Walter Hill Crockett.

Vermont, the Green mountain state (Volume 4) online

. (page 27 of 43)
Online LibraryWalter Hill CrockettVermont, the Green mountain state (Volume 4) → online text (page 27 of 43)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

to reimburse Vermont for certain Civil War claims,


Born in Barncl, September i8. 1844, and ,i;raduatcd from
Dartmouth College in 1866. He became one of the leading
lawyers in northern Vermont. He served in the State Senate
and was appointed by President Harrison Land Commissioner
at Samoa, being made its President. In 1893 he was ap-
pointed Chief Justice of Samoa. In 1900 President McKinley
appointed him a member of a commission to organize a civil
government in the Philippine Islands and he was made
Secretary of Finance and Justice. In 1905 he was made
Vice-Governor and in 1906 Governor General. At the end
of the year he resigned. President Taft appointed him
United States Minister to Spain in 1909 and he served in that
capacity for four years. He died in June, 1921.

113/ mannon i

' e^^r ol iii'

■i: :/. Taabieo-i^ 00()i :

, ^a^ Lj,,iioq

'•.•rj ;

-. -jsinfi'-'io oi fiohgifi

if! barmoqqfi

>aR ebufilsl

ciiL^qiluiH . *>n

ooi r*. f .00?

>?if^ bna D'ji . -


' <)OQi ni bns loniXvoO-'joiV


■ .ban^ieoi 9fl ift^'; ?"^* *o

■ ■ ' >-r^t .,,,.,1 ,,: K.,;iv .xti •-,,;■,/ ido'l T.o'

*)J^jc^^ — Ao A^-


were combined in a permanent school fund of more than
one million dollars. A board of three members was
established to manage this fund.

The courts were reorganized by the establishment of
a Supreme Court, consisting of a Chief Judge and three
Associate Judges, and a Superior Court of six Judges.
A policy of eliminating the fee system in the payment
of public officials was begun. The highway system was
revised, county supervision being provided and engi-
neering advice furnished. The sum of fifty thousand
dollars was set aside for permanent improvements. Any
town that made a special appropriation cvf three hun-
dred dollars or less for permanent highway work was
entitled to receive an equal amount from this fund. Cor-
porations were directed to pay their employees each
week. The limit on the amount of deposits which might
be kept in savings banks from taxation was practically

The offices of State Cattle Commissioner and State
Printing Commissioner were created and the title of
Inspector of Finance was changed to that of Bank Com-
missioner. A Board of Penal Institutions was created
to take the place of the three boards hitherto managing
the State Prison, House of Correction and State Indus-
trial School. The Governor was authorized to appoint
five commissioners to the Jamestown Tercentennial
Exposition, six members of a Lake Champlain Tercen-
tenary Commission and six members of a commission to
investigate the subject of double taxation. Provision
was made for erecting a marker on the site of the birth-
place of Gen. George J. Stannard.


The House passed a bill granting municipal suffrage
to women, but the measure was defeated in the Senate.
Rules were adopted which provided for a revision of bills
before their introduction in either House or Senate.

Probably no legislative session in recent years has
passed as many important measures as that of 1906.
Governor Proctor had a definite program and he
possessed, to a remarkable degree, the ability to secure
the cooperation of the House and Senate. The leaders
of both branches of the Legislature, Democrats and
Republicans alike, worked harmoniously with the
Executive. Probably no Governor in modern times has
exceeded Fletcher Proctor in leadership. Cordial, tact-
ful, practical, democratic, he bound men to him by strong
ties of friendship, and they gladly followed where he led.
His untimely death in the prime of manhood was an irre-
parable loss to the State.

Thirty-one towns and cities, in the spring of 1907.
voted to license the sale of liquor.

The sum of ten thousand dollars having been voted
by the Legislature for a State exhibit at the Jamestown.
Va,, Tercentennial Exposition, Governor Proctor ap-
pointed as commissioners, J. F. Manning of Rutland,
Fred L. Davis of Pomfret, Edgar O. Silver of Derby,
Edward M. Goddard of Montpelier, Charles S. Forbes of
St. Albans and James E. Pollard of Chester. Lieu-
tenant Governor Prouty was designated to represent
Governor Proctor.

