Tuesday, March 24, 2015

1850s Autograph Album of Ellen Augusta Crooker of Bath, Maine; student at Maine Wesleyan Seminary at Kents Hill, Maine


1850s autograph album that belonged to Ellen Augusta Crooker of Bath, Maine, with many acquired from students and faculty from the Maine Wesleyan Seminary at Kents Hill, Maine, in Readfield.  Ellen wrote her name on the first end paper.


The album, published by J. C. Riker of 129 Fulton Street, New York City, measures approximately 7-3/4" by 6-1/2" and contains the sentiments of nearly 70 of Ellen's relatives, friends, schoolmates and instructors.  An alphabetical surname list and an alphabetical list of the inscribers, together with any personal information they offered, appear at the end of this post.  The album also includes 4 hand-colored engravings, like the title page below, and several items tucked in.


One of the items tucked in is a 1905 program of the Memorial Day observance of Sedgwick G.A.R. post, Bath, Maine, which I featured in another post.  Ellen had died in 1893, so presumably one of her children kept the album and used it to store important items.

Another, a 1903 program of the Women's Foreign Missionary Society that presumably belonged to Ellen Augusta Crooker's daughter Alicia A. (Blaisdell) Crosby of Bath, Maine.

Another item was a circa 1940s newspaper clipping about the Crooker genealogy, which debunks a few legends.

Another, a little card:












From brief online research, hopefully correct:  [corrections and additions welcome!]

Ellen Augusta Crooker was born March 20, 1835 at Bath, Maine, the daughter of William Donnell Crooker and Eleanor Brown (Robinson) Donnell.  On August 9, 1857, Ellen married John Nicholas Blaisdell, or John Nichols Blaisdell, son of Joseph and Mary (Farrin or Farrar).  John was born at Topsham, Maine, on May, 3, 1834.

One page indicates that John's hair was affixed to it, but it appears to have disappeared, unless it's incorporated with the thread that is threaded through holes at the top of the page.


Ellen and John lived at Bath, Maine, and raised at least four children, three of whom inscribed pages in their mother's album when it apparently came to light in a later era.
  1. Alicia A. Blaisdell, born November 13, 1857; married Elwell Swett Crosby
  2. John Edwin Blaisdell, born November 26, 1858; married Mabel P. Fisher
  3. Frederick Fuller Blaisdell, born about 29 November 1870; married Mary Fuller Shepard
  4. Frank S. Blaisdell, who was born in 1875 and died in 1884.
The inside front cover has faint handwriting that marks the births of the first three children.


Alicia A. Blaisdell inscribed a page at Bath, Maine, in 1869.


John Edwin Blaisdell of Bath, Maine, inscribed two pages, one of them very faint, and this one, below, in 1869.


Fred Fuller Blaisdell of Bath, Maine, inscribed a page on November 28, 1880.


Ellen A. (Crooker) Blaisdell died November 20, 1893 at Bath, Maine.  Her husband John N. Blaisdell died in 1896.

If you have corrections and/or additions to the information above, or information on any of the signers listed below, please leave a comment or contact me directly.

The president of Maine Wesleyan Seminary and his wife were among the several faculty members who inscribed pages in Ellen's album.  They were Henry P. Torsey and wife Ellen J. (Robinson) Torsey who inscribed pages in 1852.



Eliza Percy affixed her likeness.


Surnames in the Album

? [20]CELS
AC ? [3]EatonLarrabeeS ?
A ?CaldwellElaMSnow
AllenCollinsFM ? [2]T
BCrawfordFrenchMorrillThompson
B ? [3]CrookerHMorseTorsey [2]
BeckettDH ?PW
BerryD ?HathornParkerW ?
Blaisdell [7]DelanoHillingPercyWebber
BorlandHitchcockR
Robinson [3]

Inscribers in the Album

Surname Unknown
  • 2-page sentiment by friend William at Bath, Maine, on May 5, 1853.
  • Lissie
  • J. M. H. or J. M. K.,inscribed at Bath, Maine, on December 1, 1856, inscribed to Miss E. A. Crooker
  • Emma C. R., or Emma C. K., of Hallowell, Maine, inscribed at Kents Hill, Maine, on November 13, 1852.
  • George. "You have been with us but a short time and are now about to leave us perhaps never to return"...
  • A. E. E., or A. E. C., of Bath, Maine
  • B. Ann
  • K, inscribed at Damariscotta, Maine, in December 1853; on a sheet of paper pasted in the album.
  • Nancy, inscribed at Kents Hill, Maine, on June 8, 1852
  • Nell
  • Joseph
  • Delia
  • Carrie H. M. or Carrie H. N. of Palmyra, Maine, inscribed at Kents Hill, Maine, on November 8, 1852
  • Luella of Damariscotta, Maine, inscribed at Maine Wesleyan Seminary on June 8, 1852
  • E.
  • Hattie
  • Page ripped; missing the section that might have had the name of the inscriber. Inscribed by someone at Maine Wesleyan Seminary, judging from the sentiment.
  • Page ripped; missing the section that might have had the name of the inscriber, though the year of inscription is still there, 1852.
  • George of Portland, Maine, inscribed at Kents Hill, Maine, in November 1852
  • Sarah, inscribed at Kents Hill, Maine, on June 8, 1852
A
  • B. F. A., inscribed at Bath, Maine, on February
  • E. C. Allen, inscribed at Augusta, Maine, on February 27, 1881; shared the page with Bertha P. Webber
B
  • John D. B., inscribed at Racine, Wisconsin, on February 8, 1855; presumably the same J. D. B. who inscribed another page.
  • J. D. B., inscribed at Racine, Wisconsin; presumably the same J. D. B. who inscribed another page.
  • Nellie R. B. of Lowell, Massachusetts, inscribed at Kents Hill, Maine, on November 8, 1852
  • C. P. Beckett of Portland, Maine, inscribed on June 28, 1852
  • Helen A. Berry, inscribed at Bath, Maine, on February 19, 1854
  • Very faint but appears to be Alicia A. Blaisdell, inscribed at Bath, Maine, in 1869. Ellen's daughter.
  • F. F. B. of Bath, Maine, inscribed on November 28, 1880. Presumably Ellen's son Frederick Fuller Blaisdell, who was born about November 1871.
  • John Edwin Blaisdell of Bath, Maine, inscribed in 1869. Ellen's son John Edwin Blaisdell, who was born about November 1858.
  • L. A. Blaisdell of Bath, Maine, inscribed on March 15, 1873.
  • John N. Blaisdell of Bath, Maine, inscribed on Ocober 15, 1867. Ellen's husband John Nicholas Blaisdell.
  • G. A. Blaisdell, inscribed at Kents Hill, Maine, on October 27, 1852
  • G. H. Blaisdell of East Harpswell, Maine; presumably George Henry Blaisdell, brother of Ellen's future husband John Nicholas Blaisdell.
  • George E. Borland, inscribed at Kents Hill, Maine, on June 10, 1852


