutionary period. Justice Wendell P. Stafford of
the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia was the
orator of the occasion. Governor Bell spoke briefly and
Mrs. Dorr contributed an appropriate poem, entitled
"The Spirit of the Past."

During the summer of 1905 the battleship Vermont
was made ready for launching. This was one of five
warships of sixteen thousand tons burden, then the pride
of the American navy, the cost of which exceeded
$7,500,000 each. The ship was launched from the yards
of the Fore River Shipbuilding Company at Quincy,
Mass., on August 31, 1905. A special train carried the
guests of the occasion from Boston to Quincy. Gov-
ernor Bell, Lieut. Gov. Charles H. Stearns, Congressmen
D. J. Foster and Kittredge Ilaskins, Assistant Secretary
of the Navy Charles H. Darling, Gov. William L. Doug-
las of Massachusetts, Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Sen-
ators Hale of Maine and Burnham of New Hampshire,
representatives of the Boston Society of Vermonters
and many well known residents of the Green Mountain
State were present. Miss Jennie Bell, a daughter of


the Governor, christened the ship, breaking a bottle
of champagne on the bow, according to the traditional
custom. After the launching, a banquet was served
by the shipbuilding company. Rear Admiral Francis J.
Bowles presided at the after dinner exercises and
speeches were made by Assistant Secretary Darling and
Governors Bell and Douglas.

Later a silver service was presented to the battle-
ship by the State of Vermont. It consisted of fourteen
pieces. On the great punch bowl were etched a scene
representing a maple sugar camp and a picture of the
battleship. Maple leaves surrounded the seal of the
navy, and clover decorations, the seal of Vermont. The
State Seal appeared upon the punch ladle. Upon the
plateau or service upon which the punch bowl stood was
etched a representation of the State House at Montpelier,
and the inscription, "Presented to the U. S. Battleship
Vermont by the State of Vermont." A spray of clover
and the State Seal decorated the candelabra. A feature
of the water pitcher was an etching of a Morgan horse.
The syrup pitcher represented a section of a maple tree.
A dairy scene adorned the butter dish and the handle of
the cover was a carefully modeled Guernsey cow. This
service was presented by Governor Proctor at the
Charlestown, Mass., Navy Yard and was received by
Capt. William P. Potter in a brief speech of acceptance.
The battleship was of sixteen thousand tons displace-
ment, four hundred and fifty feet long and carried eight
hundred and one officers and men. At this time it was
said to be the largest and most powerful ship in the
American Navy.


The one hundredth anniversary of the location of the
State capital at Montpelier was celebrated on October 4,
1905, in an elaborate manner. Public buildings and pri-
vate residences were decorated with flags and bunting.
The State House from its foundations to the statue on
the dome was a mass of color, harmoniously arranged.
Ropes of green laurel alternated with the red and white
of the decorations. Thousands of electric lights fol-
lowed the outlines of the building, including the dome,
and made a brilliant spectacle at night. Illuminated
fountains in color on the State House grounds added to
the brilliancy of the scene. Public exercises were held
in Armory Hall, and Mayor Frank M. Corry extended
the Capital City's welcome to her many guests. Gov-
ernor Bell spoke for the State and the principal oration of
the day was delivered by Joseph A. De Boer of Mont-
pelier. A military and civic parade was one of the most
attractive features of the day, more than three thousand
men participating. Governor Bell, Mayor Corry,
Admiral Clark and other well known persons reviewed
the parade. A brilliant display of fireworks in the eve-
ning completed the celebration.

Great pressure was brought to bear upon Governor
Bell to prevent the execution of Mrs. Mary Rogers of
Bennington, convicted of murder, the crime having been
committed under particularly flagrant and revolting cir-
cumstances. Sensational newspapers and many individ-
uals besieged the Governor to exercise clemency, but he
steadfastly refused, and permitted the law to take its
course. The chief reason urged for mercy, the fact that


the prisoner was a woman, did not commend itself gen-
erally to the people of Vermont.

President McKinley had placed Judge Henry C. Ide on
the commission of which Judge William H. Taft was
chairman, its duty being to organize a form of civil gov-
ernment for the Philippines. Judge Ide had served as
Secretary of Finance and Justice, Vice Governor, Acting
Governor, and in 1905 was appointed Governor General.
He formulated a land and registration act, an internal
revenue law, a code of civil procedure and reorganized
the monetary system on a gold basis. Later when Wil-
liam H. Taft became President of the United States, he
sent Judge Ide as Minister to Spain.

In the spring elections of 1906, twenty-nine towns and
cities voted to license the sale of liquor.

The Republican State Convention of 1906 nominated
Fletcher D. Proctor of Proctor by acclamation as its
candidate for Governor, and chose George Herbert
Prouty of Newport as the nominee for Lieutenant

The Democrats and Clement Independents met in the
same place on the same day, but in separate halls. In
the Democratic Convention a resolution was offered to
appoint a committee to confer with a similar committee
representing the Independent convention. An amend-
ment was offered directing this committee to consider no
name but that of a Democrat for Governor. After a
long and heated debate the amendment was rejected by a
vote of 154 to 254. The resolution was then adopted,
committees were appointed and a fusion ticket was placed
in nomination, headed by Percival W. Clement of Rut-


land for Governor and G. H. Pape of Barre for Lieu-
tenant Governor. Other places on the ticket were
divided between the two parties.

