George Thomas Little.

Genealogical and family history of the state of Maine; (Volume 3) online

. (page 96 of 128)
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Washington, Connecticut, son of Rev. Jere-
miah and Abigail (Noble) Day. One of his
brothers \va.« Judge Thomas Day, a well-
known citizen of Hartford.

Stephen Day, of Cambridge, Massachu-
setts, was the first printer in North America.
He was originally a locksmith, but in time
found demand for his other work. He be-
gan business in 1639, published books and
almanacs, and died December 22, 1668, aged
fifty-eight. Matthew Day, of Cambridge, also
a printer, possibly son of Stephen, was stew-
ard of Harvard College from 1645 till his
death in 1649. He probably was unmarried,
because he made a nuncupative will in which
he gave a liberal bequest to the college and to
one or two friends. A Robert Day, of Ips-
wich, came over in 1635 in the "Hopewell,"
from London, and was living in 1681. Na-
thaniel Day was living in Ipswich in 1637.
Wentworth Day, of Boston, was a member of
the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Com-
pany in 1640, was later a chirurgeon at Cam-
bridge, and in 1652 saved the life of a woman
charged with witchcraft. Ralph Day, born in
England, was made a freeman of Dedham,
January i, 1645. Anthony Day, born in Eng-
land, in 1616, emigrated to Gloucester, Mas-
sachusetts, in 1645, 3nd died there April 23,

A branch of the Anthony Day family moved
to Maine and settled at Georgetown, near the
mouth of the Kennebec, during the first half
of the eighteenth century. Their descendants
afterwards moved to Brunswick and Durham.
The following line is distinct from the de-
scendants of this Anthony Day.

(I) William Day was a native of Boston,
and by trade a ship carpenter. He was one
of the early settlers of Leeds, and for a time
lived in a log house in that town. When he
got a bit forehanded he built a house of cut
timber, and it was considered quite stylish for
those days. A part of each year he worked at
shipbuilding on the Kennebec. To him and his
wife Betsy (nee Jones) were born twelve chil-
dren. The oldest of these was Adaline, who
says of her father, "He was a very strict man,
and insisted on morning devotions. We twelve
children were ranged around the room, the
youngest in mother's arms, with father in the
center of the room, a Bible on a chair a little
to one side. We all had to march up and read
a verse, and woe to us if we made an error,
for though father did not have the good book
himself, he knew the whole of it by heart, I
believe, and would punish us for a mistake.
When I was fourteen, father made a trip to

Boston to visit his relatives, and walked every
step of the way up and back. His mother was
a great pie cook, and he brought on his re-
turn a mince pie that was divided into twelve
parts. Each one of us got a piece gauged ac-
cording to the size of the child. To me fie
brought a Bible, and the other children were
provoked because I was specially favored."
The children that reached adult age were :
Adaline, Susan, Clara, Isaac C, John Ran-
dolph and Thomas I'Vancis. No one of these
is now living.

(II) Captain John Randolph, son of Will-
iam and Betsy Day, was born in Leeds, Maine,
August I, 1828. In early life he was a shoe-
maker, and employed many men making "sale
shoes." During the rebellion John R. Day
served in the Third Maine Regiment, going
out as lieutenant under Colonel O. O. Howard,
and returning as captain. On January 5, 1854,
John Randolph Day married Mary Carter,
daughter of Allen and Mary (Chadwick)
Carter, of Etna. Captain John R. Day died at
Vassalboro, May 22, 1889 ; his widow died
March 7, 1908. Both are interred in Vassal-
boro. The home which they owned formerly
belonged to Thomas Frye, for many years at
the head of the Vassalboro Quakers. Long
before the days of the railroad, Vassalboro
was a strong rival of Waterville, and under
the direction of the Quakers was a beautiful
village with its own bank and an exceptionally
fine school ; but the coming of the railroad
half ruined the town. The Frye house held the
old Kennebec bank, and when Captain Day
bought the place the bricks were taken out and
used to rebuild the chimneys. Children of
Captain John R. and Mary (Carter) Day:
William Foster, born at Waterville, February,
1855; Holman Francis, whose sketch follows;
Fred Mortimer, born in Vassalboro, Septem-
ber 14, 1871.

