Governor Harold J. Arthur: Served 1950-1951

Whilst strolling Lakeview Cemetery recently, I discovered a governor! So, today’s video is on that man: Harold John Arthur. I often find so many interesting people buried in these places I love to visit. And then, I share them with you.

I found quite a few interesting sources online. It is information you may find as compelling as I. The “Today in Masonic History” was one of my favorite sources! See below…

“Today in Masonic History Harold John Arthur passed away in 1971.
Harold John Arthur was an American politician.

Arthur was born in Whitehall, New York on February 9th, 1904. He was raised in parts of Rutland and Addison counties in Vermont.
Arthur graduated from the Albany Business College. After graduation he worked for the Brandon National Bank.

In the 1920’s Arthur would join the Vermont National guard and serve during World War II. He would rise to the rank of Major before retiring in 1964. Toward the end of the 1920’s he would work as an assistant to then Governor of Vermont John E. Weeks. He would also begin working for Warren R. Austin.

Arthur would work for Austin for over a decade, learning the law from Austin. Arthur would obtain a law degree from La Salle Extension University.

Arthur would work for the Vermont House of Representatives. Starting in 1939, he would become the chief clerk and parliamentarian. He would serve in that position until 1949.

Arthur would be the Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor in 1948. He would win the election and only serve 2 years of his term. In 1950, the sitting Governor, Ernest W. Gibson Jr. would resign to take a federal judge appointment. Arthur would finish Gibson’s term and would not seek re-election.

Arthur would run two times for United States Congress seats and would be unsuccessful both times.
Arthur passed away July 19th, 1971.

Arthur was a member of Washington Lodge No. 3 in Burlington, Vermont (now Williston, Vermont). He was a member of the Order of Easter Star, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite and the Ancient Arabic Order of the Noble and Mystic Shrine (Shriner).”-

“PLATTSBURGH, N. Y., July 19 (AP) — Harold J. Arthur, Governor of Vermont in 1950, died early today at the Plattsburgh Air Force Base Hospital of cancer. He was 67 years old.

Mr. Arthur became Governor when Ernest Gibson resigned to become a United States District court judge.

He served the remaining one year of Mr. Gibson’s term and then made an unsuccessful bid for the Republican nomination to Congress in 1951.

In 1958, he made a second bid for Congress and, after winning the G.O.P. nomination, became the first Republican to lose to a Democrat in more than a century. He was defeated by former Representative William Meyer.”-

“Born in Whitehall, New York, HAROLD JOHN ARTHUR graduated from Albany Business College and went on to receive a law degree from LaSalle Extension University. While studying for his law degree, he worked for the Brandon National Bank in Brandon, Vermont and managed a mercantile business.

He was also secretary-treasurer of the Brandon Chamber of Commerce. From 1928 until 1934, he was Superintendent of the U.A. Employment Service.

He also worked for the Vermont state legislature for more than twenty years, rising to the position of chief clerk and parliamentarian of the House of Representatives from 1939 to 1949. As a result of his experience, he published a book titled House Precedents to serve as a parliamentary guide for legislators and state officials.

A member of the Vermont National Guard in the 1920s, he was inducted into the Army in 1941, serving until World War II ended. He was Assistant Judge Advocate General of the Army Air Force, with the rank of Major.

In 1948 he was elected Lieutenant Governor, and in that capacity completed the term of office of Governor Ernest Gibson, who had accepted an appointment as a U.S. District Court Judge. Arthur did not seek the governorship himself and went on to make an unsuccessful bid for a seat in Congress in 1958.

He served on various boards and in conferences at the local, state, and national levels, with positions including President of the Vermont Association for the Blind, Chairman of the Vermont Highway Users Conference, and director of the Future Farmers of America Association.

He died at Plattsburgh Air Force Base in Plattsburgh, New York and was buried in Burlington, Vermont.”-

“Harold John Arthur (February 9, 1904 – July 19, 1971) was the 68th governor of Vermont from 1950 to 1951.[1] He also served as the 64th lieutenant governor of Vermont from 1949 to 1950.

Early Life, Education and Family:

Arthur was born in Whitehall, New York, on February 9, 1904, and raised in Addison County and Rutland County, Vermont. He graduated from Albany Business College and worked for the Brandon National Bank and in other businesses before settling in Burlington.[2] He was married to Mary C. (Alafat) Arthur (1904–2004), with whom he practiced law. They were the parents of a daughter, Portia.[3]


From 1927 to 1929, Arthur worked as an assistant to Governor John E. Weeks. From 1928 to 1940 he was associated with Warren R. Austin, working as a clerk and stenographer and then studying law in Austin’s office. He obtained a law degree from La Salle Extension University, and then became an attorney in Burlington.[4]

Arthur also worked for the Vermont House of Representatives for more than twenty years, rising to the position of chief clerk and parliamentarian, where he served from 1939 to 1949.[5] He was Clerk of the House from 1939 to 1943, and again from 1947 to 1949; during his World War II military service, the position was held by Clifton G. Parker.[6]

A member of the Vermont National Guard beginning in the 1928, Arthur served in World War II and attained the rank of lieutenant colonel as a Judge Advocate General before retiring in 1959.[7][8]

Arthur was the successful Republican candidate for lieutenant governor in 1948, and served from 1949 to 1950.[9][10][11]

Arthur became governor when Ernest W. Gibson Jr. resigned to become a federal judge. He did not seek election to a full term in 1950, running unsuccessfully for the United States House of Representatives and losing the Republican primary to Winston L. Prouty, whom Arthur had defeated for the lieutenant governor nomination in 1948.[12][13][14]

In 1954, Arthur ran unsuccessfully to be the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, losing the primary to Consuelo N. Bailey.[15] Governor Arthur ran again for Congress in 1958, winning the Republican nomination and losing the general election to William H. Meyer, who became the first Democratic candidate to win a statewide or national office in Vermont since the founding of the Republican Party in the 1850s.[16][17]

Death and Legacy:

Arthur died of cancer at Plattsburgh Air Force Base Hospital on July 19, 1971.[18] He was a Unitarian,[19] and is interred at a mausoleum in Burlington’s Lakeview Cemetery.[20]”-

Governor Harold John Arthur

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