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Harold John Arthur

Gov. Harold John Arthur

  • January 16, 1950 - January 4, 1951
  • Republican
  • February 9, 1904
  • July 19, 1971
  • New York
  • Albany Business College, LaSalle Extension University
  • Married Mary C. Alafat; one child
  • Succeeded
  • Army, National Guard


Born in Whitehall, New York, HAROLD JOHN ARTHUR graduated from Albany Business College and went on to receive a law degree from LaSalle Extension University. While studying for his law degree, he worked for the Brandon National Bank in Brandon, Vermont and managed a mercantile business. He was also secretary-treasurer of the Brandon Chamber of Commerce. From 1928 until 1934, he was Superintendent of the U.A. Employment Service. He also worked for the Vermont state legislature for more than twenty years, rising to the position of chief clerk and parliamentarian of the House of Representatives from 1939 to 1949. As a result of his experience, he published a book titled House Precedents to serve as a parliamentary guide for legislators and state officials. A member of the Vermont National Guard in the 1920s, he was inducted into the Army in 1941, serving until World War II ended. He was Assistant Judge Advocate General of the Army Air Force, with the rank of Major. In 1948 he was elected Lieutenant Governor, and in that capacity completed the term of office of Governor Ernest Gibson, who had accepted an appointment as a U.S. District Court Judge. Arthur did not seek the governorship himself and went on to make an unsuccessful bid for a seat in Congress in 1958. He served on various boards and in conferences at the local, state, and national levels, with positions including President of the Vermont Association for the Blind, Chairman of the Vermont Highway Users Conference, and director of the Future Farmers of America Association. He died at Plattsburgh Air Force Base in Plattsburgh, New York and was buried in Burlington, Vermont.


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.

The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. 57.  New York: James T. White & Company.

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