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John Abner Mead (April 20, 1841 – January 12, 1920) was a Vermont physician, businessman and politician who served as 46th Lieutenant Governor of Vermont from 1908 to 1910, and the 53rd Governor of Vermont, from 1910 to 1912.

John A. Mead
John Abner Mead USA politician Governor Vermont-crop.jpg
53rd Governor of Vermont
In office
October 5, 1910 – October 3, 1912
LieutenantLeighton P. Slack
Preceded byGeorge H. Prouty
Succeeded byAllen M. Fletcher
46th Lieutenant Governor of Vermont
In office
October 8, 1908 – October 5, 1910
GovernorGeorge H. Prouty
Preceded byGeorge H. Prouty
Succeeded byLeighton P. Slack
Member of the Vermont House of Representatives from Rutland
In office
Preceded byGeorge A. Smith
Succeeded byEarle S. Kinsley
Mayor of Rutland, Vermont
In office
Preceded byNone (position created)
Succeeded byLevi G. Kingsley
Member of the Vermont Senate from Rutland County
In office
Serving with Arunah W. Hyde
John G. Pitkin
Fletcher D. Proctor
Preceded byLevi G. Kingsley
Albert J. Dickinson
Cyrus Jennings
Simon L. Peck
Succeeded byFrank D. White
Ira R. Allen
Amos D. Tiffany
Noah S. Walker
Personal details
Born(1841-04-20)April 20, 1841
Fair Haven, Vermont
DiedJanuary 12, 1920(1920-01-12) (aged 78)
Rutland, Vermont
Political partyRepublican


Mead was born in Fair Haven, Vermont to Roswell and Lydia Mead (née Gorham). He was educated at the common school at West Rutland and Franklin Academy at Malone, New York. Interrupting his studies at Middlebury College, he enlisted during the American Civil War in Company K, 12th Vermont Regiment, serving from 1862 to 1863. After mustering out of the military, he graduated from Middlebury College in 1864. In 1868 he received a medical degree from the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University in New York City.

He married Mary Madelia Sherman in 1872 and they had one daughter, Mary Sherman Mead.[1] Mary Mead's son and John A. Mead's grandson John A. M. Hinsman served as President of the Vermont Senate from 1945 to 1947.[2][3]


Mead practiced medicine in New York City for two years, and then in Rutland from 1870 to 1888 when he was appointed chair in the medical department at the University of Vermont. As a Republican, Mead served in the Vermont Senate from 1892 to 1893. When Rutland City became a separate municipality from Rutland Town, Mead served as the city's first Mayor, holding office from 1893 to 1894. In 1893 he was a Vermont Commissioner for the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Mead served in the Vermont House of Representatives in 1906 and was Lieutenant Governor from 1908 to 1910.

Mead was elected and served as Governor of Vermont from October 5, 1910 to October 3, 1912. During his tenure, he presided over the state legislature's reapportionment of state senatorial districts; and legislation was enacted during his administration establishing a State School of Agriculture, requiring the registration of nurses, and providing for a direct primary.[4]

After his governorship, Mead resumed his business interests. He was president of Baxter National Bank,[5] Howe Scale Company,[6] and of John A. Mead Manufacturing Company.[7] He was also a director of the Rutland Railroad.[8][9][10]

Mead was a Trustee of Middlebury College, of the University of Vermont and of Norwich University; and these three colleges conferred the honorary degree of LL.D. upon him in 1911.[11] He made substantial donations to Middlebury, including the financing of its Mead Memorial Chapel in 1918.[citation needed] He was a delegate to Republican National Convention from Vermont in 1912, and a member of the Grand Army of the Republic.


Mead died of pneumonia at his home in Rutland, Rutland County, Vermont, on January 12, 1920. He is interred in Rutland's Evergreen Cemetery.[12]


  1. ^ John A. Mead. Encyclopedia, Vermont Biography. Retrieved November 14, 2012.
  2. ^ French, Deanna (2018). "Mead, John Abner". Vermont in the Civil War. Tom Ledoux. Retrieved August 8, 2018.
  3. ^ Clerk of the Vermont House of Representatives (2011). "Vermont Senate Presidents Pro Tempore, 1841–2011". Montpelier, VT: Vermont House of Representatives. Retrieved August 8, 2018.
  4. ^ "John A. Mead". National Governors Association. Retrieved November 14, 2012.
  5. ^ The Bankers Magazine, The New England States, Volume 73, 1906, page 1061
  6. ^ National magazine, The Western Slope, Volume 38, 1913, page 1039
  7. ^ William Arba Ellis, Norwich University, 1819–1911, Volume 3, 1911, page 536
  8. ^ Vermont Secretary of State, State Officers' Reports, 1886, page 112
  9. ^ Rutland Railroad Company, Annual Report, 1886, page 10
  10. ^ Peter S. Jennison, Roadside History of Vermont, 1989, page 40
  11. ^ John A. Mead. Encyclopedia, Vermont Biography. Retrieved November 14, 2012.
  12. ^ "John A. Mead". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved November 14, 2012.

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