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battle of Gettysburg by dedicating on that famous field
a bronze statue of Gen. William Wells. It was unveiled
by General Wells' daughter, Mrs. H. Nelson Jackson.
Governor Fletcher, Ex-Governor Woodbury, Senator
Dillingham, Gen. L. A. Grant, and other prominent men
were present and participated in the exercises.


Born in Fair Haven, V't., April 20, 1841, was a great grand-
son of James Mead, pioneer settler of Rutland. He served
in a Vermont regiment during a part of the Civil War and
returned in time to graduate from Middiebury College in the
class of 1864. He studied medicine and became one of the
leading physicians of Rutland. He was interested in business
enterprises, reorganized the Howe Scale Company and
was its president for many years, making it one of the leading
scale manufacturing plants of America. He served in both
branches of the State Legislature, was elected Lieutenant
Governor in 1908, and Governor in 1910. He died Januarj'
12, 1920.

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THE Year of Our Lord 1914 is a date that is
written in letters of blood in the history of the
world. It was a far cry from Flanders Fields
to the Green Mountains of Vermont — farther in the mid-
summer days of 1914 than a matter of a few thousand
miles that intervened; as far as the distance that lies
between the ruthless brutality of warfare, with all the
brood of evils that follows in its train, and the simple,
orderly ways of a peaceful people. And yet the little
commonwealth of Vermont was not an indifferent spec-
tator, when the world was on fire. The sympathy of the
people of this State, with very few exceptions, was with
the allied nations of France, Great Britain, Russia, Italy
and Belgium, in their gallant efforts to check the mighty
war machine of Germany and Austria. Some Vermont
men crossed the border into Canada and enlisted in
Dominion regiments, eager to go to the front. It was
just a hundred years since any considerable number of
Vermonters had fought against a foreign foe, and
there is good reason for the belief that a majority of the
people of this State were ready to go to the aid of the
Entente Allies long before war actually was declared.
Vermonters v/ere not passive onlookers in this life and
death struggle in Europe. They rejoiced in Allied vic-
tories and were depressed by Allied defeats. But as they
went about their tasks they watched the developments
overseas with an intelligent interest, and the belief grew
that sooner or later America must be drawn into the

In the spring elections of 1914, on a referendum vote,
the citizens of the State expressed a desire for the enact-


ment of a direct primary law. A similar vote registered
opposition to the erection of a new State building,
although the majority against the project was not as
large as might naturally have been expected. Twenty
towns and cities voted to license the sale of liquor.

President Wilson spent a short vacation at Cornish,
N. H., during the summer of 1914, which included auto-
mobile trips over Vermont highways.

A Macdonough memorial celebration was held at Ver-
gennes, where warships were built for that gallant officer,
this year being the one hundredth anniversary of the
triumph of the American fleet on Lake Champlain. The
exercises began on Sunday, September 6, with special
services in the churches. A memorial mass meeting
was held on the park in the afternoon. Mayor J. A.
Harrington extended greetings and music was furnished
by a chorus of one hundred voices. Addresses were de-
livered by Senator William P. Dillingham and Rodney
Macdonough of Boston, a grandson of the naval officer.

A battalion of the Vermont National Guard and a
detachment of cavalry from Fort Ethan Allen partici-
pated in manoeuvres on Monday morning, September 7.
In the afternoon there was a naval parade down the
Otter Creek to the site of Fort Cassin, in which the
United States gunboat Manning participated. Public
exercises were held at the mouth of the Otter Creek,
where Fort Cassin had been built. Rev. Father Vezina
introduced Governor Fletcher as chairman of the day.
The speakers were Senator Henry W. Hill of Buffalo,
N. Y., Joseph y\. DeBoer of Montpelier and Hon.
Josephus Daniels, Secretary of the Navy.


