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Celebrities ~ Famous People From Vermont: Popular Vermonters

Ahhh, Vermont! One of the United States actual foundation blocks! Although it wasn't among the original thirteen colonies, it's been around around a long time. It couldn't be decided at the beginning if this territory should belong to New York or New Hampshire, so they both claimed the region! However, the guesswork ended after March 4, 1791, the day Vermont became the fourteenth state. It was, in fact, the "first state" to be admitted to the Union after the U.S. Constitution was formally ratified! It was also the location where the first U.S. postage stamp was printed. There's so much history that lies in the borders of lovely Vermont.

The "Green Mountain State" contains 9615 square miles of land and water area which makes it the 45th state in size. Although the state may be small in size, it's big in history, agriculture and has produced a large number of people who have followed their dreams and made names for themselves. That's what we're here to discover! Let's see what kind of fame was born out of Vermont!

*Biographies and/or mini-mentions are in no specific order of importance nor are they listed alphabetically. This is not necessarily an all inclusive list.

Vermont State Flag

Vermont State Flag

Ralph E. Flanders, U.S. Senator

Ralph E. Flanders was born in Barnet, Vermont on, September 28, 1880. He married Helen Hartness, the daughter of an inventor and industrialist, in 1911. During his lifetime he was a mechanical engineer and industrialist and authored several books, including his autobiography. However, he was best known as a Republican politician and a senator for the state of Vermont.

He was appointed to the Senate on November 1, 1946. Initially, he was placed in office to complete the term for Senator Warren Austin, who had to leave his office after being appointed as Ambassador to the United Nations. However, he was elected to a full term the very same year. In the 1952 election, he had an amazing victory when he was reelected after receiving an overwhelming number of votes. For his own reasons, he chose to not seek reelection in 1958.

Senator Flanders passed away on February 19, 1970. His body was placed beside his wife Helen in the Summer Hill Cemetery in Springfield, Vermont.

Vermont Fun Fact!

Did you Know that Montpelier, Vermont is the only U.S. state capital without a McDonald's?!

James Fisk

James Fisk was born on April 1, 1834 in Bennington, VT. In 1854, he married fifteen year old Lucy Moore. Though the couple was close, the marriage itself was never very happy. Fisk engaged in extramarital affairs and Lucy lived with a lady friend. It is unknown, but a few have suggested the possibility of lesbianism.

During his lifetime, Fisk ran away and joined the circus, was a hotel waiter and a peddler. In this vast variety of careers, he was best known as a shrewd businessman. He engaged in multiple practices such as salesmanship, possible cotton smuggling, and a stockbroker. His wealth accumulated as he just seemed to have a natural talent for money making.

However, his dealings were not always the most honest. Perhaps greed got its hold when he and Jay Gould fought for control of the Erie railway and obtained that power after a well-planned raid.

James Fisk was killed by one of his business associates, E. S. Stokes, in New York City on January 6, 1872..

Stephen A. Douglas

Stephen Arnold Douglas was born on April 23, 1813 in Brandon, Vermont. He never grew tall in stature, his 5 ft 4 inches and ninety pound frame was considerably small. However, because of his rather large head, shoulders and chest, he earned the nickname, "Little Giant."

When he was 20, he moved to Illinois and became an itinerant teacher as well as studied law. Within the course of a decade, Douglas was elected to the state legislature, was an associate justice of the Illinois Supreme Court, was appointed register for the Springfield Land Office and appointed Illinois Secretary of State.

Douglas was a Democratic politician. He was elected to Congress twice and by the legislature to the Senate. He was the Democratic presidential nominee but lost to Abraham Lincoln in 1860. However, he offered his services to Lincoln during the Civil War.