(III) Holman Francis, second son and
child of Captain John Randolph and Mary
(Carter) Day, was bom at Vassalboro, Maine,
November 6, 1865. He received his early edu-
cation in the Quaker school of that town, be-
ing a pupil at Oak Grove Seminary from 1877
to 1882, and completed his preparation for col-
lege at Coburn Classical Institute, Waterville,
where he studied during 1882-83. He entered
Colby College in the fall of the latter year,
and was graduated in the class of 1887. At
the age of sixteen he spent one season in a
hotel in Kineo, Maine, and during his college
days he taught school two winters to assist in
paying his way, making up his studies during
the summer. Holman F. Day graduated from



Colby College on Tuesilay, and on Wednesday
he entered the office of the Fairfield (.Maine)
Journal as local editor. No sooner had he
taken this position than he was left with the
entire charge of the paper ; and though at first
it looked like a huge undertaking, the young
collegian proved himself fully equal to it, and
successfully conducted the sheet for six
months. About this time he saw in a Boston
paper an advertisement for a reporter on a
journal in Xorth Adams. Massachusetts. Mr.
Day answered this notice, and received a re-
ply to the eii'ect that his letter had been chosen
from a number of applications because it
looked promising, and that the manager would
meet him at a certain hotel in Boston on an
appointed date, and talk the matter over. Mr.
Day left Watcrville in the evening, rode all
night, went to the hotel, where he sat near the
door all day, and when the man failed to ap-
pear, took the night train for home, again
riding all night and getting no rest. On reach-
ing Fairfield he sat down, and in a polite and
scathing letter expressed his opinion of the un-
reliable manager. He received a return reply
to the effect that he was hired, as any man
who could write such a letter would be able to
report for the paper. It turned out that the
manager had forgotten which hotel he had des-
ignated, ilr. Day remained about six months,
finally securing acceptance of his resignation
because he longed to get back to his native state.
He then took the position of managing
editor of the six weeklies of the Union Pub-
lishing Company of Bangor, a place which he
successfully filled for one year. At the end of
that time Mr. Day went into partnership with

They put

One issue of the latter paper said that the
Gazette could continue only about another
week. This started Mr. Day on the waj-path,
with the result that the Eastern State did not
breathe again, but was absorbed and after-
wards drew its life from the office of the Dex-
ter Gazette. Soon after, Mr. Day was offered
a position on the staff of the Lezciston Jour-
nal, and finding some one willing to relieve him
of his interests in Dexter, he left for his new
field after four years of hard, vigorous work
in the old. At Lewiston he remained twelve
years, acting as special writer of important
events and incidentally filling all the positions
on the paper except editor-in-chief. He then
went to Bangor as correspondent for the Bos-
ton Herald, and while there was also on the
staff of the Bangor Commercial. At the end
of a year he returned to Lewiston as manag-
ig editor of the Lezciston Sun, and later went
back to the staff of the LczK-iston Journal.

Meanwhile his literary bent, which had been
manifesting itself for years in occasional verse
and prose published in the Saturday Evening
Post, the Nezi> England Magazine. Harpers,
and many other periodicals, had become so
strong, and his contributions were in such de-
mand, that he found himself compelled to give
up the exacting duties of newspaper work and
devote himself wholly to creative composition.
The state of Maine has produced many names
well known in literature, but no one fills a
more distinctive place than Holman F. Day.
His poems have all the vigor and pungency of
the pine and spruce woods. Everything that
he writes smacks of the soil, and he describes
life in a Maine village with a homely direct-
ness and humor that only a genius — and a