C
  • S. C. C. of Portland, Maine, inscribed at Maine Wesleyan Seminary
  • A. C.; Ellen's classmate
  • Daniel F. C., inscribed at Bath, Maine, on March 27, 1854
  • Rosa U. Caldwell of Portland, Maine, inscribed at Kents Hill, Maine, in June 1852. Later note: "Wife of Dr. Ridgeway". Rev and Dr. Henry B. Ridgeway.
  • John Collins of Saint John, New Brunswick, inscribed at Wesleyan Seminary at Kent's Hill on October 29, 1852. 
  • D. F. Crawford, inscribed at Kents Hill, Maine, on June 9, 1852
  • Ellen A. Crooker of Bath, Maine. Written on the first end paper, the name of the album owner Ellen Augusta Crooker.
D
  • L. M. D. or L ? D. inscribed at Bath, Maine, on June 16, 1852
  • George H. Delano, inscribed at Bath, Maine, on May 7, 1854
E
  • R. L. Eaton of Winslow, presumably Maine, inscribed at Kents Hill on October 8, 1852
  • D. H. E., inscribed at Maine Wesleyan Seminary at Kents Hill on November 6, 1852. Added information supplied indicates he was Dr. Ela of the North East Conference. David Hough Ela 
F
  • Nellie French of South Chesterville, Maine, inscribed at Kents Hill, Maine, on November 9, 1852
H
  • M. H., inscribed at Bath, Maine, on June 16, 1852
  • Ella S. Hathorn of South Dresden, Maine; inscribed to Mrs. Blaisdell
  • "These gray hairs were taken from the head of John N. Blaisdell, at 22 years, of age in the year of our Lord 1856" Accept, Miss Crocker, the above from your Humble Servant, John Hilling". There are holes at top with stitching, and I see thread, but no hair , unless the thread is hair.
  • Tavie Hitchcock, inscribed at Maine Wesleyan Seminary on June 2, 1852. She may have been J. Octavia Hitchcock, who died in 1858 and is buried at Damariscotta, Maine.
L
  • James M. Larrabee, inscribed at Kents Hill, Maine, on October 2, 1852
M
  • C. E. M.
  • Anna C. M. of Waterville, Maine, inscribed at Kents Hill, Maine, on November 6, 1852
  • Charles Morrill, inscribed at Readfield, Maine, on November 10, 1852. Middle initial might be T or Y
  • Benjamin W. Morse of Bath, Maine, inscribed on December 23, 1854 at "11 o'clock Saturday night, therm at zero, overcast sky"
P
  • W. L. Parker, inscribed at Maine Wesleyan Seminary, Fall 1852
  • Eliza Percy
R
  • F. A. R., with additional writing to show that he was Prof. F. A. Robinson, or Francis Asbury Robinson, a teacher, at Maine Wesleyan Seminary at Kent's Hill.  Also.
  • Wilbur E. Robinson of Lewiston, Maine, inscribed at Kents Hill, Maine, on November 1, 1852
  • Phronie, inscribed at Maine Wesleyan Seminary, Kents Hill, Maine. Later note indicates she was Phronie Robinson, presumably Sophronia Robinson
S
  • Maria E. S.
  • William H. Snow of Bath, Maine, inscribed on October 15, 1867
T
  • L. E. Thompson, inscribed at Bath, Maine, on February 19, 1854
  • H. P. T., inscribed at Maine Wesleyan Seminary on January or June 9, 1852. Added note, presumably by Ellen, indicates he was Henry P. Torney, president of the Seminary/College.
  • E. J. Torsey, inscribed at Kents Hill in November 1852. Added note, presumably by Ellen, indicates she was Emma J. (Robinson) Torsey, wife of Maine Wesleyan Seminary president Henry P. Torsey.
W
  • N. W.
  • Bertha P. Webber of Bath, Maine, inscribed on June 21, 1880; shared the page with E. C. Allen
Bath, Maine, and Kents Hill, Readfield, Maine


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