Tuesday, May 9, 2017

1886-1918 Autograph Album with Inscriptions from Thomaston, Maine and Area


Autograph album with inscriptions by folks from Thomaston, Maine, and surrounding communities, and two from Massachusetts, but with a Thomaston connection.  Most of the inscriptions were made in the 1880s, with several from the 1890s and two from 1918.

The album measures approximately 6" by 3-3/4" and contains illustrations throughout, as well as the sentiments of 18 people from Maine and Massachusetts.  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.  Many of the people appear to have been related.


There's no owner's name in the beginning of the album, nor is any inscription directed to a person by name. The first inscription in the album occurs several pages after the title page and was inscribed by Irene M. Robinson of Warren, Maine, on January 11, 1886.  This does happen to be the earliest inscription in the album, whether that is a clue to the owner's name or not.

It's tempting to think that the facing pages inscribed in 1918 by Willis John Winchenbach and wife Adda (Murray) Winchenbach of Whitinsville, Massachusetts, might be another clue to identity of the album's owner.   Willis was a Thomaston, Maine, native.


Willis had several siblings, one of whom, Alton Winchenbach, inscribed a page in the album, so he can theoretically be ruled out as the album owner.  Willis' other siblings were Everett Otis Winchenbach; Mary Vinal Winchenbach; Hazel Winchenbach; and Lewis Winchenbach, one of whom might have been the album owner.

I'm wondering if the Aaron Winchenpaw who inscribed a page, was actually the siblings' father, who used a variant spelling of the surname.  If so, his daughter Mary Vinal Winchenpaw, who inscribed a page, might be another of Willis' siblings, and thus can be ruled out as the owner of the album.



The album resurfaced for use in 1951 when the owner, presumably, noted the downpour of July 19, 1951.  Interestingly, Everett Otis Winchenbach lived until 1962.


Surnames in the Album

Freeman
Harte
Howard
Hyler
Montgomery
Pitcher
Robinson  [2]
Starrett  [2]
Vinal  [2]
Ward
Winchenbach  [3]  Could this be a variant of Winchenpaw?
Winchenpaw  [2]  Could this be a variant of Winchenbach?

Abbie J. Starrett of Warren, Maine, used one of the illustrated pages for her inscription of October 14, 1893.

Alphabetical list of Inscribers
  • Mrs. Mabel Freeman of Rockland, Maine; inscribed on March 24, 1903
  • Dexter D. Harte of Tenants Harbor, Maine; inscribed on January 27, 1886
  • Mrs. Lizzie E. Howard of South Hope, Maine
  • Hattie E. Hyler of Cushing, Maine; inscribed on March 9, 1887
  • Mr. Fred Montgomery of Port Clyde, Maine; inscribed on March 7, 1886
  • Mrs. O. R. Pitcher of Thomaston, Maine; inscribed on September 29, 1893.  She was presumably Eva Mary (Woodcock) Pitcher, wife of Oliver R. Pitcher.
  • H. W. Robinson of Warren, Maine; inscribed on January 15, 1886
  • Irene M. Robinson of Warren, Maine; inscribed on January 11, 1886
  • Abbie J. Starrett of Warren, Maine; inscribed on October 14, 1893
  • Hattie M. Starrett of Warren, Maine; inscribed at Thomaston, Maine, on October 14, 1893
  • Mrs. Ada F. Vinal of Thomaston, Maine; inscribed on September 29, 1893.  She was Ada F. (Woodcock) Vinal, mother of Harold W. Vinal, who inscribed the right facing page.
  • Harold W. Vinal of Thomaston, Maine; inscribed on September 29, 1893.  His mother, Ada F. (Woodcock) Vinal, inscribed the left facing page.
  • Mrs. William Ward of Warren, Maine; inscribed on February 11, 1886
  • Adda Winchenbach of Whitinsville, Massachusetts; inscribed on July 27, 1918.  She was Adda (Murray) Winchenbach, whose husband Willis John Winchenbach inscribed the right facing page.
  • Alton Winchenbach of Thomaston, Maine; inscribed on January 30, 1887
  • Willis Winchenbach of Whitinsville,  Massachusetts; inscribed on July 27, 1918.  His wife Adda (Murray) Winchenbach inscribed the left facing page.
  • Aaron Winchenpaw of Thomaston, Maine
  • Mary V. Winchenpaw of Thomaston, Maine; inscribed on May 19, 1893

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