Root, Henry G.
as found in
HISTORY OF
BENNINGTON COUNTY, VT


WITH ILLUSTRATIONS AND BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES
OF SOME OF ITS PROMINENT MEN AND PIONEERS.

EDITED BY
LEWIS CASS ALDRICH
1889



ROOT, HENRY G. It would seem that fifty years of participation in active business pursuits ought to entitle any person to permanent retirement and rest for the remainder of his life; but some men are so constituted that the absence of business connections seems like idleness, and the latter is irksome and foreign to their nature. Such a thought is suggested by looking over the past career of Henry G. Root, who, although now past his seventieth anniversary of birth, appears to be as actively engaged in business as at anytime heretofore, and with the same good judgment and resultis as at an earlier day; in truth time has dealt leniently with our subject, and his years hang but lightly upon him. His life too, from a business point of view, has been entirely successful, and a substantial fortune is its result.

But it is not solely to this accumulation that Mr. Root has been devuted throughout these long years, for within the county of Bennington there lives no man who has exhibited more public-spiritedness, or has gone deeper into pocket in the interest of his town and its improvement in every respect than has he; his early connection with the efforts made to obtain a railway outlet for the town, and the bringing about of that consummation, shows that he possessed something of an influence in the community as well as a desire to benefit the town; and his connection with the Centennial Celebration, and the Battle Monument Association, he having raised in the main the subscription fund for the former, and the five thousand dollars demanded by the State Legislature to be raised by subscription among the people, as condition upon which the State appropriation was made; and for all of this service he neither asked, received or hoped for reward other than that enjoyed by the whole people of the county a fitting celebration of the Vermont Centennial Anniversary, and the building of a magnificent monument commemorative of the battle of Bennington. The people of the county will remember the movement that was set on foot relating to the removal of the court-house and county buildings from Bennington and Manchester and centering them in Arlington, and the. work that was required to be done, and the means necessary to be raised to prevent such removal; and remembering this they will also recall the fact that of the prominent citizens who worked to retain the buildings in the village and raise the funds to make the court-house inhabitable, none labored more zealously, or with better results than Henry G. Root.

More than this Mr. Root has been honored by the freemen of the county with public office, having been elected to the State General Assembly and twice to the Senate. In 1860 he was a presidential-elector at-large on the Republican ticket, and had the honor of casting a vote for Abraham Lincoln in the electoral college. Mr. Root is the only surviving member of the college now living in Vermont In the local institutions of Bennington our subject has been equally prominent, for besides his connection with the monument assocition and the centennial commission, he is one of the trustees of the library association, and of the Congregational Church Society, of the latter being the president; his contributions to the fund with which the church edifice was Luilt, and subsequently to the fund that finally extinguished that society's indebtedness, may be counted by the thousands of dollars. Mr. Root's membership in this church dates back to January, 1857. He was one of the first board of directors of the Lebanon Springs Railroad, and one of the incorporatoi-s of the First National Bank of Bennington; was elected vice-president of the bank after the first year of its existence, and has continued in that office to this time. He has been connected with institutions and organizations of the State, as well as those of local importance, having been a director of the Vermont State Agricultural Society for the last twenty-five years, and president of that society during the years 1871-72 and 1873. Besides this-he has been prominently associated with other societies of the State.

Henry Green Root was a native of Massachusetts, born in Greenfield on the 18th day of September, 1818. Up to the time he was seventeen years of• age Henry lived at home on the farm of his father where he worked in season and attended district school; but on reaching the age above stated he was apprenticed to learn the trade of tinsmithing at Templeton, Mass. In the fall of 1838 Elisha Root, the father of our subject, came to reside at Bennington, and this fact induced Henry to follow after he was released from his apprenticeship, which release he purchased four months before his term had fully expired. After coming to Bennington young Root borrowed a small sum of money from his father, and in partnership with Luther R. Graves engaged in the business of manufacturing and selling tinware, in a small way at the beginning, but gradually enlarging and increasing the same as the means of the proprietors would permit. Under the arrangement between these partners Mr. Root had charge of the mechanical department of the concern, white Mr. Graves was on the road. This business grew to large proportions and proved an exceedingly profitable enterprise for the firm. They established houses in various sections of the country, and entrusted their management generally to young and competent men whom they had educated in the business. Among the branch houses established by the firm of Graves & Root during their long business associations was one at each of the following places: Red Hook, N. Y.; Troy, N. Y.; Easton, Pa; Watertown, N. Y., and Burlington, Vt.

When Luther R. Graves and Henry G. Root entered into their partnership agreement it was verbally provided that the same should continue for a period of six years, but when that time had elapsed the business of the concern was continued without any further understanding- and has been so conducted to the present day; and it is a truth that notwithstanding the fact the Messrs. craves & Root have now been associated together for a full half century, and for forty-four years without any regular agreement; there has never been an accounting between them, and the acts of either have never been questioned or criticised by the other. Their business has always been successful, and their firmrelations entirely harmonious.

On the 23d day of December, in the year 1846, Henry G. Root was married to Catharine L., daughter of Hon. Samuel H. Blackmer, a highly respected citizen of Bennington. Of this marriage four children have been born, only two of whom are now living. Catbarine L. Root, wife of Henry G. Root, died on the 2d of September, 1887. Mr. Root on the 23d day of January, 1889, was married to Mary A. Gale, daughter of the late Dr. Nathan Gale, one of Orwell's. most prominent physicians and respected citizens.


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