A colonial building was erected, consisting of one
large room on the first floor and several rooms on the
second floor. A broad piazza extended around three


sides of the structure. Much colonial furniture was
loaned for use in the building. Photographs and paint-
ings of Vermont scenery, farms and industrial plants,
were shown in the State's Exhibit Building. Portraits
of Vermont Governors and of Admirals Dewey and
Clark were exhibited. Vermont maple products, marble,
granite, slate, and specimens of many manufacturing
products were placed on exhibition. September 18 was
observed as Vermont Day. The visitors were welcomed
by President Tucker and Lieutenant Governor Ellyson.
Governor Proctor responded and a scholarly address was
delivered by Joseph A. De Boer of Montpelier. Lieu-
tenant Governor Prouty presided. The commission
tendered a reception to Governor Proctor in the Vermont

A booklet descriptive of Vermont, prepared by Frank
L. Greene of St. Albans, was distributed in large num-
bers to visitors. Vermont was awarded a gold medal
for its exhibit of maple products and a silver medal for
its mineral exhibit.

The number of towns and cities which voted in the
spring elections of 1908 to license the sale of liquor
was twenty-eight.

Senator Proctor died March 4, 1908, at his Washing-
ton home, aged seventy-six years. A cold was followed
by pleurisy, which developed into pneumonia. For some
time he had been in feeble health, and he was unable to
withstand the disease. Nearly ten thousand people from
all parts of Vermont attended his funeral, which was
held on March 6. The three thousand employees of the
marble company which he had established and developed,


lined each side of the road leading from the church to
the cemetery, notwithstonding the fact that a severe snow
storm was raging.

Memorial services were held in the Senate, January 9,
1909, and in the House of Representatives on the follow-
ing day. Congressman Samuel W. McCall of Massa-
chusetts, after paying an eloquent tribute to Vermonters,
said: "Redfield Proctor was the very fitting product,
I might say, the fine flowering out of that race. He
had conspicuously the qualities which it had displayed.
He had great intellectual power, a talent for affairs,
good sense, good humor, and, above all, a kindly heart.
* * * He was not a spectacular but he was a safe
leader — a quiet and effective manager of things and
men. He left a permanent impress upon his State. I
believe his influence was comprehensive and far-spread-
ing and that it can fairly be said that he left a perma-
nent impress upon the history of his time."

Senator Clay of Georgia said of him: ''Senator
Proctor possessed in a remarkable degree the genius of
common sense. He was resourceful and had at his in-
stant command all of his faculties. He believed in work
and was a man of indefatigable industry. He taught
the doctrine that labor is always rewarded. His life
work teaches the American youth that almost any
obstacle can be overcome and success achieved by

On March 24, Governor Proctor appointed as Senator
to succeed his father, Ex-Gov. John W. Stewart of Mid-
dlebury, then eighty-two years old but active and vigor-
ous. His public service as Governor and Congressman


had equipped him well for this position, which he held
until the Legislature elected a successor in the fall of

As the time approached for choosing delegates to the
Republican National Convention in 1908 it appeared
that there was a strong sentiment in Vermont in favor
of Gov. Charles E. Hughes of New York. At a meet-
ing of the Vermont Fish and Game League, held at Bluff
Point, N. Y., James S. Sherman of New York, later
Vice President, Speaker Joseph G. Cannon of the
National House of Representatives, Governor Hughes
and other distinguished guests were in attendance but
the New York Executive was clearly the favorite.
Almost every sentence he uttered was applauded. After
the meeting it was remarked that a Vermont audience
rarely was more enthusiastic than the one that day which
applauded Governor Hughes with such enthusiasm.
President Roosevelt's influence was sufficient, however,
to secure the nomination of Secretary of War William
H. Taf t. The Vermont State Convention nominated as
delegates-at-large, Senator William P. Dillingham, Gov.
Fletcher D. Proctor, Frank L. Greene of St. Albans and
Allen M. Fletcher of Cavendish. Thad M. Chapman
of Middlebury and Roger W. Hulburd of Hyde Park
were elected from the First district and N. G. Williams
of Bellows Falls and G. M. Campbell of Lyndon from
the Second district. The State Convention commended
President Roosevelt's policies but did not instruct the
delegates. The Vermont delegates supported Taft in
the National Convention.


