Edward H. Deavitt

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Edward H. Deavitt as Republican nominee for State Treasurer, June 1906.

Edward H. Deavitt (December 1, 1871 – October 2, 1946) was a Vermont politician, attorney and businessman who served as Vermont State Treasurer and Speaker of the Vermont House of Representatives.


Edward Harrington Deavitt was born in Moretown, Vermont on December 1, 1871. He was raised in Montpelier, graduated from the University of Vermont in 1893, received a law degree from Harvard Law School in 1896 and became an attorney, first in Boston, Massachusetts, and later in Montpelier.[1][2]

In addition to practicing law Deavitt was involved in several businesses, including serving on the boards of directors of several banks and local utilities and an executive of a Montpelier granite manufacturing company.[3]

A Republican, Deavitt served as a member of the state board of bar examiners and a bankruptcy referee in the late 1890s and early 1900s. In 1906 Deavitt was the successful candidate for State Treasurer, and served until 1915.[4]

In the mid-1920s Deavitt served as an aide to Governor Franklin S. Billings before resigning to become the state Commissioner of Finance.[5][6]

Deavitt served as a member of Montpelier's City Council from 1923 to 1926, and Mayor of Montpelier from 1926 to 1930.[7]

In 1928 Deavitt ran unsuccessfully in the Republican primary election for Governor of Vermont. Incumbent John E. Weeks ran successfully for reelection, arguing that the Vermont Republican party's "Mountain Rule" limiting governors to two years in office should not apply because Weeks was best able to lead the state's recovery from the great flood of 1927. Political observers regarded Deavitt's challenge to Weeks as a half-hearted effort to maintain the Mountain Rule.[8][9][10][11]

In 1930 Deavitt was elected to the Vermont House of Representatives. He was chosen Speaker, and served from 1931 to 1933.[12]

After leaving the legislature Deavitt resumed his business interests, including serving as President of the Green Mountain Mutual Fire Insurance Company.[13]

Deavitt died in Montpelier on October 2, 1946.[14][15][16]


  1. ^ Encyclopedia of Vermont Biography, by Prentiss Cutler Dodge, 1912, page 168
  2. ^ Men of 1914, by American Publishers' Association, 1915, page 195
  3. ^ Who's Who in New England, by Albert Nelson Marquis, Volume 2, 1915, page 322
  4. ^ Who's Who in Finance and Banking, by John William Leonard, 1922, page 179
  5. ^ Newspaper article, Executive Clerk Named, Christian Science Monitor, July 18, 1925
  6. ^ Newspaper column, It happened in New England, Providence County Times and Olneyville Times, June 19, 1925
  7. ^ The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, by James Terry White, Volume 44, 1967, page 245
  8. ^ The Star That Set: The Vermont Republican Party, 1854-1974, by Samuel B. Hand, 2003, pages 125 to 127
  9. ^ "The Troubled Roar of the Waters": Vermont in Flood and Recovery, 1927-1931, by Deborah Pickman Clifford and Nicholas Rowland Clifford, 2007, page 134
  10. ^ Newspaper article, Vermont May Break "Mountain Rule," Boston Globe, September 7, 1928
  11. ^ Newspaper article, results of Primaries yesterday, Kingsport Times, September 12, 1928
  12. ^ Vermont Legislative Directory, by Vermont Secretary of State, 1933, page 607
  13. ^ Death notice, Edward H. Deavitt, Journal of American Insurance, Volume 23, 1946, page 23
  14. ^ Newspaper article, Vermont Official Dies, by Associated Press, Fitchburg Sentinel, October 3, 1946
  15. ^ Vermont Death Records, 1909-2008, record for Edward Harrington Deavitt, accessed via Ancestry.com, February 19, 2012
  16. ^ Obituary, Edward H. Deavitt, Christian Science Monitor, October 3, 1946

Political offices
Preceded by
John L. Bacon
Vermont State Treasurer
Succeeded by
Walter F. Scott
Preceded by
Benjamin Williams
Speaker of the Vermont House of Representatives
Succeeded by
George Aiken