Curtis Guild, Jr.
Painting: Samuel Burtis Baker, c. 1919

Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: 1906-1909

Curtis Guild was born in Boston, to a family involved in journalism, business, and culture. His father published the influential Commercial Bulletin, supported the arts, and was President of the Bostonian Society. After Guild graduated from Harvard, he worked on the staff of his father's newspaper before becoming partner in 1884. In 1902, he became the sole owner of the paper, which still is published today as the Wool Market Review.

Mr. Guild served as a member in the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1881. His father was active in support of Vice Presidential candidate Theodore Roosevelt, traveling with him, and substituting for him when he lost his voice. The younger Guild joined the Massachusetts Volunteer Militia in 1891, rising to the rank of Brigadier General in 1898. During the Spanish-American War he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and Inspector General of Havana.

After returning to Massachusetts, Guild became active in the Republican Party and was elected to serve as Lieutenant Governor 1903-5. In 1905, he was elected by popular vote to three gubernatorial terms. Labor issues continued to dominate Massachusetts' politics. Guild supported laws to improve working conditions for women and children and to improve factory sanitation.

It was labor issues that indirectly saved Guild from an assignation attempt. In 1907, an escaped asylum patient intent on killing Governor Guild, entered his waiting area at the State House carrying a handgun. He saw a group of men and fired on Edward Cohen, a union leader from Lynn, apparently believing him to be the Governor. Guild declined to run for a fourth term. The next year he accepted a posting as Special Ambassador to Russia, where he served from 1911-1913.