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 John H. Reed

John H. Reed

DATE OF BIRTH:  January 5, 1921
PLACE OF BIRTH:  Fort Fairfield
Date of Death: October 31, 2012
Place of Death: Washington DC
PROFESSION:  Potato Farmer
TERM IN OFFICE:  December 30, 1959 – January 5, 1967
FIRST LADY:  Cora M. Davison

QUOTE: There is much to be done in the field of safety on the job. In the last year of record the total of 44 on-the-job fatalities was the highest since we have kept reports. I believe that occupational safety supervision should be extended to all work places; that special attention be given the construction industry which is not now covered by a State Safety Service.

Inaugural Address, January 5, 1961

Souvenir Folder Circa 1960Souvenir Folder Circa 1960OTHER ELECTED OR APPOINTED OFFICES: State Representative, State Senator (Senate President), Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, U. S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Moldives


Hunt, H. Draper. “Governor John H. Reed,” The Blaine House, Home of Maine Governors. Augusta: Friends of the Blaine House, 1994, pp.143-157.



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