E. Henry Powell

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E. Henry Powell

E. Henry Powell (September 3, 1839 – May 4, 1911) was a Vermont veteran of the Civil War and politician who served as State Auditor.


Edward Henry Powell was born in Richford, Vermont on September 3, 1839. He was educated in Richford and at Potsdam Academy in New York and New Hampton Institute in Fairfax, Vermont. Powell worked as a teacher for several terms while he was attending school.[1]

In 1860, Powell began studies at the University of Vermont, where he remained until withdrawing to enlist for the Civil War. He enlisted as a Private in the 10th Vermont Infantry Regiment on July 17, 1862, and was soon promoted to First Sergeant.[2]

In 1863, he passed a competitive examination and a promotion board to receive an officer's appointment in the United States Colored Troops. He was commissioned as a Lieutenant Colonel in the 10th United States Colored Troops and served with this unit until the end of the war. After the Civil War ended in 1865 the 10th U.S.C.T. performed duty in Texas as part of a separate brigade, and Powell often acted as brigade commander.[3]

After being mustered out Powell returned to Vermont, studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1866.[4][5]

A Republican, Powell served as a federal customs inspector for Franklin County from 1866 to 1869. From 1872 to 1874, he was Franklin County State's Attorney. He served in the Vermont House of Representatives from 1874 to 1876, and in the Vermont Senate from 1878 to 1880.[6]

In 1878, Powell was elected State Auditor, and he served until 1892.[7]

In 1874, Powell was an original incorporator of the Richford Savings Bank & Trust Company, and was named its President.[8]

Powell moved to Burlington in 1892 to accept the position of Treasurer at the University of Vermont. In 1892, he was also elected to the Board of Directors of the Burlington Trust Company.[9]

Powell died in Burlington on May 4, 1911.[10][11] He was buried in Burlington's Lakeview Cemetery.[12]


In 1865, Powell married Ellen Grace Rowell, a music teacher. The couple had two children, Max L. Powell and Blanche Powell Spring. Ellen Powell died of "pulmonary trouble" in 1876.[13] Powell later married Georgiana Reed Bailey, the widow of George W. Bailey Jr., who served as Secretary of State of Vermont.[14] With his second wife Powell also had two children, Thomas Reed Powell and Gertrude Powell Morris.

E. Henry Powell's son Max L. Powell served as President pro tempore of the Vermont State Senate. His younger son, Thomas Reed Powell (1880-1955), was a professor at Columbia and Harvard Law Schools, a consultant and mediator in legal cases involving tax, insurance, and railroad matters, and president of the American Political Science Association.[15]


  1. ^ History of Franklin and Grand Isle Counties, Vermont, edited by Lewis Cass Aldrich, 1891, page 241
  2. ^ E. Henry Powell: An Appreciation, a Tribute, and a Memorial, by Max Leon Powell, 1938, page 18
  3. ^ A History of the Tenth Regiment, Vermont Volunteers, by Edwin Mortimer Haynes, 1894, pages 78 to 80
  4. ^ Joint Rules, Rules and Orders of the Senate and House of Representatives, published by Vermont Secretary of State, 1882, page 111
  5. ^ Vermont Legislative Directory, published by Vermont Secretary of State, 1884, page 31
  6. ^ Joint Rules, Rules and Orders of the Senate and House of Representatives, published by Vermont Secretary of State, 1878, page 112
  7. ^ Who's Who in New England, by Albert Nelson Marquis, Volume 1, 1909, page 757
  8. ^ Genealogical and Family History of the State of Vermont, edited by Hiram Carleton, 1903, page 308
  9. ^ Magazine article, Twentieth Century Burlington, by Charles S. Forbes, The Vermonter magazine, Volume 5, Number 11, 1898, page 214
  10. ^ University of Vermont Notes, published by the University, Volumes 6-10, 1911, page 158
  11. ^ Vermont Death Records, 1909-2008, Record for Edward Henry Powell, accessed November 24, 2011
  12. ^ Gravestone photos by contributor Barb Destromp, Edward Henry Powell page, Find A Grave.com web site, accessed November 25, 2011
  13. ^ E. Henry Powell, privately printed biography by Max L. Powell.
  14. ^ Carleton, Hiram (1903). Genealogical and Family History of the State of Vermont. 1. New York, NY: Lewis Publishing Company. p. 309. 
  15. ^ Henderson, Edith G. (1965). "Powell, Thomas Reed. Papers, 1905-1955: Finding Aid. HOLLIS 601714". Harvard Law School Library, Harvard Library. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Jedd P. Ladd
Vermont Auditor of Accounts
Succeeded by
Franklin D. Hale