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Ernest Willard Gibson

American politician

Died when: 67 years 174 days (809 months)
Star Sign: Capricorn

 

Ernest Willard Gibson Ernest Willard Gibson (December 29, 1872 – June 20, 1940) was an American politician and lawyer from Vermont. A Republican, he served in both the United States House of Representatives (1923-1933) and United States Senate (1933-1940). A native of Londonderry, Vermont, Gibson graduated from Black River Academy (1891) and Norwich University (BS, 1894, MA, 1896). From 1894 to 1898, Gibson was principal of the high school in Chester, Vermont. While working as a principal, Gibson studied law with Eleazer L. Waterman and James Loren Martin attended the University of Michigan Law School. He was admitted to the bar in 1899 and began to practice in Brattleboro. Gibson gained his initial political experience as a Chester Village Trustee (1895 to 1898). While practicing law, he served as Windham County Register of Probate and Deputy Clerk of Vermont's United States District Court. He subsequently won terms in the Vermont House of Representatives (1906) and Vermont Senate (1908). During his State Senate term, Gibson was the body's President pro tempore. Gibson served as judge of Brattleboro's Municipal Court from 1906 to 1910. From 1899 to 1908 Gibson served in the Vermont National Guard. Enlisting as a private, he received his commission as an officer in 1901. From 1906 to 1908 he served on the staff of Governor Fletcher D. Proctor with the rank of colonel. He served again from 1915 to 1923, and took part in the Pancho Villa Expedition after Joining the 1st Vermont Infantry Regiment as a captain. During World War I, Gibson was commander of Company I, 1st Vermont Infantry, which was later federalized as the 57th Pioneer Infantry Regiment. Gibson remained in the National Guard after the war, and retired as a colonel after he won a seat in the U.S. House. In 1912, Gibson became a leader of the Progressive movement in Vermont, but remained loyal to the Republican Party, which enabled him to serve as a bridge between the two groups. He served as Windham County State's Attorney from 1919 until 1921 and was Secretary of Civil and Military Affairs (chief assistant) at the start of Governor James Hartness's term in 1921. In November 1923, Gibson was elected to the United States House of Representatives from Vermont's 2nd district. he continued to win reelection until 1932, when the 2nd District was eliminated and Vermont became one at-large district, Gibson was elected to represent it. After the 1933 death of Senator Porter H. Dale, Gibson was appointed to fill the vacancy. He was elected in 1934 to complete Dale's term, and in 1938 won election to a full six-year term. Gibson served in the Senate until his death. Gibson was buried at Morningside Cemetery in Brattleboro.
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