Our Founder

Professor Leon Dean

The Vermont Old Cemetery Association was founded October 18, 1958 at Burlington, Vermont by Professor Leon W. Dean.

Leon Dean was born in Bristol, Vermont on the 8th day of December, 1889. He was the son of Ashbel Arza Dean, M.D. and his wife, Lillian Wills Dean. He was educated in the local schools of Bristol and the University of Vermont from which he graduated in 1915.

He was endowed with talent and had the ambition to become an author. He loved to write, so his first venture after graduation was to invest in a partnership to purchase the Lake Placid News in Lake Placid, New York. He had served as editor for nearly a year when he was taken seriously ill with tuberculosis and spent the next three years in bed and another three years recuperating. He then received a call from the University of Vermont to join its faculty. He did not feel up to the work involved at that time but accepted a second call the next year and served the University well until retirement. He then tutored faltering English students for as many years as his health would permit.

During the university years and throughout his retirement, he continued to write on the subjects that were interesting to him. Patriotism, history, and folklore, the peculiar ways of early settlers were of special interest to him. He not only wrote prolifically on these subjects but he organized societies to research and publish material that would be available to future generations. In 1948, the Vermont Folklore Society was formed during a meeting at the University of Vermont with Professor Dean serving as President. The Society later became the Green Mountain Folklore Society. In 1958 the Vermont Old Cemetery Association was founded October 18, 1958 at Burlington, Vermont by Professor Dean.

Leon Dean died in 1982.