Percival Baxter

Percival Proctor Baxter (1876 - 1969)

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Percival Proctor Baxter
Born in Portland, Cumberland, Maine, United Statesmap
Ancestors ancestors
Died in Portland, Cumberland, Maine, United Statesmap
Profile last modified | Created 6 Jan 2015 | Last significant change: 22 Nov 2018
15:25: Liat Boucher edited the Biography, Preferred Name, Birth Place and Death Place for Percival Baxter. [Thank Liat for this]
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Categories: Portland, Maine | Bowdoin College | Maine Governors | Maine Project-Managed | Maine Notables.

Preceded by
52nd Governor
Frederic Hale Parkhurst
Percival Proctor Baxter
53rd Governor
of Maine
Succeeded by
54th Governor
Owen Brewster
Percival Baxter is a part of Maine History.
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Percival Baxter is Notable.


Percival Proctor Baxter was born on 22 November 1876 in Portland, Maine. His parents were James Phinney Baxter and Mehitable (Proctor) Baxter[1]. Percival's father, James Phinney Baxter, was a six-time mayor of Portland and a prominent businessman in the city. Author Neil Rolde stated that Percival inherited not only his father's wealth "but also his father's sense of public duty, philanthropic munificence, historic perspective, love of nature, and intellectual curiosity."[2]

Percival graduated from Portland High School in 1898. He studied first at Bowdoin College, where he founded the school's literary magazine, "The Quill;" he then earned his law degree at Harvard University in 1901. He served in the Maine House of Representatives from 1905-1906 and 1917-1920, and in the state Senate from 1909-1910 and in 1921. On 31 January 1921, as the President of the Maine State Senate, he became Governor after the death of Frederick Hale Parkhurst, who had only been in office for twenty-five days. He was then re-elected to serve a second term.

In a letter written in November 1924 and placed in a time capsule to be opened in 2001, he wrote[3].:

"I leave office in a few weeks, cheerful and happy, but with regret that I can not do all the things I would like to do for my State and her People… What I am to do after retiring from the governorship is doubtful. I hope to continue to be useful, and to do my part as a citizen. With health, position and experience I ought to find some niche into which I will fit."

Percival Baxter's most significant legacy is one of environmental advocacy. After his last term as Governor, he purchased 6,000 acres of land around Mount Katahdin in Millinocket from the Great Northern Paper Company, which was suffering in the aftermath of the Crash of 1929. He then deeded the land to the state on the condition that it be used as a public park. Baxter State Park was established in 1931 and named in his honor[4].

Percival passed away on 12 June 1969 in Portland[5]; his ashes were scattered throughout Baxter State Park[6].


  1. "Maine Births and Christenings, 1739-1900," database, FamilySearch ( : 10 February 2018), Percival P. Baxter, 22 Nov 1876; citing Portland, Cumberland, Maine; FHL microfilm 12,015.
  2. Rolde, Neil. The Baxters of Maine: Downeast Visionaries. Maine: Tilbury House, 1997.
  3. "Percival Baxter's Vision," Friends of Baxter State Park. [1] (accessed 22 Nov 2018}
  4. Wikipedia. "Percival Proctor Baxter." [2] Last modified 4 May 2018.
  5. "Maine Death Index, 1960-1996," database, FamilySearch ( : 27 November 2014), Percival P Baxter, 12 Jun 1969; citing Death, Portland, city code 05170, certificate 6904482, Maine State Archives, Augusta.
  6. Find A Grave: Memorial #11016900

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No known carriers of Percival's ancestors' Y-chromosome or mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests and no close relatives have taken a 23andMe, AncestryDNA, or Family Tree DNA "Family Finder" test.

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Percival Proctor Baxter
Percival Proctor Baxter


Percival is 27 degrees from Rosa Parks, 23 degrees from Anne Tichborne and 16 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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