The Democratic State Convention elected as delegates-
at-large, G. H. Pape of Barre, John J. Thompson of
St. Albans, Elisha May of St. Johnsbury and James E.
Burke of West Rutland. J. Walter Lyons of Rutland
and Peter McGettrickof Rich ford were elected delegates
from the First district and G. B. Evans of Waterbury
and David Savage of Rockingham, from the Second
district. James E. Burke of Burlington was nominated
for Governor. R. S. Childs of Brattleboro moved to
instruct the delegates to vote for William J. Bryan for
Presidential candidate, but after a heated discussion the
resolution was tabled by a vote of 183 to 34. There
was some sentiment in favor of Gov. J. H. Johnson of
Minnesota. At the Democratic National Convention
seven Vermont delegates voted for Bryan and one did
not vote.

In the First district Frank L. Fish of Vergennes and
Frederick G. Fleetwood of Morrisville were candidates
for the Republican Congressional nomination, but with-
drew before the convention and Congressman Foster
was renominated without opposition. In the Second
district Frank Plumley of Northfield defeated Con-
gressman Haskins by a vote of 217 to 159.

There was a spirited contest for the Republican nomi-
nation for Governor and Lieut. Gov. George H. Prouty
of Newport won over former Lieut. Gov. Zed S. Stanton
of Roxbury by a vote of 395 to 339. Dr. John A.
Mead of Rutland was nominated for Lieutenant Gov-
ernor over M. F. Barnes of Addison by a vote of 359 to
318. The platform declared that the liquor law had
worked well and that in only one-eighth of the towns


and cities of the State was the sale of intoxicants legal-
ized. Amendments were favored but a further trial of
the law was recommended.

Senator Borah of Idaho and Ex-Secretary Shaw of
Iowa spoke in \'ermont for the Republican ticket.

The result of the vote for Governor in 1908 was:

George H. Prouty (Rep.) 45,598

James E. Burke (Dem.) 15,953

Quimby S. Backus (Indep. League) 1,351

Eugene M. Campbell (Pro.) 918

J. H. Dunbar (Soc.) 547

Scattering 12

Governor's Prouty's majority was 26,827.

George H. Prouty, the Governor-elect, was born in
Newport, March 4, 1862, his father being one of the
prominent business men of the town. He was educated
in the public schools, St. Johnsbury Academy and the
Bryant and Stratton Business College. At the age of
eighteen he began work for his father's firm, Prouty
and Miller, umber dealers. He was promoted from time
to time and in 1885 was made a partner. He devoted
most of his mature life to this business, which became
one of the great lumber firms of New England, with
mills in Canada and Maine, and yards in Massachusetts.
He was elected Representative for the town of Newport
in 1896 and was chosen one of the Orleans county Sena-
tors in 1904, being elected President Pro Tern. Two
years later he became Lieutenant Governor and was pro-
moted to the Governorship. He was killed, August 18,
1918, when the automobile in which he was riding was
struck by a railroad train.


Frank Plumley, elected in 1908 as Congressman from
the Second district, was born in Eden, Vt., December
17, 1844. He was educated in the pubHc schools, and
at People's Academy, Morrisville. He studied law with
Powers and Gleed at Morrisville, and later took a course
in the University of Michigan Law School, being ad-
mitted to the bar in 1869. He began the practice of law
at Northfield, which has been his home since that time.
He was State's Attorney of Washington county from
1876 to 1880, and in 1882 represented Northfield in the
State Legislature. He was a Senator from Washington
county in 1894 and was elected President Pro Tem.
From 1889 to 1893 he was United States District Attor-
ney. In 1888 he was a delegate-at-large to the Republi-
can National Convention. He was appointed as the first
member of the Court of Claims and was reappointed in
1904. President Roosevelt appointed him as umpire in
the claims brought against Venezuela by Great Britain
and Holland. He spent six months in Caracas, hearing
and deciding these claims and his decisions were so satis-
factory that he was chosen to settle the claims of France
against Venezuela, which involved about eight millions
of dollars. Mr. Plumley is one of the most prominent
lawyers in Vermont. In 1894 he was appointed lecturer
on constitutional law at Norwich University, and in 1888
he was chosen one of the trustees of that institution, a
position which he still holds (1921). Norwich con-
ferred the degree of A. M. upon him in 1892. For
years he was active in the temperance cause. He is one
of the best known platform orators in Vermont and has
frequently been called into other States to speak during


Presidential campaigns. He served three terms in

The Legislature organized by reelecting Thomas C.
Cheney of Morrisville as Speaker.

