Tuesday, October 11, 2016

1890-1900 Autograph Album of Benjamin Kimball Smith of Vinalhaven, Maine


1890-1900 autograph album of Benjamin Kimball Smith of Vinalhaven, Maine.  He referred to himself as "Bennie" on the page he or someone else inscribed at the front; a few inscribers called him "Benjie".


The autographs were inscribed in the 1890s; the last page lists the attendees at a surprise birthday party for Bennie that was held on the occasion of his birthday on April 16, 1900.  One of those attending was Bennie's future wife Florence Kittredge.  Her age is shown as 12, but she was actually about 19.  Perhaps the other ages are also in doubt or in a code.


The album measures approximately 7" by 4-1/4" and contains the sentiments of 56 of Bennie's relatives, friends, schoolmates and teachers.  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.

From brief online research, hopefully correct - corrections and additions requested:

Benjamin Kimball Smith was born April 16, 1879, I think at Isle au Haut, Maine, the son of Simon Alphonso Smith and Laura H. (Coombs) Smith.  Among the inscribers who noted a family relationship - and there are likely more who didn't - are cousins and an aunt.  If you have knowledge of the family and can define the relationships, please leave a comment or contact me directly.
  • Aunt and Uncle Fannie E. (Smith) Turner and Clarence Dean Turner of Isle au Haut, Maine
  • Cousin Mertie T. Coombs of Vinalhaven, Maine
  • Stella Smith
  • Laura M. Tolman of Vinalhaven, Maine - there's also a page inscribed by Lutie M. Tolman of Vinalhaven
On December 12, 1905 at Vinalhaven, Maine, Benjamin Kimball Smith married Florence V. N. Kittredge, daughter of stone cutter William W. Kittredge and Margaret (Hopkins) Kittredge.   The marriage record notes that Benjamin was 26 and working as a clerk and Florence was 25 and working as a weaver.  I believe they had two sons, one of whom died in infancy.

If you have corrections and/or additions to the information above, please leave a comment or contact me directly.

Teachers who inscribed pages:
  • H. Marie Wadsworth Collins of Lawrence, Massachusetts, who inscribed her page at Vinalhaven
  • E. Edgecomb of Camden, Maine
  • Minnie E. Russell of Skowhegan,  Maine, who inscribed her page at Vinalhaven
One message that especially spoke to me was that inscribed by Rev. George W. Avery of Topsham, Maine, who was on Vinalhaven island on August 27, 1891.  Rev. Avery was born at Frankfort, Maine, in 1858, the son of Edward and Marion (Crocker) Avery and spent some years as a stone cutter at Bangor, Maine, and on Vinalhaven island.  He graduated from Bangor Theological Seminary in 1889 and was a pastor in the Maine towns of Franklin, Jay, Topsham, Livermore Falls and Eastbrook before returning to the stone cutting trade.


Surnames in the album

?DDayMMcNicolTTapley [3]
AAreyDyerMerasTolman [2]
AveryEEdgecombMillsTurner [2]
BBabbidgeEvansMogridgeUUpton
BillingsFFryeMurrayVVinal [2]
BomanGGeraldPPaysonWWardwell
BowersGouldPeasleeWight
BowlesGreeneRRichards
BowmanKKittredgeRollins
CCarverKnightRussell
ClarkKnowltonSShields
CollinsLLibbySmith [6]
CoombsLongStart
Strong

