Saturday, February 22, 2020

Obituary of Mary A. (Page) Gilman (1836-1931) of North Newport, Maine; Widow of John T. Gilman (1832-1917)

Obituary of Mrs. Mary A. (Page) Gilman (1836-1931) of Newport, Maine, widow of John Taylor Gilman (1832-1917).  The previous page contains an article about Mary's 92nd birthday.

Transcriptions at the end of this post.

Found pasted in a scrapbook with items mostly from the Dexter, Maine, area, and Skowhegan, Maine, area. 

Mary A. (Page) Gilman was born in 1836, the daughter of Asa Page and Mary Ann (Moody) Page of Cornville, Maine, who later moved the family to Athens, Maine and then to Sangerville, Maine.  She attended Foxcroft Academy and subsequently taught in area schools until her marriage to John Taylor Gilman of Newport in 1861. 

For the next 50 years, she and her husband lived on the Gilman farm in Newport.  When the farm became too much for them to manage, they moved to Newport village near their son, John Orman Gilman (1869-1955) and his family.  After John's death, Mary moved to North Newport to be with her daughter, Annie Mildred Gilman (1873-1969) and family.

John Taylor Gilman, wife Mary A. (Page) Gilman, their daughter and son and other family members are buried in the Riverside Cemetery at Newport, Maine.

Below, the page that includes an article about the 92nd birthday of Mary A. (Page) Crowell.


Obituary of Mary A. (Page) Gilman (1836-1931)

Mrs. Mary A. Gilman

After 95 years of active and well living, Mrs. Gilman, the oldest resident in town, passed so quickly to the Great Beyond, Nov. 11th, that the daughter watching by the bedside only detected her passing on by the cessation of the sound of her breathing.

Mrs. Gilman had always enjoyed good health, having no organic disease.  There was just a few days of weakness, which the doctor said was caused by the irregularity of a worn-out heart.

In April 1930, Mrs. Gilman had the misfortune to fall in the floor, causing an impaction of her right hip. After the first few months in bed, she has been able to sit in a wheel chair and be wheeled over the house, and to walk when assisted, and to ride in the car.  She has had since her fall a nurse. Mrs. Emma Buxton of Exeter has been with her the past 16 months and has been faithful in the loving care she gave her.

The 26th of October was her natal day, and on that day and for the week following she was made happy by relatives and friends calling to offer their felicitations.

Mrs. Gilman was the next to the eldest of a family of five children of Mary Ann (Moody) Page and Asa Page. Her brothers, Benjamin and Isaac, died in early manhood. She was born in Cornville, but the family soon moved to Athens. When she was seven years of age, her father purchased a farm in Sangerville, where she lived until her marriage.

She was educated at the Foxcroft Academy and taught school with good success in the surrounding towns for several years until her marriage with J. Taylor Gilman of Newport in 1861, going to live on the Gilman farm, where they lived for more than fifty years. When Mr. Gilman because of the infirmaties [sic] of old age was unable to carry on the farm, they sold it and bought a house in Newport village near their son and wife, Mr. and Mrs. J. O. Gilman.

At the death of Mr. Gilman in 1917, Mrs. Gilman came to North Newport, to live with her daughter and husband, Mr. and Mrs. W. D. Crowell, where she has always been.

Mrs. Gilman had lived nearly a century, having been born during the second term of office of Andrew Jackson. During this time there had been four wars. She had seen the pioneer mode of living completely changed by the many wonderful inventions that have occurred during that time. She was equally as interested in the questions before the public at the present time, and for everything for the betterment of the country and community.

Endowed with a wonderful memory and possessing her faculties until the last, it was a pleasure to converse with her.

Both Mr. and Mrs. Gilman were charter members of the Sebasticook Grange, Newport, and for many years seldom missed a meeting, and were among the mainstays of the order.

Although Mrs. Gilman lived a very busy and active life she found time along life's pathway to do many kind acts, and made many friends who deeply regret her death.

The funeral services, which were largely attended, were held at the Crowell home Sunday afternoon at 1.30, with Rev. J. W. Reynolds, pastor of the High Street church, Newport, where Mrs. Gilman in the past had always attended church, conducting the services. He paid a high tribute to the character of the diseased [sic]. Quite a delegation of the U. B. B. society of this church of which Mrs. Gilman was one of the original members and took an active interest, were present at the services.

The bearers were all former residents of the Gilman district, her old neighbors, Herbert Rowe, Fred Miles, Homer Miles and Willis Robinson.

The flowers from relatives and friends from here and away, the North Newport neighborhood, the U.B.B. society, Newport; the North Newport Willing Workers; the Corinna Literary club, the North Newport Grange, the clerks in Judkins & Gilman's store, the Gilman district neighbors, were very beautiful. Mr. Taylor of Newport had charge of the funeral arrangements. The burial was in the family lot at Riverside cemetery, Newport.

