Horace Fairbanks

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Horace Fairbanks
Horace Fairbanks.jpg
36th Governor of Vermont
In office
October 5, 1876 – October 3, 1878
Lieutenant Redfield Proctor
Preceded by Asahel Peck
Succeeded by Redfield Proctor
Personal details
Born (1820-03-21)March 21, 1820
Barnet, Vermont
Died March 17, 1888(1888-03-17) (aged 67)
New York City
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Mary E. Taylor
Profession industrialist / politician

Horace Fairbanks (March 21, 1820 – March 17, 1888) was an American politician and the 36th Governor of Vermont from 1876 to 1878.[1]


Fairbanks was born in Barnet, Vermont, the third of nine children of Erastus Fairbanks (who had been a Republican Governor of Vermont) and his wife Lois Crossman. He was educated in the county schools and Phillips Academy. He married Mary E. Taylor on August 9, 1840. They had three children.[2] Fairbanks was the brother of Franklin Fairbanks.[3]


In 1840, Fairbanks became confidential clerk of E. & T. Fairbanks & Co., makers of the first platform scale, eventually becoming partner and then president.

In 1869 he was elected to one term in the Vermont State Senate.[4] He promoted the construction of a railway line from Portland, Maine to Ogdensburg, New York via the Crawford Notch, and became president of the Vermont division of the railroad, as well as president of the First National Bank of St. Johnsbury, Vermont.

Fairbanks was a delegate to the Republican National Conventions of 1864, 1868 and 1872, and was a presidential elector in 1872.[5]

In 1871 Fairbanks presented to St. Johnsbury the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum, which incorporates a free public library containing 8,000 volumes and an art gallery. He was a trustee of the University of Vermont and Phillips Academy.

Elected Governor of Vermont in 1876, Fairbanks served a two-year term. During his administration, a Board of Agriculture was established, and provision was made for the licensing of physicians.

His brother Franklin was Speaker of the Vermont House of Representatives, and their philanthropic activities in St. Johnsbury and throughout Vermont led to creation of the Fairbanks Museum and the endowment of numerous libraries and other institutions.[citation needed]

Fairbanks died in New York City four days before his 68th birthday. He is interred at Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Saint Johnsbury, Caledonia County, Vermont.


  1. ^ "Horace Fairbanks". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved November 20, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Horace Fairbanks". National Governors Association. Retrieved November 20, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Horace Fairbanks". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved November 20, 2012. 
  4. ^ Saving America’s Treasures
  5. ^ William Hartley Jeffrey, Successful Vermonters: A Modern Gazetteer of Caledonia, Essex, and Orleans Counties, Vermont, 1904, page 120

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Asahel Peck
Governor of Vermont
Succeeded by
Redfield Proctor