Tuesday, September 8, was the last day of the celebra-
tion. There was a military and a civic parade in the
morning, with historic floats, and a living flag, in which
sixty school girls had a part. Secretary Daniels broke
ground for a Macdonough memorial. Governor Fletcher
presided at the formal exercises and speeches were deliv-
ered by Secretary Daniels, Rodney Macdonough and Rev.
John P. Chid wick, Chaplain of the battleship Maine
when that craft was blown up in Havana harbor. A
marker was dedicated to commemorate the building of
the American fleet. Congressman Frank L. Greene was
toastmaster at a banquet held in the evening. The
speakers included Secretary Daniels, Rodney Mac-
donough, Father Chidwick and President John M.
Thomas of Middlebury College.

The Progressive party was not the militant force in
1914 that it had been in 1912, but it still was a party
to be reckoned with. Under the new law fixing the date
of State elections in November instead of September,
nominations were no longer made in June. The Pro-
gressive convention met on September 17, and nominated
A. J. Cooper of Bennington for Governor over E. C.
Crosby of Brattleboro, by a vote of 162 to 93, after the
names of E. P. Jose of Johnson and C. F. Smith of Mor-
risville had been withdrawn. Later the name of Walter
J. Aldrich of St. Johnsbury was substituted for that of
Mr. Cooper, who declined the nomination. Mr. Crosby
was nominated for Lieutenant Governor and Charles A.
Prouty of Newport for United States Senator. Mr.
Prouty had not supported Roosevelt. He had been a
prominent figure in Washington through his work on


the Iniersraie Commerce Commission, and he had de-
clined President Taft's offer of the position of Chief
Justice of the Court of Commerce, preferring to retain
his position on the commission.

The Democrats renominated Harland B. Howe of St.
Johnsbury as its candidate for Governor. An attempt
to endorse Prout}-'s nomination for Senator was de-
feated by a vote of 204 to 266, and Charles D. Watson
was nominated. Later Mr. Watson withdrew and Mr.
Prout}-'s name was substituted.

Congressman Plumley declined again to be a candidate
for renomination in the Second District and an active
contest followed for the Republican nomination, the can-
didates being Porter H. Dale of Island Pond, .\lexander
Dunnett of St. Johnsbury and John W. Gordon of Barre.
The vote on the first ballot was as follows : Dale, 96 :
Dunnett. 86: Gordon. 59. Mr. Dale was nominated on
the twent\ - fir5t ballot, the vote being. Dale. 130; Dun-
nett, 90: Gordon, 12.

The Republican State Convention nominated State
Highway Commissioner Charles W. Gates of Franklin
for Governor on the second ballot. Other candidates
were Frederick G. Fleetwood of Morrisville. Frank E.
Howe of Bennington, Max L. Powell of Burlington and
Percival W. Clement of Rutland. The vote on the sec-
ond ballot was as follows: Gates, 248: Fleetwood, 104:
Howe. 69: Powell. 55: Clement, 39. Hale K. Darling
of Chelsea was nominated for Lieutenant Governor, re-
ceiving 309 votes: 110 were cast for Seth Gage of
Weathersfield and 42 f"r F. L. Laird of Montpelier.


Senator Dillingham was unanimously nominated as
the party's candidate for United States Senator. Mr.
Prouty was the candidate of the Progressive, Prohibi-
tion and Democratic parties and of a so-called non-
partisan group. He was an able man of national repu-
tation. Senator Dillingham had been criticised severely
because he had not voted to expel Senators Smoot of
Utah and Lorimer of Illinois. He knew- he was doing
an unpopular thing, that he was taking his political life
in his hands, but he was convinced that he was right and
he shaped his course accordingly. The combination
against him was indeed a formidable one. In the last
election the Progressives had almost carried Vermont
and with the help of the other groups named Prouty's
election was predicted. The Republicans organized for
the campaign and Senator Dillingham took the stump in
his own behalf. Pie was personally very popular with
the people of the State, and a good campaigner. He had
been an active member of the Committee on Territories,
and had visited Alaska, submitting to the Senate a report
of his investigations. He had helped to frame the legis-
lation under which Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arizona
had been admitted to Statehood. He had been chair-
man of the Immigration Committee and of a separate
Immigration Commission, which had visited Europe,
made an elaborate investigation, covering a period of
three years, and submitted a voluminous report of forty-
one volumes of great value. The Senator had been
active in securing the Union Railway Station at Wash-
ington, thus following in the footsteps of his prede-
cessors, Senators Foot and Morrill, in beautifying the


