Thursday, July 20, 2017

Bible of Seth Holway & Thankful C. (Smith) Holway of Fairfield, Maine

Bible of Seth Holway and Thankful C. (Smith) Holway of Fairfield, Maine.

The Bible, which measures about 11" by 7" by nearly 3-1/2", has several pages of family records and a few mementos tucked inside.  Images of the mementos appear at the end of this post.

The Bible was printed in 1836 by Fessenden & Company of Brattleboro, Vermont.   Seth and Thankful were married in 1832; their son and daughter were born in 1834 and 1836.  The Bible was presumably purchased, as soon as it could be afforded, because of the childrens' births.

Births and Deaths - [hopefully I've interpreted the digits correctly - if you disagree, please let me know!]
  • Seth Holway, born August 10, 1803; died March 2; 1880; married Thankful Smith on December 6, 1832
  • Hannah C. Smith, born July 30, 1808; died October 16, 1879; married Seth Holway on December 6, 1832
  • Oscar Holway, son of Seth Holway and Hannah C. (Smith) Holway; born June 23, 1834; died July 17, 1901 [see obituary below]
  • Hannah Holway, daughter of Seth and Hannah C. (Smith) Holway; born January 12, 1836

More Marriages
  • Oscar Holway [son of Seth Holway and Thankful C. (Smith) Holway] and Olive A. Fowler married on November 30, 1859
  • David Harpster and Hannah Holway [daughter of Seth Holway and Thankful C. (Smith) Holway] married on June 21, 1870

Births of the Grandchildren of Seth Holway and Thankful C. (Smith) Holway
  • Charles A. Holway, twin son of Oscar Holway and Olive Augusta (Fowler) Holway; born May 26, 1861; died March 16, 1862
  • Melvin Smith Holway, twin son of Oscar Holway and Olive Augusta (Fowler) Holway; born May 26, 1861
  • Charles Oscar Holway, son of Oscar Holway and Olive Augusta (Fowler) Holway; born August 21, 1863
  • Charles Melvin Harpster, son of David Harpster and Hannah (Holway) Harpster; born September 13, 1873
  • Lidia Thankful Harpster, daughter of David Harpster and Hannah (Holway) Harpster; born December 26, 1875
  • David Harry Harpster, son of David Harpster and Hannah (Holway) Harpster; born April 19, 1877

From brief online research, hopefully correct - corrections and additions requested:

Seth Holway was born August 10, 1803 at Fairfield, Maine, son of Gideon Holway and Hannah (Fuller) Holway.  Seth's wife Thankful C. (Smith) Holway was born July 30, 1808 in Barnstable County, Massachusetts, the daughter of Benjamin and Sarah Smith, who moved their family to Fairfield, Maine.

Seth and Thankful had a son Oscar and a daughter Hannah, who both married and had children.  Oscar married Olive Augusta Fowler and stayed in Maine.  Hannah married David Harpster and moved to Ohio.  Read more about Oscar Holway in his obituary at the end of this post.

  • Seth Holway and Thankful C. (Smith) Holway are buried in the Tozier Cemetery at Fairfield Center, Fairfield, Maine.   
  • Oscar Holway and Olive Augusta (Fowler) Holway, and at least two of their three sons, are buried in the Forest Grove Cemetery at Augusta, Maine.  
  • David Harpster and Hannah (Holway) Harpster, David's third wife, and at least two of their children, Dr. Charles Melvin Harpster and Lida [Lidia in the Bible] (Harpster) Van Loo, are buried in the Woodlawn Cemetery at Toledo, Ohio.
If you have corrections and/or additions to the information above, please leave a comment or contact me directly.

See another post that features the cabinet photograph of an older woman identified on the reverse as "Aunt Eliza Holway".

Mementos in the Bible
  • very old scrap of paper certificate of approbation given to Nathan L. Fowler by Nathaniel Stedman.  Nathan was presumably the father of Olive Augusta (Fowler) Holway, wife of Oscar Holway.

  • very old scrap of paper certificate of approbation given to B. Nye by Harriet Tutle [not sure of surname].  B. Nye may have been Barrett Nye or his son Barrett Nye, maternal grandfather and maternal uncle respectively of Olive Augusta (Fowler) Holway, wife of Oscar Holway.  Harriet drew a lovely clock face.

