History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/4/Stephen B. Packard

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[Stephen B. Packard]

STEPHEN B. PACKARD, Ex-Governor of Louisiana, was born at Auburn, in the State of Maine, April 25, 1839. His education was acquired in the village schools and Westbrook Academy. At the age of twenty he began the study of law, having previously taught school. He left the law office in 1861 to join the Twelfth Maine Volunteers as first lieutenant and was promoted to captain of Company B. The regiment was assigned to General B. F. Butler's Division, participating in the Louisiana campaign and the captures of New Orleans and Port Hudson. In 1864 Captain Packard served as Judge-Advocate in New Orleans, later joining his regiment which was with Sherman's army. After the close of the war Captain Packard settled in New Orleans, engaged in the practice of law and in 1867 was elected delegate to the Constitutional Convention and was made chairman of the Board of Registration consisting of seven men who were charged with the duty of administering the civil affairs of the State from the adjournment in April until the inauguration of the State Government in July, 1868. He was appointed United States Marshal for Louisiana in 1869 by President Grant. As delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1876 he supported Elaine after it was seen to be impossible to nominate General Grant. In November he was elected Governor of Louisiana and inaugurated in January, 1877, but by the manipulation of the election returns and in the settlement of the Tilden and Hayes contest he was compelled to abdicate in April. A committee appointed by the Hayes faction obtained a quorum of members in the so-called Nichols Legislature by breaking up a quorum in the regular State Legislature which supported Governor Packard. This was a part of the arrangement which made Hayes President. In 1878 Governor Packard was appointed Consul to Liverpool, serving until 1885. Coming to Iowa he purchased a large farm near Marshalltown which he made his permanent home. In 1893 he was a member of the Iowa Commission which had charge of the State exhibit at the World's Exposition. He was also on the Iowa Commission at the Trans-Mississippi Exposition at Omaha; and was one of the vice-presidents for Iowa at the Pan-American Exposition, and in the same year was elected a member of the State Board of Agriculture.