In his retiring message Governor Proctor quoted
figures showing that the total receipts for the State gov-
ernment for the preceeding biennial period were
$2,207,356.99, while the total expenditures for the same
period were $2,094,228.37. Joseph A. De Boer of Mont-
pelier and Olin Merrill of Enosburg Falls constituted a
commission to examine the system of bookkeeping and
accounting in the office of the Auditor of Accounts, and
most of their recommendations had been adopted. He
recommended a Commissioner of Agriculture to take the
place of a Board of Agriculture. He asserted that
sixty per cent of the area of the State consisted of forest
or wild land, saying that "this vast area ought to be made
more productive and of greater value to its owners and
the people." He favored the creation of the office of
State Forester.

A commission consisting of O. M. Barber of Benning-
ton, John H. Senter of Montpelier, George W. Pierce of
Brattleboro, L. P. Slack of St. Johnsbury, Ernest Hitch-
cock of Pitts ford and A. Allyn Olmstead of South New-
bury, was appointed to investigate the subject of taxa-
tion. They recommended that listers be elected by ballot
for terms of three years, so that two experienced men
might always be on the board ; that taxes should be paid
to town treasurers without discount, and a penalty be
fixed for delay; and that a State Taxation Commission
with extensive powers should be created.


Governor Proctor recommended that all income from
liquor licenses should be paid to the State rather than
to the towns, so that there might be no financial incentive
to vote "yes" on the license question. He advocated the
appointment by the Governor of a State License Board
of three members which should award all licenses.

In his inaugural address Governor Prouty declared
that the State was suffering not so much from double
taxation as from evasion of taxation. He favored an
employers' liability law, and recommended that the name
of the Railroad Commission be changed to that of Public
Service Commission, urging that it be given supervision
over all public service corporations. In his judgment
an independent insurance department was desirable. In
referring to the death of Senator Proctor he said: "No
man ever loved the State of Vermont more; no man
ever worked harder for its interests and advancement;
and few, if any, ever left behind them a greater record
of achievements."

He referred to the beauty of the State and to its in-
dustrial possibilities, saying: "But our great natural
resources have not been sufficiently exploited, and the
outside world knows too little of our undeveloped wealth,
and the scenic attractions of our State, our mountain
and lake scenery being practically unknown outside our
borders." He referred to the advantages New Hamp-
shire had gained from advertising, and recommended
that provision should be made for gathering information
and advertising the State in a proper manner. He
favored an appropriation for the celebration of the three


hundredth anniversary of the discovery of Lake

The Legislature abolished the Court of Claims and
the State Board of Agriculture and created a Board of
Agriculture and Forestry at a salary not to exceed two
thousand, five hundred dollars. Provision was made for
a State Board of Education to consist of the Governor,
the State Superintendent of Education and three mem-
bers to be appointed by the Governor. State aid was
voted for manual training departments in the public

The Supreme Court was reorganized, so that it con-
sisted of a Chief Judge and four Associate Judges. A
State Library Commission of five members was created.
In accordance with Governor Prouty's recommendation
a Public Service Commission was substituted for the
Railroad Commission, and its powers were enlarged so
that it had supervision of gas and electric light plants,
and telegraph, telephone and electric light companies.

The liquor law was amended so that Town Treasurers
should pay license fees to the State Treasurer. A Lake
Champlain Tercentenary Commission was authorized,
consisting of the Governor and nine citizens to be ap-
pointed by him. The sum of twenty-five thousand dol-
lars was appropriated for the celebration and a perma-
nent memorial. The Governor was authorized to pro-
cure a bronze tablet wdth a medallion portrait of Gen.
William Wells, to be placed in the State House. A com-
mission of five, to propose amendments to the State Con-
stitution, was authorized.


On October 20 the Legislature elected two United
States Senators. Ex-Gov. Carroll S. Page of Hyde
Park, who had originally appointed Redfield Proctor
United States Senator, was chosen to succeed him. The
vote in the Senate was, Page, 27; Vernon A. Bullard of
Burlington, 2. The vote in the House was, Page, 199;
Bullard, 36. Senator Dillingham was reelected, re-
ceiving 27 votes in the Senate, while Elisha May of St.
Johnsbury received 2. The vote in the House was, Dil-
lingham, 199; May, 36. Speeches were made by both

The vote of Vermont for President by counties was
as follows:


Addison 2,986

Bennington 2,453

Caledonia 2,700

Chittenden 3,807

Essex 745

Franklin 2,360

Grand Isle 364

Lamoille 1,456

Orange 2,263

Orleans 2,535

Rutland 5,643

Washington .... 3,825

Windham 3,738

Windsor 4,683














































Total .... 39,552 11,496 802 804


Taft's majority was 26,440. The Presidential Elect-
ors chosen were: Franklin G. Butterfield of Derby,
Frank E. Howe of Bennington, Willard B. Howe of
Burlington and Herbert D. Ryder of Rockingham.

