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Maine State Archives

Percival P. Baxter, Portland, 1921

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MMN Item 22045 Item Details
Percival P. Baxter, Portland, 1921
MMN Item 22045 Zoom


Percival Proctor Baxter (1876-1969), the son of of James Phinney Baxter, a historian and philanthropist who served six terms as Portland’s mayor, was a graduate of Portland High School in 1894 and Bowdoin College in 1898. He earned a law degree from Harvard in 1901.

Best known for donating the land for Baxter State Park, Baxter was serving as Senate President in 1921 when Governor Parkhurst died, making Baxter governor.

Baxter worked for improvements in Maine’s public education system, fought with some success for conservation and built a new State prison as well as initiating penal reform.

Baxter won a term on his own in 1922 but decided not to run again in 1924, In 1926, he ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate.

He was first elected to public office in 1905 and served one term in the Maine House. He served in the Maine Senate from 1909-1910, then returned to the house in 1916 for two terms. He was elected to the Maine Senate again in 1919.

Baxter was involved in an extensive real estate business and did not practice law.
which eventually became Baxter State Park.

He gave his summer home in Falmouth to the state and it became the Governor Baxter School for the Deaf.

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