Sunday, October 10, 2010

1873 letter to Webster Treat at Bangor, Maine, from Otis Daney, Winterport, Maine

Letter addressed to Webster Treat from Otis Dans/Dana/Dancy or something else [not sure of the surname - it appears in several variations in the Censuses] of Winterport, Maine.


Winterport, March the 3, 1873
Mr. Webster Treat
Dear Sir
Yours of the 28 is at hand.  I am very busy at present, and expect to go away Soon.  i can not come to Bangor at present, but if you have got a vessel for me to go in this Summer, or anything that i can do for you please write me and let me know.  I think if i got a Vessel this Summer business is going to be good and i think i should do well for you.
Yours Truly, 
Otis Dancy [?]

From online research, hopefully correct:

Webster Treat was born 4 December 1827 in Frankfort, Maine, the son of Colonel Robert Treat and his wife   Joanna G. (Crosby) Treat.  His paternal grandparents were Joshua and Lydia (Buck) Treat.  His maternal grandparents were John and Sarah (Wheeler) Crosby.

He married Hannah Jane Parker, who was born about 1829 in Maine, the daughter of Lemuel and Mary (Black) Parker.  Webster and Hannah Jane Treat had 4 children:

  • Helen, born 2 November 1852 in Maine; she married John Franklin Godfrey.
  • Hayward C., born 5 Oct 1855 in Maine; he married Pauline Eugenie [Borie ?] of France
  • Warren Franklin, born March 1862 in Maine
  • Percival Webster, born 26 November 1865 in Maine; he married Sara, born in California
About 1847 Webster Treat moved West, but returned within a year and ran a short-lived lumber business in Lawrence, Massachusetts, in partnership with Gideon Mayo of Orono, Maine.  After a year or so, he returned to Frankfort, Maine and operated a general store and lumber business there, first with his father and then with his brother Robert Crosby Treat.  In 1866, he moved to Bangor, Maine, and managed his late father's real estate and his own and shipped lumber to South America.  During that time, he had the Kenduskeag Block built.  In 1874 he moved to Davisville, Yolo County, California, where he became involved in the fruit industry.  His children seem to have gravitated to California as well.

I've had less luck researching the letter writer Otis because I'm still not sure of his last name and his place of birth.   I see him listed as Otis Dans in the 1870 Census of Winterport, Maine, born in Maine about 1838 and living with Hannah Rankins, age 55, Elizabeth Rankins, age 20; and Fanny Dans, presumably his wife.

In the 1880 Census of Winterport, Maine, he's listed as Otis Dana, born about 1835 in France, and living with wife Fanny and son Wesley Dana, age 9.

In the 1900 Census of Winterport, Maine, he's listed as Otis Dancy, born June 1835, living alone.

If you have any corrections, additions or insights regarding the information presented above, please leave a comment in the comments box or contact me directly.  I'm especially interested in finding the correct name and genealogy of the letter writer Otis D.

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. A piece of info abt. Webster Treat
    "Machias, ME: Ship Registers and Enrollments of Machias, Maine 1780-1930" [found at NEHGS]

    ADA WISWELL, bark, of New York City. Official No. 105399, Sig. let. J.P.T.L. Built at East Machias, 1874, by William H. Stevens, master carpenter. 557.85 tons; 140 ft x 30.2 ft x 16.9 ft. Two decks, three masts, square stern, a billethead.
    Registered (temporary), No. 7, Sept. 22, 1874, at Machias.
    Owners: Lyman Wiswell, 6/32 (Master); Webster Treat, 6/32; John Crosby, 4/32; N. Kitteredge, 1/32; Mrs. R. G. Rice, 2/32; E. C. Hincks and E. B. Nealey, 2/32
    Copartners: Stephen Coney, C. H. Hammett, S. T. Pearson, James Mulvaney, John Patton, P. M. Blake of Bangor; E. G. Wiswell, of Boston, Mass; G. D. Lunt, B. P. Lunt of New York City.

    1. James Mulvany's son William, married Alma Louise Treat they both moved out to California where they are buried.

    2. Thank you for this information. It seems that various other members of the Treat family did the same. How did Alma Louise fit in? If you noticed errors or omissions in the post, please let me know. Thanks!

  2. Interesting! Will have to research the relationship between Lyman Wiswell and Ada Wiswell, the woman or girl the ship was named for. I'm also interested in the bark's builder, William H. Stevens of East Machias; I wonder where his yard was and how many vessels he built. Amazing how many times I'm led back to Washington County... Thanks for your input!