Alphonso Moulton.

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Centennial History

of

Harrison, Maine



Containing

The Centennial Celebration of iqo5, and
Historical and Biographical Matter



Compiled and Edited by

Alphonso Moulton, Howard L. Sampson
and Granville Fernald



7B <n>

T~ Hi



"All human beings, not utter savage, long
for some information about past times."
Lord Macaulay









"It is wise for us to recur to the history of
our ancestors. Those who are regardless -f

of their ancestors ***** do not per- - j_J

form their duty to the world." y^

Daniel Webster X.-.



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Published by the Authority of the Tow7i i •'-^

Printed by the Southworth Printing Company

Portland, Maine

1909



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PREFACE



It is under circumstances of peculiar misfortune that
a large number of the latter pages of this book were written
and edited for the printer. On June 28, 1908, Alphonso
Moulton, Esq., the principal author and editor, passed to
the higher life after a serious illness from an insidious
and fatal disease.

The writer hereof having been to some extent a co-
laborer with Messrs. Moulton and Sampson, compilers and
editors, for more than three years past, in the composition
and arrangement of important matter for this work, is
conscious of the honor and responsibility which is upon
him, in assuming the duties to which he has been assigned
by the authority of the Centennial Executive Commitee,
within whose control, conjointly with the municipal officers
of the town, the publication of the Centennial History still
remains.



The general scheme of the Editorial Committee, as
communicated to the writer in the beginning of the work
of preparation of historical matter, was that first : a series
of sketches of the pioneer families of the town, genealogical,
and to a degree, biographical, wherever it seemed proper,
should constitute a large part of the work ; under the be-
lief that the true history of the town would be best il-
lustrated by authentic histories of the lives, characters and
public services rendered, and the part performed by each
citizen in laying the foundation of prosperity and in pro-
moting the success of all patriotic institutions, which have,
to the present time, reflected honor and luster upon their
generation. This special commemoration of the pioneers



A HISTORY OF THE



was not to preclude any necessary or deserved recognition
of the advent and residence here for a term of years of
families or individuals, who by education, character or other
qualification have served the inhabitants of the town in a
high professional manner in law, medicine, the ministry of
religion, or in statesmanship; for some of the most de-
voted and useful citizens of the past and present era, were
not of the older "first families." Thus, they will observe
that in some instances those whom our people have "most
delighted to honor," have been born and educated elsewhere.
Another equally important feature of the work was to
be : an accurate review of the religious and civil institutions,
the general progress of education, and the processes of
moral culture and social refinement since the organization
of the town. The plan also contemplated reliable histories
of the development of the various industries : the improve-
ments in methods of agriculture; the useful innovations
m the mechanical arts ; the origin and successes of manu-
facturing enterprises ; the accession of wealth and business
importance achieved through the mercantile connections
of our citizens with other merchants in the large cities
and by profitable dealing with the people of their section ;
the establishment of town, church and school buildings,'
and notable private dwellings; the record of the patrio-
tism of our people in furnishing troops for the Civil War;
the surprising advent in late years of the means of travel,'
conveyance of merchandise and personal communication
owing to modern scientific discoveries and inventions. The
elaboration of these different designs has enabled the writers
to present to the citizens of the town and State, a most
gratifying word-picture of all the scenes and subjects of
interest to them or to the strangers who come within our
gates.



TOWN OF HARRISON.



Attention may be asked to the fine illustration by por-
traits of the good men and women whose lives are com-
memorated in this volume, whom some of us knew in their
lives and whom we all hold in loving remembrance and
veneration.

It is sincerely hoped that the citizens of Harrison, hav-
ing let patience have her "perfect work," will appreciate
how cautiously the compilers resolved to proceed in every
step of their labors, so that every statement in this volume
should bear the stamp of complete authenticity ; for, though
it was their desire to make a book that, to use a common
phrase, might be "as interesting as a novel" yet it should
not be suspected of containing anything even bordering on
the domain of fiction ; for that is not history.

The apparent slowness of the progress of compilation
of the book has been unavoidable. The natural eagerness
and expectancy of our people to see the work in print has
been constantly apprehended, and often expressed to the
authors and editors. Their inexperience in book-writing,
and the immense demands upon their powers of calculation
of resources, the failure of many friends to furnish nec-
essary data for formulation of readable articles, and the
fact that the main brunt of the undertaking came upon
one man, whose physical system was being gradually under-
mined by the approach of a malady so secret and fatal in
its nature that the result even now appalls us as we re-
member how suddenly he was called away, is sufficient
explanation of the seeming delay, and of the subsidence of
force in an intellect that while toiling incessantly for many
months in a quest of facts for portraying the careers of
individuals, and of the lives of fellow mortals like himself,
the devotedness to the object to which he was committed,
vividly calls to mind the sacrifice illustrated by the title
of a famous story, "A Life for a Life."



