IDE, HENRY C., son of Jacob and Ladoski (KNIGHTS) IDE, was born in Barnet, Vt., September 18, 1844. He pursued his preparatory studies at St. Johnsbury academy, and graduated from Dartmouth college with the highest honors of his class in 1866. 

      He was principal of St. Johnsbury academy for the two years following, when he was appointed head master of the High school of Arlington, Mass., a position which he filled until the autumn of 1869. He then began the study of law with the late Judge B. H. STEELE of St. Johnsbury, and in December, 1870, he was admitted to the bar of Caledonia county. He began to practice in October, 1871, in St. Johnsbury, and in 1873 formed a partnership with Hon. H. C. BELDEN, which continued until 1884, when the firm was succeeded by that of IDE & STAFFORD. This partnership in turn was succeeded by that of IDE & QUIMBY, in 1890, and that was dissolved in 1892. In 1890 he was admitted to the bar of the United States supreme court. Mr. IDE has been engaged in much of the important litigation in northeastern Vermont, and he has stood in the front rank of his profession. He has been honored with many offices within the gift of his fellow-citizens. 

      For three years he was state’s attorney for Caledonia county and was twice sent to the state senate, where he served as chairman of the judiciary and railroad committees, presented and secured the enactment of laws securing the property rights of married women and other important measures, and took high rank as a debater. 

      In 1884 he presided at the Republican state convention, and he was a delegate to the Republican national convention in 1888, and was a member of the committee on credentials. 

      Mr. IDE was appointed by President Harrison a commissioner on behalf of the United States, to act with others appointed by England and Germany, to settle the disputes in Samoa. Chosen by the commission as its chairman, he rendered important service in organizing, formulating, and carrying on the work of that body. In November, 1891, he resigned this appointment on account of sickness in his family, returning to this country with expressions of regret from the king of Samoa and all other officials with whom he was associated in his official duties. He also received a letter of thanks and appreciation from the president 

      In 1893 he was appointed chief justice of Samoa by the three treaty powers -- England, Germany, and the United States -- and in October entered upon his new and important duties. He performed the duties of that responsible position for four years with a discretion and probity that won him respect and fame at home and abroad. 

      In March, 1900, Judge IDE was appointed by President McKinley a member of the United States Philippine commission, of which Judge W. H. TAFT was president. In 1901 Judge IDE was appointed Secretary of Finance and Justice, and upon him devolved the responsibility for the monetary and financial affairs of the islands, and the work of organizing and putting into operation and supervising a system of jurisprudence suited to the complex requirements of the mixed population. 

      At a banquet tendered Judge IDE, in February, 1903, when departing for his vacation, by the chiefs of the various bureaus of the insular government, Gov. TAFT, in a letter of regrets, expressed the following sentiments: "Everyone knows who knows anything about the commission that when one presents a question to the commission, he must reckon with the independent, clear-sighted, keenly analytic mind of Judge Ide; that Judge IDE has saved the commission from doing a good many foolish things; that Judge IDE is the watch-dog of the treasury, and has done more to keep down our expenses than all the other members of the commission together. Everyone knows that the code of civil procedure which is working so well, is wholly the work of Judge IDE; that there is no harder working commissioner than he, and that his work is solely with a view to the public interests of these islands." 

      Judge IDE is still a member of this Philippine commission, and Secretary of Finance and Justice. 

      His work in the Philippines has met with the unqualified approval of the president and of the country. The citizens of St. Johnsbury gladly welcomed the return of their distinguished townsman during his recent vacation. At Commencement, 1903, Tufts college conferred on him the degree of LL. D., an honor which Dartmouth, his alma mater, had bestowed in 1900. 

      Judge IDE has been for years a director of the First National bank, a trustee of the Passumpsic Savings bank of St. Johnsbury, and a director in many other corporations. 

      He was united in wedlock in 1871 with Mary M., daughter of Joseph and Sophia MELCHER of Stoughton, Mass., who died in 1892. Four children were born to them, Adelaide M. (deceased), Annie L., Harry J. (deceased), and Marjorie M. IDE. 

Source:  Successful Vermonters, William H. Jeffrey, E. Burke, Vermont, The Historical Publishing Company, 1904, pages 17-19.

Prepared by Tom Dunn January 2003