ALBERT E. MEAD was born in Manhattan, Kansas. He was a graduate of Southern Illinois Normal University and studied at Union College of Law. After practicing law in Wichita, he moved to Blaine, Washington in 1889. He was elected Mayor of Blaine, a member of the State House of Representatives, and Prosecuting Attorney of Whatcom County before being nominated for governor under the sponsorship of agents of an executive of the Great Northern Railway. However, after winning the election, he antagonized his sponsors by urging an increase in railroad valuations for taxing purposes. Mead also supported legislation establishing a Railroad Commission, and acts establishing a State Highway Commission, a State Tax Commission, and a State Bank Examiner. A direct primary law was enacted as well to prevent a party convention from nominating a candidate contrary to the wishes of the electorate. Mead failed to win the Republican primary of 1909 and retired to Bellingham, where he practiced law. He also served two terms as president of the Bellingham Chamber of Commerce.

Sources:

Official Records at Washington State Archives, 1904-1909, 15 cubic feet.

List of finding aids available at the Division of Archives and Records Management, Office of the Secretary of State. Available in hard copy: Guide to the Papers of the Governors of Washington, Volume 2: 1889-1919—Governor Ferry through Governor Lister.

The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. 14 (Supp.). New York: James T. White & Company.

Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 4. Westport, CT: Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

Washington State Library: Governors of Washington State