Readfield, Maine once the Home of Four Maine Govenors
governors elected between 1850 - 1858 were natives or residents
of Readfield. A fourth, Jonathan Hunton, was governor from 1830 - 31, and
provided the impetus that gave birth to the Augusta Mental Health Institute.
During this era elected governors held the office for one year unless re-elected.
National Republican Party * 8th Governor of Maine 1830-1831 *
Hunton was born 3/14/1781 in Unity Plantation, N.H., the son of Josiah
and Hannah (Glidden) Hunton. He married Betty Craig who died c1820. Jonathan's
uncle, Samuel Glidden, owned a business in Readfield, which Jonathan assumed
ownership of after his uncle's death. Jonathan's second marriage was to
Mary Glidden, Samuel Glidden's widow.
In 1830 Mr. Hunton was elected to the office of Governor. Most mentally
ill individuals lived under deplorable conditions at this time, so
very soon after Governor Hunton was elected he called the State Legislature's
attention to the need for a state asylum. Four years later legislators
appropriated $20,000.00 for that purpose, and they began the process of
locating a site for the Maine State Insane Asylum (AMHI).
From 1832 - 1834 Jonathan Hunton served in the Maine House of Representatives
and the State Senate.
Democratic Party * 18th Governor of Maine 1850 - 1853 *
was born in Readfield on 3/22/1794, the fifth of twelve children of Dr.
John and Olive (Wilson) Hubbard who were originally from Brentwood, N.H.
Young John was a good student who studied so diligently that he was able
to enter Dartmouth in the third term of the sophomore year, and graduated
in 1816. In 1820 John entered the medical department at the University
of Pennsylvania, and two years later received his M.D. He practiced in
Virginia until 1829, then returned to his home state and settled in Hallowell
where he set up a medical practice. In 1849 John Hubbard was elected to
the State Senate, and six years later as Governor of Maine. He was re-elected
again, and served as Governor until 1853. Dr. Hubbard died 2/6/1869. The
birthplace of Dr. Hubbard still stands today on Route 17 in East Readfield.
The Dr. Hubbard Museum and Hubbard Free Library are located on Second St.
Republican Party * 20th Governor of Maine 1855 - 1856 *
P. Morrill was born 6/1803 in Belgrade, the son of Peaslee and Nancy (Macomber)
Morrill. As a young man, he was a storekeeper in Belgrade, and later owned
the Carding & Fulling Mill in Mt. Vernon. In 1833 he served as Belgrade's
town treasurer, then selectman in 1835, and went on to serve in the Maine
State Legislature. While residing in Readfield in 1853 he was nominated
for governor by the Democratic Convention in Bangor. He was highly respected
by his peers, and under his leadership they "bolted" the opposition. Anson
P. Morrill was a United States Congressman from 1861 - 1862, then stepped
down because he wished to give his exclusive attention to his private business.
His able successor was James Blaine, a friend he admired and respected.
Republican Party * 24th Governor of Maine 1858 - 1861 *
was born 5/1811 in Belgrade, the younger brother of Anson P. Morrill. Mr.
Morrill attended Colby College at 18, then studied law under Judge Edward
Fuller in Readfield. After his admission to the bar in 1839, he established
a law practice in Readfield, and among his partners was Timothy O. Howe
(see Kents hill School Notables below). In 1852 Lot Morrill became a State
Senator, and the Democratic majority elected him Senate President despite
the fact that he did not support the party platform. At that time many
Democrats were faced with the decision of rather or not to join the new
anti-slavery Republican party. Lot Morrill did change parties, and in 1858
was elected Republican Governor, then re-elected in 1859 and 60. His successor
as Govenor was Israel Washburn of Livermore, eldest brother of Elihu Washburn
(see Kents Hill School Notables, below) In 1861 when Hannibal Hamlin became
Vice President under Abraham Lincoln, Lot Morrill was chosen by the Maine
Legislature to fill that U.S. Senate vacancy. Two years later he was re-elected
by popular vote, and remained in that office until 1872. In 1876 he accepted
the appointment as U.S. Secretary of the Treasury. A year later, in 1877,
Lot Morrill was chosen by U.S. President Rutherford Hayes to fill the post
of Collector for the Port of Portland, in which he stood to gain substantial
wealth. He died in 1883 while still in this position, leaving his wife,
Charlotte, and four daughters.
TO READFIELD HISTORICAL & GENEALOGICAL HOMEPAGE
HILL SCHOOL NOTABLES
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