About Herbert W. Ladd, Governor
Herbert Warren Ladd (October 15, 1843 – November 29, 1913) was the 40th and 42nd Governor of Rhode Island for two terms: 1889–90 and 1891–92.
He was born in New Bedford, Bristol County, Massachusetts on October 15, 1843. In 1891 he donated an astronomical observatory to Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. The Ladd Observatory is named in his honour. He stated at its inauguration, “Becoming a resident of Rhode Island, my attention was drawn to Brown University, and my interest aroused in it; and when, at the Alumni dinner of 1889, in reply to a question as to what the university most needed, I was informed ‘an observatory,’ and, as circumstances seemed fitting, I determined to make the promise, which was at that time announced.”
The Ladd Laboratory, an agricultural research facility established at the University of Rhode Island in 1891, was also named for Governor Ladd. He was also responsible for initiating construction of the Rhode Island State House which was completed in 1904.
A member of the Freemasons, he died on November 29, 1913 and was interred at Swan Point Cemetery, Providence, Rhode Island.