national capital. He had been able to secure a redraft-
ing of the Chinese Exclusion Act. He had served at
different times on the powerful Appropriations, Judici-
ary, Finance and Foreign Relations Committees. The
Senatorial fight overshadowed all other contests. Not-
withstanding the odds against him. Senator Dillingham
won by a plurality of 8,361 over Mr. Prouty and by a
majority of 5,984 over all. The vote was, Dillingham,
35,137; Prouty, 26,776; James Canfield (Soc), 772;
scattering, 20.

The vote for Governor is given herewith: Gates
(Rep.), 36,972; Howe (Dem.), 16,191 ; Aldrich (Prog.),
6,929; Clement F. Smith (Pro.), 1,074; William R.
Rowland (Soc), 899; scattering, 27. Gates' majority
was 11,852. This was the last appearance of the Pro-
gressive party in political contests.

Charles Winslow Gates was born in Franklin, January
12, 1856. He was educated in the public schools and
at St. Johnsbury Academy. He taught school, being
principal of Franklin Academy four years and later was
engaged in farming and in mercantile pursuits. He rep-
resented Franklin in the Legislature in 1898 and was
one of the Franklin county Senators in 1900. He made
an excellent record as Town Road Commissioner and in
1904 Governor Bell appointed him State Highway Com-
missioner. He served in this capacity for ten years,
or until his election as Governor, and during that period
transformed the highway system of Vermont without
burdening the State with a bond issue. His successful
handling of the State highways, and his tact in dealing
with men, made him popular, and it was believed by


many Vermonters that he was the proper person to heal
the breach between RepubHcans and Progressives.

Porter Hinman Dale, the new Congressman from the
Second district, was born in Brighton, March 1, 1867.
He was educated in the schools of Montpelier and at the
Eastman Business College and studied with tutors in
Philadelphia and Boston. He studied law and practiced
at Island Pond. He was a Deputy Collector of Customs
from 1897 to 1910. He has been president of the Island
Pond National Bank, the Island Pond Electric Company,
the Stanstead (Que.) Electric Company and the King-
man Paper Company, and a director of the Fitzdale
Paper Company.

John E. Weeks of Middlebury was elected Speaker.
In his retiring message Governor Fletcher favored in-
creasing the size of the Supreme Court by the addition
of tw^o Justices, abolishing the Superior Court, and the
office of Attorney General, combining the offices of Com-
missioner of Agriculture and Live Stock Commissioner
and consolidating several boards. He recommended
that the office of Insurance Commissioner should be
established. Attention was called to the report of the
Educational Commission and various events occurring
during his administration were reviewed.

The inaugural address delivered by Governor Gates
was brief. He referred to the tendency toward a larger
degree of State control in public affairs. In urging a
policy of economy he said: "Our people will not balk
at expense that is necessary. They do not want to go
without those things that build for a better citizenship,
or for the State's best prosperity. We need not hesitate


to build well for Vermont — as well as our finances will
permit." Reference was made to progress achieved in
highway construction.

Owing to the change in the time of the convening of
the Legislature whereby the session opened in January
instead of October, and failure to enact a law continuing
the terms of the Judges of the courts to correspond to
the change made in other departments, Governor
Fletcher appointed Judges, giving them commissions for
two years. Some of the Judges were not reappointed
and some new appointments were made. It had been
customary to apply the seniority rule in the advancement
of Judges but when Chief Judge John W. Rowell retired
one of the younger members of the Supreme Court,
George M. Powers, was made Chief Judge. Members
of the Legislature questioned the right of the Governor
to appoint for the full term of two years, and a bill intro-
duced by Senator Max L. Powell of Chittenden county,
provided that the terms of the members of the Supreme
Court should end February 1. This bill passed both
Houses and after some delay was signed by the Gov-
ernor. There was some apprehension lest there should
be two courts, one appointed 1)y the Governor and an-
other elected by the Legislature. This danger was
averted, however, when the Judges resigned. All the
Judges who were in office previous to the appointments
made by Governor Fletcher, were reelected and Judge
Munson, the senior member of the court when Judge
Rowell retired, was elected Chief Justice.