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS



To those friends who have so willingly and readily
furnished information concerning their family histories and
other indispensable data for the compilers' use, we express
our sincere thanks. Without their assistance, we could
never have brought the work to so complete a conclusion.

One most valuable assistant, as a guide to the intelligent
search for, and use of the necessary data pertaining to the
original pioneers, is the "History of the Settlement and
Early Settlers of Harrison, Maine, by Rev. Gideon T. Rid-
lon," a former resident of the town. It was published in
1877, while a goodly number of the older people were still
living, who were among the "first born among many breth-
ren" in the old town. We desire to recognize the invaluable
merit of that unpretentious work, compiled under circum-
stances of so much difficulty at that time, and yet with in-
numerable advantages not possessed by us at the present
period. In behalf of the citizens of Harrison and adjacent
towns, we therefore present our sincere acknowledgments
for the timely assistance we have derived from the use of
the above mentioned history.



INDEX TO CUTS



Long Lake and Shores, Frontispiece

OPP. PAGE

Congregational Church, 135

Baptist Church, I45

Free Baptist Church, 146

Odd Fellows Hall. 232

Harrison Public Library, 328

Hon. Harrison Blake, 347

Dr. Silas Blake, 349

Judge George H. Buck, 381

Albion Hall Burnham, 388

Hon. Sumner Burnham, 397

William Cotton Carsley, 402

Mrs. Esther (Fogg) Carsley, 403

Newell Nutting Caswell, 410

Hon. John Woodsum Caswell, 413

Hon. Caleb A. Chaplin, 430

Obadiah Gould Cook, 442

Hon. Charles Sumner Cook, 443

Hon. John Dawes, 448

Mrs. Bethia Carsley Dawes, 449

Charles Farley, 455

Granville Fernald, 465

Enoch Haskell, Sr., 487

Hon. Melville E. Ingalls, 514

William Themes Kilborn, 529

Rev. George Edgar Kneeland 535

Almon Kneeland, 536

Mrs. Dorcas (Sands) Kneeland, 537



OPP. PACE

Capt. Elliot Libby, 545

Alphonso Moulton, Esq., 555

Oliver Peirce, Esq., 564

Hon. George Peirce, 567

Mrs. Hester Peirce Greely, 576

Samuel Pitts, 585

Mrs. Calista (Stuart) Pitts, 586

Residence of J. Howard Randall, 587

Timothy H. Ricker, 588

Sherburne H. Ricker, 589

Thomas Robie Sampson, 598

Rev. Cassander Cary Sampson, 601

Mrs. Dorothy Scribner, 607

Stephen F. Tebbetls, 638

Col. Amos Thomes, 652

Mrs. Abigail (Higgins) Thomes, 653

Hon. Philander Tolman, 665

Mrs. Laura (Kelton) Tolman, 667

Hon. James H. Tolman, 670

Mrs. J. H. Tolman, 671

Franklin Walker, 679

Charles Walker, Esq., 680

Mrs. Sally (Barbour) Walker, 681

Dr. S. Loton Weston, 691

Mrs.H.Elizabeth( Mead) Weston, 696

Francis H. Whitman, 699

Edward Kendall Whitney, 706



CONTENTS



PART I.

The Centennial Celebration.

PAGE

Preparing for the Centennial Celebration, 3

Address of Welcome, by Albert W. Weston, Esq., 17

Address of Hon. Charles Sumner Cook, 21

Historical Address by Granville Fernald, Esq., 25
Address of Hon. j.u ,- ii. Tolman, Esq., of Westbrook, 80

Centennial rccn, 92

Centennial Odo, 97



PART n.

Historical.
Chapter I.

Early History of Maine, 10 1

Chapter H.

Scraps of Early Town History, 115

Sad Events in Harrison, 125

Chapter HI.

Proposed New Towns, 127

Chapter IV.

Churches in Harrison, 135



X CONTENTS

Chapter V.

Educational Matters, 154

Chapter VI.

Transportation in Early Days, 182

Chapter VII.

Business Enterprises, 197

Fires in Harrison, 218

Chapter VIII.

Secret Societies, 227

Temperance Societies, 257

A Famous Old-Time Fourth of July Celebration, 260

Chapter IX.

Agricultural Organizations, 266

Chapter X.

