Henry D Kingsbury.

Illustrated history of Kennebec County, Maine; 1625-1799-1892; online

. (page 70 of 151)
Online LibraryHenry D KingsburyIllustrated history of Kennebec County, Maine; 1625-1799-1892; → online text (page 70 of 151)
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To show what was once done in Waterville, a few facts concerning
the Moor family are pertinent. Daniel Moor came here from New
Hampshire in 1798. His sons, March, William and Daniel, began
business in boating and lumbering — then built river steamers by the
dozen. They sent five to California, sold two to Cornelius Vanderbilt,
and one or more in Nova Scotia, besides several used nearer home.
The number of steamers in use on the Kennebec was large. It was
no unusual sight to see a half dozen lying at the wharf at one time,
where the Lockwood mills now stand. In 1848 there were five steam-
ers daily between Waterville and Augusta.

The following is a list of the persons who paid a tax in Waterville
in 1809 greater than the poll tax, which was $1.. '58. This includes those
who lived in what is now Oakland, and as there are some whose loca-
tion then cannot now be fixed, the names are given in one list — being
of general interest: Moses Appleton, $19.30; Ebenezer Bacon, $10.44;
James Burgess, $10.13; Thomas Bates. $7.17: Joshua Bates. $2.52: Con-
stant Bates, $2.25; Job Bates, $5.07; Timothy Boutelle, $8.98: Russell
Blackwell, $3.43: James K. Blair, $2.67: Richard Clifford, $6.86; Jona-
than Combs, $11.11; Thomas Cook, $11.50; Manoah Crowell, $7.39;
James Crommett, $11.24; Hiram Crowell, $9.24; Seth Crowell, $5.42;
Josiah Crowell, $4.83: Moody Crowell, $5.20: Baxter Crowell, $13.70;
Isaac Corson, $21.28; John Cool, $11.03; Wilson Colcord, $7.43; Joseph
Colcord, $4.26; John Crummett, $1.60; Timothy Clement, $1.85; George
Clarke, $15.62; John Corson, $3.83; Jonathan Clarke, $2.73; Samuel
Clarke, $2.00; Samuel Clarke, 2d, $3.00; Ansel Crowell, $7.56: Moses
Dalton, $12.55; Richard M. Dorr, $4.00; Lemuel Dunbar, $4.40; Charles
Dingley, $2.28: Daniel R. Emerson, $10.06: Micah Ellis, $7.93; Asa
Faunce, $5.89; Jeremiah Fairfield, $16.65; Daniel Fairfield, $3.68; Fair-
field & Getchell, $4.72; Elijah Gleason, $8.32; Reuben Gage, $4.23;
Nehemiah Getchell, jun., $5.88: Reuben Gibbs, $6.52; Seth Getchell,
$3.28; Heman Gibbs, $6.52; Nathaniel Oilman, $23.59; David Getchell,
$4.51; Samuel Oilman, $4.31; James Gilbert, $2.96: Ephraim Getchell,
$4.58: Abel Getchell, $2.76; Henry Gage, $2.19; Oilman & Watson,
$9.46; Moses Healy, $4.45; .Solomon Hallett, $9.41; Elisha Hallett,
$9.91; Joseph H. Hallett, $2.63; Isaiah Hallett, $4.11; John Hume, jun.,
$1.74; Jonathan Heywood, $10.17; Reuben Hussey, $810; Samuel
Holmes, $6.10; John Huzzy, $2.18; James Hasty, $10.69; David Huston,
$3.14; (ohn Hart, $4.12; Philip Her.som, $5.21: Heirs of David Hasty,