  • 1833 paper scrap where Dr. John Diell, "Seaman Preacher at Oahu, Port of Honolulu", gave a book to Richard L. Smith, presumably Richard Lawrence Smith, brother of Thankful C. (Smith) Holway

  • religious items, including the program for the Seventieth Annual Meeting of the Kennebec Conference of Congregational Churches, at Gardiner, Maine, on June 13-14, 1893.  Mentions:
    • Rev. W. G. Wade of Monmouth, Maine.  
    • Rev. J. S. Williamson of Augusta, Maine
    • Rev. Edward Chase of Hallowell, Maine
    • Rev. C. W. Porter of Winthrop, Maine
    • Rev. T. B. Williams of Winslow, Maine
    • Rev. S. N. Adams of South Gardiner, Maine
    • Bro. Henry L. Tappan of Waterville, Maine
    • Rev. James Richmond of Litchfield Corners, Maine

  • 1901 obituary of Oscar Holway, with a photograph, an account of his extensive businesses and mention of the first Holway to emigrate to New England.


One of Maine's Most Successful Business Men Passes Away at Augusta
AUGUSTA, Me., July 19. -  Oscar Holway, one of Augusta's successful business men, died at 6 p. M. Thursday, after a lingering illness with Bright's disease.
Oscar Holway was born in Fairfield, Me., June 23d, 1834.  He was the son of Seth Holway, a prosperous and respected farmer whose father, Gideon Holway, was one of the first settlers of the town, coming from Sandwich on Cape Cod, his ancestor Joseph Holway of English birth, having been one of the original setlers [sic] of the town of Sandwich when it was laid out in 1637.
Oscar Holway obtained a good common school education and at the age of twenty years left home to make his way in the world.  He worked in a neighboring village for two years and in 1856 came to Augusta.  After being in the employ of Mr. John Fuller a short time he became his partner in business.  Later he purchased Mr. Fuller's interest and for several years carried on the business of a grocer and general merchant.  In 1864 he commended [commenced ?] the business of a wholesale dealer in flour, grain and groceries.  As a member successively of the firms of Holway & Stanley, and Deering & Holway, he carried on this business successfully until 1875, in which year he formed a co-partnership with the late S. F. Robinson to carry on the wholesale flour and grain business on a large scale.  Auburn was selected as the most convenient location for headquarters of the firm and a branch establishment was kept in Augusta.  For many years the firm did a large and successful business, extending over large portions of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.  Later Mr. Robinson retired and the firm of Oscar Holway & Company carried on the business upon a steadily increasing scale, until last year, when a corporation was formed, the Oscar Holway Company, of which Mr. Holway was president, which acquired the business of the firm and carried on energetically and successfully.
He was a director of the First National Bank of Augusta for about twenty-five years, and has been its president since 1892.  He took an active part in the formation of the Edwards Manufacturing Company, the leading industry of Augusta.  He took a leading part in the formation of the Cushnoc Paper Company, also one of the important industries of the city.  He was for many years a director of the Kennebec Steamboat Company, during the period that the daily line to Boston was established, the control of the Eastern Steamboat Company obtained, and the business of the company built up to its present large proportions.
He was a trustee of the Kennebec Savings Bank and of the Auburn Trust Company and a director of the Dexter & Newport Railroad Company, of the Augusta Water Co. and of the Maine Farmer Publishing Company.  He took an active interest in the building up of high grade woolen mills in Maine, aiding in the formation of the Waverly Woolen Company at Pittsfield, of which he was a director, and the Oldtown  Woolen Company, of which he was president.  He was a member of the Boston Chamber of Commerce and had a large acquaintance among leading business men in many parts of the country.
He took pleasure in assisting many young men in getting an education, fitting themselves for the ministry or getting started in business, among those whom he helped start on the road to honorable success being Frank A. Munsey, the well-known publisher of New York.
He was also for many years honored with positions of trust in connection with the settlement or management of large estates, among those being the estate of James Abbott, over whose will litigation not yet forgotten took place a generation ago; Stephen Deering, Samuel Clark, Col. George W. Stanley, Eliza A. Bradbury, Edward C. Allen, the great publisher, Henry W. Bradbury, Ellen M. Nye, Emery A. Sanborn, William S. Badger and Hon. James W. Bradbury.
He was a member of the Maine Historical Society, of the South Congregational church of Augusta, and of the American Board of Foreign Missions; a trustee of the Lithgow Library of Augusta and gave freely to many worthy objects.
He had traveled, upon business or for pleasure, in almost every part of the country, spending last winter in Southern California, hoping to get renewed health.
He married in 1859 Olive Augusta, daughter of Col. Nathan Fowler of Fairfield, and she with their two sons, Melvin S. Holway, a lawyer of Augusta, and Charles O. Holway, a business man of Auburn, survives him.


  1. Hello, We are related to the Holways by way of David Harpster (one of the marriages listed in this bible). Is this still available?
    Thank you!

  2. XChrom-relative by marriage of Harspter-Holway

  3. Does your inattentiveness not suggest the item has been sold?

  4. Hello, my name is Samantha and I am a descendant of Gideon Holway. Is this still available?

    1. It went to a descendant in Ohio earlier this year. If you would like me to connect you with the descendant, you'll find my email in the right margin under Inquiries.