Jefferson P. Kidder

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Jefferson P. Kidder
Jefferson P. Kidder.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Dakota Territory's at-large district
In office
March 4, 1875 – March 3, 1879
Preceded by Moses K. Armstrong
Succeeded by Granville G. Bennett
18th Lieutenant Governor of Vermont
In office
October 1853 – October 13, 1854
Governor John S. Robinson
Preceded by William C. Kittredge
Succeeded by Ryland Fletcher
Member of the Minnesota House of Representatives
In office
January 6, 1861 – January 2, 1865
Member of the Vermont Senate
In office
Personal details
Born (1815-06-04)June 4, 1815
Braintree, Vermont
Died October 2, 1883(1883-10-02) (aged 68)
St. Paul, Minnesota
Political party Republican

Jefferson Parish Kidder (June 4, 1815 – October 2, 1883) was an American lawyer and jurist. He served as the non-voting delegate from the Dakota Territory to the United States House of Representatives.

Early life[edit]

Kidder was born in Braintree, Vermont on June 4, 1815. He attended the Orange County Grammar School in Randolph, and graduated from Alden Partridge's American Literary, Scientific and Military Academy (Norwich University) in 1834.[1] He studied law in Montpelier, was admitted to the bar in 1839 and practiced in Braintree and West Randolph. Among the prospective attorneys who studied law under Kidder's supervision was John W. Rowell, who went on to serve as chief justice of the Vermont Supreme Court.[2]


He was a member of the Vermont Constitutional Convention in 1843. He served as State's Attorney for Orange County (1842-1847), a member of the Vermont State Senate (1847-1849), the 17th Lieutenant Governor of Vermont (1852-1853), and a delegate to the 1856 Democratic National Convention.

In 1848 he received the honorary degree of Master of Arts from the University of Vermont.

In 1857 Kidder moved to St. Paul, Minnesota, where he joined the Republican Party. He was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 1862 and 1863.

In 1865 he moved to Vermillion, Dakota Territory, when Abraham Lincoln appointed him an associate justice of the territorial Supreme Court.

In 1875, he resigned from the court, having been elected the territory's delegate to the U.S. Congress. He served from March 4, 1875 to March 3, 1879. He was an unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1878.

After leaving Congress Kidder was reappointed to the territorial Supreme Court, where he served until his death.

Death and burial[edit]

Kidder died in St. Paul on October 2, 1883. He was buried in St. Paul's Oakland Cemetery.


His son Lyman Kidder was a US Cavalry 2nd lieutenant serving in the 2nd Cavalry under George Armstrong Custer, and was killed in action in what would be dubbed the Kidder massacre.

Jefferson Kidder was also the grandfather to noted lawman and Arizona Ranger Jeff Kidder.


Kidder County, North Dakota is named for him.[3]


  1. ^ Norwich University, 1819-1911; Her History, Her Graduates, Her Roll of Honor, Volume 2, 1911, page 682
  2. ^ Ullery, Jacob G. (1894). "Men of Vermont Illustrated". Brattleboro, VT: Transcript Publishing Company. pp. 343–344. 
  3. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 174. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
William C. Kittredge
Lieutenant Governor of Vermont
Succeeded by
Ryland Fletcher
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Moses K. Armstrong
Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives
from Dakota Territory's at-large congressional district

March 4, 1875 – March 3, 1879
Succeeded by
Granville G. Bennett