She leaves to mourn her death a son, John O. Gilman, a daughters, Mrs. W. D. Crowell, three grandchildren, John T. Gilman, June Gilman and Elsie Crowell, and four step grandchildren, George W. Gilman, Fort Madison, Iowa; Mrs. Edwin Knowles, Tarpon Springs, Fla.; Mrs. Allison French, Orlando, Fla.; and Ralph Gilman, Arlington, Mass.

Transcription of article about 92nd Birthday of Mary A. (Page) Gilman (1836-1931)

Newport Woman Celebrates her 92nd Birthday

Mrs. Mary A. Gilman of Newport, who has lived with her daughter, Mrs. Annie M. Crowell, In North Newport since the death of her husband, J. Taylor Gilman, in 1917, was 92 years old Friday, Oct. 26th.
[handwriting: 1928]

She was spending the day very quietly when Leola and Lena Cochran, nearby neighbors' daughters, came bringing a box of gifts. They had but gone when relatives from Pittsfield, Mrs. Lettie M. Robinson, Mr. and Mrs. T. E. Getcheell [sic] and Mr. and Mrs. Daniel R. Getchell, came in their car, bringing felicitations and gifts.  A little later, her son and family, Mr. and Mrs. J. O. Gilman, John T. Gilman and June Gilman also Mrs. Maude Jones of Newport came with their presents and good wishes. The unexpected thoughtfulness of the relatives and friends coming to vissit [sic] her and their gifts, made Mrs. Gilman very happy.

As Mrs. Gilman's grandson, Elliot Crowell's birthday is Oct. 24th, it has always been the custom in the family to combine the dates and have a birthday supper the 26th.  As Elsie Crowell, who is at the U. of M. could not home until Saturday night, Oct 27th, the supper was deferred until then.

The table was very attractive in pink and white, with streamers of pink crepe paper extending from the ceiling to each plate. On the pink centerpiece was a bouquet of carnations, the gift of Mrs. T. E. Getchell of Pittsfield, to Mrs. Gilman.

After a Thanksgiving dinner, the two birthday cakes with lighted pink candles were brought in. One cake was made by Mrs. Maude Jones of Newport for Mrs. Gilman and one made by Mrs. Crowell for Elliot Crowell. Then oranges, peanuts, grapes, fancy cookies, jelly, fudge and chocalotes [sic] the gifts of both from Mrs. Robinson, J. O. Gilman and family, Mrs. Crowell and Elsie Crowell, were enjoyed.  Other gifts and cards sent by friends were then presented, thus making the second happy day for Mrs. Gilman.

Mrs. Gilman's health is as good as one might expect for her years. She is mentally alert to all the doings of the day. She is keenly interested in politics, and always has been one of the first to cast a vote since women were eligible to the ballot. She is a very strong Republican and is hoping to be able to cast her vote for Hoover Tuesday.

Mrs. Gilman was born in Cornville October, 26, 1836, the second child of a family of four children of Ira [other records show his name as Asa] and Mary (Moody) Page. The family moved to Athens, where she lived until 7 years old. Then the father bought a farm in Sangerville, where the parents lived until their death.

If you have information on the Cochran, Crowell, Getchell, Gilman, Jones, Moody, Page, and Robinson families of Somerset County and Penobscot County, Maine, please leave a comment.

Obituaries of Orlando W. Walker (1848-1927) and wife Emma (Vaughn) Walker (1850-1929) of Anson, Maine

Page in a scrapbook of mostly Dexter, Maine, area, and Skowhegan, Maine, area items: the obituaries of Orlando W. Walker (1848-1927) and wife Emma (Vaughn) Walker (1850-1929) of Anson, Maine.

The byline hints that this obituary was first published in the Independent-Reporter, a Skowhegan newspaper that published from 1090 to 1955.

Transcriptions appear below.

Orlando W. Walker (1848-1927), according to a death record in the Maine, Faylene Hutton Cemetery Collection, ca. 1780-1990, was born 10 July 1848. He was presumably born at Anson, Maine, or nearby, the son of George Washington Walker and Ruth (Cleveland) Walker.

Orlando and Emma Vaughn in  married in 1872, according to Orlando's obituary and to the DAR record of their daughter, Mrs. Lucy Walker Paine.  Emma's birth date is given as 27 July 1850 in the Maine, Faylene Hutton Cemetery Collection, ca. 1780-1990.  The couple had several children, named in the obituary.

Orlando and Emma are buried in the Madison Bridge Cemetery at Madison, Maine.

Transcription of obituary of Orlando W. Walker (1848-1927)

Orlando W. Walker Prominent in Civil Affairs of Native Town
[handwriting: Oct 1, 1927]
(Special to The Independent-Reporter)

Orlando W. Walker, an aged and much respected citizen of Anson passed away at his home on Nichols Hills, Saturday evening after a lingering illness of some months during which time he was tenderly cared for by his wife and children.

Mr. Walker was born in Anson on the Walker farm on the river road to North Anson, June 10, 1848, the son of G. Washington and Ruth (Cleveland) Walker, and it was in this town that the greater part of his life was passed. He attended the public schools, later being a student at the famous Eaton School in Norridgewock. He was a man who was widely read, having in his early manhood been a most successful teacher for a time.