Inscribers in the album -  given names might not be in alphabetical order
  • Caddie; inscribed at Vinalhaven, Maine, on March 7, 1894
  • Arthur Arey, age 99; attended a surprise birthday party for album owner Benjamin Kimball Smith on April 16, 1900
  • George W. Avery of Topsham, Maine, inscribed at Vinalhaven, Maine, on August 27, 1891.  He was a minister, born at Frankfort, Maine, in 1858, son of Edward and Marion (Crocker) Avery.  Before graduating from Bangor Theological Seminary in 1889, he was a stonecutter on Vinalhaven Island.
  • Myrtle Babbidge, inscribed on April 2, 1896.  She wrote parts of the body in three corners: Clavicle; Pedicle; Tarsal
  • Lula Billings, age 2; attended a surprise birthday party for album owner Benjamin Kimball Smith on April 16, 1900
  • Herbert Boman of Vinalhaven, Maine; inscribed on February 15, 1892; Bennie's schoolmate.
  • Bessie L. Bowers of Camden, Maine; inscribed on March 31, 1896; Bennie's schoolmate
  • Josie A. Bowles of Columbia Falls, Maine; inscribed at Vinalhaven, Maine, on November 3, 1890.  Josephine A. Bowles
  • H. E. Bowman, age 5; attended a surprise birthday party for album owner Benjamin Kimball Smith on April 16, 1900
  • Louise E. Carver of Vinalhaven, Maine; inscribed on January 24, 1893
  • John A. Clark of Warren, Maine; he drew a scroll with oak leaves and worked his name and address into the scroll.
  • H. Marie Wadsworth Collins of Lawrence, Massachusetts; inscribed at Vinalhaven, Maine, on February 8, 1892.  Bennie's "friend and teacher"
  • Mertie T. Coombs of Vinalhaven, Maine; inscribed on February 15, 1893.  Bennie's cousin on his mother's side.
  • Ethel O. Day of Camden, Maine; inscribed on March 30, 1896.  Bennie's schoolmate
  • Miss Linnie C. Dyer; presumably the Linnie C. Dyer of Vinalhaven, Maine, who would marry Bennie's brother William Tolman Smith
  • E. Edgecomb of Camden, Maine; inscribed on March 13, 1896.  Bennie's teacher.
  • Henry D. Evans, inscribed at Camden, Maine, on April 1, 1896
  • Ada L. Frye of Camden, Maine; inscribed on April 7, 1896
  • Winnie E. Gerald of Vinalhaven, Maine; inscribed on February 9, 1892; Bennie's schoolmate
  • Maude Gould of Camden, Maine; inscribed on March 31, 1896
  • Katie J. Greene of Concord, New Hampshire, inscribed on October 2, 1892 at St. Mary's School, Concord, New Hampshire
  • Florence Kittredge, age 12; attended a surprise birthday party for album owner Benjamin Kimball Smith on April 16, 1900.  Florence V. Kittredge would marry Benjamin Kimball Smith at Vinalhaven, Maine, on December 12, 1905
  • Edwin B. Knight of Camden, Maine; inscribed on April 1, 1896; he sketched a man in one corner
  • Walter C. Knowlton of Camden, Maine; inscribed on 4-1-96
  • Clyde E. Libby of Vinalhaven, Maine; inscribed on February 14, 1893
  • Millard B. Long of Camden, Maine, inscribed on April 3, 1896; Bennie's schoolmate
  • Emma McNicol or Emiya McNicol, age 26; attended a surprise birthday party for album owner Benjamin Kimball Smith on April 16, 1900
  • Ralph Meras, inscribed at Camden, Maine, on April 3, 1896
  • D. T. Mills [not sure of name], age 14; attended a surprise birthday party for album owner Benjamin Kimball Smith on April 16, 1900
  • Annie C. Mogridge of Castine, Maine; inscribed at Vinalhaven, Maine, on January 17, 1893
  • Ina L. V. Murray of Vinalhaven, Maine; inscribed on February 14, 1893; Bennie's schoolmate.  She was Ina Louise Vone [or Vose ?] Murray
  • Nellie V. Payson of Camden, Maine; inscribed on April 2, 1896; Bennie's schoolmate
  • Guy Peaslee, age 11; attended a surprise birthday party for album owner Benjamin Kimball Smith on April 16, 1900
  • Winfield Richards of Camden, Maine
  • Louise Rollins of Camden, Maine; inscribed on March 30, 1896.  She wrote "Rockport" in one corner and "accident" in another
  • Minnie E. Russell of Skowhegan, Maine; inscribed at Vinalhaven, Maine, on January 16, 1893
  • Bert Shields, age 16; attended a surprise birthday party for album owner Benjamin Kimball Smith on April 16, 1900
  • Bennie K. Smith inscribed his name  as the album's owner on February 8, 1892.  He was Benjamin Kimball Smith, "Bennie" and "Benjie", of Vinalhaven, Maine; born  April 16, 1879, possibly at Isle au Haut, Maine, son of Simon Alphonso Smith and Laura H. (Coombs) Smith
  • Maggie R. Smith of Vinalhaven, Maine; inscribed on February 14, 1893
  • Lucy W. Smith of Vinalhaven, Maine; inscribed on January 24, 1893
  • Stella Smith, "your loving cousin"
  • Maude E. Smith, age 4; attended a surprise birthday party for album owner Benjamin Kimball Smith on April 16, 1900
  • Margaret Smith, age 45 [or 40]; attended a surprise birthday party for album owner Benjamin Kimball Smith on April 16, 1900
  • J. Blanch Start of Camden, Maine; inscribed on April 8, 1896.  Bennie's schoolmate.  Julia Blanch Start, who married Edgar W. Moody.  The records I found used "Blanche" rather than "Blanch".
  • Leo Strong of Camden, Maine; inscribed on April 3, 1896
  • Hattie S. Tapley of West Brooksville, Maine; inscribed at Vinalhaven, Maine, on December 23, 1890
  • Fannie W. Tapley of West Brooksville, Maine; inscribed at Vinalhaven, Maine, on December 23, 1890
  • Alice M. Tapley, inscribed on February 10, 1892
  • Lutie M. Tolman of Vinalhaven, Maine; inscribed on December 14, 1890
  • Laura M. Tolman of Vinalhaven, Maine; inscribed on December 14, 1890.  Bennie's cousin
  • Fannie E. Turner of Isle au Haut, Maine; inscribed on October 29, 1892.  She called herself Bennie's aunt.  She was presumably Fannie E. (Smith) Turner, wife of postmaster Clarence Dean Turner, who inscribed the right facing page.
  • C. D. Turner of Isle au Haut, Maine; inscribed on October 29, 1892.  He was postmaster Clarence Dean Turner, whose wife Fannie E. (Smith) Turner inscribed the left facing page.
  • Henry L. Upton of Camden, Maine; inscribed on March 14, 1896
  • Edith H. Vinal of Vinalhaven, Maine; inscribed on February 10. 1892
  • Louise Vinal of Vinalhaven, Maine; inscribed in May 1890
  • Faustie E. Wardwell of Camden, Maine, inscribed on April 15, 1896.  She was Faustine E. Wardwell, who would marry Fessenden W. Miller.
  • G. Estelle Wight of Camden, Maine; inscribed on April 10, 1896; Grace Estelle Wight

2 comments:

  1. George Avery is my great grandfather. What a find.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rachel, let me know if there are any other images of pages you would like to see - in case you have other relatives in the list of inscribers. Thanks for your comment!

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