Edmund S. Muskie Oral History Collection

Document Type

Oral History

Publication Date


Interview Number

MOH 125


Gwilym “Gwil” Roberts was born in Brownville, Maine in 1917. Mr. Roberts attended Brownville schools, graduating from Brownville High School in 1934. He enrolled in the Farmington State Normal School in 1934, and got his masters at the University of Maine, Orono. In 1940, he returned to the University of Maine at Farmington as a one-year replacement teacher and ended up teaching there for forty-three years as a professor of History. He is especially known for being able to remember the names of most all the students. A one time Republican and delegate to the 1952 state convention, he switched to the Democratic Party in 1969, winning election to the Maine Legislature in 1984, where he served until 1997. He published the book New Lives in the Valley in 1998. He died May 10, 2005.

Scope and Content Note

Interview includes discussions of: growing up in northern Maine; Republican domination of Maine politics before the 1950s; changing party affiliation to Democrat; Agnes Mantor; Currier and Joe Holman of Farmington; Mills family; Peter Mills II as U.S. Attorney and his political career; 1984 Farmington legislative race; Peter Mills II as a philanthropist; Janet Mills; Benjamin Butler family; Dick and Lloyd Morton; television and political campaigns; the acceptability of voting Democrat after Muskie; Farmington’s Republican roots; Roberts’ relationship with Ed Muskie; KKK; F. Davis Clark; and a brief synopsis of Gwil’s new book on Welsh history and migration.

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.