In a look at Stephen Douglas' personal life, he actually courted Mary Todd, the woman that eventually became Lincoln's wife. He married Martha Martin in March of 1847. Sadly, Martha passed away on January 19, 1853, after the birth of a daughter, leaving behind a baby and two small sons for Douglas to raise alone. Sadly, the baby girl died also a few weeks later. However, joy returned to his life on November 20, 1856 when he married 20-year old, Adele Cutts. Adele miscarried in 1858 and the event left her ill. The year following the miscarriage, Adele gave birth to a daughter, Ellen, who also died after living only a few weeks.

Stephen Douglas' life ended June 3, 1861 after battling typhoid fever. He was buried on the shore of Lake Michigan. The site was eventually purchased by the state and a monument was placed in his honor.

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Did You Know???

Vermont was the only state without a Wal-Mart until 1996.

Richard Morris Hunt

Richard Morris Hunt was born on October 31, 1827, in Brattleboro, Vermont.

Hunt became an important architect that left his mark on American history. He was the first American to have ever attended the renowned Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, France. Upon his return to America, he founded an architectural school in America and had four students in attendance. Later, he co-founded the American Institute of Architects where he also served as the institution's third president.

One of Hunt's greatest accomplishements was that he demanded respect for architects to be treated as the professionals that they were, and to be paid the same as doctors and lawyers.

Hunt was overseer of several architectural works including, residential, public buildings, and churches.

Richard Morris Hunt died on July 31, 1895. Three years following his death, a Richard Morris Hunt Memorial was designed by architect, Bruce Price, and the sculptor, Daniel Chester French.

William Morris Hunt

William Morris Hunt was born on March 31, 1824 in Brattleboro, Vermont. He was the brother of the architect, Richard Morris Hunt.

Hunt's father's family were some of those who were among Vermont's founders and were some of the state's largest landowners.

Hunt studied in Paris and then arrived back in the U.S. where he would paint and also established numerous art schools in various states. His artistry was among some of the most famous paintings in American history.

In 1855, Hunt found love and married Louise Dumaresq Perkins in Paris, France. Several years later, also in France, Hunt taught art classes and attracted many students.

William Morris Hunt passed away in 1879. It was believed to be suicidal since Hunt suffered form horrible depression.

William Morris Hunt

William Morris Hunt

William Morris Hunt on Amazon!

John Dewey

John Dewey was born October 30, 1859. He was an American educator, philosopher, and psychologist. He was a high school teacher for three years and then went back to school to earn his Ph.D. from the School of Arts and Sciences which was at the renowned, John Hopkins University. In 1884, he accepted a faculty position at the University of Michigan.

John Dewey had many writings. He was best known for his publications on education but he also wrote on numerous other topics as well.

An interesting fact concerning Dewey's life was that he could not discern musical pitches, and he had a difficult time listening. Because of this fact, he was interested in the psychology of visual perception performed by research professor, Adelbert Ames, Jr.

John Dewey passed away on June 1, 1952, at the age of 92.

Sherman Adams

Llewelyn Sherman Adams was born in East Dover, Vermont, which is in Windham County, on January 8,1899. In his lifetime, he served briefly as a Marine in World War I, was in the lumber and paper business, and was involved in banking. However, Adams was best known as an American, Republican politician.

Adams was a Republican legislator, Speaker of the House and also served a term in the House of Representatives. He also served as the governor of New Hampshire and White House Chief of Staff.

After his political career, he started Loon Mountain Corporation in Lincoln, New Hampshire which today, is a major ski resort.

He was married to Rachel White in 1923. They had one son and three daughters.

Sherman Adams passed away on October 27, 1986 at the age of 87.

Chester Alan Arthur

Chester Alan Arthur, the United States 21st president, was born in Fairfield, Vermont on October 5, 1830.

Chester graduated from Union College with honor in !848, then became a schoolmaster while at the same studied law. In 1853, he entered a law office and was admitted to the bar the following year.

The 20th president, President Garfield, was shot by a deranged man. He claimed that he did it in order to make Arthur president. President Garfield passed away on September 19, 1881 making Chester Arthur the nation's 21st president.

