G. T. (Gideon Tibbetts) Ridlon.

History of the ancient Ryedales, and their descendants in Normandy, Great Britain, Ireland, and America, from 860 to 1884 online

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Online LibraryG. T. (Gideon Tibbetts) RidlonHistory of the ancient Ryedales, and their descendants in Normandy, Great Britain, Ireland, and America, from 860 to 1884 → online text (page 82 of 103)
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Smith, of Buxton. She was a twin-sister of Lucy.

Llicy Redlon 4 (1), seventh daughter of Ebenezer 3 (2), was born in
Buxton, Me., Aug. 3, 1796, and was married April 19, 1818, to Samuel
, of Buxton.

Rev. Ebenezer Redlon 4 (3), third son of Ebenezer 3 (2), was born in
Buxton, Me., Oct. 15, 1799; married Olive Maxwell, a lady of Scottish
extraction, and resided several years in Gardiner, Kennebec County.
He removed to the West in 1837, and was a settled preacher many years.
Deceased at Pierceville, Ind., in 1873. When a young man he embraced
religion and became a gifted exhorter, but was swallowed up by the de-
moralizing doctrines of the notorious Jacob Cochran, and was an enthusi-
astic promulgator of the same pernicious principles ; but in a little time
Cochran was exposed, and his followers scattered abroad. Ebenezer Red-
lon saw the folly of the whole system and subsequently became an able
defender of the doctrines of the Free Will Baptist Church. He was
quite tall, broad-shouldered, and compactly built ; had the type of features
so common to the early Redlons. He had issue seven children, of whom
hereafter.

Selecta Redlon 4 (1), youngest daughter of Ebenezer 3 (2), was born
in Buxton, Me., Dec. 10, 1803, and was married to Jabez Pennell, who
had married her sister before named. She was living at Bar Mills, on
Saco River, in 1881, the only surviving member of this family.



John Redlon 4 (5), eldest son of Robert 3 (1), was born in Newcastle,
Me., Nov. 7, 1772 ; married Nov. 14, 1791, to Mary Hall (she was born Dec.
17, 1777), and had issue eleven children, of whom hereafter. Mr. Redlon



624 BEDLONS OF NEWCASTLE, MAINE.

learned the blacksmith's trade with his father at the shop on the old home-
stead-farm, and after his marriage settled at Newcastle Village and car-
ried on business there for many years ; the house where he once lived,
and his old shop, were standing in 1873, when the author visited the
place. He was considered an excellent mechanic and was successful when
he attended to his business ; but he loved the cup and was unsteady in
his habits. He was tall, and quite stoop-shouldered, made so from work-
ing over his anvil. He had dark hair and eyes, and was very bald at the
time of his death, which took place at the home of his daughter, Mrs.
William Dodge, in 1854, at the age of 82 years. He was buried on the
farm of his son-in-law, Mr. Dodge, near the bank of Damariscotta River.
His wife died many years previously, but I have no particulars.

