Wilbur Lucius Cross (1862-1948)
Wilbur Cross was an educator and politician who served as governor of Connecticut during one of the most turbulent and challenging times in America’s history. Growing up in Mansfield, he earned his doctorate from Yale in 1889 and spent several years as a schoolteacher and principal in Westport before accepting a position as an English professor at Yale in 1894. After retiring, Cross took an interest in politics and accepted the Democratic Party’s nomination for governor in 1930. Serving as Connecticut’s governor for two terms (1931–1939), Cross helped see Connecticut through the Great Depression, pushed for the repeal of Prohibition, and even presided over the opening ceremonies for the newly constructed Merritt Parkway in 1938.