John Calvin Coolidge Sr.

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John Calvin Coolidge Sr.

Member of the Vermont Senate from Windsor County
In office
Serving with
  • Edward A. Davis
  • Edward H. Edgerton
Preceded by
  • F. Thomas Kidder
  • Edward B. Flinn
  • Loyal E. Sherwin
Succeeded by
  • Herbert H. Blanchard
  • David A. Elliott
  • Don C. Pollard
Member of the Vermont House of Representatives from Plymouth
In office
Preceded byCharles A. Scott
Succeeded byAlonzo F. Hubbard
Justice of the Peace from the town of Plymouth, Vermont
In office
In office
Member of the Plymouth, Vermont Selectboard
In office
Personal details
John Calvin Coolidge

(1845-03-31)March 31, 1845
Plymouth, Vermont, U.S
DiedMarch 18, 1926(1926-03-18) (aged 80)
Plymouth, Vermont, U.S
Political partyRepublican
OccupationBusinessman, Politician, Banker, Farmer
Military service
Branch/serviceVermont Militia
Years of service
  • 1860–1869
  • 1900–1902
CommandsCompany K, 10th Regiment

John Calvin Coolidge Sr. (March 31, 1845 – March 18, 1926) was an American politician and businessman from Vermont, and the father of J. Calvin Coolidge Jr., the 30th President of the United States. He administered the presidential oath of office to his son, the 29th Vice President of the United States, at their family homestead on the early morning of August 3, 1923, following the death of President Warren G. Harding. He is thus the only person to have sworn in a descendent or close relative to the office, and one of three persons to have administered the oath to Coolidge, who had a publicised oath upon returning to Washington.

Born in Plymouth, Vermont, John C. Coolidge was a farmer and store owner, and worked at a variety of other occupations, including banker and insurance broker. In addition, he was a veteran of the Vermont militia, and held the law enforcement posts of town constable and county deputy sheriff. A prominent local leader, he served in numerous Plymouth town offices, and was elected to terms in both the Vermont House of Representatives and Vermont State Senate.

John C. Coolidge remained active in his farming and business interests until his death in Plymouth in 1926; he was buried in Plymouth Notch at a village cemetery where several generations of his family are also buried.

Political and business career[edit]

From 1894's Men of Vermont Illustrated.

Coolidge was born in Plymouth, Vermont on March 31, 1845, the son of Calvin Galusha Coolidge and Sarah Coolidge.[1] Calvin G. Coolidge was a farmer, and also served in the Vermont House of Representatives.[2][3][4] John Coolidge graduated from Black River Academy, and served in Vermont during the American Civil War as commander of the state militia's Company K, 10th Regiment with the rank of captain.[1][5][6]

Early in his life, Coolidge worked as a woodcutter and wheelwright.[7] He was later active in several occupations; a partial list includes farmer, blacksmith, bricklayer, mason, carriage maker, harness maker, teacher, store owner, and insurance broker.[8][9] In addition, he was a vice president of the Ludlow Savings Bank & Trust Company, and was appointed to its board of directors.[10] Coolidge also served on the Black River Academy board of trustees.[11]

A Republican, Coolidge served in the Vermont House of Representatives from 1872 to 1878.[1] He held local offices throughout his life, including town selectboard member, town meeting moderator, town agent, tax collector, road commissioner, school superintendent, justice of the peace, and notary public.[7][12] For several years, he was Plymouth's assistant postmaster, with a long running joke in the town being that Coolidge held this position because he was the only person in Plymouth who knew how to complete the forms required when submitting the post office's annual report to the main office in Washington, DC.[13][14] For nearly 40 years he was both a town constable and deputy sheriff of Windsor County.[15][16]

During the 1900 to 1902 governorship of William W. Stickney, who was related to the Coolidge family,[17] John Coolidge served on his military staff as aide-de-camp with the rank of colonel.[18]

Coolidge served in the Vermont State Senate from 1910 to 1912.[19][20] During his Senate term, Coolidge was chairman of the Committee on Land Taxes.[20]

Inaugurating his son[edit]

Upon hearing the death of President Warren G. Harding the previous day, Coolidge, who was a Vermont justice of the peace and a notary public, administered the presidential oath of office to his son at the Coolidge Homestead in Plymouth Notch, Vermont, at about 2:30 a.m. on August 3, 1923.[21]


John Calvin Coolidge Sr. died in Plymouth, Vermont on (1926-03-18)March 18, 1926.[22] He was buried at Plymouth Notch Cemetery.[23]


In 1868, Coolidge married Victoria Josephine Moor (b. 1846).[1] They were the parents of two children, son Calvin, and daughter Abigail (1875–1890).[1] Victoria died in 1885, aged 39.[1]

Coolidge married again on September 9, 1891.[1] to Caroline Athelia Brown (1857–1920).[24]




  • American Leaders, 1789-1994: A Biographical Summary. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly. 1994. pp. 15, 28. ISBN 9780871878410.
  • Child, Hamilton (1881). Gazetteer and Business Directory of Windsor County, Vt., for 1883-84. 1. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse Journal. p. 426.
  • Coolidge, Emma Downing (1930). Descendants of John and Mary Coolidge of Watertown, Massachusetts, 1630. Boston, MA: Wright & Potter Printing Company. p. 170.
  • Orton, Vrest (1981). Calvin Coolidge's Unique Vermont Inauguration. Rutland, VT: Academy Books. p. 95. ISBN 9780914960317.
  • Fuess, Claude Moore (1939). Calvin Coolidge - The Man from Vermont. Andover, MA: Fuess Press. p. 6. ISBN 9781446549049.
  • News and Notes: A Monthly Newsletter Issued by the Vermont Historical Society. 16-20. Montpelier, VT: Vermont Historical Society. 1964. p. 71.
  • Ullery, Jacob G. (1894). Men of Vermont Illustrated. Brattleboro, VT: Transcript Publishing Company. p. 80.
  • Vermont Department of Banking and Insurance (1920). Annual Report of the Bank Commissioner of the State of Vermont. Rutland, VT: Tuttle Company. p. 149.
  • Vermont General Assembly (1868). Vermont Legislative Documents and Official Reports. Montpelier, VT: Poland's Steam Printing Establishment. p. 34.
  • Vermont Historical Society (1995). A Guide to the Coolidge Family Papers, 1802-1932 (PDF). Montpelier, VT: Vermont Historical Society. p. 6.
  • Vermont State Officers Reports for 1901-1902. Albany, NY: J. B. Lyon Company. 1902. p. 75.
  • Vermont State Senate (1910). Journal of the Senate of the State of Vermont. Montpelier, VT: Capital City Press. pp. 5, 18.
  • Vermont State Senate (1917). Journal of the Senate of the State of Vermont. Montpelier, VT: Vermont General Assembly. p. 808.



External links[edit]