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Urban Andrain Woodbury
Urban A Woodbury.jpg
Official Vermont State House portrait
45th Governor of Vermont
In office
October 4, 1894 – October 8, 1896
Lieutenant Zophar M. Mansur
Preceded by Levi K. Fuller
Succeeded by Josiah Grout
36th Lieutenant Governor of Vermont
In office
October 4, 1888 – October 2, 1890
Governor William P. Dillingham
Preceded by Levi K. Fuller
Succeeded by Henry A. Fletcher
9th Mayor of Burlington, Vermont
In office
Preceded by George H. Morse
Succeeded by W.W. Henry
Personal details
Born (1838-07-11)July 11, 1838
Acworth, New Hampshire
Died April 15, 1915(1915-04-15) (aged 76)
Burlington, Vermont
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Paulina L. Darling
Profession entrepreneur / politician

Urban Andrain Woodbury (July 11, 1838 – April 15, 1915) was an American Civil War veteran, an entrepreneur and a U.S. politician of the Republican Party. He served as mayor of Burlington, lieutenant governor, and as the 45th governor of Vermont.

Prewar life[edit]

Woodbury was born in Acworth, New Hampshire, the son of Albert M. and Lucy L. (Wadleigh) Woodbury, natives of Cavendish, Vermont. He was educated in the public schools of Morristown and Morrisville, and graduated from the medical department of the University of Vermont in 1859, but his career as a doctor was short-lived due to the advent of the Civil War. Woodbury married, on February 12, 1860, Paulina L. Darling, daughter of Ira and Sarah Darling, of Elmore, Vermont. Their children included daughter Gertrude, the wife of George M. Powers. George Powers was the son of Congressman H. Henry Powers, and served as an Associate Justice of the Vermont Supreme Court.[1]

Civil War[edit]

Woodbury enlisted May 25, 1861, and mustered in as 1st Sergeant, Company H, 2nd Vermont Infantry, on June 20. He fought at the July 21 First Battle of Bull Run, where he lost his right arm after being struck by a fragment from an exploding artillery shell, thus becoming Vermont's First Empty Sleeve. Woodbury was captured, and after nearly three months in prison in Richmond, Virginia, he was paroled October 5, 1861, and discharged on account of wounds on October 18.

"Undaunted by his trying experience, he again sought to defend his country's flag," and accepted a commission as Captain of Company D, 11th Vermont Infantry. He transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps on June 17, 1863, and resigned from the service March 27, 1865.[2]

Postwar life[edit]

Woodbury's Van Ness House, built in 1870, once the largest hotel in Burlington.

After returning from the war, Woodbury settled in Burlington and engaged in the lumber and hotel businesses. For 19 years, he was manager of the Booth Lumber Company of Burlington, and for 35 years owner and proprietor of the Van Ness House, a hotel he enlarged twice to accommodate 400 guests.[3]

As a Republican, he was elected alderman in Burlington's 2nd Ward in 1881 and 1882, being president of the board the second year. From 1884 to 1886, he served as colonel on the staff of Governor John L. Barstow. He was Mayor of Burlington in 1885 and 1886, and the 35th Lieutenant Governor of Vermont from 1888 to 1890, under Governor William P. Dillingham. He served as governor from 1894 to 1896. In 1898, he was appointed by President William McKinley to a commission led by General Grenville Dodge, investigating the conduct of the War Department in the Spanish–American War.

Woodbury's fraternal associations included Freemasonry, IOOF, Grand Army of the Republic, Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, Sons of the American Revolution, and Knights of Pythias. Woodbury was also an early member of the Green Mountain Club which was established at a meeting in the Van Ness House in 1910. The club went on to create the Long Trail, America's first long-distance hiking trail.

He died in Burlington, and is buried in Lakeview cemetery there.

At the time of his death he was President of the Mead Manufacturing Company, the Crystal Confectionery Company, and Queen City Cotton Company, all Burlington enterprises.

See also[edit]


  • Benedict, G. G., Vermont in the Civil War. A History of the part taken by the Vermont Soldiers And Sailors in the War For The Union, 1861–65, Burlington, VT: The Free Press Association, 1888, i:77, 83; ii:343.
  • "Ex-Gov. U. A. Woodbury Prominently Identified With Business Interests of Burlington," Bennington (VT) Banner, April 17, 1915
  • "LAST HONORS PAID, Funeral of the Late Governor Woodbury Held Sunday," Bennington (VT) Banner, April 20, 1915
  • Peck, Theodore S., compiler, Revised Roster of Vermont Volunteers and lists of Vermonters Who Served in the Army and Navy of the United States During the War of the Rebellion, 1861–66. Montpelier, VT.: Press of the Watchman Publishing Co., 1892, pp. 56, 424, 733.
  • Ullery, Jacob G., compiler, Men of Vermont: An Illustrated Biographical History of Vermonters and Sons of Vermont, Brattleboro, VT: Transcript Publishing Company, 1894, part 2, p. 438.


  1. ^ Forbes, C. S. (June 1904). "Vermont Men of Today: Judge George M. Powers". The Vermonter. St. Albans, VT: Charles S. Forbes. p. 351. 
  2. ^ Ullery, Jacob G., compiler, Men of Vermont: An Illustrated Biographical History of Vermonters and Sons of Vermont, Brattleboro, VT: Transcript Publishing Company, 1894, part 2, p. 438.
  3. ^ Charles Edwin Allen, About Burlington, Vermont. Burlington, Vermont 1905

Political offices
Preceded by
Levi K. Fuller
Governor of Vermont
Succeeded by
Josiah Grout
Preceded by
Levi K. Fuller
Lieutenant Governor of Vermont
Succeeded by
Henry A. Fletcher
Preceded by
George H. Morse
Mayor of Burlington, Vermont
Succeeded by
W.W. Henry


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