Joseph R. Bodwell

Joseph Robinson Bodwell
40th Governor of Maine
In office
January 5, 1887 – December 15, 1887
Preceded by Frederick Robie
Succeeded by S. S. Marble
Personal details
Born June 18, 1818
Methuen, Massachusetts
Died December 15, 1887(1887-12-15) (aged 69)
Hallowell, Maine
Political party Republican
Profession Businessman
Religion Congregationalist

Joseph Robinson Bodwell (June 18, 1818 – December 15, 1887) was an American politician who most notably served as the 40th Governor of Maine.

Early life

Bodwell was born in Methuen, Massachusetts on June 18, 1818. He grew up as part of a poor family, and at only eight years old, was sent to live with his older sister's husband, where he worked as a farmhand and, later, shoemaker - a trade he learned during 1835. During the day he would attend school, but had to support himself with his trade at night.

Business career

In 1838, Bodwell and his father bought a farm in West Methuen. He and his father continued to till it together for ten years. While engaged in this work, Bodwell worked on the project to improve the Merrimack River at Lawrence. A large amount of stone was required for the project. Bodwell was employed to help haul the stone from Pelham, New Hampshire where it was quarried. He learned the stone cutting business. Bodwell eventually became the owner of two stone companies, becoming one of the largest granite producers in the United States.

Politics

Bodwell became the mayor of Hallowell in 1869. He held that position for two years. He was nominated for the governorship of Maine in 1886 and he won the general election by a popular vote. He was sworn into governor's office on January 5, 1887. During his administration, child welfare programs were advocated and the improvement of labor conditions was endorsed. While still in office, he died on December 15, 1887.

Sources

  • Sobel, Robert and John Raimo. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978. Greenwood Press, 1988. ISBN 0-313-28093-2
Political offices
Preceded by
Frederick Robie
Governor of Maine
1887
Succeeded by
S. S. Marble

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