Gen. Nelson A. Miles addressed the House and Senate
on March 11, 1915. The important legislation of the


session of 1915 included the passage of a direct primary
law, with a referendum clause attached, and an act per-
mitting the election of Representatives in Congress by a
plurality vote. Following in part the suggestions made
by the Educational Commission appointed by Governor
Fletcher, the elementary school laws were codified and
amended. The act provided for the appointment of a
State Board of Education of five members, who were
given power to elect a State Commissioner of Educa-
tion. P'urther legislation authorized the establishment
of junior and senior high schools and a system of voca-
tional education. The Theodore N. Vail Agricultural
School was established at Lyndon. An employers'
liability act was passed and a budget committee and a
conservation commission were authorized. An act pro-
hibiting the sale of intoxicating liquors, known as the
Perry bill, taking its name from the member from Brat-
tleboro, was passed with a referendum clause attached.
A joint resolution was adopted, providing for the
restoration of the school fund of 1825, abolished in
1845, which then amounted to $234,900.44, and the State
Treasurer was authorized to issue to the trustees of the
Permanent School Fund, certificates of the registered
loans of the State, bearing interest at four per cent. The
Governor was authorized to procure and place in the
Capitol a bronze tablet bearing a medallion portrait of
Gen. Stephen Thomas. Resolutions were adopted de-
ploring the death of Hon. James L. Martin, Judge of the
United States Court for the District of Vermont. Judge
Martin was stricken with heart disease and died sud-
denly on January 14, 1915. Harland B. Howe of St.

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option law. Later, as the sentiment for national prohi-
bition grew throughout the Nation, prohibition sentiment
increased in Vermont. As the prohibitory act provided
that if a "no" majority were given it should not take
effect until another legislative session had intervened,
the Perry act was repealed.

The vote on the primary law was closer than that on
the prohibition bill, and the result of the referendum, by
counties, is given herewith:

Yes No

Addison 1,927 1,174

Bennington 1,898 1,473

Caledonia 1,698 1,293

Chittenden 3,516 2,496

Essex 262 504

Franklin 2,069 1,765

Grand Isle 296 183

Lamoille 824 720

Orange 1,023 1,176

Orleans 1,542 932

Rutland 3,342 3,813

Washington 3,267 2,596

Windham 1,596 1,870

Windsor 2,158 2,193

Total 25,418 22,188

The majority for a primary law was 3,230 and nine
out of fourteen counties endorsed the measure.

The frequent disturbances along the international
boundary line between the United States and Mexico,
and the raid on Columbus, New Mexico, by Villa, a


Mexican insurgent leader, induced President Wilson to
call into the military service of the United States prac-
tically all the National Guard regiments of the several
States. The ofticial call for the mobilization of the
Vermont regiment was received by Governor Gates on
the evening of June 18, 1916. This call included the
First Vermont Infantry, the Sanitary Troops attached,
and the First Squadron of Cavalry, the last named
organization being composed of Norwich University
students. Col. Ira L. Reeves, president of Norwich
University, the commander of the regiment, during the
night of June 18 notified the commander of each com-
pany by telephone of the orders issued and the men were
directed to entrain for mobilization at the State Camp
Ground at Fort Ethan Allen, not later than June 22.
The companies were mustered in by Lieut. J. C. Water-
man of the regular army.

The Vermont regiment left Fort Ethan Allen on June
26, in four sections. The trip was made without inci-
dent and the Vermonters arrived at Eagle Pass, Tex.,
on Sunday, July 2. This was the first complete National
Guard regiment to arrive on the Mexican border, under
the call of June 18. President John M. Thomas of Mid-
dlebury College went out as Chaplain of the regiment.