could employ. The

the former foreman of the firm

Nezi' York Nation, perhaps the most criticaK^^enius born on the spot
their money together — about five hundred dol-
lars, and with that, and an immense amount of
assurance, the two young men bought out the
De.vter Gazette and assumed the indebtedness
of the same. Later they bought out the sub-
scription list of the .Monson Weekly Slate, giv-
ing them a total of about fifteen hundred sub-
scribers. This list was soon increased to five
thousand by the energy of Mr. Day, who was
reporter, solicitor and editor, writing editorials
at night and hustling for business during the
dav. Soon after, the owner of a rival sheet in
the same town, Ijecoming jealous of the large
business done by the Gazette, had his editor
begin a series of abusive articles through the
columns of the Eastern State. The Gazette
replied to these virulent attacks in terms so
strong that its readers almost expected to see
the Eastern State shrivel up and disappear.

Authority in this country, a paper which would
never be accused of being too commendatory
of new writers, in its issue of September 6,
1900, has this to say of Mr. Day's first volume
of poems. "L'p in Maine": "The lyrics them-
selves are so fresh, so vigorous, and so full of
manly feeling that they sweep away all criti-
cism ; and the most commonplace things in the
farmer's life take hold upon the human heart
when the poet sings this winter song :

The stock In the TIe-Up.
I'm workin' this week In the wood-lot; a hearty old Job,

you can bet ;
I finish my chores with a lantern, and marm has th«

table all set.

the fire and the chirruping hiss o'
they sound dread-

I tell ye. the song

the tea.
The roar of the wind in the cbimbley,

ful cheerful to me.
But they'd harrer me. plague me. and fret me. unless as

I set here I knew
That the critters are muncbin' their fodder and bedded

and comf'table, too.



The critic goes on to say: "But the whole
vigor of the strain does not come until the poet
arrives in the wilderness * * * sings of
'wangan,' 'peavy,' 'cant-dog' * * * and
launches you upon adventures which need no
Kipling to tell their tale." Of Mr. Day's sec-
ond volume, "Pine-Tree Ballads, Rhymed
Stories of Unplaned Human Nature up in
Maine," the Nation of October 9, 1902, savs :
"No one who has not watched, at least as a
spectator, the rush and' swirl of logging-time
•on a Maine river, can fully appreciate the
courage that shows itself even in making the
attempt to describe it in verse :

When tbe Allegash Drive Goes Through.

We hurroop them with the peavies from their sullen beds
of snow ;

With the pickpole for a goadstick, down the brimming
streams we go.

They are hitching, they are halting, and they lurk and
hide and dodge.

They sneak for skulking eddies, they bunt the bank and

And we almost can imagine that they hear the yell of

And the grunting of the grinders of the paper-mills, be-

They loiter in the shallows and they cob-pile at the falls.

And they buck like ugly cattle where the broad dead-
water crawls.

But we wallow in and welt "em with the water to our

For the driving pitch is dropping and the Drouth Is
gasping 'Haste' I

Here a dam and there a jam, that Is grabbed by grin-
ning rocks.

Gnawed by the teeth of the ravening ledge that slavers
at our flork.s ;

Twenty a month for daring Death ; for fighting from
dawn to dark —

Twenty and grub and a place to sleep In God's great
public park :

We roofless go with the cook's bateau to follow our hun-
gry crew —

A billion of spruce and hell turned loose when the Alle-
gash drive goes through.