Governor Prouty and his staff attended the inaugura-
tion of President Taf t and troops from Fort Ethan Allen
participated in the inaugural parade. Many Vermont-
ers were in Washington to see the new President in-
ducted into office. The first official party received by
President Taft after he had assumed the duties of the
Presidency was the Vermont and New York Lake Cham-
plain Tercentenary Commission, and in response to
their invitation he promised to be present at the celebra-
tion in 1909.

The number of towns and cities voting in the spring
of 1909 to license the sale of liquor was twenty-seven.

The observance of the three hundredth anniversarv
of the discovery of Lake Champlain and the territory
now known as Vermont was the most elaborate and suc-
cessful celebration ever held in the State. The pro-
priety of observing such an anniversary had been dis-
cussed in various newspapers from time to time, but the
first formal action taken was the introduction of a reso-
lution by Representative R. W. McCuen of Vergennes,
in the Legislature of 1906, providing for a fitting
observance of the anniversary, cooperation, if possible,
with the State of New York and the Dominion of
Canada, and the appointment of a commission consisting
of the Governor and six other members. The resolution
was adopted and Governor Proctor appointed as mem-
bers of the Lake Champlain Tercentenary Commission,


Prof. Walter E. Howard of Middlebury, Horace W.
Bailey of Newbury, Robert W. McCuen of Vergennes,
L3^nn M. Hays of Essex Junction, Walter H. Crockett of
St. Albans and M. D. McMahon of Burlington. Pro-
fessor Howard and Mr. Crockett visited Albany and
discussed with members of the New York Legislature the
propriety of cooperation on the part of the Empire State,
and Mr. Bailey and Mr. Hays presented a similar plan
to the Canadian authorities at Ottawa.

The New York Legislature provided for participation
on the part of that State and authorized the appointment
of a commission, one member of which was Senator
Henry W. Hill of Buffalo, a native of Vermont. Joint
meetings of the two commissions were held from time
to time over which Gov. Charles E. Hughes of New
York presided. Commissioners Hill and Witherbee of
New York and Hays and Crockett of Vermont, with the
Vermont Senators and Congressman D. J. Foster called
upon Secretary of State Elihu Root, and outlined the
proposed celebration. Secretary Root approved the
plan and promised to aid in interesting other countries in
the project. The Vermont Commissioners called on
President Roosevelt and were assured of his interest in
the celebration. Later Congress appropriated the sum
of twenty thousand dollars to aid in entertaining repre-
sentatives of other nations. New York originally ap-
propriated the sum of fifty thousand dollars and later
supplemented this fund by an additional appropriation
of seventy-five thousand dollars. The Vermont Com-
mission requested the Legislature to vote an amount
sufficient to enable the State to carry out its part of the


Born in Cavendish, November 7, i860, being the eldest
son of Redfield Proctor. He graduated from Amherst
College in 1882 and entered the employment of the Vermont
Marble Company. He rose step by step in its management
and when his father retired as head of the corporation to
become Secretarj^ of War, he succeeded him as president.
He served in both branches of the Legislature, being Speaker
in 1900. He was elected Governor in 1906 and his admin-
istration was notable for the number of important measures
enacted. He died September 27, 191 1.

"h)T3Qaa .a asHJi

^norm^V aiij jIj baiSJn

^^^^^. ^


iS \


'^^^'''' \


celebration in a dignified and fitting manner, a part of
which sum should be used to aid in the erection of a suit-
able memorial to Samuel Champlain. A joint resolu-
tion, presented by Representative Frank L. Fish of Ver-
gennes, appropriated the sum of twenty-five thousand
dollars and the reorganization of the Tercentenary Com-
mission, which should consist of the Governor and nine
members to be appointed by him. The resolution was
adopted and Governor Prouty appointed Horace W.
Bailey of Newbury, Walter H. Crockett of St. Albans,
Arthur F. Stone of St. Johnsbury, President John M.
Thomas of Middlebury College, William J. Van Patten
and F. O. Beaupre of Burlington, Frank L. Fish of Ver-

Online LibraryWalter Hill CrockettVermont, the Green mountain state (Volume 4) → online text (page 27 of 43)