On November 24, 1872, he was united in marriage to Emma Vaughn, of Madison. Soon after his marriage he purchased a farm on what is known as Mutton Hill. Here they made their home until a few years ago when, on account of poor health, he moved to Anson village where he passed away.

Mr. Walker was a man of sterling character, a kind, loving husband and father, a much respected citizen having held many positions of trust in his native town. He served on the Board of Selectman for several times, also on the School Board, being on the building committee at the time the Garret Schenck school building was erected. He has served on the Republican town committee. At the time of his death he was president of the Somerset Dairy Association, also president of the Forest Hill Cemetery Association. He had been a member of the Congregational church for over 55 years and was most devoted and loyal in all pertaining to its welfare, always taking an active part in its services and always present when his health permitted. He was a charter member of Kennebec Valley Grange.

He is survived by the widow, two sons, R. Morrill and Frank, both of Pittsburg, Pa.; and two daughters, Lucy, wife of Fred O. Paine of Anson and Miss Edith, who lives at home; five grandchildren, Morrill, Waldo and Ruth Paine; Elizabeth Walker and John Walker Carlson; also two brothers, Stephen and Elmore R., both of Anson.

Transcription of obituary of Emma (Vaughn) Walker (1850-1929)

Mrs. Emma Walker

Mrs. Emma Walker died at her home in Anson, October 26th, after an illness of several weeks.
[handwriting: 1929]

Mrs. Walker was a native of the town of Madison, being the daughter of Eben and Laura Piper Vaughn. She was the widow of the late Orlando Walker. She is survived by two daughters, Mrs. Lucy Paine and Miss Edith Walker, both of Anson; one son R. Morril Walker, of Pittsburgh, Pa. Mrs. Walker was 79 years old.

She was a member of the Congregational Church and for many years previous to her illness she was active in the church. She was also a charter member of Kennebec Valley Grange.

Mrs. Walker passed her whole life in this vicinity and her sterling character held the respect of a wide circle of friends.

Funeral services were conducted by Rev. E. C. Evans, Tuesday afternoon at her residence in Anson.

If you have information to share on the Walker, Vaughn, Cleveland and Piper families of Somerset County, Maine, please leave a comment.

Newspaper Clipping: Dr. Leon Stephen Merrill (1864-1933), a Solon, Maine, Native, Becomes Grand Sire of I.O.O.F.

1927 Newspaper clipping found pasted in a scrapbook of mostly Dexter, Maine, and Skowhegan, Maine, area items.

The byline hints that this article first appeared in the Skowhegan newspaper, the Independent-Reporter, which published from 1909 to 1955.

A transcription appears at the end of this post.

Dr. Leon S. Merrill (1864-1933), native of Solon, Maine, was elevated to Grand Sire of the Sovereign Lodge of Odd Fellows at the annual convention at Hot Springs, Arkansas.  A lengthy obituary of Merrill, who was a professor and dean at the University of Maine, appears on page 6 in the October 1933 issue of the Maine Alumnus.

It mentions that Dr. Merrill was one of the outstanding students in his class at Maine Medical School, but that his medical career was cut short due to failing eyesight. He then operated a store at Solon and managed a creamery, which led to his appointment as State Dairy Inspector.  He joined the faculty of the University of Maine in Orono in 1910 as Director of the Agricultural Extension Service and became Dean of the College of Agriculture.  Merrill Hall, built in the early 1930s, was named in his honor.

Leon Stephen Merrill (1864-1933) was born 22 December 1864 at Solon, Maine, the son of Stephen Merrill (1828-1916) and Jerusha Caroline (Dean) Merrill (1830-1901).  On 12 August 1884 at Solon, Maine, Leon married Alice Estelle Wilson.  According to the obituary in the Maine Alumnus, they had two children, daughter Gladys and son Earl Stephen Merrill, who followed his father into the medical field.


Native of Solon Heads Odd Fellows
(Special to the Independent-Reporter)
The elevation of Dr. Leon S. Merrill to Grand Sire of the Sovereign Lodge of Odd Fellows at the annual convention at Hot Springs, Ark., is being received with elation by his numerous friends in Somerset County, not the least of whom are his many old neighbors in Solon, his native town. He is the first in Maine and the second in New England to be thus honored.
He became an Odd Fellow in June 1886, when he was invited into Table Rock Lodge of North Anson. In 1892, he transferred to Solon Lodge in his home town. He joined the Grand Lodge in 1895.
As Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Maine, 1904-5, Dr. Merrill added 11 new subordinate lodges to the Grand Lodge, an unusually large increase in one year. When he relinquished this chair he was made representative to the Sovereign Lodge.
For the past 21 years he has served on the Sovereign Grand Lodge's legislative committee, and for the past 13 years has been its chairman. He also is an ex-officio member of the legislative committee on matters outside of North America.
He was born in Solon, Dec. 22,  1864, the son of Stephen and Caroline (Dean) Merrill. He was graduated from Solon high school, and from the Maine Medical School in 1889. He conducted a store in Solon from 1890 to 1911, serving as manager of the creamery of that town from 1900 to 1908; connected with the Maine department of Agriculture, 1907-1910; Director Agricultural Extension Service, 1910; Dean College of Agriculture, 1911; Federal Food Administrator for Maine during war; member school board and superintendent of schools; state dairy inspector. Mr. Merrill is a Rotarian, member 20th Century Club, Academy of Social and Political Science, Alpha Zeta, Phi Kappa Phi Frats, Chamber of Commerce, Maine Historical Society, Sons of the American Revolution. He is also a prominent Mason.

