Nathaniel M. Haskell

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Nathaniel Mervin Haskell (September 27, 1912 – February 8, 1983) was a Maine Republican politician. Haskell served as the 62nd Governor of Maine for 25 hours: from 10:00am on January 6, 1953 to 11:00am on January 7, 1953.[1]

Nathaniel M. Haskell
62nd Governor of Maine
In office
January 6, 1953 – January 7, 1953
Preceded byBurton M. Cross
Succeeded byBurton M. Cross
Member of the Maine Senate
In office
Member of the Maine House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Born(1912-09-27)September 27, 1912
Pittsfield, Maine
DiedFebruary 8, 1983(1983-02-08) (aged 70)
Portland, Maine
Political partyRepublican


Haskell was born on September 27, 1912 in Pittsfield, Maine.

His parents died when he was two years old and his sister, Amelia, and her husband, Van Stevens, moved the family to Portland. Haskell graduated from Deering High School. Determined to be a lawyer, he graduated from the Peabody Law School in 1934 and was admitted to the Maine bar. For the remainder of his life he maintained his legal office in downtown Portland.

In 1943, Haskell was elected to the Maine House of Representatives and was reelected in 1945, 1947, and 1949 when he served as Speaker of the House. Elected to the Maine Senate in 1951, he was reelected in 1953 and in that same year elected President of the Senate.

Haskell's brief term of Governor was the result of constitutional succession in the wake of the 1952 elections. The outgoing Governor, Frederick G. Payne, resigned early to begin preparing to take his new seat in the United States Senate. With Maine having no lieutenant governor, the President of the Senate is next in the line of succession. At the time of Payne's resignation, Burton M. Cross became Governor by virtue of holding that office. However, Cross had also been elected Governor; his elected term was scheduled to begin on January 7, 1953. At 10:00am on January 6, 1953, Cross's term as Senate President (and therefore Governor) expired. Haskell, as the newly elected president, became Governor until the inaugural ceremony was held at 11:00am the next day.[2]

He was not closely related to Robert Haskell, another Senate President who briefly became governor in between the terms of a prior one and a newly elected one.

Haskell continued as President for the 1953 regular session only, resigning prior to the start of the special session held later that year to accept the appointment as Probate Judge of Cumberland County.

He died on February 8, 1983 in Portland, Maine.


Political offices
Preceded by
Burton M. Cross
Governor of Maine
Succeeded by
Burton M. Cross