The New England Magazine of February,
1906, in an article on "New England Humor-
ists," gives this interesting account of Mr.
Day's early efforts : "His father was a noted
•story-teller, and at the age of fourteen Holman
edited a manuscript newspaper interspersed
with verses embalming his father's tales, and
the family smiled and showed them to the min-
ister when he called. His quill was further
•sharpened on the Echo, the Colby College
paper. When Commencement day came he
marched down College avenue behind the brass
band, arm in arm with Forrest Goodwin, to
deliver the class poem. The ne.xt day he went
to work on the Eairficld Journal. 'Taking a
high dive off the Commencement platform into
the ice-cold water of practical experience.' He
took to writing articles of Yankee life in
Maine. The editor insinuated they were
cribbed, on the ground that 'any one who
couldn't clean off a horse any better than he
could, didn't know enough to write such
like.' "

But any critical resume of Mr. Day's work

fails to convey the satisfaction that the reader
gets who has tasted the strong, wholesome
savor of this every-day fare. It is the kind of
literature to read, not talk about. The New
York Sun says : "It is Maine in the phono-
grai}h." In his book, "Browning and the Dra-
matic Monologue," Dr. S. S. Curry, presi-
dent of the School of Expression, accords Mr.
Day chief place among the delineators of
Yankee dialect and character, and adds,
"Many of our modern poets who use the mon-
ologue, such as Day, Foss, Riley and Drum-
mond, are blamed by superficial critics for the
roughness of their language. Fastidious
critics often say the work of these authors is
too rough, and 'not poetry.' In reply to such
criticism it may be said that the peculiar na-
ture of dramatic action is not realized. This
rough language is necessary because of the
peculiar type of character. The man cannot
be revealed without making him speak his na-
tive tongue. Browning is blamed as an artist
for using burly and even brutal English." Mr.
Day's dialect is written from "the inside out" ;
he is a Yankee along with the people whom he
portrays, and he has never w-ritten a line in his
human documents that ridicules or satirizes the
folks of his home state. Dr. Curry says :
"True dialect must always be the result of
sympathy and identification." Its homeliness
(in the old English sense) is its greatest
charm. From the wild, rollicking humor of
"When O'Connor Draws His Pay," to the
pathos of "Cap'n Nutter of the 'Pudden-
tame.' ' every phase of life in the old Pine-tree
state is touched and fixed in fast colors. What
could better call up the ways of our grand-
fathers than this "Plain Old Kitchen Chap?"

I'm a sort of dull old codger, clear behind the times, I

s'pose ;
Stay at home and mind my bus'ness ; wear some pretty

rusty clothes :
'Druther ?et out bere'n the kitchen, have for forty years

or more.
Till the heel of that old rocker's gouged a holler In the

floor ;
Set my boots behind the cook stove, dry my old blue

woolen socks.
Get my knife and plug tobacker from that dented old tin

Set and smoke and look at mother clearing up the things

from tea :
Rather tame for city fellers, but that's fun enough for


What a piece of character-drawing is "Uncle
Micajah Strout," who was "unassuming,
blunt and honest. When he said a thing, it
went." The lawyers starved in his town, be-
cause when there was of difference or doubt

Folks say, Waal, we'll leave her out

To Uncle Micajah Strout.

It is hard to resist quoting from "The Law
'Gainst Spike-Sole Boots," for Day enters into
the feelings of the Maine lumbermen as Kip-



ling has entered into the lives of the British
soldiers; but there is space only for a scrap
taken from "A Hail to the Hunter," in which
the annual fall sportsman from the city is set
out :

He will bhoot the foaming rapids, aod he'll shoot the

yearling bull.
And the farmer iu the bushes — why, he'll fairly get

pumped full.

• ••••••

For the average city feller he has big game on the

And imagines In October there is nothing else in Maine I

Therefore some absorbed old farmer cutting corn or pull-
ing beans

Gets most mightily astonished with a bullet In his Jeans.

So. O neighbor, scoot tor cover or gel out your armor
plate —

Johnnie s got bis little rifle and is swooping on the State.

