Abner Coburn

Abner Coburn (March 22, 1803 – January 4, 1885) was the 30th Governor of Maine from 1863 to 1864 and a prominent individual in Skowhegan, Maine until his death.

Abner Coburn
Abner Coburn.png
30th Governor of Maine
In office
January 7, 1863 – January 6, 1864
Preceded byIsrael Washburn, Jr.
Succeeded bySamuel Cony
Member of the Maine House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Born(1803-03-22)March 22, 1803
Skowhegan, Massachusetts
(now Maine)
DiedJanuary 4, 1885(1885-01-04) (aged 81)
Skowhegan, Maine

Early yearsEdit

Coburn was born on a farm in Old Canaan (later renamed to Skowhegan). He was raised with Puritan values and worked on his family farm from a young age which lead to him being known as an exceedingly industrious man.[1]


Sailing Vessel Abner Coburn

Coburn's family were Federalists and he cast his first vote for president in 1824 for John Quincy Adams. He went on to join the Whig Party and was an early member of the Maine Republican Party. Coburn served three years in the Maine House of Representatives before being elected Governor in 1863. He called for prisoners at the Maine State Prison to be leased to contractors instead of the State itself using them for manufacturing.[2] He became prominent in Skowhegan society, serving as the president of Skowhegan Savings Bank and becoming president and director of the Maine Central Railroad. He served as the Chair of the Colby College Board of Trustees from 1874 until his death in 1885.[3] He was the uncle of the writer Louise Helen Coburn. Many of his historical items can be seen in a museum she began, the Skowhegan History House.

The Abner Coburn being towed from the Bering Sea, May 1918

Upon his death in 1885, Coburn left 12 acres (49,000 m2) to the town of Skowhegan land for a public park. Coburn Park opened in 1907. Abner Coburn's life and achievements as governor were honored with the naming of a sailing ship.[4]


  1. ^ "Genealogical and family history of the state of Maine". New York, Lewis historical Pub. Co. 1909.
  2. ^ "The Life of Abner Coburn: A Review of the Public and Private Career of the Late Ex-governor of Maine". Press of T. W. Burr. 1885.
  3. ^ "Mayflower Hill, A History of Colby College." Appendix C. Earl H. Smith. University Press of New England. 2006.
  4. ^ Abner Coburn: Narrative, Dyal 2008
Party political offices
Preceded by Republican nominee for Governor of Maine
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Governor of Maine
Succeeded by