Dec. 3, 1987: Former Gov. Robert N. Haskell dies in Bangor at the age of 85. Haskell served five and a half days as governor in January 1959.

Haskell, an electrical engineer who was promoted to president of the Bangor Hydro-Electric Co. in 1958, became governor when Gov. Edmund S. Muskie resigned on Jan. 2, 1959, to take his seat early as a newly elected U.S. senator. Haskell, as the Maine Senate president, was next in line to succeed him until the newly elected governor, Clinton Clauson, was sworn in on Jan. 7.

Clauson then died unexpectedly the following Dec. 30 and was succeeded by the next Maine Senate president, John Reed.

That made 1959 the year in which Maine had four governors.

Joseph Owen is an author, retired newspaper editor and board member of the Kennebec Historical Society. Owen’s book, “This Day in Maine,” can be ordered at To get a signed copy use promo code signedbyjoe at checkout. Joe can be contacted at: [email protected]

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