Maine: An Encyclopedia
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Fernald, Bert M.

Bert M. Fernald (courtesy Maine State Museum)

Bert M. Fernald (courtesy Maine State Museum)

(1858-1926) a Senator from Maine, was born in West Poland, Androscoggin County, April 3, 1858. He attended the public schools, Hebron Academy, and a business and preparatory school in Boston. Fernald taught school, was elected supervisor of schools in at the age of twenty in 1878, and engaged in the canning, dairy, and telephone businesses.

A member of the Maine House of Representatives (1896-1898) and a member of the State Senate (1898-1902), he served as Governor of Maine from 1909 to 1911. In 1909 the legislature passed a bill prohibiting the sale of electricity out of state. Governor Fernald signed the bill into law and it became known as the “Fernald Law.”  The law was repealed in 1955.

Fernald was elected as a Republican to the United States Senate in 1916 to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Edwin C. Burleigh. He was reelected in 1918 and 1924 and served from September 12, 1916, until his death in West Poland August 23, 1926, with interment in Highland Cemetery.

In the U.S. Senate he chaired the Committee on Public Buildings and Grounds (Sixty-sixth through Sixty-ninth Congresses).

Additional resources

*Bowler, E.C. An Album of the Executive Departments and Seventy-Fourth Legislature of Maine. Bethel, 1909, p. 9.

Hersey, Ira G. “Hale And Fernald: A Tribute.” (Bangor Public Library)

*Kennebec Journal, Augusta, August 24, 1926.

Ricker, Alvan B., Bert M. Fernald, and Hiram W. Ricker. Poland Centennial, September 11, 1895  with illustrations and biographical sketches. New York. Printed by Andrew H. Kellogg. c1896.

Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 2

Talbot, Archie Lee. The Independence of the United States of America, oath of allegiance and revolution by Hon. Archie Lee Talbot of Lewiston, Maine. 1926.  A vindication of former President Woodrow Wilson for immediately ordering the American Army out of Europe after the Armistice was signed, and a eulogy on the late United States Senator, Honorable Bert M. Fernald for his firm and unwavering stand for the Independence of the United States, against the League of Nations and a World Court. (Bangor Public Library)

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*Cited in Friends of the Blaine House at http://blainehouse.org/governors(accessed April 25, 2011) (accessed April 25, 2011)

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