Maine: An Encyclopedia
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Dingley, Nelson Jr.

Nelson Dingley, Jr. (courtesy Maine State Museum)

Nelson Dingley, Jr. (courtesy Maine State Museum)

(1832-1899) a U.S. Representative was born in Durham on February 15, 1832. He attended the common schools at Unity, Waterville Seminary, and Waterville College, now Colby College. Dingley was graduated from Dartmouth College in 1855, studied law and was admitted to the bar. He soon left the profession and became proprietor and editor of the Lewiston Journal in 1856.

A member of the Maine House of Representatives 1862-1865, 1868, and again in 1873, he and served as Speaker in 1863 and 1864, and as Governor in 1874. He was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1876 and 1880.

Elected as a Republican to the Forty-seventh Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of William P. Frye, Dingley was reelected to the Forty-eighth and to the seven succeeding Congresses, serving from September 12, 1881 until his death in Washington, D.C. on January 13, 1899, before the close of the Fifty-fifth Congress.

Dingley had been chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means (Fifty-fourth and Fifty-fifth Congresses), and had also been reelected to the Fifty-sixth Congress. He is interred in Oak Hill Cemetery, near Auburn.

His brother was Frank L. Dingley, distinguished editor for 57 years of the Lewiston Evening Journal, Maine’s second largest daily newspaper.

Additional resources

Chase, Henry. ed. Representative Men of Maine.

Dingley, Edward N. The Life and Times of Nelson Dingley, Jr. Kalamazoo: Ihling Brothers and Everard, 1902.

Dingley Family. Family Papers. 1855-1916. Letters, diaries, (1855-59), speeches, and scrapbooks of Frank Lambert Dingley (1840-1918), editor of the Lewiston Journal, biography and other papers relating to Nelson Dingley (1832-1899), Governor of Maine, and other family members. Special Collections, Fogler Library, University of Maine. Orono.

*Kennebec Journal, Augusta, December 10, 1906.

*McIntyre, Philip W. and Blanding, William F. Men of Progress. Boston: New England Magazine, 1897, pp. 453-455.

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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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