Maine: An Encyclopedia
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Cleaves, Henry B.

Henry B. Cleaves (courtesy Maine State Museum)

Henry B. Cleaves (courtesy Maine State Museum)

(1840-1912) born in Bridgton on February 6, 1840, was Maine governor from 1893 to 1897. Educated in local schools and at Bridgeton Academy, During the Civil War he enlisted in Company B of the 23rd Maine Volunteers and by War’s had been promoted to Lieutenant.

After working in a factory and lumber yard, Cleaves began to study law and was admitted to the bar in 1868. He soon moved his practice to Portland, became successful in his profession and became active in state politics as a Republican.

Following service in the legislature and as City Solicitor for Portland, he became Attorney General serving from 1880 to 1885. Cleaves became famous for his prosecution of railroad and telegraph companies that had refused to pay a new state tax.

He won elections for governor in 1892, 1894 and 1896, leaving office in 1897 to resume his legal practice. Cleaves died in Portland on June 22, 1912.

Source: Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States 1789-1978, Volume II.

Additional resources

*Biographical Encyclopedia of Maine of the 19th Century. Boston: Metropolitan Publishing and Engraving Company, 1885, pp. 341-342.

Chase, Henry. Representative Men of Maine. Portland: The Lakeside Press, 1893, p. 5.

*Kennebec Journal, Augusta, June 24, 1912.

Cleaves, Henry Bradstreet. Remarks of ex-governor Henry B. Cleaves before the Committee on Railroads of the Maine Legislature: relating to passenger fares on the Somerset Railway. February 24, 1909

McIntyre, Philip W. and Blanding, William F. Men of Progress. Boston: New England Magazine, 1897, p. 13-14.

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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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