MilgllUS Keilloil 4 (5), second son of Robert 3 (1), was born in New-
castle, Me., Nov. 4, 1774; married Nov. 14, 1799, Hannah, youngest
daughter of Matthias and Rachel Redlon, of Hollis, then Phillipsburgh,
and had issue .seven children, of whom hereafter. He had learned the
blacksmith's trade with his father at his home in Newcastle, and in making
a visit to his relatives, on Saco River, became acquainted with charming
Hannah, then a fair-haired and buxom lass, and decided, like the patri-
archs anciently, to "take him a wife of his kindred." Mr. Redlon changed
his name to JRidlon when he settled in the Saco Valley, to correspond
with the form then used by the family in Hollis. He lived and carried on
business in several places in Hollis and Buxton ; at one time he had a
shop near "Smith's Bridge," on Hollis side of the river ; he also lived at
" Shaddagee," in Buxton, and had a shop at the road-corner opposite the
present house of Isaac Eaton. His first wife died in 1820, and he
married, secondly, Mary, daughter of Benjamin Smith, Nov. 14, 1821. Mr.
Ridlon was a competent mechanic in his day, and many are the stories
told me by my grandfather illustrative of the man and his thoroughness
in doing his work. At one time the mill-crank of Ridlon's mill was
broken, and carried to the shop of " Uncle Mag " (as he was called to
distinguish him from his wife's brother, who was known as "Uncle Mag-
nus ") to be mended. To weld a mill-crank in those days was considered
a great achievement, and called forth the skill and muscle of the blacksmith.
"Uncle Mag" loved his toddy and would not think of undertaking so
heavy a job without some of it ; so while the preliminaries were being
arranged, one of the men was sent to the store with " the little brown
jug." In those days they used only charcoal at the forge, and it required
a Targe quantity to heat so heavy a piece of iron. A wooden "crane' 1
was adjusted, to which, by chains, the crank was attached, so it could be
swung quickly upon the anvil. Several of the Ridlons were present to
assist, armed with heavy sledge-hammers, among them my grandfather,
who had been so much with " Uncle Mag," that he was considered
" second best man." The man at the bellows-pole was frequently com-
manded, "Blow her up, Jeams, blow her up," while "Uncle Mag" con-
tinued to pull open the coals and throw in sand. The fire was waxing
hotter and hotter, and the glowing iron hissed and sparkled fearfully.
The sweat dropped fast from the shaggy brow of " Uncle Mag " as he
raked the fire and passed round the jug. Some thought the crank was
hot enough to weld, but the blacksmith only cried the louder, " Blow her
up, blowzier up." The owners of the crank remonstrated, and claimed
that the crank was already too hot and the iron being wasted, but all the
attention they received was " Blow her up, blow her up." When all was



BEDLONS OF NEWCASTLE, MAINE. 625

ready and every man stationed in his place to strike, the plastic boiling
iron was swung upon the anvil, and the sledge-hammers put on, " Pay on,
pay on," cried " Uncle Mag," as the great drops of sweat rolled down
his red face. The crank was quickly turned from side to side, while three
strong men struck in concert upon the heated mass. " Hold, hold ; that
was a good soaking heat, and I guess she'll stick," said "Uncle Mag," as
he let go the crank and took up the jug. The crank did "stick" and
was soon turning slowly under " Ridlon's mill." He also understood the
art of making cow-bells, then considered a great accomplishment for a
common blacksmith ; this was before borax was used for brazing, and the
bells had to be baked in clay to melt the brass with which they were
coated. Mr. Ridlon died in Buxton in 1858, aged 84 years, and was buried
somewhere in that town (inconsistently), while his first wife was buried
in her father's lot on Hollis side of Saco River and near the old Nat
Haley homestead. Mr. Ridlon was of medium height, with broad, stooping
shoulders ; had dark hair, and gray eyes overshadowed with long, thick
brows. He had red cheeks and fair complexion. When in good humor
was full of fun, and at " huskings" and " raisings " could keep everybody
in a roar of laughter by his sarcastic speeches ; and notwithstanding his
intemperate habits, seems to have been quite a favorite with his relatives.

Nathaniel Redlon 4 (2), third son of Robert 3 (1), was born in New-
castle, Me., April 10, 1776; married Elizabeth Pierce, of Southport, and
had issue three children, of whom hereafter. He was also a blacksmith,
and carried on business in the city of Bath. He was an expert workman
and forged the ship-irons in the ship-yards of Bath and other eastern
towns. An old gentleman for whom Mr. Redlon used to work told me
that few men could be found at that day, who could excell him in forging
heavy pieces of ship-work ; this was then done by hand under sledge-
hammers. Like his brothers, Nathaniel unfortunately acquired intemp-
erate and prodigal habits, and neglected to properly provide for his
family ; his wife was compelled to keep boarders to support herself and
children. Mr. Redlon died in Bath, Me., Oct. 6, 1851, aged 77 years, and
was buried in that city. He was a man of great kindness of heart and
generosity of spirit when not under the influence of drink ; but when in-
toxicated became brutal and abused his best friends. He was tall and
well formed ; had dark hair and eyes, heavy brows, bald crown, regular
features, red complexion, and pleasant expression ; indeed he was a hand-
some man in his prime, but rum, that destroyer of body and soul, prema-
turely shattered his constitution, and his last days found him a wreck,
cast upon the rocks of poverty.