The prose of Holman F. Day is as good as
his verse — full of humor, sentiment and vivid
local coloring. His stories for boys show that
strength of character, high aspiration, gener-
osity and consideration for others, which have
not only made the author popular, but have
brouglit him true friendship, respect and deep
regard. His list of books up to 1908 numbers
seven. The first three were published by
Small, IMaynard & Company of Boston ; the
next two, by A. S. Barnes & Company of New
York ; and the last two by Harper and Broth-
ers. The first edition of "Up in Maine" ap-
peared in igoo; "Pine Tree Ballads" came in
1902; "Kin O' Ktaadn" (prose and verse)
1904; "Squire Phin," a novel, 1905; "Rainy
Day Railroad War," 1906; "King Spruce," a
novel, and "The Eagle Badge," 1908. Of his
books of verse more than thirty thousand have
been sold, and his novels have been corre-
spondingly successful. "Squire Phin" has
been dramatized under the name "The Circus
Man," with Aiaclyn Arbuckle in the title role
and has been made one of Klaw & Erlanger's
big productions.

Politically Mr. Day is a Republican, and his
church affiliations are with the Congregation-
alists. He belongs to the Benevolent Protec-
tive Order of Elks, and has served as exalted
ruler and also as district deputy for two years.
He served as military secretary, with rank of
major, on the stafif of Governor John F. Hill
from 1 90 1 to 1904, inclusive. At the Com-
mencement in 1907, Colby College conferred
on Mr. Day the degree of Doctor of Letters.

On February 6, 1889, Holman Francis Day
married Helen R. Gerald, daughter of A. F.
and Caroline Rowell Gerald, of Fairfield,
Maine. They had one child, Dorothy, born
February 9, 1896. Mrs. Helen R. (Gerald)
Day died July 12. 1902, and on September 25,
1903, Holman F. Day married his second wife,
Agnes Bearce Nevens, daughter of Byron A.
and Ella (McDougall)" Bearce, of Lewiston.

Mrs. Agnes (Bearce) (Nevens) Day is a
member of the New York Society of Keramic
Art, and is known in I^laine by her artistic
china and water-colors. She was superintend-
ent of the Maine State Art Exhibition for
several years. Mrs. Day i."' to be credited with
a considerable piortion of the success of her
husband, in whose life she has been an inspira-
tion. Those who know her sterling qualities
of integrity, force of character, intellectuality,
and above all, her womanliness, can readily
understand how much Mr. Day is indebted to
his wife.

(For first generation see preceding sketch.)

(H) Isaac C, son of William and
DA\^ Betsy Day, was born at Leeds,
Maine, about 1825. He learned the
trade of shoe-making from his father. After
following this for some years he removed to
Vassalboro, then one of the busiest towns in
the state, and became interested in the restau-
rant business. During the rebellion he en-
listed in Company A, Twentieth Regiment
Maine Volunteers. Captain Isaac S. Bangs,
Colonel Adelbcrt Ames. Pie was mustered in
August 29, 1862, and transferred to the Vet-
eran Reserve Corps, November 15, 1863.

(HI) Horace C., son of Isaac C. Day, was
born October 17, 1854, at Vassalboro, Maine.
He was educated in the public schools of that
place, and after graduating from the high
school, attended the Eastman Business College
at Poughkeepsie, New York. Plis first busi-
ness position was in the office of F. I. Fuller
& Company, shoe manufacturers. He after-
wards engaged with Gay & Foss, with whom
he remained four years, and later became pay-
master of the Barker Mills, where he contin-
ued ten years. In 1890 he resigned this posi-
tion to become cashier of the First National
Bank of Auburn, which place he is now hold-
ing (1908). The bank, at the time he became
connected with it. had one clerk and about one
hundred thousand dollars of deposits. Since
then the staff has increased to six clerks, and
there are over nine hundred thousand dollars
in deposits. In 1890 there was a surplus of
about thirty-three thousand dollars, and there
is now a surplus of one hundred and ten thou-
sand. During Mr. Day"s administration a sav-
ings bank and a bond department have been
added, and the First National is now the
largest bank in the city. Mr. Day's strict at-
tention to business and his integrity have
caused many responsibilities to be thrust upon
him, and he is looked upon as one of the lead-
ing men of the city. He is a director and the



largest stockholder in the Androscoggin Wa-
ter Power Company.

