Horace Fairbanks

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

Horace Fairbanks
36th Governor of Vermont
In office
October 5, 1876  October 3, 1878
LieutenantRedfield Proctor
Preceded byAsahel Peck
Succeeded byRedfield Proctor
Member of the Vermont Senate from Caledonia County
In office
Serving with Harley M. Hall
Preceded byGates B. Bullard
Harley M. Hall
Succeeded byJonathan Ross
John M. Martin
Personal details
Born(1820-03-21)March 21, 1820
Barnet, Vermont
DiedMarch 17, 1888(1888-03-17) (aged 67)
New York City
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Mary E. Taylor (m. 1840-1888, his death)
RelationsErastus Fairbanks (father)
Franklin Fairbanks (brother)
Thaddeus Fairbanks (uncle)
Ephraim Paddock (grand-uncle)


Fairbanks was born in Barnet, Vermont on March 21, 1820, the third of nine children of Erastus Fairbanks and Lois (Crossman) Fairbanks.[1] He was educated at schools in Peacham and Lyndon, Vermont and Meriden, New Hampshire, and completed his education at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts.[1]


In 1840, Fairbanks became a confidential clerk at E. & T. Fairbanks & Co. his family's St. Johnsbury business, which became famous as the maker of the first platform scale.[1] He became a partner in 1843 and later became the company's president.[2] Fairbanks was active in several other business ventures, including construction of the Portland and Ogdensburg Railway from Portland, Maine to Ogdensburg, New York.[2] Fairbanks was president of the Vermont division of the railroad and president of the First National Bank of St. Johnsbury.

Fairbanks was a delegate to the Republican National Conventions of 1864 and 1868.[2] In 1868, Fairbanks also one of Vermont's electors in the 1872 presidential election.[1] In 1869 he was elected to the Vermont State Senate;[2] He served one term, but illness prevented him from attending sessions regularly.[1] He was a delegate to the 1872 Republican National Convention.[2]

In 1871 Fairbanks presented to St. Johnsbury the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum, which includes a public library and an art gallery.[2] He was a trustee of the University of Vermont and Phillips Academy.

Elected Governor of Vermont in 1876, Fairbanks served a two-year term.[2]

Fairbanks died in New York City on March 17, 1888. [1] He is interred at Mount Pleasant Cemetery in St. Johnsbury.[3]


Fairbanks married Mary E. Taylor (1824-1901) on August 9, 1840.[1] They were the parents of three children, Helen, Agnes, and Isabel.[1]

Fairbanks was the brother of Franklin Fairbanks, who served as Speaker of the Vermont House of Representatives.[4]


  1. Ullery, Jacob G. (1894). Men of Vermont Illustrated. Brattleboro, VT: Brattleboro Transcript Publishing Company. p. 101-103 via Internet Archive.
  2. Jeffrey, William H. (1904). Successful Vermonters; A Modern Gazetteer of Caledonia, Essex, and Orleans Counties. East Burke, VT: The Historical Publishing Company. p. 120 via Internet Archive.
  3. "At Rest: The Obsequies of Ex-Gov. Fairbanks". The Caledonian. St. Johnsbury, VT. March 29, 1888. p. 2 via Newspapers.com.
  4. "Horace Fairbanks: A Noble and Useful Life Ended". The Caledonian. St. Johnsbury, VT. March 22, 1888. p. 4 via Newspapers.com.
Political offices
Preceded by
Asahel Peck
Governor of Vermont
Succeeded by
Redfield Proctor
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