Mary Redlon 4 (4), a daughter of Robert 3 (1), was born in Newcastle,
Me., Oct. 26, 1778 (?), and was married to James Morton, a sea captain,
of Nobleborough, and had issue. She has been dead many years — was
an amiable woman.

Sally Redlon 4 (2), a daughter of Robert 3 (1), was born in Newcastle,
Me., July 6, 1780 (?) ; was married to Capt. John Morton, of Noblebor-
ough, and died in 1860, a very old lady.

Susan Redlon 4 (2), a daughter of Robert 3 (1), was born in New-
castle, Me., April 2, 1783 (?), and was married to Joseph Knowlton, her
cousin, of Newcastle, and has been dead many years.

Robert Redlon 4 (2), a son of Robert 3 (1), born in Newcastle, Me., is
supposed to have died young. No record of his name can be found.
Some hold the tradition that he was lost at sea.
40



626 BIDLONS OF SACO, MAINE.

Dea. Daniel Ridlon 4 (3), eldest son of Matthias 3 (2), was born in
Saco, Me., April 4, 1773 ; married for his first wife a Miss Williams, who
was a daughter of his father's second wife ; and secondly, Mary McKen-
ney, of Saco, June 2, 1822. Mr. Ridlon settled on land adjoining his
father's farm in Saco, near where Lewis McKenney now lives. While
living here, and at work in his field, he heard the voice of a minister who
was preaching at Mr. McKenney' s house, and was so deeply convicted for
his sins that he left his work, went to the meeting, was soundly converted,
and became a devoted Christian; he united with the primitive Freewill
Baptists and was chosen a deacon. Mr. Ridlon sold his farm in Saco, and
removed to Wayne with his brothers, subsequent to 1800, and spent the
remainder of his days there. He changed his name to Ridley after mov-
ing to the Kennebec Valley. He died in Wayne, and was buried near
his residence ; his second wife died at the home of Lewis McKenney, in
Saco, in 1872, very aged; she was blind several years. Mr. Ridlon was
above medium height, broad-shouldered, and compactly built; his hair was
black, eyes gray, brows long and thick, features coarse, and of the old
Ridlon mould. He was of passionate temperament, and quick to resent
an insult, but generally calm and quiet in his habits. All of his relatives
have said " Uncle Daniel was a good man." He had issue ten children,
all by his first wife, of whom hereafter.

Samuel Ridlon 4 (1), second son of Matthias 3 (2), was born in Saco,
Me., Aug. 22, 1774, and was baptized by Rev. Paul Coffin in Buxton, July
24, 1775 ; the same day with his mother. The record of his birth on the
leaf of an old family Bible is "1781." I find no mention of another son
of this name, and think the first date the correct one. He married Aug.
23, 1804, to Polly, eldest daughter of Thomas and Martha (Merrill) Rid-
lon, his cousin, of Phillipsburgh (now Hollis). He ,'tived some years in
Hollis, but about the year 1808 removed to Wayne, and settled near his
father and brothers ; he lived in Wayne about ten years and then returned
to Hollis. Mr. Ridlon built him a house in Hollis on the exact spot
where that of Thomas C. Sawyer now stands, on the road to Bonnie
Eagle Village, from the materials taken from the house formerly owned
by his uncle, Jacob Redlon, who lived on the farm since known as the
" Wells Farm," on Buxton side of Saco River. While living in this
house he was coming from Bonnie Eagle Village in the evening, and fall-
ing down the almost perpendicular ledge that borders on the river, was
drowned. His hat was found upon the bank, but his body was not recov-
ered till the following spring, when it was found some six miles bejow
where he was drowned, in the Bar Mills boom ; his clothes were gone, but
he was identified by a gingham handkerchief still around his neck. There
is but little doubt that Mr. Ridlon's death was caused by rum, as a jug
containing that damning liquid was found with his hat upon the brink of
the river, where he had probably sat down to rest and drink. Mr. Ridlon
lived a while in a part of the house of his father-in-law, in Hollis, and at
a subsequent date in a house between the Stephen Higgins place and the
house he afterwards built on the knoll above. He was a carpenter and
builder, and many old houses now standing in town bear the marks of
"Uncle Sam's" tools upon their frames. He was something of a cooper
and "shingle-weaver," and had an iron stamp made with which to brand
his name on his wooden wares; this stamp bore the name " S. Ridlon,"
and I have many times burned his name with it when a boy. Mr. Ridlon
was tall, but not very broad; he had dark — nearly black — hair, gray



