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 Frederick G. Payne

Frederick G. Payne

DATE OF BIRTH:  July 24, 1904
DATE OF DEATH:  June 15, 1978
PLACE OF DEATH:  Waldoboro
PROFESSION:  Accountant, Movie Theater Manager, Businessman
TERM IN OFFICE:  January 6, 1949 – December 25, 1952
FIRST LADY:  Ella R. Marshall

QUOTE: No field of government better demonstrates our democratic ideals than provision for the economic well-being of those confronted by adversity arising from unemployment, illness or the non-productive period of advanced years.

Inaugural Address, January 6, 1949

OTHER ELECTED OR APPOINTED OFFICES: Mayor of Augusta, Commissioner of Finance, State Budget Director, Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Air Force, U. S. Senator


Kennebec Journal, Augusta, June 16, 1978.

Modern Maine.  New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., 1951, Vol. 3, pp. 6-7.



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