New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources

New Hampshire Officials and Governors

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Russell Bastedo

Webster - New Hampshire State Government Online

A Guide to Likenesses of
New Hampshire Officials and Governors
on Public Display at
the Legislative Office Building and the State House
Concord, New Hampshire, to 1998

Henry W. Keyes (1862-1938)

Portrait of Henry W. Keyes Born Newbury (VT); Haverhill (NH) animal breeder. In state politics from 1891. Governor 1917/19.

Henry Keyes was the son of a successful farmer, merchant and railroad builder. He was educated at Boston (MA) schools and received his B.A. degree from Harvard College (Class of 1887). While at college he starred in track, football and crew; he was elected First Marshall of his graduating class.

After considerable time in Europe Keyes returned to the family's 1500-acre "Pine Grove Farm" to breed blooded cattle, horses, sheep and swine, and to farm. He organized the Woodsville (NH) National Bank in 1897 and was its president until he died.

Keyes was elected selectman of Haverhill Township in 1891; he held that position even while governor. In 1891 Keyes also served the first of three terms in the state legislature (1891/3, 1893/5, 1915/17). In 1902 he was elected to the State Senate, where he served as chairman of two very important committees, Railroads and Forestry (1902/05). He was treasurer of the State Excise Commission (1903/13), and chairman of the commission from 1915 until his 1916 Republican candidacy for the governorship. He won a close race (against Democrat John Hutchins) despite President Woodrow Wilson's' landslide reelection to a second term.

Governor Keyes' term coincided with America's brief involvement in World War One. Keyes sponsored a number of wartime measures, many of which were progressive for New Hampshire at that time. Hours worked by women and children were regulated. A standardized system of weights and measures was adopted. A reorganization plan for the Boston & Maine Railroad was approved. Legislation was passed to protect the public against stock fraud. The governor's popularity led to his election to the U.S. Senate in 1918 while still in the governor's office - the first time this had happened in almost a century. Keyes served 18 years as U.S. Senator (1919/37), resigning a year before he died. While a Senator he served on Appropriations and other important Senate committees.

Location: NO PORTRAIT. Photo from Everett S. Stackpole, History of New Hampshire (4 volumes; New York, 1916)

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New Hampshire's Governors