Wilbur L. Cross

Detail of Wilbur L. Cross sitting in chair, photograph by John Haley, 1933 – Connecticut State Library, State Archives, PG 500, Individual and Family Portrait Collection

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.

More on Wilbur Cross from the CT Digital Archive

Browse more interactive content on the CT Digital Archive website.

Read More

Learn More


Connecticut State Library. “PDF- Governor Wilbur Lucius Cross,” 2017. Link.


Cross, Wilbur L. (Wilbur Lucius). “Finding Aid to Office of the Governor: Wilbur L. Cross Records (1931-1939).” Connecticut State Library, 2017. Link.
Yale University Library. “Finding Aid to the Wilbur Lucius Cross Papers from 1876-1948,” 2017. Link.
Connecticut Digital Archive. “Wilbur Cross Collection,” n.d. Link.


Cross, Wilbur L. Connecticut Yankee; An Autobiography. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1943.
Marsh, William John, and Charles Marsh. The Man with a Million Friends, Wilbur L. Cross. New Milford, CT: Marsh Brothers, 1934.


Murray, Sister Mary. “Connecticut’s Depression Governor: Wilbur L. Cross.” Connecticut History 16 (August 1975): 44–64.