WILLIAM HAILE, the thirty-fourth governor of New Hampshire, was born in Putney, Vermont in May 1807. His education was limited and attained in the common schools of his native state. As a young teenager, he went to live and work with a Chesterfield, New Hampshire storeowner. He eventually became a successful businessman, opening his own store in Centre Village, as well as establishing the Haile, Frost and Company, a business that produced cashmerettes. Haile first entered politics as a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, a position he held from 1846 to 1850, 1853, and 1856. He also was a member of the New Hampshire State Senate from 1854 to 1856, serving as senate president in 1855. Haile next secured the Republican gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote in 1857. He was reelected to a second term in 1858. During his tenure, a state reform school was instituted; liquor prohibition was endorsed; and the extension of slavery was contested, as well as the Supreme Court's 1857 Dred Scott decision. After completing his term, Haile retired from political life. Governor William Haile passed away on July 22, 1876 in Keene, New Hampshire.
*Note: exact date of birth is not known.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 3, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.