LEVI KNIGHT FULLER was born in Westmoreland, New Hampshire. He began working at the age of twelve and five years later moved to Boston, where he apprenticed as a machinist. During his stay in Boston, he also worked at night as a telegraph operator and is credited with being the first to point out the effect of the aurora borealis on telegraph wires. After settling in Vermont, he worked as a machinist and mechanical engineer for the Estey Organ Company, ultimately becoming vice president of the firm. He patented about 100 inventions and secured adoption of international pitch for musical instruments. Interested in helping African-Americans, he arranged for black women in the South obtain special education. He also organized and commanded the Fuller Light Battery of the Vermont National Guard. Fuller was elected a state Senator in 1880 and Lieutenant Governor in 1886. During his gubernatorial administration, a town system of schools was established, as was a Board of State Highway Commissioners. Fuller did not seek reelection after one term but instead returned to his many business concerns.
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. 8. New York: James T. White & Company.