Asa S. Bloomer

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Asa S. Bloomer (August 15, 1891 – February 21, 1963) was a Vermont politician and lawyer who served as Speaker of the Vermont House of Representatives and President Pro Tem of the Vermont Senate.

Early life[edit]

Asa Schoonmaker "Ace" Bloomer was born in Proctor, Vermont on August 15, 1891. He graduated from the University of Vermont in 1913 and received a law degree from Yale Law School in 1916, afterwards practicing law in Rutland County.[1]

World War I[edit]

He enlisted in the Army for World War I and received a commission as a Second Lieutenant of Aviation. Bloomer served in Nebraska, Ohio and Texas before being discharged in December, 1918.[2][3]

Rutland County State's Attorney[edit]

A Republican, Bloomer was Rutland County State's Attorney from 1935 to 1937. During his term he garnered nationwide headlines when he indicted Governor Charles M. Smith. Smith had been President of Rutland's Marble Bank, and was accused with other bank officers of defrauding depositors. (In May 1932 Smith learned that his bank's bookeeper had embezzled $251,000. Smith let the bookkeeper resign, did not disclose the theft, and charged the loss against the bank's surplus. In July 1935 the bookkeeper was named Rutland's Assistant City Treasurer and planned a candidacy for Treasurer. His political opponents then leaked word of the theft to the press. In December, 1935 Bloomer charged Smith and other bank officers with abetting the theft for failing to inform account holders and authorities. The bookkeeper was convicted, and the bank Treasurer received a suspended sentence and paid a $400 fine. Charges against some other officers were dismissed. Smith was acquitted at trial)[4][5]

Bloomer also brought charges against a Proctor, Vermont selectman for neglect of duty after the town sided with management and refused to provide emergency aid to the children of striking workers at the Vermont Marble Company.[6]

Vermont House of Representatives[edit]

In 1936 Bloomer ran successfully for the Vermont House of Representatives and served four terms, 1937 to 1945. In his final term (1943 to 1945) Bloomer served as Speaker of the House.[7][8]

Bloomer ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination to be Lieutenant Governor in 1944, losing to Lee E. Emerson, who went on to win the general election.[9]

Vermont Senate[edit]

Bloomer ran successfully for the Vermont Senate in 1946, and he was reelected eight times, serving from 1947 to his death. He was President Pro Tem of the Senate in 1949, 1955, and 1959 until his death.[10][11]

Death and burial[edit]

Bloomer died at Montpelier's Heaton Hospital on February 21, 1963 after suffering a heart attack at the Vermont State House. He was buried in Rutland's Evergreen Cemetery.[12][13][14]

Family[edit]

Asa Bloomer's sons Robert A. Bloomer (1921–1999) and John H. Bloomer, Sr. (1930–1995) both served in the Vermont Senate. Robert was Senate President from 1975 to 1985 and John served as President of the Senate from 1993 to 1995.[15][16]

Judith Wener Bloomer Crowley (born 1936), the wife of John H. Bloomer, Sr. and mother of John H. Bloomer, Jr. served in the Vermont Senate from 1995 to 1997 and in the Vermont House from 2001 to 2005.[17]

John H. Bloomer, Jr. (born 1960) served in the Vermont Senate from 1997 to 2005. In 2011 he was appointed Secretary of the Senate.[18]

Legacy[edit]

The state office building in the city of Rutland was named for Asa Bloomer in 1999.[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Vermont Legislative Directory, published by Vermont Secretary of State, 1947, page 414
  2. ^ U.S. Adjutant General Military Records, 1631-1976, record for Asa Schoonmacker Bloomer, accessed via Ancestry.com, March 24, 2012
  3. ^ World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, record for Asa S. Bloomer, accessed via Ancestry.com, March 24, 2012
  4. ^ Newspaper article, Governor Named in Connection With Bank Thefts, by Associated Press, Reno Gazette, November 30, 1936
  5. ^ Newspaper article, Gov. Smith is Acquitted, by Associated Press, Lowell Sun, December 2, 1936
  6. ^ The Star That Set: The Vermont Republican Party, 1854-1974, by Samuel B. Hand, 2003, page 155
  7. ^ Speakers Ballot Votes, 1915 to 2003, published by Vermont House of Representatives, 2003
  8. ^ Vermont Legislative Directory and State Manual, published by Vermont Secretary of State, 1959, page 793
  9. ^ 1944 Republican Primary Election Results, published by Vermont Secretary of State, Archives and Records Administration, 2006, page 1
  10. ^ Newspaper article, Bloomer Was State's Best Known Solon, by Associated Press, published in Bennington Banner, February 22, 1963
  11. ^ List of Vermont Senate Presidents Pro Tempore, published by Vermont State Senate, 2012
  12. ^ Vermont Death Records, 1909-2008, record for Asa Schoonmaker Bloomer, accessed via Ancestry.com, March 24, 2012
  13. ^ Gravestone photos, Find A Grave contributor Jen Snoots, accessed March 24, 2012
  14. ^ Newspaper article, Sen. Bloomer, 71, Drops Dead at Vt. Assembly, Boston Globe, February 22, 1963
  15. ^ Newspaper article, John Bloomer; Vermont Legislator, 64, New York Times, January 11, 1995
  16. ^ Obituary, Ex-Vermont State Senator Robert Bloomer, by Associated Press, New York Newsday, December 8, 1999
  17. ^ Journal of the Vermont Senate, published by Vermont Senate, February 9, 1995
  18. ^ Newspaper article, John Bloomer returns to the Senate in a new role, by Nancy Remsen, Burlington Free Press, January 4, 2011
  19. ^ Vermont Statutes Annotated, published by Equity Publishing Corporation, 1999, page 111
Political offices
Preceded by
Lee E. Emerson
Speaker of the Vermont House of Representatives
1943–1945
Succeeded by
Joseph H. Denny
Preceded by
Carroll L. Coburn
President pro tempore of the Vermont State Senate
1949 – 1951
Succeeded by
Merrill W. Harris
Preceded by
Carleton G. Howe
President pro tempore of the Vermont State Senate
1955 – 1957
Succeeded by
Robert S. Babcock
Preceded by
Robert S. Babcock
President pro tempore of the Vermont State Senate
1959 – 1963
Succeeded by
John H. Boylan