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Alonzo Garcelon

Gov. Alonzo Garcelon

  • January 8, 1879 - January 17, 1880
  • Democratic
  • April 6, 1813
  • December 8, 1906
  • Maine
  • Bowdoin College, Medical College of Ohio
  • Married twice--Ann Augusta Waldron, Olivia Spear; five children
  • Physician/Dentist


ALONZO GARCElON, the thirty-sixth governor of Maine, was born in Lewiston, Maine on May 6, 1813. His education was attained at Monmouth Academy, at Waterville Academy, at New Castle Academy, and at Bowdoin College, where he graduated in 1836. He also attended Dartmouth Medical School and the Medical College of Ohio, where he graduated in 1839. After establishing a successful medical career in Lewiston, Garcelon served as a surgeon general during the Civil War. He entered politics in 1853, serving as a member of the Maine House of Representatives, a position he held again from 1857 to 1858. He also served as a member of the Maine State Senate from 1855 to 1856, was an unsuccessful congressional candidate in 1871, and served as the mayor of Lewiston in 1871. Garcelon won the 1878 Democratic gubernatorial nomination. However, in the general election no candidate received a vote plurality. The decision was then left to the Legislature, which declared Garcelon the legal governor. He was sworn into office on January 8, 1879. During his tenure, he administered the executive office and guided state transactions with sound judgment and political discretion. After running unsuccessfully for reelection, Garcelon left office on January 17, 1880 and retired from political life. He returned to his medical practice and became involved in the American Medical Association. Governor Alonzo Garcelon passed away on December 8, 1906, and was buried at the Riverside Cemetery in Lewiston, Maine.


Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 2, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

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