Saturday, August 4, 2012

1866 Letter from School Committee of Gilead, Maine, certifying Abbie Jane Crockett as qualified teacher

1866 handwritten document from three members of the Superintending School Committee of Gilead, Maine, attesting that Abbie J. Crockett was qualified to teach Orthography, Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, Geography and English Grammar.

One sheet, about 8-3/4" x 8", with nothing on reverse except what looks like a printed label with the text Portland, Me.  See a transcript below.

From online research only, hopefully correct: [corrections welcome]

While I didn't find an Abbie J. Crockett at Gilead, I did find one who lived at Norway, Maine, also in Oxford County, and was a teacher before her marriage.

Abbie Jane Crockett was born 20 December 1845 at Auburn, Maine, the daughter of Ephraim Stanford Crockett and Sarah "Sally" Dingley (Penley) Crockett.  Her parents were born at Norway, Maine, and Pejepscot, Maine, respectively.

Abbie's paternal grandparents were Ephraim and Sarah "Sally" Bartlett (Wentworth) Crockett.  Her maternal grandparents were John and Desire (Dingley) Penley.

In the 1870 Census of Norway, Abbie was living with her widowed father and siblings and was working as a schoolteacher.  On 24 June 1874, she married Charles Newell Tubbs, son of James and Hannah J. (Wentworth) Tubbs.  

The 1880 Census of Norway shows them with one child, Inez Mabelle, who was born 14 July 1875.  Charles was working as a grocer.

Before their divorce in October of 1888, Abbie and Charles would have three more children: James Newell Tubbs, born 8 September 1880; Idonia C. Tubbs, born 30 March 1882; and Oscar John Tubbs, born 8 March 1886.

By the time of the 1900 Census, Abbie and her two younger children were living at Waterville, Maine.  They were still there by the time of the 1910 Census, where Abbie's occupation is listed as "own income" and her two younger children were both school teachers in public school.

Abbie J. (Crockett) Tubbs died on 25 November 1929 and is buried at Paris, Maine.

Charles Newell Tubs had already died by then, on 14 December 1925, at Norway, Maine.  He had remarried in 1893 to Leona G. (Brackett) Kilgore, daughter of Lewis and Eliza Brackett.  

He was an influential citizen of the greater Norway, Maine, area.  The Sun Journal daily of Lewiston, Maine printed an article upon his death, which you can read here.  

Here's an online reference to Charles' birth in a log cabin "running down into the lake from the Noble schoolhouse".

If you have any corrections or additions to the information above, please leave a comment or contact me directly.


To whom it may concern.  This certifies that we have this day examined the Bearer, Abbie J. Crockett, in Orthography, Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, Geography & English Grammar and find her competent to teach the same; and being fully satisfied that she possesses a good moral character, and the essential qualifications for the government and instruction of Children and Youth, she is hereby authorized to teach in the schools of this town.

In testimony whereof, we have hereunto subscribed our names at Gilead this 4th day of June, A.D. 1866.

L. D. Bean                            Sup. S. Committee
Wm. R. Peabody                                of
Wm. L. Chapman                           Gilead

Assuming I have the correct people, as the men below seem fairly young to have this responsibility, the signers:

L. D. Bean was perhaps Llewellyn D. Bean, born about 12 February 1839 at Gilead, Maine, Maine, son of John and Mary (Mason) Bean.  He died at Littleton, Colorado, in 1892.

William Reed Peabody was born 31 January 1837 at Gilead, Maine, son of Asa and Rebecca Hayward (Wight) Peabody.  He married Mary Elizabeth Richardson on 20 October 1863.  Died at Lowell, Massachusetts 5 June 1901.

William Ladd Chapman was born 6 June 1841 at Bethel, Maine, son of Gilman and Mary Ann (Brown) Chapman.  On 22 February 1866, not long before he signed the document above, he married Sarah Eleanor Frost.  He died at Bethel in 1932.

Gilead, Maine [zoom out two clicks to see Paris to the southeast; Norway is just to the southwest by the finger lake]

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Norway, Maine

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