Dr. Leon Stephen Merrill, his wife Alice Estelle (Wilson) Merrill and their children Gladys Helen Merrill and Dr. Earl Stephen Merrill are buried in Mount Hope Cemetery at Bangor, Maine.

If you have information on the Merrill, Dean and/or Wilson families, please leave a comment.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Obituary of Albert W. Smith, Civil War Veteran, of Skowhegan, Maine - Present at Lee's Surrender

1927 obituary pasted into a scrapbook of content mostly from Dexter, Maine, and Skowhegan, Maine.

The byline hints that this article first appeared in the Skowhegan newspaper, the Independent-Reporter, which published from 1909 to 1955.

Obituary of Civil War veteran Albert W. Smith (1848-1927), son of William Bainbridge Smith and Rachel (Whittier) Smith (1817-1899).

Interestingly, Albert, who was present at Lee's surrender, brought home a piece of root of the foliage under which the surrender occurred.

Civil War Veteran was Present at Lee's Surrender
(Special to the Independent-Reporter)

Funeral services for Albert W. Smith, a Civil War veteran, were conducted a his late home on upper North Avenue Saturday afternoon. Rev. Herbert L. Nichols, pastor of Centenary Methodist Episcopal church, officiating.  The bearers were C. E. Locke, George Hobart, William Palmer and Merton L. Dennis.  Burial was in the north cemetery. Among those from out of town present was Earl W. Smith, of Boston, Mass.

Mr. Smith was stricken with heart trouble at six o'clock on the evening of September 28th, while in his barn. He was born in Skowhegan Oct. 4th, 1848, the son of William B. and Rachel (Whittier) Smith.  He attended the local schools and on August 22, 1864, enlisted in Company B, 20th Maine Infantry, and saw service in many engagements. He was present at the surrender of General Lee, and brought home a piece of root of the tree beneath the foliage of which that great historical event took place, and always valued that memento as the most valuable of his war time souvenirs.

He had been a member of the Methodist church since August 1, 1869, and was affiliated with Russell Post, F.A. R. and Skowhegan Grange.  He was a farmer. Two brothers and three sisters have preceded him in death.  He leaves to mourn his loss a brother, Joseph Nay Smith, the well-known music dealer, of Skowhegan.

If you have information on the Smith family of Skowhegan, Maine,  please leave a comment.  Perhaps Albert's relatives include Congressman Clyde Harold Smith (1876-1940), first husband of Senator Margaret Chase Smith (1897-1995).

Birthday Notice of Samuel P. Durrell (1840-1927), Civil War Veteran of Skowhegan, Maine

Found in a scrapbook of mostly Dexter, Maine, to Skowhegan, Maine, content:

Birthday notice of Samuel P. Durrell, who was sent home to die as a result of his Civil War service and yet lived to re-enlist and to reach the age of 86.

Samuel P. Durrell of Skowhegan Observes His Birthday
SKOWHEGAN, July 25 - (Special) Though sent home during the Civil War to die, Samuel P. Durrell of Main Street, lived to re-enlist before the end of the conflict, and tomorrow will reach his 86th birthday. Mr. Durrell is a lifelong resident of Skowhegan and for forty years was an employee of the Bailey oil cloth factory, retiring when that firm went out of business here.  His household consists of himself and his wife, who was formerly Miss Georgia A. Littlefield, and their second son, Forrest Durrell. Their older son, G. E. Durrell, was formerly postmaster, and their youngest son, Howard Durrell, is the present assistant postmaster.  Mr. Durrell is a member of Russell Post, No. 96, G.A. R.

More information on Samuel P. Durrell's Civil War service is provided on his Find a Grave memorial.  As noted in the birthday notice, Samuel's wife was Georgia A. (Littlefield) Durrell (1849-1929).  Their sons:
  1. George E. Durrell who married Grace Wentworth
  2. C. Forrest Durrell (1876-1948)
  3. Howard Littlefield Durrell (-1974); married Nellie L. Phillips

Samuel P. Durrell, his wife Georgia A. (Littlefield) Durrell and at least two of their children are buried in the Southside Cemetery in Skowhegan, Maine.

See the Civil War monument, erected in 1898, in Skowhegan here.

If you have information on the Durrell family of Skowhegan, Maine, and/or if you have information on the Russell that GAR post 96 was named for, please leave a comment or contact me directly.

1930 Obituary of Abel Jackman Hunnewell of Kingfield, Maine

1930 obituary pasted in a scrapbook of mostly Dexter, Maine, and Skowhegan, Maine, area items.