BIDLONS OF SACO, MAINE. 627



eyes, long, outstanding brows, and coarse features. Pie had issue nine
children, of whom hereafter. I do not know the year of his death.

Jonathan-Fields Ridlon 4 (2), third son of Matthias 3 (2), was born
in Saco, Me., Sept. 15, 1776. He engaged in the privateering service
during the war of 1812, and became fully acquainted with the New Eng-
land coast. He subsequently entered the merchant service, and went to
sea on a vessel owned by Col. Thomas Cutts, of Saco, and made voyages
to foreign lands ; while on one of his trips the vessel was run down by a
British gun-ship and captured. The American craft was relieved of all
her stores and placed under the command of Aaron Eldridge, of Buxton,
who was the mate, and orders given him to " bear off and on through the
night " ; this order was obeyed in one direction, for, as Mr. Eldridge sub-
sequently said, "I bore off once too many times for them, 1 ' and escaped,
coming back and delivering the vessel to its owner. Mr. Ridlon was car-
ried to England, and confined in prison there for nearly a year; he escaped,
however, by digging under the walls, and made his way to Edinburgh,
where he was afterwards seen and conversed with by an American sea-
man ; since then nothing has been known concerning him. For a time
during the author's investigations it seemed probable that the Ridlands
of Shetland, in the north of Scotland, were descended from Jonathan
Ridlon, but subsequent information has proved that this family was estab-
lished there before his birth. It is possible that he married and has left
representatives in some part of Europe, who are known by names unlike
that borne by their ancestors, but I can find no clue to such and must
leave their history in obscurity.

Dorcas Ridlon 4 (1), eldest daughter of Matthias 3 (2), was born in
Saco, Me., Nov. 2, 1777 ; was married by Rev. Paul Coffin, of Buxton,
Feb. 11, 1811, to Samuel Leavett, of that town. I am inclined to believe
there may be a mistake in foregoing dates, but they are correctly copied.
She lived in Limington, and reached a good old age.

John Ridlon 4 (6), fourth son of Matthias 3 (2), was born in Saco, Me.,
Sept. 12, 1779 (so say the records, but I do not think them correct), and
went to live with his grandparents in Hollis. He was a reckless, adven-
turesome fellow when a boy, and a source of constant anxiety to those
who had the care of him. When about eight years of age he came to
the house with his cap-viser torn off, and asked his aunt Hannah — wife
subsequently of Magnus Ridlon, the blacksmith — who was then living at
home, to sew it on. He put on his old hat, took his fishing-pole, and
started for the river, near the house. When night came on lie did not
return, but no fears were excited until the neighborhood had been searched
the next day and he could not be found. On going to the river's bank,
his tracks were found, and there were indications of his having rolled a
log into the water with his pole. It was thought that he ventured upon
this log, lost his footing, and was drowned. The neighbors were imme-
diately called, boats and rafts procured, and days spent in dragging the
river-bottom for the lad's body; it could not be found, and his relatives
returned to their homes in sorrow. About a week passed, when a Mr.
Berry of Limington, who had heard that a boy was drowned, came down
and informed the family that a lad of that appearance stopped at his
house on the same night that John was missing. Thomas Ridlon mounted
a horse and started in search of the run-away ; traced him from town to
town through Maine and New Hampshire, into Vermont, w^here he was
found at the home of his uncle John, who had moved to that state a few



628 BIDLONS OF SACO, MAINE.

years previously. He could not be prevailed upon to return, and Thomas
made haste to reach home and inform the family of his safety. He was
apprenticed to an iron-founder in Vermont, and carried on business there
for many years ; subsequently settled on a farm in Clarendon, where he
spent the remainder of his days, living in a fine and beautifully situated
brick-house.