Chester Arthur passed away in 1886.

Chester Arthur

Chester Arthur

President Arthur Wikipedia

Elisha Graves Otis

Elisha Graves Otis was born on August 3, 1811 in Halifax, Vermont. He was an inventor that helped bring safety to, thus making better, an already wonderful modern invention. Otis invented the elevator safety brake which he had named, "Improvement in Hoisting Apparatus."

When business men inquired if they might purchase his safety-hoist elevator, he rented a space to manufacture an elevator that featured his safety break. The product and his business blossomed. His invention paved the way that made it possible to build the skyscraper. It has also been said that he is the one that invented the railway safety brake.

Elisha Otis passed away on April 8, 1861 in New York.

Calvin Coolidge

John Calvin Coolidge, the 30th U.S. president, was born on July 4, 1872 in Plymouth, Vermont. He was and remains the only U.S. President to be born on Independence Day.

He was first a Republican lawyer in Vermont and later became the governor of Massachusetts. In 1920, he was elected as the 29th vice president. After the sudden death of President Warren Harding, he was moved to the presidency to finish Harding's term and became the nation's 30th president. He was elected to the presidency upon the next election and gained respect as he built a good name for himself.

Coolidge married Grace Anna Goodhue in Burlington, Vermont on October 4, 1905. They had two sons, John and Calvin Jr. After Coolidge became president, his youngest son, Calvin Jr. was playing tennis on the White House courts and developed a blister. The blister became infected and his blood became poisoned leading to his tragic death a few days later. This brought President Coolidge into a dark depression that caused him to somewhat withdraw. However, he continued on in his work and was reelected the next term.

President Calvin Coolidge passed away on January 5, 1933 after a sudden heart attack.

Horace A. Tabor

Horace Austin Warner Tabor was born in Holland, Vermont on November 26, 1830. In his lifetime, Tabor had several diverse careers and interests. He was a politician, a stonemason, a merchant, a postmaster, and a prospector.

His life was eventful, though at times scandalous. He gained riches practically "overnight" and his wife, Augusta, had a difficult time adjusting to this new lifestyle. She thought it as frivolous to spend money unwisely although she had access to unlimited wealth. Tabor eventually divorced Augusta and married the woman with whom is name is closely intertwined in history, Baby Doe.

Horace Tabor passed away on April 10, 1899.

Rudy Vallee

Hubert Prior "Rudy" Vallee was born July 28, 1901in Island Pond, Vermont. Vallee was a well-known musician and actor.

Vallee played several instruments including the saxophone. He acquired his nickname, Rudy, after the famous saxophonist, Rudy Wiedoeft. He also lead a band which included such instruments as violins, saxophones, drums, piano and banjo. He even took the vocals at times.

He endeavored to be a man and step up to the plate to fight in World War I. However, when the Navy found out he was just fifteen, he was discharged.

Vallee did his first film in 1929, The Vagabond Lover. His performing abilities strengthened and he began gaining popularity and landing more films. He also began hosting the program The Fleischmann's Yeast Hour. A few well-known performers, such as Jack Benny, were introduced to the public for the first time through this program.

Vallee hosted many programs, filmed several films, and sang numerous songs before his death on July 3, 1986 at the age of 84.

Rudy Vallee

Rudy Vallee

George Dewey

George Dewey was born on December 26, 1837 in Montpelier, Vermont.

Dewey was Admiral of the U.S. Navy and was the only Naval officer that had ever held this rank. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in June, 1858.

He served on numerous military ships and a navy hospital ship. He also served as lighthouse inspector, Chief of the Bureau of Equipment, Navy Department, Washington DC.

Among the honors that Dewey received were, the Civil War Medal, the Philippine Campaign Medal, the Dewey Medal, the Spanish Campaign Medal, and a destroyer, the USS Dewey, was named after him, and he earned thirteen battle stars.

Dewey passed away on January 16, 1917. His body was placed in the Arlington National Cemetery until his widow had him moved to Washington, DC.