A Real Grandson of American Revolution
Abel Jackman Hunnewell of Kingfield Passes Away at The Age of 86

Abel Jackman Hunnewell, a real grandson of the Revolution and the last survivor of a family of 15 brothers and sisters, one of the best known men in Franklin County recently died at his home in Kingfield at the age of 86.

Mr. and Mrs. Hunnewell celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in 1923 and the event created widespread interest among Kingfield residents. Mrs. Hunnewell was formerly Miss Lelia Sophia Hill, youngest daughter of Jabez Dorman and Lucretia Whitcomb Hill.  Her ancestors were also of Revolutionary stock.

Mr. Hunnewell was the youngest son of Herman [his stone reads Heman] and Melinda Smith Hunnewell and was born in Solon, Dec. 16, 1843.  He was a real grandson of the Revolution, his grandfather, Thomas Hunnewell (1756-1829), having come from Wiscasset soon after the Revolutionary War and settled in what is now the town of Madison.

Mr. Hunnewell went to California when about 19 years of age, where several of his brothers had gone during the gold mine excitement, and he remained there about a year. He returned home and learned the trade of axe-making and followed that trade until ill health would no longer permit.  For many years he had a factory in Kingfield.

He was a charter member of Gov. King Lodge, I.O.O.F. and the oldest member at the time of his death.

Besides his wife, he leaves one daughter, Miss Lelia Hill Hunnewell.

Funeral services were held in Bingham and the Rev. W. B. Watson, pastor of Grace Universalist Church of Kingfield officiated. The following eight nephews acted as bearers: Olin B. Hunnewell of Augusta; Carl S. Hunnewell of Madison; Elbridge R. Hunnewell of North Anson; Charles S. and John F. Hunnewell of Bingham; Scott Hunnewell of Eustis; Carroll and Will F. Hunnewell of Caratunk, the first three mentioned being sons of the late Dr. David S. Hunnewell of Madison and the last five, sons of the late Sumner C. Hunnewell of The Forks.  

Interment was in the family in the Bingham cemetery.  An unusually large profusion of flowers testified to the esteem in which the deceased was held.

Abel Jackman Hunnewell (1844-1930), wife Lelia Sophia (Hill) Hunnewell (1854-1947) and their daughter Lelia Hill Hunnewell (1874-1945)  are buried in the Bingham Village Cemetery at Bingham, Maine.  Their FindaGrave memorial notes three additional children, who all died before 1900.  If they were indeed the children of Abel and Lelia, it's disappointing they weren't mentioned in the obituary.

If you have information to share on the Hunnewell family, please leave a comment or contact me directly.

Newspaper Clippings About the Curtis Family of Garland, Maine: Judge George Curtis (1831-1912); Sarah A. Curtis (1840-1829); Memoir of Sarah A. Curtis, "Charity"

Clippings found in an early 20th century scrapbook of mostly the Dexter, Maine, and Skowhegan, Maine, areas: regarding the Curtis family of Garland, Maine.

The clippings consist of obituaries of Sarah A. Curtis (1840-1929) and Judge George Curtis (1831-1912) and a memoir in installments, "My History", written by Sarah A. Curtis, under her pen name of "Charity".

They were the children of George Curtis and Louisa Sutton (Angove) Curtis. of Garland, Maine.

According to the clippings, Sarah A. Curtis was born in Garland on December 1, 1840, the daughter of "George Curtis, one of the early settlers of the town".  Sarah was a writer, who, under the name "Charity" or "Charity Snow", penned many articles that appeared in Maine newspapers.

Sarah's older sister, Susan Oak Curtis (1836-1920), was also a writer and a poet; she frequently used the pen name "Hope Harvey".  Sarah noted that writing was a "heritage from our mother".

After Susan died, Sarah moved to Enfield, Massachusetts, to the home of her nephew Rev. John S. Curtis and his wife.  He was the son of Judge George Curtis.

