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George Leavens Lilley

Gov. George Leavens Lilley

  • January 5, 1909 - April 21, 1909
  • Republican
  • August 31, 1859
  • April 21, 1909
  • Massachusetts
  • Worcester Technical Institute
  • Married Anna E. Steele; three children
  • Died in office
  • Representative


GEORGE LEAVENS LILLEY, Connecticut’s 46th governor, was born in Oxford, Massachusetts, on August 3, 1859. He attended Worcester High School and the Worcester Technical Institute in Massachusetts. After moving to Waterbury, Connecticut in 1880, Lilley entered into a successful career in the wholesale meat industry. He also invested in real estate developments in Waterbury, Nangatuck, and Torrington. Lilley entered politics as a member of the Connecticut House of Representatives, a position he held from 1901 to 1903. He also served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1903 to 1909. Lilley won the 1908 Republican gubernatorial nomination, and was elected Governor of Connecticut. During his short tenure, he increased funding for the public school system and appropriations were budgeted for a statewide movement against tuberculosis. Lilley’s administration also endorsed governing monopolies and establishing a public service commission, but both issues were defeated by the legislature. Governor George L. Lilley died in office on April 21, 1909, and is buried at the Riverside Cemetery in Waterbury, Connecticut.


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.

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