Military Wiki
Harold John Arthur
68th Governor of Vermont

In office
January 16, 1950 – January 4, 1951
Lieutenant Joseph B. Johnson
Preceded by Ernest W. Gibson, Jr.
Succeeded by Lee E. Emerson
63rd Lieutenant Governor of Vermont

In office
Governor Ernest W. Gibson, Jr.
Preceded by Lee E. Emerson
Succeeded by Joseph B. Johnson
Member of the Vermont House of Representatives

In office
Personal details
Born February 9, 1904
Whitehall, New York
Died July 19, 1971(1971-07-19) (aged 67)
Plattsburgh, New York
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Mary C. Alafat
Profession Attorney
Religion Unitarian

Harold John Arthur (February 9, 1904 – July 19, 1971) was the 68th Governor of Vermont from 1950 to 1951.[1] He also served as the 63rd Lieutenant Governor of Vermont from 1949 to 1950.

Early life, education, and family

Arthur was born in Whitehall, New York on February 9, 1904 and raised in Addison County and Rutland County, Vermont. He graduated from Albany Business College and worked for the Brandon National Bank and in other businesses before settling in Burlington.[2] He was married to Mary C. (Alafat) Arthur (1904–2004), with whom he practiced law. They were the parents of a daughter, Portia.[3]


From 1927 to 1929, Arthur worked as an assistant to Governor John E. Weeks. From 1928 to 1940 he was associated with Warren R. Austin, working as a clerk and stenographer and then studying law in Austin's office. He obtained a law degree from La Salle Extension University, and then became an attorney in Burlington.[4]

Arthur also worked for the Vermont House of Representatives for more than twenty years, rising to the position of chief clerk and parliamentarian, where he served from 1939 to 1949.[5] He was Clerk of the House from 1939 to 1943, and again from 1947 to 1949; during his World War II military service, the position was held by Clifton G. Parker.[6]

A member of the Vermont National Guard beginning in the 1920s, Arthur served in World War II and attained the rank of Major as a Judge Advocate General before retiring in 1964.[7][8]

Arthur was the successful Republican candidate for lieutenant governor in 1948, and served from 1949 to 1950.[9][10][11]

Arthur became governor when Ernest W. Gibson, Jr. resigned to become a federal judge. He did not seek election to a full term in 1950, running unsuccessfully for the United States House of Representatives and losing the Republican primary to Winston L. Prouty, whom Arthur had defeated for the lieutenant governor nomination in 1948.[12][13][14]

In 1954, Arthur ran unsuccessfully to be the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, losing the primary to Consuelo N. Bailey.[15] Governor Arthur ran again for Congress in 1958, winning the Republican nomination and losing the general election to William H. Meyer, who became the first Democratic candidate to win a statewide or national office in Vermont since the founding of the Republican Party in the 1850s.[16][17]

Death and legacy

Arthur died of cancer at Plattsburgh Air Force Base Hospital on July 19, 1971.[18] He was a Unitarian,[19] and is interred at a mausoleum in Burlington's Lakeview Cemetery.[20]


  1. "Harold J. Arthur". National Governors Association. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  2. University of Vermont, Biography, Harold J. Arthur, Finding Aid, Harold J. Arthur Collection, accessed October 12, 2012
  3. Times Argus (Barre, Vermont), Obituary, Mary C. Arthur, October 5, 2004
  4. John J. Duffy, Samuel B. Hand, Ralph H. Orth (2003). The Vermont Encyclopedia. UPNE, ISBN 978-1-58465-086-7
  5. Vermont House of Representatives, List of Clerks, Vermont House of Representatives, accessed October 12, 2012
  6. "List of Clerks of the Vermont House of Representatives". Montpelier, VT: Clerk of the Vermont House of Representatives. 
  7. J.T. White & Co., The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Volume 57, 1977, page 135
  8. New York Times, Gov. Arthur in Uniform; Joins Vermont National Guard in Training at Pine Camp, July 25, 1950
  9. Christian Science Monitor, Governor Wins 2d Nomination In Vermont Vote, September 25, 1948
  10. Kendall Wild, When GOP Ruled the Roost, Rutland Herald, November 16, 2006
  11. New York Times, Prouty Is Vermont Victor, September 13, 1950
  12. Christian Science Monitor, Two GOP Leaders Win Comeback in Vermont, September 13, 1950
  13. New York Times, To Run for Governor; Attorney Seeks the Republican Nomination in Vermont, May 23, 1950
  14. Christian Science Monitor, State of New England GOP Replays '48 Contest in Vermont, September 7, 1950
  15. Vermont Secretary of State (June 9, 2006). "1954 Republican Primary Election Results". Montpelier, VT: Vermont Secretary of State. p. 1. 
  16. New York Times, Democrat Elected In Vermont Upset; Democrat Is Victor in Vermont, The First to Win in a Century, November 5, 1958
  17. Los Angeles Times, 1st Democrat in 106 Years in Vermont, November 5, 1958
  18. New York Times, Harold J. Arthur, 67, Dies; Once Governor of Vermont, July 20, 1971
  19. Robert Sobel, John Raimo, Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Volume 4, 1978, page 1612
  20. Marquis Who's Who, Who Was Who in American History -- The Military, 1975, page 17

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Lee E. Emerson
Lieutenant Governor of Vermont
Succeeded by
Joseph B. Johnson
Preceded by
Ernest W. Gibson, Jr.
Governor of Vermont
Succeeded by
Lee E. Emerson

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