Miscellaneous Records, 286

Harrison in the War of the Rebellion, 316

Harrison Public Library, 326

Harrison Village Cemetery Association, 331



CONTENTS



PART III.
Genealogical.









PAGE


Apologetic,






335


F.AMILY




FAMILY




Abbott,


337


Foster,


472


Barrows,


340


Gray,


475


Bisbee,


344


Hall,


478


Blake,


345


Harmon,


480


Bolster,


358


Haskell.


487


Brackett,


360


Hill,


493


Bray,


371


Hobbs,


496


Briggs,


375


Howard,


500


Buck,


377 .


Huntress,


502


Burnham,


387


Illsley,


504


Carsley,


398


Ingalls,


508


Caswell,


406


Johnson,


524


Chadbourne,


417


Jordan.


525


Chaplin,


424


Kilborn,


526


Chute,


440


Kneeland,


532


Cook,


442


Lakin,


538


Cummings,


445


Lamb,


540


Dawes,


448


Lewis,


542


Dorman,


452


Libby,


544


Eastman,


454


Lowell,


551


Farley,


455


Morse,


552


Fernald,


462


Moulton,


554


Fogg,


469


Newcomb,


559



Xll


CONTENTS




FAMILY




FAMILY




Peirce,


563


Themes,


648


Perley,


581


Thompson,


663


Pitts,


585


Tolman,


663


Randall,


587


Trafton,


672


Ricker,


588


Twombly,


674


Ross,


591


Walker,


676


Russell,


593


Washburn,


686


Sampson,


594


Watson,


688


Scribner,


602


Weston,


690


Smith,


609


Whitman,


698


Springer,


612


Whitney,


701


Stanley,


612


Willard,


713


Strout,


615


Witham,


714


Stuart,


621


Woodsum,


717


Tebbetts,


638






Memoranda,






724



PART I,



The Centennial Celebration



HARRISON, MAINE,



Thursdaj', Aug. 3, 1905.



PREPARING FOR THE CENTENNIAL
CELEBRATION.



Or^HE date of the first settlement of Harrison seems to
-'- be undecided, since Rev. G. T. Ridlon, who made diU-
gent search in regard to the matter, says in his "Early
Settlers of Harrison" that John and Nathan Carsley came
into town with their wives in March, 1793, afterward re-
turning to Gorham and remaining there until after the birth
of Nathan's second child in 1796; and, further on, that
some of the old people claim that John Carsley and his wife
never returned to Gorham after first coming to Harrison
in 1793. He says that this is probably true. If the latter
statement is correct, the first permanent settlement was in
1793 ; but, if the former supposition is right, it was not
till 1796 or 1797. This uncertainty in regard to the exact
date, and the impossibility of deciding the matter, are the
probable reasons why no attempt was made to celebrate
the centennial of the first permanent settlement of the town.
The incorporation of the town on March 8th, 1805, was
a certain date, which was a matter of record, and early in
the year of 1904 the matter of celebrating its centennial
began to be heard of. So far as the writer is aware, Rev.
C. C. Sampson, of Tilton, N. H., a native of Harrison, was
the first man to broach the subject, the time being early in
the summer of that year. The matter did not assume tan-
gible form until the following December, when S. C. Smith,



4 A HISTORY OF THE

Esq., drew up a petition to the Selectmen of the town,
requesting them to call a citizen's meeting at such a date
as they might deem advisable, for the purpose of consider-
ing the matter of suitably celebrating the centennial of the
incorporation of the town. This petition was numerously
signed, though there did not seem to be any special en-
thusiasm in regard to the matter.

In response to the petition the desired meeting was duly
called, and was held at the Town Hall on the afternoon
of Saturday, December loth, 1904. The attendance was
very small, not over fifteen persons being present. Quincy
M. Chute, (Chairman of Selectmen), was chosen as Chair-
man of the meeting, and Howard L. Sampson, (Town
Clerk), Secretary. There was a general discussion of the
proposed celebration, and all present favored it. No action
was taken, except to urge all present to do their utmost
towards interesting the people of the town in the movement,
and the meeting adjourned, to meet in one week at the Odd
Fellows' Banquet Hall.

The adjourned meeting was largely attended and very
enthusiastic. After quite a discussion, which called forth
several stirring speeches, it was voted to choose a com-
mittee to consider the advisability of holding a centennial
celebration, and also the matter of suitable exercises for
such a celebration, if it was deemed best to hold it. Alvin
P. Ricker, Alphonso Moulton, and William H. Bailey were
appointed as a committee to select the Centennial Com-
mittee, and, after due consideration, reported a list of names
to the meeting which was unanimously adopted, but other
names were added by nomination from the floor. William
H. Briggs was elected as Chairman of the Centennial Com-



TOWN OF HARRISON.



mittee, and Alphonso Moulton as Secretary ; and at a
subsequent meeting, Frank P. Bennett was elected as Treas-
urer.