A neighbor's hogs, running loose, several times came to his moulding
sheds and rooted over his moulds. He asked the owner of the hogs to
keep them at home; but all warnings were disregarded, and the men
seized them and threw them alive into the furnace of molten iron ; they did
not stand the heat as well as the three Hebrew children of the Scrip-
tures, but were consumed in a moment. When the iron was poured into
the moulds and cooled, the castings were found so tough and flexible that
they were worthless and had to be recast. Mr. Ridlon was tall, broad-
shouldered, and muscular ; had dark hair, gray eyes, long, shaggy brows,
and coarse features. His mind seemed somewhat impaired in his last years.
He visited his relatives in Hollis, Me., when advanced in life, and tarried
with them nearly all winter. I have not the date of his death ; he was
buried in a field near his house. His widow was living in 1872. Chil-
dren, of whom hereafter, eight in number.

Patience Ridlon 4 (1), second daughter of Matthias 3 (2), was born in
Saco, Me., June 10, 1785 ; was married to Benjamin Libbey at the house
of Nathaniel Townsend, Nov. 10, 1816, and always lived at South Lim-
ington, where she died in 1867, aged 82 years. Mr. Libbey died in Feb-
ruary, 1866. One record gives the birth of Patience as "April 25, 1775,"
and I conclude the above date refers to her baptism. No children.
" Aunt Patience " was beloved by all who knew her.

Betsey Ridlon 4 (1), third daughter of Matthias 3 (2), was born in
Saco, Me., May 28, 1789, and was married to David Creach ; secondly, to
Benjamin Young. She lived in Fayette, Me. Had children by both hus-
bands. I have no record of her death. A woman of amiable character
and godly spirit.

David Ridlon 4 (2), fifth son of Matthias 3 (2), was born in Saco, Me.,
April 20, 1791; married and first settled in Wayne, where he had pur-
chased land before his father and brothers moved to that town. His
house was on the road leading from near the brick-house built by the late
Daniel Ridley, to the farm of Charles Graves, whose wife was a Rid-
ley ; this house stood upon an elevation near a small bi - ook. He
removed to Abbot, Piscataquis County, in 1823, thence to Bangor
in 1834, to Sangerville in 1836, to Corinth in 1838, and back to Bangor in
1843, where he died Oct. 3, 1846, aged 55 years. Mr. Ridlon was a shoe-
maker by trade. He was of medium height; had dark hair, gray eyes,
and florid complexion. Six children.

Mary Ridlon 4 (5), fourth daughter of Matthias 3 (2), was born in
Saco, Me., Aug. 3, 1794; was married to Alvin Swift, and lived in Turner,
Me. I do not know when she died. She was a stout, dark-eyed, fair-
complexioned, pretty woman.

Sally Ridlon 4 (3), fifth daughter of Matthias 3 (2), was born in Saco,
Me., May 28, 1798, and was married to Billings Hood and lived in Tur-
ner, Me. Her husband predeceased her, and she went to live with her son
in Gardiner. She died June 3, 1873.

Rachel Ridlon 4 (2), sixth daughter of Matthias 8 (2), was born in
Saco, Me., Sept. 28, 1801 ; was married Nov. 27, 1821, to Otis Hood,



BIDLONS OF HOLLIS, MAINE. 629

brother of Billings Hood, and lived in Turner, Me., where she died June
3, 1864. She was a twin to Lydia

Lydia Ridlon 4 (1), seventh daughter of Matthias 8 (2), was born in
Saco, Me., Sept. 28, 1801 ; was married to Daniel True, and lived in
Wayne, on a large farm, where she died Feb. 6, 1875. Deacon True is
still living (1883). These two sisters (twins) were not tall, but considera-
bly stout in old age ; they had dark eyes, and coarse features. But few
persons could distinguish one from the other, so close was their resem-
blance. The author has their portraits in India-ink, nicely framed.



