Sunday, June 3, 2012

1813 Laws of Massachusetts Annexing Part of New Sharon, Maine, to Industry, Maine

"An Act to annex Henry Smith, James Gower and Rufus Davis, with their families and estates, to the town of Industry", as described in Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Passed by the General Court at Their Session, which Commenced on Wednesday the 26th Day of May, and Which Ended on the 16th Day of June, 1813.  Industry, Maine

Chap. LIV.

An Act to annex Henry Smith, James Gower and Rufus Davis, with their families and estates, to the town of Industry.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives, in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, That Henry Smith, James Gower and Rufus Davis, with their families and estates, as contained within the following described limits, lying in the town of New Sharon, in the county of Kennebeck, be, and they are hereby set off from the said town of New Sharon, and annexed to the town of Industry, in the county of Somerset; viz. beginning at the east corner of lot number eighty-four, in New Sharon, on the westerly line of Industry, thence south forty-five degrees west, about three-fourths of a mile, to the east line of the town of Farmington, so as to include all that part of New Sharon which lies north-west of said line, being the lots numbered eight-four, and eighty-five, containing together about one hundred and seventy acres.  And the said Smith, Gower and Davis, with their estates hereby annexed to the town of Industry, shall therein exercise and enjoy all the privileges, and be subject to the like duties and obligations as the other inhabitants of the said town, as fully and completely, as if they had been originally incorporated therewith.

[Approved by the Governor, June 16, 1813.]

Note: Industry was annexed to Franklin County in 1838, when the new county was formed.

From A History of the Town of Industry, Franklin County, Maine, from the earliest settlement in 1787 down to the present time, by William Collins Hatch, 1893, and digitized online here. [be prepared for many OCR errors; I've corrected a few here.]

An effort was made in the fall of 1813 to establish a new county which would include the town of Industry. The movement caused no little discussion, and many were bitterly opposed to the measure. Capt. David Hildreth and seventeen others petitioned the selectmen to call a meeting of the legal voters to see if they would instruct the municipal officers to oppose the project by sending a remonstrance to the General 
Court. The meeting assembled at the house of William Allen, Jr., Dec. 23, 1813, and after mature deliberation it was deemed inexpedient to further oppose the movement. The measure proved unsuccessful, however, and the town of Industry con- 
tinued to form a part of Somerset County. 

At the session of the General Court for 18133, the following petition was presented from the inhabitants of Gower's (now Allen's) Mills, in the town of New Sharon: 

To the Hon. Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, [an. ~, 181 J : 

The Petition of the Subscribers, inhabitants of the Town of New Sharon in the County of Kennebec, respectfully shows their local situation is such as in a great measure, if not wholly, prevents them from 
enjoying the common and ordinary privileges of the other inhabitants of said town, being situated at an extreme part of said town and separated by bogs and swamps that are utterly impassable even for a horse. 
and at a distance of six or seven miles from where the meetings are holden for transacting town business, &tc, and at the same time being not more than a mile and a half from where the town meetings are held 
in Industry, to which place we have a direct road in good repair, that we have uniformly joined with the Town of Industry in the Support of Schools for our Children, and we there perform Military duty. Being 
thus situated, we humbly request your honorable body to take the premises into your consideration, and grant us relief, by setting off our Polls and estates from the Town of New Sharon aforesaid and annexing 
the same to the Town of Industry in the County of Somerset, by a line as follows, to-wit : beginning at the east corner of lot No. 84, in New Sharon on the westerly line of Industry, thence south forty-five degrees west about three-tenths of a mile to the East line of the Town of Farmington, and then to include all that part of New Sharon which lies to the northwest of said line, being lots No. 84 and 85, containing 
together, about one hundred and seventy acres. 
And as in duty bound will ever pray. 

Henry Smith
James Gower. 
Rufus Davis. 

The prayer of these petitioners was granted, and Gower's Mills (see p. 172) straightway became a part of the Town of Industry, and the inhabitants were annexed to school district No. 2, at Davis's (now Goodridge's) Corner, where their children had previously attended school. 

From online research, hopefully correct and hopefully with the right person, or at least the right family:
  • Henry Smith, born 30 March 1795 at Hallowell, Maine.  If this is the correct Henry, he didn't live long in his new town, as he died on 19 November 1814 at Industry, Maine.
  • James Gower, born 2 January 1778 at Topsham, Maine, son of Robert and Mary (Henry) Gower; married Susannah Norton at Industry, Maine on 2 September 1800; died at Farmington, Maine 13 September 1853.
  • Rufus Davis, son of David and Sarah (Cousins) Davis, built a grist and saw mill at the outlet of Clearwater Pond in 1804.  He married Abigail Smith, daughter of Joseph and Abigail (Butler) Smith.
An online resource mentioned that many of the early settlers in this area were from the Edgartown, Massachusetts area and came from a sailing, rather than a farming, tradition.

Industry Historical Society

New Sharon Historical Society

Farmington Historical Society

Map of Industry, Maine [New Sharon is to the south.]

View Larger Map


  1. I am a descendant of the Spinney and Oliver families that settled that settled in Industry and that actually Hatch was married into. Hatch was married to Lavinia Spinney who Deacon John Oliver who was father of Eli Noyes Oliver the Town Clerk of Industry for a Long Period. Spinney and Oliver families and their allied families married into the Nortons, and other leading Industry families

  2. Thanks for your comment; such iconic Maine surnames in your tree! I haven't been through Industry in a few years but it's in a beautiful setting on a lake. Interesting how the powers that be saw the validity of the argument of Messrs. Smith, Gower and Davis. Not sure that would happen today.