JOHN H. STEELE, the twenty-seventh governor of New Hampshire, was born in Salisbury, North Carolina on January 4, 1789. As a young child, he lost both of his parents, and consequently, his education was affected. He left school early to work as an apprentice in the machinist trade. He eventually built the Union Manufacturing Company cotton mill, as well as designing the first power loom in New Hampshire. Steele first entered politics as a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, a position he was elected to in 1829. He also served as Governor Harvey’s aide in 1830; was town moderator from 1830 to 1838; and served on the Governor’s Executive Council from 1840 to 1842. Steele next secured the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor in the 1844 general election. He was reelected to a second term in 1845. During his tenure, a state railroad commission was created; and the state’s ore industry was initiated. After completing his term, Steele continued to stay active in politics, serving as town selectman in 1846. Governor John H. Steele passed away on July 3, 1865, and was buried in the Village Cemetery in Peterborough, New Hampshire.
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.