Horace French Graham Edit Profile
Preparatory education Craftsbury (Vermont) Academy. Bachelor of Laws cum laude, Columbia Law School, 1888 (also course in political science). Unmarried.
Graham received his early education in Vermont. He received his law degree from Columbia Law School in 1888 and became an attorney in Craftsbury. A Republican, he served as Craftsbury's Town Meeting Moderator from 1902 to 1932, and in the Vermont House of Representatives in 1892 and 1900.
He was Orleans County State's Attorney from 1898 to 1902, and a Republican Presidential elector in 1900. In 1916 Graham was the successful candidate for the Republican nomination for Governor. He served from 1917 to 1919, the one term then available to Vermont Republicans under the "Mountain Rule." (Under the provisions of the Mountain Rule, one US Senator was a resident of the east side of the Green Mountains and one resided on the west side, and the governorship and lieutenant governorship alternated between residents of the east and west side For nearly 100 years likely candidates for office in Vermont agreed to abide by the Mountain Rule in the interests of party unity) Graham's governorship was notable for his advocacy of women's suffrage in local elections, and for his efforts to mobilize the Vermont National Guard and other state resources for World War I. While Governor, an investigation revealed that a large sum of state money (nearly $25 thousand, or $292 thousand in 2015 dollars) was unaccounted for during his term as Auditor.
Graham repaid the missing funds, but was charged with embezzlement and convicted at trial. He was then pardoned by the new Governor, Percival Clement, who lauded Graham's integrity (his nickname was "Honest Horace") and efforts as Governor during World War I. Graham always maintained his innocence, but stated that since the loss took place while he was Auditor, he felt personally obligated to reimburse the state for the missing money. His reputation for integrity was largely undamaged, and he served in the Vermont House again from 1924 to 1925, also taking part in revising Vermont's Statutes in 1933.
Graham died in Craftsbury on November 23, 1941. He was buried at Craftsbury Common Cemetery.
Graham was a member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. Graham was Vermont's Auditor from 1902 to 1916, and a member of the state Education Commission in 1913.