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Horace Henry Powers (May 29, 1835 – December 8, 1913) was an American lawyer, judge and politician. He served as a U.S. Representative from Vermont.

H. Henry Powers
Horace Henry Powers.jpg
Member of the
United States House of Representatives
from Vermont's 1st district
In office
March 4, 1891 – March 3, 1901
Preceded byJohn Wolcott Stewart
Succeeded byDavid J. Foster
Member of the Vermont House of Representatives
In office
1858
1874
Member of the Vermont Senate
In office
1872–1873
Personal details
Born(1835-05-29)May 29, 1835
Morristown, Vermont, U.S.
DiedDecember 8, 1913(1913-12-08) (aged 78)
Morristown, Vermont, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Caroline Waterman Powers
ChildrenCarrie L. Powers and George M. Powers
Alma materUniversity of Vermont
ProfessionPolitician, Lawyer, Judge

Life and careerEdit

Powers was born in Morristown, Vermont to Dr. Horace Powers and Love E. Gilman Powers.[1] He graduated from People's Academy, and received a bachelor's degree from the University of Vermont in 1855, where he was initiated into Delta Psi. He earned his master's degree from UVM in 1858.[2] Powers studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1858, and practiced first in Hyde Park, and later in Morristown.

He served as a member of the Vermont House of Representatives in 1858. Powers was the Lamoille County State's Attorney in 1861 and 1862.[3] He served as a member of the council of censors in 1869, and was a member of the State constitutional convention in 1870.[4]

Powers served in the Vermont State Senate in 1872 and 1873.[5] In 1874, he was again a member of the Vermont State House and served as Speaker.[6]

Powers served as a Justice of the Vermont Supreme Court from December 1874 to December 1890.[7] He was a Trustee of the University of Vermont from 1883 until his death in 1913.[8]

He as a member of the Lamoille County Bank board of directors from 1888 until his death.[9] He was a Delegate to the 1892 Republican National Convention.

Powers was elected as a Republican to the Fifty-second United States Congress and to the four succeeding Congresses, serving from March 4, 1891 until March 3, 1901.[10] He served as chairman of the Committee on Pacific Railroads from the Fifty-fourth through Fifty-sixth Congresses.[11] In 1896 he sponsored a controversial bill that would have allowed the Central Pacific Railroad to obtain a 75-year delay paying off a 30-year-old debt to the government. The bill inspired a campaign of opposition led by publisher William Randolph Hearst and his employees, journalists Ambrose Bierce and Frank Norris. In one article about the Powers Bill, Bierce memorably wrote that while the handsome Powers might not be qualified to serve as chairman of the Pacific Railroads committee, he was certainly qualified to head the "Committee on Visible Virtues."[12] In January, 1897 the Powers Bill was defeated 168 to 102.[13]

Powers was an unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1900. After leaving Congress, he resumed the practice of law in Morrisville, Vermont, and was the chief counsel for the Rutland Railroad.

Personal lifeEdit

Powers married Caroline Waterman on October 11, 1858.[14] They had two children, Carrie L. Powers and George M. Powers. George M. Powers also served as the prosecuting attorney of Lamoille County, Vermont, and an Associate Justice of the Vermont Supreme Court.[15] George Powers was the husband of Gertrude Francis Woodbury, whose father was Governor Urban A. Woodbury.[16]

Death and legacyEdit

He died in Morristown on December 8, 1913, and is interred in Pleasant View Cemetery.[17]

Powers home in Morrisville is listed on the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of the Interior. The home was built around 1850 and is named the Horace Henry Powers House.[18]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Horace Henry Powers Biography". History50States.com. Retrieved December 21, 2012.
  2. ^ Johnson, Rossiter and John Howard Brown (1904). The Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans. Biographical Society.
  3. ^ Secretary of State (1884). Vermont Legislative Directory. Secretary of State. p. 25.
  4. ^ "Horace Henry Powers Biography". History50States.com. Retrieved December 21, 2012.
  5. ^ Carleton, Hiram (2003). Genealogical and Family History of the State of Vermont: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of a Commonwealth and the Founding of a Nation. Genealogical Publishing Com. p. 692.
  6. ^ Vermont General Assembly, and House of Representatives (1877). Journal of the House of the State of Vermont. House of Representatives. p. 605.
  7. ^ "Powers, Horace Henry (1835–1913)". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved December 21, 2012.
  8. ^ Brown, John Howard (1903). Lamb's biographical dictionary of the United States, Volume 6. James H. Lamb Company. p. 331.
  9. ^ Carleton, Hiram (2003). Genealogical and Family History of the State of Vermont: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of a Commonwealth and the Founding of a Nation. Genealogical Publishing Com. p. 692.
  10. ^ "Rep. Horace Powers". Govtrack.us. Retrieved December 21, 2012.
  11. ^ "POWERS, Horace Henry, (1835–1913)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved December 21, 2012.
  12. ^ Drabelle, Dennis (2012). The Great American Railroad War: How Ambrose Bierce and Frank Norris Took on the Central Pacific Railroad. New York: St. Martin's Press. p. 154. ISBN 978-0-312-66759-7.
  13. ^ "Funding Bill Beaten: House Lays Out the Powers Bill, 168-102; Kills the Measure Dead". Salt Lake Tribune. January 12, 1897. p. 2.
  14. ^ "Thistledown Inn". Thistledown Inn. Retrieved December 21, 2012.
  15. ^ Carleton, Hiram (2003). Genealogical and Family History of the State of Vermont: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of a Commonwealth and the Founding of a Nation. Genealogical Publishing Com. p. 692.
  16. ^ Forbes, C. S. (June 1904). "Vermont Men of Today: Judge George M. Powers". The Vermonter. St. Albans, VT: Charles S. Forbes. p. 351.
  17. ^ "Horace Henry Powers". Find A Grave. Retrieved December 21, 2012.
  18. ^ "Thistledown Inn". Thistledown Inn. Retrieved December 21, 2012.

Further readingEdit

  • "Lamb's biographical dictionary of the United States, Volume 6" by John Howard Brown, published by James H. Lamb Company, 1903.

External linksEdit