Soon after the arrival of the Vermonters, the Third
Battalion, commanded by Maj. J. M. Ashley, was
assigned to guard the Rio Grande fords, as rumors of a
raid by Mexican cavalry had been received. The regi-
ment received an intensive course of training under reg-
ular army officers. During July various detachments
of the regiment were assigned to outpost duty for one


Born in Eden, Vt., December 17, 1844. He studied law
and began the practice of his profession at Northfield, in
1869. He served in both branches of the Legislature, was
United States District Attorney and a member of the Court
of Claims. He was appointed by President Roosevelt as
umpire to settle the claims brought against Venezuela by
Great Britain, Holland and France. He wao elected a
member of Congress in 1908, serving three terms. Mr.
Plumlev is a well-known orator.

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month, as follows: Company C, composed of Univer-
sity of Vermont students, Capt. J. L. Cootey command-
ing, to Indio and Windmill Ranches, thirty and forty-
two miles, respectively, down the river; Company B,
Lieut. J. F. Sullivan of St. Albans commanding, to
Blocker's Ranch, sixty-two miles down the river; Com-
pany A, Lieut. G. Cowan of Rutland commanding, to
Lehman's Ranch, twenty miles up the river; and Com-
pany D, Capt. H. A. Wilcox of St. Johnsbury command-
ing, to Elm Creek bridge, on the railroad leading from
Eagle Pass to San Antonio. Company F of Northfield,
Capt. H. M. Howe commanding, was the first detach-
ment to take charge of the International Bridge.

There was little sickness in the regiment, vaccination
for typhoid having been administered. Adjt. Gen. Lee
S. Tillotson visited the regiment about the middle of
September. The First Squadron of Cavalry from Nor-
wich University was kept at Fort Ethan Allen in order
to recruit it to war strength. The task not being accom-
plished readily, the squadron was broken up and trans-
ferred to the First Vermont Infantry, Headquarters
Company, the Band, the Machine Gun Company and
part of the Supply Company being organized from the
squadron. These detachments remained at Fort Ethan
Allen, under command of Capt. B. S. Hyland, assisted
by Capt. E. W. Gibson. Once they were entrained and
had gone as far as Brattleboro when orders were received
directing their return to Fort Ethan Allen.

Governor Gates issued a proclamation on August 16,
1916, calling attention to the fact that the Vermont
troops serving on the Mexican border were not receiving


sufficient compensation to meet their needs and the needs
of their families, and he added that "ii provision is not
soon made for such purpose such families must become
subject to charity." Therefore he called the Legislature
to meet in special session on August 24, 1916.

When the General Assembly convened the Governor
transmitted a message in which he quoted Adjutant
General Tillotson, as saying of the Vermont soldiers:
"They responded promptly to the call, they were the
first troops to arrive at the border, and the first to be
given responsible duty in the district in which they were
stationed; in fact, they are the only National Guard
troops at that point which have as yet been put on actual
border patrol work. All reports show that the Vermont
regiment is recognized as an efficient organization."
The Governor asserted that an urgent request for a
special session had been received before the troops left
Fort Ethan Allen, but at that time there was some indi-
cation that Congress might make necessary provision for
the care of dependents.

A committee consisting of a representative from each
military company held three meetings at Montpelier and
secured information showing that approximately one
hundred and fifty families dependent upon soldiers
needed assistance. The possibility of relief by Con-
gress, the Governor declared, was ''too vague for dis-
cussion and too unsettled to suit our patriotism." The
length of time the troops would be kept in service was
uncertain and he recommended that aid for the Ver-
mont soldiers and their families be provided.


The Legislature, in response to the message, voted to
pay the Vermont soldiers of the National Guard ten
dollars per month while in service, to allow payment to
dependent members of families various sums including
twenty dollars per month for a wife, other sums for
children, dependent parents, brothers or sisters, but the
whole amount paid any family should not exceed thirty-
five dollars per month. The State Treasurer was
authorized to borrow a sum not exceeding one hundred
and thirty thousand dollars.

Provision was made for soldiers to vote at primary

Online LibraryWalter Hill CrockettVermont, the Green mountain state (Volume 4) → online text (page 31 of 43)