The Citizens' Meeting adjourned, to meet at the same
place on Saturday, January 14th, for the purpose of hear-
ing the report of the Committee, and acting upon the same.
The meeting was held according to the adjournment, and
the Committee made its report, the main points of it being
that they recommended "a proper observance of the coming
Centennial of the Incorporation of the Town, and that the
exercises be held at such place in the vicinity of Harrison
Village as may hereafter be determined upon, at some time
during the coming August ;" and that at the proposed cele-
bration there be: "(i) An Historical Address, to be pre-
pared by some suitable person, such person to have been
at some time a resident of the town; (2) a dinner, to be
made as extensive as our means will allow; (3) After
Dinner Speeches from former and present residents of
Harrison, and Distinguished Visitors from abroad; (4) a
Band of Music, to be present through the whole of the ex-
ercises ; (5) a Quartette of Singers; (6) that other fea-
tures, including a Trades Procession, a Water Carnival,
a Display of Fireworks, etc., be taken into consideration
by the Committee that may have charge of the matter in
the future, and such of them added to the program as
may be thought advisable, and that the amount of funds
at the disposal of the Committee may seem to warrant."
The Committee further recommended that as much money
as possible be raised by subscription before asking the town
to appropriate anything.



A HISTORY OF THE



The report of the Committee was unanimously adopted,
and, on motion of S. C. Smith, Esq., it was voted that the
Committee then acting in the matter, with the addition of
such persons as the meeting might see fit to add to the
number, be a Permanent Committee to have full charge
of all matters relating to the proposed Celebration. Several
additions were made to the Committee by nominations
from the floor, and the Centennial Executive Committee,
as finally constituted, was as follows :



Centennial Executive Committee.



William H. Briggs,
George H. Cummings,
Alphonso Moulton,
Howard L. Sampson,
Dr. James P. Blake,
Adelbert C. Buck,
Mrs. Lida T. Randall,
A. Mellen Thomes,
Quincy M. Chute,
Victor L. Jordan,
Mrs. Cora Dennison,
Nathaniel H. Seavey,
Mrs. Alice M. Wilbur,
Charles F. Ricker, -
George P. Carsley,
Ernest L. Gay,



Mrs. William H. Briggs,
Almore Haskell,
George E. Tarbox,
C. Sumner Whitney,
James Thomes,
Mrs. Anna Dudley,
Mrs. Lizzie Doughty,
David Kneeland,
Joseph Pitts,
Mark H. Sawyer,
Clarence B. Caswell,
Mrs. Lena Stone,
Mrs. Hattie A. Hall,
Mrs. Louisa H. Foster,
Mrs. Rebecca Shedd,
Mrs. Nellie F. Keene,



TOWN OF HARRISON.



Honorary, Non-Resident Members.

Hon. Melville E. Ingalls, Hon. Charles Sumner Cook,

Hon. George H. Buck, Albert S. Caswell, Esq.,

Daniel H. Caswell, Esq., Willis E. Carsley, Esq.,

Rev. Cassander C. Sampson, Granville Fernald, Esq.,

William H. Briggs, Chairman.
Alphonso Moulton, Secretary
Frank P. Bennett. Treasurer.

The Committee at once went to work with a will, the first
work in hand being the provision of the funds necessary
to meet the expenses of the celebration. A subscription
paper was drawn up at the first regular meeting of the
Committee, and the members present at once started the
ball rolling by pledging about $150. George H. Cummings,
Esq., was selected to solicit subscriptions, and did very
effective work, being assisted later on by the Chairman and
Treasurer of the Committee.

It had been decided to ask the town for aid, and an ar-
ticle asking for an appropriation for the purpose was in-
serted in the warrant for the annual meeting. At the meet-
ing of the Committee held on March 4th, the Chairman
reported that $455 had already been subscribed, and, after
a very full discussion, it was decided to ask the town
to appropriate $300. At first there seemed to be con-
siderable opposition to this measure in certain quarters,
but the matter was handled so skillfully, both before the
meeting and during the discussion when the article was
brought up, that the sum asked for was voted unanimously.



A HISTORY OF THE



thus placing $755 at the disposal of the Committee, which
sum was subsequently increased to about $850, which
proved to be more than enough to carry out in full the pro-
gram which was afterwards determined upon.

