Saturday, August 7, 2010

1875 letter from Jesse Davis to Assessors of Webster, Maine (now part of Sabattus, Maine)

Letter sent by Jesse Davis, then of Lisbon, Maine, to the Assessors of Webster, Maine on April 3, 1875.  

Webster, whose name was changed to Sabattus in 1971 in honor of an Anasagunticook Indian chief, is located near Lewiston and Lisbon, Maine, in Androscoggin County.

Note that the letter is dated April 3d, 1875 but the postmark looks like 1876, though it's possible it was a faint postmark and someone changed an obscure 5 to a 6.  I've also scanned the back of the envelope so you can see where someone has added contemporary text of "Lisbon Me. 1876 - #147".  I suppose it's possible that Jesse Davis got the year wrong when he dated his letter.  If that's the case, he may have been suffering the aftermath of having his leg amputated a year or two before, as the result of a carriage accident.

From online research, I've determined, hopefully correctly, that Jesse Davis was born in Webster in 1814, the son of Jonathan and Rebecca (Larrabee) Davis.   Jonathan Davis was the son of Jesse and Hannah (Curtis) Davis.   

Jesse married Mary Ann Woodberry of Litchfield, Maine, the daughter of Hugh and Elizabeth Woodberry.  Jesse and Mary Ann had four children, two of whom died before their time, a son Albert at 24 and a daughter Adda Elizabeth at 16.  Their daughter Emily Jane married F. W. Dana of Brookline, Massachusetts.  Daughter Sarah Louise married Morrill Newman Drew of Portland, Maine.

Jesse was a highly respected man in Webster, Lisbon and beyond.  He was a selectman for Webster, an Androcoggin County Commissioner and spent time at the State Legislature.  He was a justice of the peace and an officer in the state militia.  For twelve years he was treasurer for the Town of Lisbon, Maine, and he participated in the formation of Manufacturers National Bank of Lewiston.  He dealt in real estate in Androscoggin County and Bangor, Maine.

Transcription:  [If you can decipher some of the words or phrases I have left out, or if you have corrections to make, please let me know.  Thanks!]

Lisbon April 3d, 1875,
Messrs. Assessers of Webster
I write this to call your attention to the valuation of my Dill [?] Lot as it is called situated at Sabattusville.  I wish you would look to see if it has not been taxed the same for quite a number of years back.  I have sold the larger part of it, as J. Wesley Maxwell will tell you.  I wish you to ask him about it to then see if it is taxed as other property in the village is.

The Lot taxed to Massey [?] last year will be taxed to N. W. Farwell, Lewiston this year.

A Lot of worthless Bog, taxed to S. S. Starbird, Lewiston he wishes to call your attention to it, once belonged to the Levi Temple farm.  He bought on a time when it was thought that peat was going to take the place of wood.  He got awfully shaved as he says in the purchase.  He says if you or any other man or [?] will give $50.00 for it you shall have a perfect title to the same.  I was doing some business the other day with him and he wished me to call your attention to it.  I think from what I know of it, you will find little or no value there.

Wishing you much happiness in your official positions, 
I remain yours truly
Jesse Davis

[Along the left margin reading up]   The West Curtis Lot near Wyman's and the Hines lot in the East part of Webster to be taxed to me.

It's my hope that you have found this heirloom meaningful, from either a genealogical or historical perspective.
Thanks for stopping by!

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