HOBART BALDWIN BIGELOW, Connecticut's 33rd governor was born in North Haven, Connecticut, on May 16, 1834. He attended the South Egremont Academy in Massachusetts, but left school early to apprentice as a machinist. Bigelow became a successful businessman and a leading manufacturer of boilers and heavy machinery. In 1861 he purchased the Bigelow Manufacturing Company, which later conducted business under the name of the H.B. Bigelow & Co. Bigelow served as the company's president for life. He entered politics as councilman of New Haven, an office he held from 1863 to 1876. He also served as a member of the Connecticut House of Representatives in 1875, and was mayor of New Haven from 1879 to 1881. He was elected Governor of Connecticut on November 2, 1880, and was sworn into office on January 5, 1881. During his tenure, the Storrs Agricultural School was founded and assessments were cut back on mutual life insurance companies. Legislation was enacted that disallowed deceptive election registration procedures and a bill was constituted that regulated companies of 12 or more employees to install fire escapes. Bigelow left office on January 3, 1883, retiring from public service. Governor Hobart B. Bigelow died on October 12, 1891, and is buried at the Evergreen Cemetery in New Haven.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.