Politically Mr. Day is a Republican, and he
has several times been asked to become a can-
didate for mayor, but has declined. He has
little time for politics, though he is treasurer
of the county committee. He is a member of
the Congregational church, and has been su-
perintendent of the Sunday school for many
years. He is much interested in Young Men's
Christian Association work, being a member
of the international committee. He was one
of the incorporators of the Lake George
Branch of the Silver Bay Young Men's Qiris-
tian Association, is a member of the commit-
tee and is also treasurer of the Silver Bay As-
sociation. ]\'Ir. Day is a Mason of the thirty-
second degree, a Knight Templar, and a mem-
ber of the grand lodge. Knights of Pythias.

On May 8, 1879, Mr. Day married Hattie
Marie Jenkins, daughter of William Sanborn
and Catherine (Rusk) Jenkins. They have
two children : Francena B. R., born May 26,
1880, married Fred F. Spaulding; and West-
ley C, born October 30, 1884.

(For preceding generations see John Alden I.)

(IV) John (2), son of Isaac A\-
ALDEN den, was born at Bridgewater, in
1694, and died in 1762. He mar-
ried, in 1727, Hannah Kingman, who died in
1744, aged thirty-nine, daughter of Henry
Kingman; (second) 1745, Rebecca Nightin-
gale. Children of first wife: i. John (twin),
born 1729. 2. James (twin), born 1729. 3.
Isaac, born 1731. 4. Jonathan, born 1733;
mentioned below. 5. Hannah, bom 1736. 6.
Adam, 1738. 7. Son, died young. 8. Abigail,
born 1742. died young. 9. Keziah, 1743. Chil-
dren of second wife: 10. Rebecca, born 1745.
II. John, 1747. 12. Esther, 1749. 13. James,
1751. 14. Adam, 1754. 15. Joseph, 1755. 16.
Benjamin, 1757.

(V) Jonathan, son of John (2) Alden, was
born in 1733, and lived in Bridgewater. He
died February 18, 1825, aged ninety-three. He
married (first) in 1766, Experience, daughter
of Cornelius Washburn; (second) Hannah,
daughter of Thomas Greene, and widow of
Thomas White. Children of first wife: i.
Mehitabel, born 1767. 2. Joanna. 3. Isaac,
born October 19, 1771. 4. Daniel, March 3,
1 773- 5- Ezra. 6. John, mentioned below.
Children of second wife. 7. Samuel Greene.
8. Joseph, died young. 9. Cyrus, born May 30,
1783. ID. Mary. 11. Jonathan, removed to
New York state.

(VI) John (3), son of Jonathan Alden,

was born in Bridgewater, December 15, 1775,
and settled in Auburn, Maine. He married
Deborah, daughter of Benjamin Robinson.
Children, all born in East Bridgewater: i.
Benjamin, mentioned below. 2. Mary. 3.
Sylvina. 4. Charles.

(VII) Benjamin, son of John (3) Alden,
was born in East Bridgewater, Massachusetts,
and removed with the family to .Auburn,
Alaine, where he died in 1879. He had
a common school education, and followed
farming through his active life. He was in-
dustrious and successful in business, and
prominent in public life. He filled various
offices of trust and honor with great faithful-
ness and ability. He married Sally, daughter
of Luther Tirrell : children : Asa Alfred, born
July 12, 1826, died June 20, 1897; Angerone,
born December 8, 1832, died January 5, 1856;
Nelson Hayes, see forward.

(VIII) Nelson Hayes, son of Benjamin Al-
den, was born in North Auburn, Maine,
March 31, 1836, and died in Auburn, Febru-
ary 13, 1899. He was educated in the public
schools of Turner and Auburn, Maine, and
learned the shoemaker's trade. He worked for

Online LibraryGeorge Thomas LittleGenealogical and family history of the state of Maine; (Volume 3) → online text (page 96 of 128)