Events detailed in Sarah's "My History": not necessarily in order, as the history appears in installments of recollections:
  • Death of her little brother, presumably Willie Curtis, who died in 1853
  • Sarah entered high school at the age of 12
  • Started school teaching at age 15 at South Dover, Maine, with 36 students - she earned $17.50 for a ten-week term
  • Since it was "not the custom to employ girls for winter teachers", Sarah then went to work at a straw shop in Massachusetts for "Father Chenery", where she hand sewed straw over blocks for bonnets. She eventually returned home to Garland, but went back the following year and would use her straw working skills to make and remake bonnets for herself and others for the rest of her life.
  • Sarah's brother George, a schoolteacher, was called to Presque Isle, Maine, to teach at the academy and, while there, was asked to be assistant editor at the Herald, as the editor, Joseph B. Hall, was tapped to be Secretary of State and needed a temporary replacement.
  • On George's recommendation in 1860, Sarah traveled from Garland, Maine, to Presque Isle, Maine, to be compositor at the Herald.  The trip took the better part of four days: to Bangor; to Mattawamkeag; to Houlton; finally to Presque Isle - in a stage coach, drawn by four horses that were refreshed every fifteen miles.  Sarah noted that later in life the trip from Presque Isle to Garland took only one day.
  • Joseph B. Hall returned to Presque Isle, and Sarah's brother subsequently left for Brewer, Maine, where he purchased a drug store, left that business to teach and held many civic offices in his retirement years, including many years as trial justice.
  • Sarah then became a teacher in Presque Isle.  She remembers the grand leaving of the troops for the Civil War and the sad burials/memorials that would ensue, including the emotional memorial address given by Elder Stickney upon the death of Abraham Lincoln.
  • Other Presque Isle people she mentioned: C. L. S. Johnson and wife; Elder Helmerhausen, a Methodist minister
  • Aroostook County residents referred to other places in Maine and beyond as "Outside"
  • Sarah returned home to Garland and cared for her mother and sister, who had become an invalid.
  • After Susan's death in 1920, Sarah left Garland to live with her nephew, Rev. John S. Curtis and wife in Massachusetts
  • Many reminiscences of old time fabrics; visits from the man with the tin cart and from the variety pedler and of Joe Parker who ran a meat cart; teaching in Dover; the Herald; Presque Isle; later years in Garland

Obituary of Judge George Curtis (1831-1912).
  • Born at Garland, Maine, on October 25, 1831, son of George Curtis and Louisa Sutton (Angove) Curtis
  • Attended school in Garland and at North Yarmouth Academy 
  • Married Eliza Weld Crowell of Orono on April 28, 1860.  She died in April 1890.
  • Went to Presque Isle to teach and be principal at the academy; was assistant editor at the Presque Isle Herald and also worked at the Aroostook Pioneer.
  • Moved to Brewer, Maine; purchased a drug store from Frank G. Connor
  • Left the drug business to return to teaching
  • After retiring from teaching, he worked in civic affairs and became Brewer's trial justice; at various times was supervisor of schools; city clerk
  • A Republican, his first vote was cast against slavery
  • Master of a Masonic lodge; Patron of Husbandry; member of the Order of United Friends
  • Methodist; member of the Brewer Methodist Episcopal Church
  • Died in 1912 at Eastern Maine General Hospital in Bangor, Maine 
  • Survived by 
  • Survived by four children: Laban W. Curtis of Brewer, Maine; Rev. John S. Curtis of Ludlow, Massachusetts; Charles W. Curtis of Augusta, Maine; and Miss Lilla E. Curtis of Brewer; two sisters, Miss Susan O. Curtis and Miss Sarah A. Curtis of Garland, Maine
  • Funeral held on Tuesday, June 11, 1912, with Rev. H. A. Sherman, assisted by Rev. W. L. Pratt of the Baptist Church. Allan G. Ray and Mrs. Frank C. Brastow sang.  City council attended as a group; flag flew at half mast at city hall.

Sarah, Susan, their parents and younger brother Willie are all buried in the Maplewood Cemetery at Garland, Maine.  Judge George Curtis, his wife Eliza and at least two of their children are buried in the Oak Hill Cemetery at Brewer, Maine.

If you have information on any of the people mentioned above, please leave a comment or contact me directly.

c1930 Newspaper Clippings about Record Number of Living Grandparents: Hartland, Maine, and New Vineyard, Maine

Found in a circa 1930 scrapbook of mostly Dexter, Maine, and Skowhegan, Maine, area items.

Two clippings about children with what was thought to be a record number of living grandparents:

  • a Hartland, Maine, girl with 12 living grandparents - her four grandparents, six great grandparents and two great grandmothers.  Surnames: Holt, Buker, Page, Pooler, Gorden, McKenney
  • New Vineyard, Maine, siblings with 9 living grandparents within a radius of 15 miles - their four grandparents and five great grandparents.  Surnames: Barker, Duley, Baker, Kennedy

With today's longer life expectancy and more stepgrandparents, these figures have no doubt been broken.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

c1930 Newspaper Clipping: Correspondence/Papers Re: William Bingham, Maine Land Proprietor, Found in Attic of Black Mansion at Ellsworth, Maine

Circa 1930 newspaper clipping about the discovery by Professor William Otis Sawtelle of important manuscript items in the Black Mansion at Ellsworth, Maine, now known as Woodlawn Museum, Gardens and Park.

Read a transcription at the end of this post - with apologies to the newspaper which originally published it. I don't think it was published in the Ellsworth American, as there's explanatory information that might not otherwise have been included.  In addition, the clipping was found in the scrapbook of someone who appeared to live in either Dexter, Maine, or Skowhegan, Maine, or the area surrounding.  The Ellsworth American editor kindly gave permission, just in case, and said she doubted any other editor would not do the same.

The papers relate to William Bingham (1752-1804), through his relationship with General David Cobb (1748-1830) and his son-in-law John Black (1781-1856), who were both agents for Bingham.

Bingham, for whom the Bingham Purchase is named, obtained vast swarths of Maine in the 1786 lottery put on by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and from sales by others, including General Henry Knox, whose wife inherited land from her grandfather Samuel Waldo. Read more on the Bingham Purchases here, on the website of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, including fascinating first hand accounts of surveyors in remote regions.

