Monday, March 21, 2011
Andrew Harrington Bibber, Civil War veteran, marine painter
Andrew Harrington Bibber, an officer in the First Maine Cavalry and Assistant Adjutant-General of Volunteers Infantry Regiment, and, later, a marine painter of some renown.
Bibber was presumably the Andrew J. Bibber born at Lubec, Maine, on 18 July 1837, the son of Charles H. and Adeline Ann (Harrington) Bibber. Perhaps he changed his middle name to honor his mother or maternal grandparents. By 1860, the family had moved across Passamaquoddy Bay to Eastport, Maine.
Read more about Andrew Harrington Bibber in the Civil War Veterans Project database of the Orange County California Genealogical Society.
From online research, I found that the name Bibber likely goes back to the spelling Vibert, a European name that likely started out as a Christian name and over time became a surname.
With President Lincoln's call to the states for 75,000 men, Maine responded, not with the one regiment requested, but with ten, fully armed and ready to serve for three years.
According to a military record in the Maine State Archives. Bibber rose from 1st sergeant in the First Maine Cavalry to 2nd Lieutenant, Adjutant and Captain in Company F, First Maine Cavalry. After mustering out on 13 March 1865, he became a commissioned officer as Assistant Adjutant General of Volunteers Infantry Regiment.
Andrew first married Sarah Houghton, daughter of Hon. Partmon Houghton (1806-1887) and Orinda Ann (Prince) Houghton (1807-1885). Partmon Houghton was a member of the Maine state legislature, but is probably best known today for a fund he endowed, still extant, whereby many elderly women in Eastport are given a gift of money during the holiday season. It would be interesting to know what inspired him to set up this fund.
Andrew Bibber had a dry goods business in Eastport, Maine, and enjoyed painting marine scenes, for which he was receiving some acclaim. Andrew and Sarah had two daughters: Edith Prince Bibber (1870-1964) and Sarah Parker Houghton Bibber (1871-1876). Less than two weeks after little Sarah's birth, Sarah (Houghton) Bibber died, likely as the result of complications of childbirth.
On 27 September, 1876, Andrew Harrington Bibber married again, to Annie Louise Ansley (1854-1938), (also seen in the variation Annesley), who was born at Saint John, New Brunswick, and educated at Saint John Young Ladies Academy and at Vassar College. Her father, John, a mill owner and government official, was the son of Devonshire immigrant Daniel Ansley, who became a successful shipping merchant at Saint John.
Annie's mother, Sarah (Hayden) Ansley, a descendant of John Alden, was born on Beacon Hill in Boston. Andrew's daughter from his first marriage, Sarah Parker Houghton Bibber, died shortly after her father's marriage to Annie. Andrew and Annie had a daughter, Alice Alden Bibber (1883-1960), born 30 October 1883 at Eastport, Maine. She would marry her cousin Roy whose surname was Van Bibber.
In 1890, Andrew, Annie, Edith and Alice moved to Orange, California, where they purchased twenty acres to develop an orange orchard. Andrew later resumed the dry goods trade, and in his later years, took up his brush again and became known for his seascapes.
He died on 6 October 1913. Annie, Edith and Alice remained in California after his death. Annie died at Los Angeles on 5 February 1938. Edith, a Vassar graduate like her stepmother, was a music teacher who gave private lessons at her home; she died in 1964, at Los Angeles. Alice Alden Bibber graduated from the Girls' Collegiate School of Los Angeles and later married her first cousin, Roy Bibber, who had by then changed his name to Dion Ray O. Van Bibber. The marriage ended in divorce. Alice died in 1960 at Los Angeles.
If you have corrections and/or additions to the information above, please leave a comment.
Notice that Eastport, Maine, and Lubec, Maine, are close as the crow flies, but far apart by land, thanks to Cobscook Bay, the second largest estuary along the Atlantic seaboard.