Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Graduation Photograph of Nell Chaplin, Class of 1886, Orono High School, Orono, Maine

Photograph of a  young woman identified on the reverse as Nell Chaplain, Class of 1886, Bangor, Maine.  

I believe someone else wrote the information, as her surname was likely Chaplin, not Chaplain, though it may have sounded that way.  Also, I believe Nell was the Nellie E. Chaplin, a graduate of Orono High School at Orono, Maine.

The photograph was taken by the George Lansil studio of Bangor, Maine.

The photograph was found with those of three other members of the Class of 1886 at Bangor High School or possibly Orono High School:
  1. Lottie Sutton
  2. Mamie ?
  3. Alice A. Perkins

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

Despite confusing online sources with conflicting dates and people and the use of Bangor as her residence, I believe - but could be wrong - that Nell Chaplin was Helen "Nell" or "Nellie" Chaplin, born 5 July 1869 at Orono, Maine, the daughter of John and Agnes (McGrath) Chaplin. 

Some sources have "Nell' with a short lifespan of two years or so, but I believe that was an earlier daughter, Margaret Ellen Chaplin, 1865-1867.

In an 1885 Town Report for Orono, Maine, a Nellie F. Chaplin is mentioned for her good attendance which entered her into the Roll of Honor, as was another Orono High School graduate, Alice A. Perkins who was also in the Class of 1886.  Sorry for the poor image.  I'm confused by the middle initial, but perhaps it was in error.

After graduation, Nellie may have had teacher training as there is a Helen Chaplin in the 1900 Census of Greenfield, Massachusetts working as a high school teacher.  This Helen was born about the same year, was born in Maine and was the daughter of parents born in New Brunswick, Canada.

An earlier post featured a photograph of Nora Chaplin of Bangor, Maine, who was likely a relative of Nell Chaplin.

If you have information to clear up the mystery of the identity of Nell Chaplin and her later life, including any possible marriage(s) and children, please leave a comment or contact me directly.  Thanks!

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