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 Burton M. Cross

Burton M. Cross

DATE OF BIRTH:  November 15, 1902
DATE OF DEATH:  October 22, 1998
PROFESSION:  Florist, Insurance, Stock Broker
TERM IN OFFICE:  1) December 25, 1952 – January 6, 1953
2) January 8, 1953 – January 6, 1955
FIRST LADY:  Olena R. Moulton

QUOTE: There is a great deal of concern over the conditions at the State School for the Deaf in Portland. The buildings are obsolete, a distinct fire hazard, and facilities are greatly inadequate to handle the pressure of a mounting enrollment in this field. I recommend strongly two major changes in regard to this institution: First, that its administration be transferred to the Department of Education as this is an educational not a welfare program; second, that a new site, more suitable for a school of this type, be set up outside the city where conditions will be more in line with proper educational procedure.

Inaugural Address, January 8, 1953

OTHER ELECTED OR APPOINTED OFFICES: Augusta Common Council, Augusta Board of Aldermen, State Representative, State Senator (Senate President)


McKay, Clarence F., Sr.  Remembering The Governor.  Augusta: St. Mark’s Church, October 25, 1998.

Modern Maine.  New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., 1951, Vol. 3, p. 327-328.




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