Being assured of sufificient means the Committee began
to lay out the work in such a manner as to give assurance
that the coming Celebration would be one which would
reflect credit upon the town, and of which every inhabitant,
or former resident, would be proud, provided that the citi-
zens co-operated heartily in the work ; and, right here, we
feel that it is our duty to say that they did this to an extent
never before equalled in Harrison. All differences were
hushed, the plans of the Centennial Committee were ac-
cepted without question, and unity of purpose and most
earnest work characterized every movement from that time
on. The full Committee retained the general control over
all of the work, but the details of the different divisions
were put in the hands of the following sub-committees :

Invitations : — Howard L. Sampson, Alphonso Moulton,
Almore Haskell.

Reception : — George E. Tarbox, C. Sumner Whitney,
George H. Cummings, Mrs. Lizzie Doughty, Mrs.
Lida T. Randall.

Entertainment and Exercises : — Dr. James P. Blake,
Clarence B. Caswell, N. H. Seavey, Mrs. Anna Dud-
ley, ilrs. Lyman Shedd.

Dinner : — Mrs. Nellie F. Keene, Mrs. Wm. H. Briggs,
Mrs. Louisa H. Foster. (This Committee was em-
powered to appoint additional members, and to em-
ploy such assistance as they found necessary.)

Decorations : — Joseph Pitts, \'ictor L. Jordan, Quincy
M. Chute, Charles F. Ricker, David Kneeland, Mrs.
Cora Dennison, Mrs. Lena Stone.



TOWX OF HARRISON. 9

All of the committees entered zealously into the work
assigned to them, and, though some of the tasks were al-
most herculean in their proportions, not a single committee
failed to carry through its work in a manner that was emi-
nently satisfactory. Neat and tasty printed invitations were
procured, and about eight hundred of them were sent
through the mails, the design being to place one at least in
the hands of each family that had at any time resided in
the town, and in very many instances these invitations have
been carefully put away to be treasured as mementoes of the
"Wonderful Centennial Celebration in 1905."

It was determined to put the Village in holiday attire,
and $100 was placed at the disposal of the Committee to
use in decorating such buildings as could not well be at-
tended to by individuals or families. The work was placed
in the hands of the N. E. Flag and Decorating Company,
of Boston, and right well was the work done under the
direction of their agent, Mr. C. M. Gates. The residents
entered heartily into the work, and when all was in readi-
ness for the celebration, Harrison Village was certainly
a "thing of beauty" as it appeared with- its "good clothes"
on. About forty residences, places of business, churches,
and halls, were decorated to quite an extent, and many of
them in a very elaborate manner. Indeed there were but
very few buildings in the vicinity of the Village that did
not in some way show that the owner recognized the im-
portance of the great event that was so close at hand. In
addition to all this, numerous flags and banners were hung
over the streets, and the Grand Stand where the literary
exercises were held, was elaborately decorated and draped,
the whole vicinity being brilliant with the national colors.



lO A HISTORY OF THE

Most certainly the decorators did their work faithfully,
and gave good value for the money that was paid to them.

The Committee on Entertainment and Exercises de-
termined at the start to prepare a program that would fur-
nish ample entertainment for every member of the big
crowd that was expected, — one that would be varied enough
to suit all tastes, and long enough to satisfy the most ex-
acting. Right well did they succeed in every department,
from the salute at sunrise to the big display of fireworks
that did not end till late in the evening. Dr. James P. Blake,
the chairman and resident member, "put his whole soul
into the work," and labored unceasingly, the other members
assisting as best they could.

One feature, which everybody expected, was an Historical
Address, and Granville Fernald, Esq., of Washington, D. C,
a former resident of the town, and a man well equipped for
the work, was selected to prepare it, and at once signified
his willingness to accept the position. He is an experienced
and ready writer, with a great fund of information at hand,
and he received much aid from other parties, especially
from our popular Town Clerk, Howard L. Sampson, Esq.,
who stood ready to furnish reliable information in regard
to almost any subject connected with the past history of
the town. But Mr. Fernald was so hampered by lack of
time that he was obliged to omit many facts in regard to
the town and its inhabitants, that he had in his possession,
an omission which the editors of this book have endeavored
to make up for as far as possible by the matter inserted
in the portion devoted to Town History.

The Committee had hoped to have Harrison's honored
son, Hon. M. E. Ingalls of Cincinnati, Ohio, preside at the



TOWN OF HARRISON. II

Celebration, but his many duties would not permit him to
be present on that day. It was fortunate in securing another
worthy son, Hon. Chas. Sumner Cook of Portland, to take



Online LibraryAlphonso MoultonCentennial history of Harrison, Maine → online text (page 1 of 54)