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Onslow Stearns
New Hampshire

Gov. Onslow Stearns

  • June 3, 1869 - June 8, 1871
  • Republican
  • August 30, 1810
  • December 29, 1878
  • Massachusetts
  • Married Mary Abbot Holbrook; seven children


ONSLOW STEARNS, the fortieth governor of New Hampshire, was born in Billerica, Massachusetts on August 30, 1810. His education was limited and attained in the common schools of his native state. Stearns established a successful career in the railroad industry. He started working as a contractor, and eventually became an executive for several railroads. Stearns first entered politics as a member of the New Hampshire State Senate, a position he held from 1862 to 1864. He also served as president of the senate from 1863 to 1864; and was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1864. Stearns next secured the Republican gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote in the 1869 general election. He was reelected to a second term in 1870. During his tenure, a board of agriculture was founded; taxes and the state deficit were reduced; and industrial developments were promoted. After completing his term, Stearns retired from political life. He stayed active, working again in the railroad industry. Governor Onslow Stearns passed away on August 30, 1810, and was buried in the Blossom Hill Cemetery in Concord, New Hampshire.


New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources

The Political Graveyard

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.

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