(1811-1894) was born in Cornish on January 17, 1811. Where he received whatever formal education he possessed remains a mystery but we do know that he studied law under then future Governor, “Squire” John Fairfield, of Saco.
Dunn was admitted to the bar in 1833 and shortly thereafter opened up a practice at Poland Corner.
A Democrat, he represented the town of Poland in the Maine House from 1840 to 1844 and was Speaker in 1843 and 1844. In that capacity Dunn served for three days as acting Governor in 1844 when President of the Senate, Edward Kavanagh, resigned as acting Governor.
The game of political musical chairs continued with Dunn resigning and the new President of the Senate, John W. Dana, acting as Governor until newly elected Hugh J. Anderson was sworn in.
In 1845 Dunn was elected to the Maine Senate and served as its President following the resignation of Stephen Chase of Fryeburg in 1846.
A nineteenth century writer compiling short biographies of the leading citizens of Poland referred to Dunn as: “an ardent Democrat, to which party he still adheres with a tenacity seldom witnessed.” Dunn was rewarded for his tenacity by the Buchanan administration which appointed him to a Clerkship in the Post Office in Washington, D.C., that he held from 1857 to 1861.
Following his return to Maine he practiced law in Mechanic Falls. He died on February 17, 1894 at the age of eighty-three.
Source: Maine State Senate
*Bangor Daily Whig and Courier, February 19, 1894, p. 1.
*Mundy, James H. Presidents of the Senate of Maine. Augusta, 1979.
*Cited in Friends of the Blaine House at http://blainehouse.org/governors (accessed April 26, 2011)