Maine: An Encyclopedia
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Cross, Burton M.

Burton M. Cross (courtesy Maine State Museum)

Burton M. Cross (courtesy Maine State Museum)

(1902-  ) was born in Gardiner, on November 15, 1902, graduated from Cony High School in 1920 and became a florist in Augusta in 1926.

In 1933 he won a seat on the Augusta Common Council and four years later in 1937 moved up to the Board of Aldermen, presiding over both bodies.

Elected to the Maine House in 1941 he served two terms before moving up to the Senate in 1945. He became majority floor leader in 1947 and President of the Senate in 1949 to 1952.

Governor Cross taking the oath of office (courtesy Maine State Archives)

Governor Cross taking the oath of office (courtesy Maine State Archives)

In 1952 he won the Republican nomination for Governor and went on to defeat Democrat James Oliver in the general election by a substantial margin. He became acting governor on Christmas Eve in 1952 when governor Frederick Payne resigned to become U.S. Senator, then Cross began his full term as governor in January of 1953.

Although exonerated in a liquor scandal during his term, Cross was vulnerable in his reelection bid in 1954 and was defeated by Democratic challenger, Edmund S. Muskie, by over 20,000 votes.

Cross Senate President photo (Maine State Archives)

Cross Senate President photo (Maine State Archives)

Cross never sought public office again but returned to private life engaging in the insurance and stockbrokerage business until his retirement in 1971.

Governor Cross died in Augusta October 22, 1998.

Source: Maine State Senate

Additional resources

Cross, Burton M. Statement by Governor Burton M. Cross to Legislative Research Committee on personal survey of the thirteen Maine institutions. January 19, 1954.

 

Cross, Burton M. Wilton susquicentennial speech July 6, 1953. [sound recording] Augusta, ME. Maine State Library, Media Services. 1990.

*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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*Cited in Friends of the Blaine House at http://blainehouse.org/governors(accessed April 25, 2011) (accessed April 25, 2011)

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This entry was last modified: September 30, 2013 03:11 AM

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