Fonr years earlier Mr. Clement as an indej)cndcnt
candidate for Governor, had received only 3,663 fewer
votes than the regular Republican candidate. Many
Democrats voted for him at that time and had he re-
ceived the entire Democratic vote he would have been
elected. In the campaign of 1906, with fusion effected,
there seemed to be a possibility of electing Mr. Clement.
The Republicans organized the State thoroughly. Mr.
Proctor took the stump and developed into an effective
public speaker. The State was canvassed from the
Massachusetts border to the Canadian line, with numer-
ous rallies. Mr. Clement toured Vermont, discussing in
his speeches the growth of State expenses.

The heaviest vote since that of 1880 was cast, although
this was not a Presidential year. Proctor was elected
by a majority of 14,131. His plurality over Clement
was 15,420. Clement had a plurality in Bennington
county but Proctor led in all others. The result by coun-
ties is given herewith :

Proctor Clement Hanson Sullivan Scattering


. 3.531




Bennington . .

. 2,180




Caledonia ....

. 3.027




Chittenden . . .

. 4,089





. 3,221






Grand Isle . . .






. 1,742





. 2.547





Orleans 3,227 859 39 9 1

Rutland 5,765 4,430 57 23

Washington .... 3,824 3,389 97 143 2

Windham 3,451 1,940 52 142

Windsor 4,343 2,509 39 67

Total .... 42,332 26,912 72,Z 512 4

Fletcher Button Proctor was born in Cavendish,
November 7, 1860, being the eldest son of Redfield
Proctor. He studied in the Rutland Military Institute
and in Middlebury High School, entered Middlebury
College, but soon transferred to Amherst College, from
which he graduated in 1882. He entered the employ-
ment of the Vermont Marble Company, of which his
father was president, and was promoted from time to
time, being made superintendent in 1885. Redfield
Proctor retired from the presidency of the company when
he was appointed Secretary of War and Fletcher Proctor
succeeded him. He proved himself a most efficient man-
ager and the company grew until it became the largest
producer of marble in the world. Cordial relations were
cultivated with the employees of the company. Mr.
Proctor was a member of the Vermont National Guard
from 1884 to 1886, and was the first permanent Colonel
of the Vermont Division, Sons of Veterans. He served
as Governor Ormsbee's Secretary of Civil and Military
AfiFairs and represented his town in the Legislatures of
1890, 1900 and 1904. In 1900 he was Speaker of the
House. He served as a State Senator in 1892. In
1908 he was elected a delegate to the Republican National
Convention. He was a director of the National Life
Insurance Company, the New England Telephone and


Telegraph Company and a trustee of Middlebury Col-
lege. His death, September 27, 1911, ended a most
promising career.

Thomas C. Cheney of Morristown, for several years
Clerk of the House, was elected Speaker, every vote
being cast for him.

In his retiring message Governor Bell advocated in-
creased power for the Railroad Commission. In his
opinion the automobile had come to stay. Although
horses were rapidly becoming accustomed to the new
vehicle, he still thought motor cars should be excluded
from narrow, w^inding country roads. The Governor
alluded to the State Tuberculosis Sanatorium established
by Senator Proctor.

In his inaugural message Governor Proctor called
attention to the report of the United States Census
Bureau which showed that in the five years from 1900
to 1905, Vermont manufacturing enterprises had in-
creased in number 47.7 per cent, and in value, 22.5 per
cent. Other increases reported were, wages paid indus-
trial employees, 33.2 per cent; annual products of cream-
eries and cheese factories, 16.7 per cent.; savings bank
deposits, 28.9 per cent.

In his opinion some reorganization of the courts was
necessary. Educational progress had not been as great
as it should have been. More professional supervision
was needed and a district system was recommended. He
favored the retention of the caucus law, but w^ould sim-
plify its registration provisions. He thought the rail-
roads should pay larger taxes and favored a revision of
the corporation laws. He recommended an investiga-


tion of the system employed in the State Auditor's office
and favored a commission to investigate the system of
double taxation. He thought the State had not fulfilled
its duty in the expenditure of the highway fund.

The Legislature of 1906 amended the caucus law. A
nursery for forest seedlings was established at the Ver-
mont Experiment Station. An additional force was pro-
vided for the office of the Auditor of Accounts. The
corporation tax law was revised and provision was made
by which corporations must produce their books when
the proper legal procedure was employed. Railroad
transportation charges were regulated, railroad taxation
was increased and express companies were made subject
to taxation. Free transportation on railroads was pro-
hibited. The gradual abolition of railroad crossings was
provided. Every corporation operating more than
eighty miles of road must eliminate each year one grade
crossing for each eighty miles or major fraction thereof.
The expenses incurred were divided among the railroad
corporations, the towns involved and the State. A
Board of Railroad Commissioners of three members was

Women were made eligible to election to the offices
of Town Clerk, Treasurer, Trustee of a public library
or Town Superintendent of Schools. Towns were per-
mitted to unite in employing expert supervision of
schools, and State aid for such work was furnished.
Provision was made for the centralization of small rural
schools. The United States deposit money, the Hunt-
ington fund and the sum returned by the United States

Online LibraryWalter Hill CrockettVermont, the Green mountain state (Volume 4) → online text (page 26 of 43)