Thursday, September 7, 2017

The Proctor Family

The Proctor family was prominent in Vermont history. The town of Proctor, just north of Rutland, Vermont's second largest city, was named for this family. High quality marble deposits in this area were quarried by the Vermont Marble Company from the 1880s to the 1980s. Three generations of Proctors led the Vermont Marble Company and provided four Vermont governors:

1st generation: Redfield Proctor (1831-1908) founded the Vermont Marble Company in 1880. He had been a colonel in the Civil War and governor of Vermont 1878-1880. He went on to be Secretary of War 1889-1891 and a United States Senator from Vermont 1891-1908. He married Emily Jane Dutton in 1858.

2nd generation: Redfield and Emily Proctor had five children over a period of 20 years: Arabella (b. 1859), Fletcher (b. 1860), Fanny (b. 1863), Emily (b. 1869) and Redfield, Jr. (b. 1879). Both sons were governor of Vermont: Fletcher Proctor (1860-1911) was governor 1906-1908 and Redfield Proctor, Jr. (1879-1957) was governor 1923-1925. Fletcher Proctor married Minnie Robinson in 1886.

3rd generation: Fletcher and Minnie Proctor had three children: Emily (b. 1887), Mortimer (b. 1889) and Minnie (b. 1895). Their son was governor of Vermont: Mortimer Proctor (1889-1968) was governor 1945-1947.

Why am I writing about the Proctor family? Two things about the Proctor family are connected to subjects that I have been blogging about this summer.

First, the Proctor family played a significant role in the history of the Green Mountain Club and Vermont's Long Trail. Nancy is finishing hiking the Long Trail this summer, and all of the posts on this blog since July have been related to that project.

Second, Minnie Robinson Proctor came from Cloverdale. My sister Beth and I mentioned Minnie in our presentation about the history of Cloverdale that we did together in July for the Cambridge and Westford Historical Societies.

In our Cloverdale presentation, Beth and I said about Minnie: "Cloverdale was always proud of its own First Lady of Vermont." We talked about the wedding of Minnie Robinson to Fletcher Proctor at the Robinson house on the Cloverdale Farm in 1886 (photo above). We knew that she married into a prominent family. We knew that her father-in-law had been governor of Vermont. We knew that her husband, and their future son Mortimer, would become governors of Vermont.

At the time of our Cloverdale presentation, I did not know about the connections between the Proctor family, including Minnie herself, and the Long Trail. I write about those connections in the next two blog posts: The Long Trail Lodge and Who was Emily Proctor?

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