Maine's Governors

Since William King was inaugurated as Maine’s first governor on June 2, 1820, the state has been led by 70 men and one woman. The position held today by Janet Trafton Mills has been occupied by such notable figures in our history as Hannibal Hamlin, Abraham Lincoln’s first vice president; Abner Coburn, generous benefactor to Maine educational institutions; Joshua L. Chamberlain, Civil War hero at the Battle of Gettysburg; Percival P. Baxter, donor of Mount Katahdin to the state; and Edmund S. Muskie, champion of Federal environmental protection legislation.

Only two governors are not represented by pictures. Of the balance, four are shown in portraits and the rest in photographs. Photographic images dating back to the 1840s enable us to study with complete clarity the faces of the men who governed Maine during the first decades of statehood before the Civil War as well as their more recent successors. These pictures come from three sources, the Maine State Archives, the Maine Historical Society, and the Maine Historic Preservation Commission.

These pages are based upon research which I initially undertook in 2001 assisted by the Commission’s summer intern Adam M. Crowley of the University of Maine at Orono, now an Assistant Professor of English at Husson College in Bangor. At that point, the project was envisioned as a publication, but the ever expanding use of the internet during the last decade has led me to offer this information to a broader online audience. I want to thank the Friends of the Blaine House for hosting this information. 

Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr.
Maine State Historian


Governor Carl E. Milliken

Carl E. Milliken

DATE OF BIRTH:  July 13, 1877
PLACE OF BIRTH:  Pittsfield
DATE OF DEATH:  May 1, 1961
PLACE OF DEATH:  Springfield, MA
PROFESSION:  Secretary of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors Association
TERM IN OFFICE:  January 4, 1917 – January 6, 1921
FIRST LADY:  Emma Chase

QUOTE: It is the duty of the State to make it easy for every voter freely and secretly to vote for the candidate of his choice. Our present system of voting at elections not only causes confusion through its variance from the method in vogue at the primaries, but is faulty in its requirement of adherence to the party column. The tendency of the party column ballot is to breed carelessness in voting and to encourage the nomination of weak candidates who rely upon the ticket as a whole to pull them through.

Inaugural Address, January 4, 1917

OTHER ELECTED OR APPOINTED OFFICES: State Representative, State Senator


Bangor Daily News, May 2, 1961.


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