Matthew Edney wrote an interesting blog post about early mapping in Maine and New England, featuring maps showing the holdings of major landowners, including Bingham, Knox and William Duer [more below] and others, and a map of the townships between the Penobscot and Schoodic Rivers [the latter name would be a major controversy in the settling of the northeastern border] being offered in a 1786 lottery by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The newspaper clipping notes that the Black Mansion had recently been bequeathed to Hancock County Trustees of Public Reservations by George Nixon Black, Jr. (1842-1928), "Nixon", a descendant of General David Cobb, through his daughter Mary (1776-1851) and her husband, John Black.  The article notes that Cobb built the mansion in the late 1820s, but other sources credit the construction to John Black, which is more likely, since General Cobb, in ill health, had moved to Taunton, Massachusetts, in the early 1820s.

Subsequent to the purchase, Prof. Sawtelle, himself a member of the Hancock County Trustees of Public Reservations, had been asked by the board to search for "historical treasures" in the Black Mansion. He found a treasure trove with papers of and referencing many notables from the colonial and post-Revolutionary era, in addition to Bingham, Cobb and Black. Mentioned in the article:
  • Thomas Willing (1731-1821) of Philadelphia, an associate of Robert Morris (1734-1806)
  • General Henry Knox (1750-1806) - and a mention of a summer visit in 1796 by William Bringham and others to Knox's recently built mansion at Thomaston, Maine - "Montpelier", now the Knox Museum
  • General Henry Jackson (1747-1809), who was involved in the sales of tracts in Eastern Maine
  • William Duer (1743-1799), Continental Congressman and land speculator, whose financial downfall may have precipitated the Panic of 1792.
  • Alexander Baring (1774-1848) and brother Henry Baring (1777-1848), bankers and members of the board of trustees of the Bingham Purchase.  Alexander Baring later became Lord Ashburton, who worked with Daniel Webster to define the northeastern border.  Two adjacent towns in Maine area named for him: Alexander and Baring.  Interestingly, Mary (Cobb) Black and John Nixon Black named one of their sons Alexander Baring Black.
  • Effingham Buckley Morris (1856-1937) of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; member of the board of the Bingham Purchase at the time the article was written
  • Charles E. Ingersoll of Philadelphia, Pennsyslvania; member of the board of the Bingham Purchase at the time the article was written
  • Hannibal Emery Hamlin (1858-1938) of Ellsworth, eastern agent at the time the article was published; son of former Vice President Hannibal Hamlin
  • Madame Rosalie de la Val - she worked with General Henry Knox and William Duer to purchase land in eastern Maine for the resettlement of exiled French nobles; the article mentions the colony at Lamoine, Maine.



Prof. William Otis Sawtelle Discovers in Attic of Famous Black Mansion in Ellsworth Correspondence Between Gen. Cobb and William Bingham, Relating to Early Settlements

Search of the attic of the century-old Black mansion in Ellsworth on Thursday disclosed a great wealth of documentary material relating to the history of early settlements in Hancock county and to the beginnings of the lumber industry in eastern Maine, the papers consisting largely of correspondence of William Bingham, famous landed proprietor, and other notables of his day, including officers who served in the Revolution under General Washington.

The Black house, built over 100 years ago by General David Cobb, who was eastern agent of the great Bingham estate, was occupied for many years by the General's son-in-law John Black, who succeeded him in the management of a vast domain of forest lands, estimated then at 2,500,000 acres. The house finally passed into the hands of George Nixon Black of Boston, last of his line, who died about a year ago and bequeathed the old mansion to the Hancock County Trustees of Public Reservations.

On August 20 of this year the trustees voted to accept the bequest and at once opened the house as a museum, since which time it has been visited by hundreds of people from all over the United States who greatly admired its quaint and beautiful furnishings.

Recently the executive committee of the trustees authorized one of their number Professor William Otis Sawtelle, late of Haverford College and now curator of Islesford Collections, Inc., to explore the Black house for whatever historical treasures it might contain, and on Thursday Professor Sawtelle made the interesting and important discoveries referred to in the beginning of this article.

The mass of manuscript found, all in an excellent state of preservation, includes the long-sought replies of Gen. Cobb to letters from William Bingham. Up to now only Bingham's side of the correspondence has been known. Reference is made in Bingham's letters to Gen Cobb and in Gen Cobb's replies to many famous men of the period of the Revolution and the years immediately succeeding including Thomas Willing of Philadelphia, partner of Robert Morris of that city, the banker who helped notably to finance the Revolution; Gen. Knox who was Washington's chief of artillery; Gen. Henry Jackson and other officers of the Revolution who after the war turned their attention to land speculation in Eastern Maine.  It may be mentioned in passing that the failure of William Duer, one of these speculators, precipitated the first financial panic in New York resulting from speculation.