Catherine Ridlon 4 (1), eldest daughter of James 3 (1), was born in
Saco, Me., June 4, 1779, and was married July 5, 1804, to William Hop-
kinson, of Liminafton. No record of her death.

Dea. Joseph Ridlon 4 (1), eldest son of James 3 (1), was born in Saco,
Me., May 26, 1782; married in March, 1802, Molly, daughter of William
Hopkinson, of Buxton, Me., and lived for some time on his father's farm
in Hollis. He purchased of Ebenezer Lewis a part of the farm formerly
owned by his uncle, Abraham Ridlon, which joined the land of his father
on the north-west, it being a part of the " Dalton Right," purchased of
Col. Thomas Cutts, of Saco, and made that his permanent home. He
embraced religion in early life, and became an active member of the
Baptist church in Limington, maintaining a consistent Christian walk
during life. He was a wheelwright by trade, and one of the most careful
and thorough workmen. His motto was to attempt nothing that he
could not do well. He never slighted work where it could not be seen,
and whatever left his hands stood the test of time. Mr. Ridlon was a care-
ful, judicious, and successful farmer; everything about his buildings and
fields had a neat and orderly appearance, and he required of his hired
help the same thoroughness he exercised himself. He took a peculiar
pride in his hay-field, and could mow so smoothly that his swaths could
hardly be seen after the hay was taken off. He was careful in all his busi-
ness transactions, and could not bear to be in debt to any one. Moderate
in movements, and retiring in disposition, pleasant, generous, and ac-
commodating as a neighbor, he lived in peace with all men. He was of
medium height and size ; had a very high forehead, regular features, gray,
deep-set eyes, light complexion, and serious expression of face. He was
very deeply wrinkled on his forehead and about the eyes. In walking he
carried his head bent forward and his eyes turned downward, as if search-
ing for something on the ground ; and when with his ox-team, he went
some distance in advance, swinging his goad-stick toward his lead-cattle.
Mr. Ridlon died in his old home June 13, 1858, aged 76 years; his widow
survived him, and died at the home of her son Joseph, in Gorham, Dec.
11, 1870, aged 86 years ; they were buried in the "Old Ridlon Burying-
ground," near his homestead. Issue five sons, of whom hereafter.

James Redlon 4 (3), second son of James 3 (1), was born in Little
Falls Plantation (now Hollis), Me., Aug. 19, 1784; married Dec. 9, 1802,
Sarah, daughter of William Hopkinson, of Buxton (same County), and
had issue two children, of whom hereafter. He settled down at Salmon
Falls, on Saco River, and lived there a few years; thence removed to a
part of his father's farm, and lived in a dwelling he made from an old
school-house that stood near the present residence of Jacob Townsend.
According to Hollis town records, he was "Lieut. James Ridlon, Field-
driver," in 1818. He was esteemed as an honest and promising man.



630 RIDLONS OF MOLLIS, MAINE.

Resembled his brother Joseph. Died at the home of his brother Robert,
to which he had been removed soon after becoming ill, and was laid down
to rest by the side of his father in the "Old Ridlon Burying-ground," so
called, near his birth-place.

Jacob Ridlon 4 (3), third son of James 3 (1). was born in Little Falls
Plantation (now Hollis), Me., Dec. 15, 1786; died when young and un-
married, and was buried in his father's lot, near his birth-place. The
members of this branch of the family had forgotten there was such an
uncle, till the author found the record of his birth on a fly-leaf of his
father's old Bible. He was probably named in honor of his uncle, Jacob
Ridlon, of Buxton.

Lydia Ridlon 4 (2), second daughter of James 3 (1), was born in Little
Falls Plantation (now Hollis), Me., May 23, 1789; was married to John
Wiggin, of Baldwin, Me., Dec. 1, 1814. She did not long survive, and
Mr. Wiggin married her cousin, Betsey Ridlon, daughter of Jacob Ridlon,



Online LibraryG. T. (Gideon Tibbetts) RidlonHistory of the ancient Ryedales, and their descendants in Normandy, Great Britain, Ireland, and America, from 860 to 1884 → online text (page 82 of 103)