Friday, February 21, 2020

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.

No comments:

Post a Comment