Edmund S. Muskie Oral History Collection

Document Type

Oral History

Publication Date


Interview Number

MOH 071


Helen I. Twombly was born on April 24, 1909 in Munroe, Maine. Her parents were Ethel [Lamson] and Guy Mark Twombly. Her father was a government employee. Her mother was an active Democrat who served on the Democratic State Committee. When Helen’s mother died, her father retired and became active in the Maine Democratic Party, and was a key organizer of Waldo County. Helen attended the University of Maine at Orono for two years, and then worked for the government in the WPA. She also worked at North Yarmouth Academy before retiring. She married Bill McAleney in 1942, and remained an active Democrat. At the time of the interview, she lived in Portland, Maine.

Scope and Content Note

Interview includes discussion of: Guy and Ethel Twombly; living on a farm; growing up in a political family; Waldo County in the 1920s-1930s; working at the WPA/OPS; caring for Bill McAleney in his later years; factions in the Democratic party; Waldo County politics; campaigning for Muskie; Eben Elwell; William R. Runnells scandal; Elwell’s impact on Waldo County; religion in Munroe; changes in Waldo County over the years; recollections of the 1954 gubernatorial campaign; Muskie’s qualities; and Phyllis Murphy.

Use Restrictions

Copyright Bates College. This transcript is provided for individual Research Purposes Only; for all other uses, including publication, reproduction and quotation beyond fair use, permission must be obtained in writing from: The Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library, Bates College, 70 Campus Avenue, Lewiston, Maine 04240-6018.