Deane C. Davis Papers
The Deane C. Davis collection consists of approximately eight linear feet of correspondence, campaign material, schedules, speeches, photographs and additional printed material. The collection spans from 1940 to 1973 with a concentration between 1969 and 1973, Davis's years in office. The main body of his papers, constituting the official papers of his two terms as governor, are located in the Vermont State Archives.
The Davis collection is arranged first by series --correspondence, speeches, schedules etc. - then chronologically or alphabetically within the series.
Language of Materials
Collection is open for research.
All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Curator of Manuscripts.
Deane C. Davis was born in East Barre, Vermont, on November 7, 1900, the son of Earl Russell and Lois (Hillary) Davis. He attended Spaulding High School, graduated in 1918, and then went on to Boston University to study law. Davis received his Bachelor of Laws in 1922 and in the same year passed the Vermont Bar examination. After returning to Barre, he opened his own practice which he continued for 18 years. He also served as Barre City attorney from 1924 to 1926, and again from 1928 to 1930. Between 1926 and 1928 Davis was elected States Attorney for Washington County and also became involved with numerous boards and in public affairs.
In 1931 Davis's record won him an appointment to Vermont's Superior Court. After five years he became a partner at the law firm of Wilson, Carver, Davis and Keyser in Barre and Chelsea, Vermont. In 1940 Davis began a long career with the National Life Insurance Company of Montpelier.
There, he worked three years as General Counsel, seven years as both General Counsel and Vice President, then sixteen years as presiding Chief Executive Officer. In 1966 he was elected Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for the company. The following year Davis relinquished the title of Chief Executive and in 1968 resigned as Board Chairman to assume the governorship of Vermont.
While Chief Executive Officer for National Life, Davis headed two major national organizations: the Life Insurance Association of America and the Institute of Life Insurance. During that time he also served two terms on the Education Committee of the American College and the Board of Trustees of the Life Underwriters Training Council.
Davis has also held various other positions: President of the Vermont Bar Association (1942), member of the Board of Directors for the Life Insurance Medical Research Fund (1955-1957), Director of the Mary Fletcher Hospital (1955-1959), President of the American Morgan Horse Association (1963-1964), President and Managing Director of the Cooperative Health Information Center (1973-1975), President of the Calvin Coolidge Memorial Fund, state Vice President of the Vermont American Life Convention, member of the American Judicature Society, Chairman of the Board for the Vermont Morgan Horse Association, Vice President of the Green Mountain Horse Association, and an active member in many other societies and associations.
During these busy years Davis became active in Republican state affairs; he was a delegate to national conventions, as well as Chairman of the Vermont State Republican Convention during presidential election years.
In 1968 Davis was elected Governor of Vermont and held that office until 1973. In his two terms he sponsored the state sales tax statute and initiated and signed Public Law 250 (Act 250) a law aimed at guarding the state's natural resources without stifling economic growth. He also persuaded the legislature to put into effect a cabinet form of state government at the executive level that he believed was more efficient.
Davis has received honorary degrees of LL.D. from the University of Vermont (1957), Litt.D. from Norwich University (1963), LL.D. from Middlebury College (1964), and LL.D. from Boston University (1969). In May 1970 Davis was appointed by President Nixon to the Civil Defense Advisory Council and in 1980 was a recipient of the Haugen Award of Vermont's Society of Public Administrators.
Davis has published two books: Justice in the Mountains (1980) and Nothin' (But the Truth) (1982), both recounting his tales of Vermont.
In 1924 Davis married Corinne Eastman, who died in 1951, and in 1952 he married Marjorie Smith Conzelman. He is the father of three children from his first marriage: Deane C. (deceased), Marian E. Calcagni and Thomas C. Davis.
8 Linear Feet (7 cartons, 2 boxes)
The Deane C. Davis collection consists of approximately eight linear feet of correspondence, campaign material, schedules, speeches, photographs and additional printed material. The collection spans from 1940 to 1973 with a concentration between 1969 and 1973, Davis's years in office as Governor.
Library Research Annex.
- Guide to the Deane C. Davis Papers, 1949-1978
- Processor: Ksenya Kiebuzinski March 1987 revised by Sarah Barnett and Jeffry Marshall, October 1989.
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