There are, in the Bingham letters to Gen. Cobb, many references to and comments upon the Napoleonic wars and on the political situation in America at the beginning of the 19th century. Many of the Bingham letters were written from London, where he conducted his affairs after his removal from this country to Bath, England following the death of his wife. These are Bingham's last letters, his death soon following.  Many of his descendants are members of the French nobility today and still receive dividends from the Bingham estate.

Incidentally, it may be remarked that William Bingham and a party of friends were the first "summer visitors" to Maine, they having made a visit of six weeks in July and August 1796, to Gen. Knox at Thomaston, where that famous soldier had, in 1795, erected a mansion that was a marvel in its day.

By the will of William Bingham the original proprietor of the great tract of land known as the Bingham Purchase, the property was devised to a self-perpetuating board of trustees.  Among the members of the first board were: Alexander and Henry Baring, founders of the great banking house of Baring Brothers, London. Among the present trustees are Effingham B. Morris and Charles E. Ingersoll of Philadelphia. Hannibal E. Hamlin of Ellsworth is eastern agent. Alexander Baring, of the original board, afterward became Lord Ashburton, who, with Daniel Webster drew up the northeastern boundary treaty between the United States and England.

Among the old letters, besides business communications, petitions from settlers on the Bingham lands, etc., are some referring to Madame Rosalie de la Val's colony for exiled French nobility at Lamoine, on the eastern Maine coast.

Professor Sawtelle is to be congratulated on his discoveries in the ancient Black attic, which will greatly enrich the literature of a noble period and afford to students of this day a deeper and clearer insight into the minds of men who made history hereabout when Maine then a province of Massachusetts, was in the formative stage, progressing toward statehood."

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Photograph of Iconic Scene, possibly New England, the Maritimes, perhaps even Maine

Photograph of canoeists in what looks like a scene from Maine, or at least New England or the Maritimes.  The only harsh note is the power poles along the road hugging the coast.

If you have an idea where this photograph might have been taken, please leave a comment or contact me directly.

Thanks for stopping by!

Vintage Photograph of Driver, Horses and Wagon at the "Rapids at Mount Katadin" - Katahdin

Vintage photograph of a man and his team of two horses on the banks of a fast-rushing stream or branch of a river, identified on the reverse as at the "Rapids at Mt. Katadin".  The driver, sadly, is not identified.

The Katahdin area has many fast-rushing streams; hopefully a reader will recognize the rock formations and weigh in with the exact location.

The photograph alone measures approximately 4-3/4" by 3-3/4". 

Just the photograph itself:

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

5 Maine Farmer's Almanacs, 1869-1874, that belonged to John H. French

5 issues of the Maine Almanac, for the years 1869, 1870, 1871, 1873 and 1874 that belonged to John H. French.

Assuming John was in Maine, there were several instances of a John H. French in Maine during that era:
  • John H. French from the Brunswick, Maine area
  • John H. French from the Eastport, Maine, area
  • John H. French from the Brownville, Maine, area
  • John H. French from the Thomaston, Maine, area
  • And probably several more, as well as those who lived near Maine
If John's handwriting looks familiar to you, from family documents and research, please leave a comment or contact me directly.

Thanks for stopping by!

19th Century Photograph Album of Cabinet Cards, CDVs and Tintypes - Some, if not Most, from Maine

Large photograph album with cabinet cards, CDVs and tintypes, with an apparent Maine connection.

The photographs in the album were found loose from their slots. It's possible that some are random photographs stuffed in the album by a previous owner, but hopefully they are as they were when in the original owner's possession.

Studios mentioned:
  • Davis studio of Presque Isle, Maine, and Caribou, Maine
  • F. C. Nealey, presumably the work of Ferdinand Cortez Nealey (1863-1951), who photographed from Belfast, Maine; Brooks, Maine; Winterport, Maine; and, eventually, Houlton, Maine, where he moved after his marriage.  He traveled through the State and possibly into New Brunswick, Canada for his work.
  • Johnson studio of Greenville, Maine, and Brownville, Maine
  • William P. Dean studio of Lincoln, Maine
  • A. C. Lewis studio of Portland, Maine
  • F. Jay Haynes Studio of Fargo, Dakota Territory (North Dakota since 1889)
  • Day studio of Norristown, Pennsylvania
  • Rocher studio of Chicago, Illinois
  • Yennek studio of New York City

It's possible that the photographs are related and cover a family with ties to Aroostook County and Piscataquis County, Maine.  Some family members may have moved south to Portland, Maine, and west, to Pennsylvania, Chicago and Dakota Territory.

Identified people:

Elizabeth J. Kelly, No. 352; on a sheet removed from a book

Mrs. David P. Kelly, No. 148; on a sheet removed from a book

Isabel M. Osgood, CDV

Mattie; inscribed to her grandmother; the Davis studio of Presque Isle and Caribou, Maine

Some of the photographs have a family resemblance.  If you recognize anyone from your family photos or research, please leave a comment or contact me directly.

All of the photographs not shown above: those that appear to be the same person are appear together

 The young lady above may have moved with her family from Piscataquis County, Maine, to Pennsylvania.

  Thanks for stopping by!