George Dewey

George Dewey

John Deere

John Deere was born on February 7, 1804 in Rutland, Vermont. John's father was tragically lost at sea when he was only four years old. His mother, Sarah was left to raise him alone along with his five siblings.

When John was seventeen, he became an apprentice to a blacksmith. During his four-year apprenticeship, John was furnished with room and board. His pay was a mere $30 for the first year and another $5 per year for the remaining three years. However, the skills that he would learn during this apprenticeship would be what later helped to bring about his fame.

He was hit with a hard blow after he borrowed the money to start his own shop. The place was destroyed by fire twice and he was forced to sell the land because of debt. Eventually, John pulled himself back onto his feet and ended up making the world's first successful steel plow. The John Deere Company was born and remains one of the most successful assets to today's agriculture.

John Deere

John Deere

Brigham Young

Brigham Young was born in Whitingham, Vermont on June 1, 1801.

He was the governor of Utah, founded Salt Lake City, and was a prominent leader in the Latter Day Saints movement.

Young was a polygamist and had a total of 55 wives and 56 children by 16 of the wives.

Brigham Young died from a ruptured appendix on August 29, 1877, at the age of 76.

Brigham Young

Brigham Young

Orson Bean (Born, Dallas Frederick Burrows)

Orson Bean, actor, was born, July 22, 1928 in Burlington, VT. He has been married three times and has a total of four children.

Ernest Thompson (Born, Richard Ernest Thompson)

Ernest Thompson, actor, director and writer was born November 6. 1949 in Bellows Falls, Vermont.

Joseph Smith

Joseph Smith was born in Sharon, Vermont on December 23, 1805. He was the founder of the Latter Day Saints Movement modernly known as the Mormons.

Joseph Smith was also a military leader and a polygamist.

Joseph Smith died at the age of 38 on June 27, 1844.

Justin Morrill

Justin Morrill was born in Strafford, Vermont on April 14, 1810.

He was a Whig and Republican politician and Senator.

He passed away on December 28, 1898 at age 88.

Patty Sheehan

Patty Sheehan, pro golfer, was born in Middlebury, Vermont on October 27, 1956. Her professional career began in 1980.

Thomas Davenport

Thomas Davenport, American inventor and blacksmith, was born on July 9, 1802 in Williamstown, Vermont. He is credited with inventing the first American DC electrical motor.

Thomas Davenport passed away July 6, 1851, three days before his 49th birthday.

Henry Wells

Henry Wells was born in Thetford, Vermont on December 12, 1805. He was an American businessman and was important in the history of Wells-Fargo.

Henry Wells died December 19, 1878.

Moses Pendleton

Moses Pendleton, choreographer and dancer, was born and raised in Lyndonville, Vermont on March 28, 1949.

Wilbur Fisk

Fisk was the President of the Wesleyan University from 1831-1839. He was born in Guilford, Vermont on August 31, 1792. He passed at age 46 on February 22, 1839.

How Vermont Looks From the Air and Roadmap


dappledesigns from In Limbo between New England and the Midwest on July 02, 2014:

wow - I never knew that about the John Deere company! Thanks for all of this great info!

Carisa Gourley (author) from Oklahoma City Metro, Oklahoma on May 16, 2011:

Thank you, Eiddwen! I enjoyed writing and researching this topic as I also enjoy history and learned quite a few things that I didn't know. I appreciate your votes very much and I'm glad you stopped by!

Eiddwen from Wales on May 14, 2011:

I hae a greater interest in History as the years have gone by and I really enjoyed this hub.

I vote this one up/useful.

Thank you for sharing and I look forward to reading many more.

Take care


Carisa Gourley (author) from Oklahoma City Metro, Oklahoma on May 12, 2011:

Thanks, manthy, I appreciate it! Glad you stopped by!

Mark from Alabama,USA on May 12, 2011:

Cool hub with some great history.

I love it

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