$4.48: Benjamin Hersom, $2.60; William Heywood, $2.00; Prince
Henry, $6.44; Timothy B. Heywood, $2.00; Andrew Hersom. $1.92;
Samuel & Joseph Hitchings. $2.10; Frederick Jackins, $7.94; Reuben
Kidder, $19.B1; Jeremiah Kidder, $7.93; Francis Kimball, $4.60; Perley
Low, $4.42; Nathaniel Low, $3.10; Nathaniel Low, jun., $5.17; Amos
Low, $3.29; Thomas Leeman, $4.48; William Lewis, $6.63; Asa Lewis,
$2.67; Widow McFarlane, $3.36; Thomas McFarlane, $3.58; Daniel
Moor, $4.02; Samuel Moor, $4.95; Ebenezer Moor, $3.83; Ebenezer
Moor, jun., $9.93; Nathaniel Merrifield, $5.11; Simeon Mathews, $2.19;
John Mathews, $8.37: Jediah Morrill, $8.16; Abraham Morrill, $3.61;
Josiah Morrill, $2.31; Alexander McKechnie, $5.17: William McKech-
nie, $4.11; John Magrath, $4.65; Isaiah Marston, $8.92; Kenelm Mars-
ton, $4.93; William Marston, $4.22; William Miller, $2.61; Joseph
Mitchell, $10.42; Joseph Marston, $2.63; David Nourse, $6.09; Beria-
min Otis, $3.51; Lemuel Pullen, $2.72; David Pattee, $5.91; Salathiel
Penney, $3.94; Thomas Parker, $8.74; Eleazer Parker, $4.45; Zaccheus
Parker, $6.37: Edward Piper, $2.28; William Phillips, $3.89; Oliver
Pullen, $5.24; William Pullen, $11.60; Jonathan Pullen, $3 15; William
Pullen, 2d, $6.53; James Pullen, $13.97; Dexter Pullen, $3.35; David
Priest, $2.51; Asa Redington, $25.93; Moses Ricker, $3.78; Thomas
Redmgton, $4.73; Joseph Rine, $2.36; Benjamin Rine, $7.46; John
Rose, $6.67; Benjamin Rose, $2.74; George Ricker, $4.37: Levi Ricker,
$3.06; Joseph Ricker, $5.77; Eleazer W. Ripley, $6,83; Asa Soule, $10.60;
Jonathan Soule, $6.92; Jehiel Soule, $1.67; Almond Soule, $2.80;
Michael Soule, $3 69; Benjamin Soule, §1.76; James Stackpole, $23.98;
Jotham Stackpole, $3.05; John Stackpole, $2.(i0; Isaac Stevens, $4.93;
Samuel Shorey, $8.81; Abraham Smith, $2.63; Reuben Shorey, $4.33;
Elnathan Sherwin, $5.15; Artemus Smith, $4.71; Abijah Smith, $7.39;
Eliab Smith, jun., $2.29: Lot Sturtevant, $6.92; Ichabod Smith, $2.26;
George Soule, $2.98; Philander Soule, $6.13; James Shorey, $5.50; Pele-
tiah Soule, $4.49; Heirs of Peleg Tupper, $2.84; Lemuel Tupper, $5.65;
Elias Tozer, $5.25; Simeon Tozer, $7.55; Jed. Thayer, $6.44; Elias
Tozer, jun., $2 77; Lewis Tozer, $2.77; David Webb, jun., $6.54; Samuel
Webb, $6.61; John Webb, $5.97: Bryant Williams, $7.64; Daniel Wells,
$5.46; William Wyman, $6.61; Joseph Warren, $2.22; James L. Wood,
$31.53; David Wheeler, $3.98; Abisha Wmg, $3.43: Ebenezer Watson,
$5.12; William Wat.son, $2.66; George Young, $5.85; David Webb,
$5.97; John Watson, $2.36; and John Wright, $6.16. The whole num-
ber of taxpayers on the list in 1809 was 276. Lawyers and physicians
paid an income tax.

The form of license granted in 1823 was this: " Be it known that
Nathaniel Gilman, Esq., is hereby licensed to sell wine, beer, ale, cider,
brandy, rum and other strong liquors by retail at his store in the town
of Waterville for one year from date. Waterville, Sept. 9, 1823." This
was signed by the three selectmen and the treasurer. Similar licenses
were issued the same year to: John B. Walker & Co., Smith, Ingraham
& Co., Burleigh & Partridge, George W. Osborne, Edmund C. An-
drews, Simeon Mathews, Blackwell & Loring, James Hasty, William
Richards, Daniel Hume, Alden & Allen, Levi Rogers, Jediah Morrill,
Daniel Cook, Johnson, Williams & Co., Shubael Marston, Edward
Esty, jun., John Burleigh, William Phillips, William F. Bachelder,


Levi Dow, David Page, Samuel Kimball, Hallet & Cornforth, Thomas
B. Dickman, Elisha Hallet, John Partridge and Elah Esty. Lucius
Allen was licensed to sell liquors at his dwelling house, and John
Combs and Luther Ingraham were licensed as " Inholders " — nothing
said about selling liquors. The fee paid in most of the cases was $6.

In 1834 the town first instructed the selectmen not to grant any
licenses and to prosecute all violations of license laws. On the ques-
tion of license they steadily voted no from year to year. At a meeting
of the board in 1841 — " Resolved that Cyrus Williams having applied
for license, this board will grant a license to said Williams to be an
Inuholder in said town during the coming year, without the right to
retail wine, brandy, rum, or any other spirituous, vinous or fermented
intoxicating liquors." 1844 — " Voted that the licensing board be in-
structed to grant a license to one person to sell spirituous liquors for
medical and mechanical purposes, and that the liquors be furnished
by the town; that a record be kept of the quantity sold and to whom,
and no credit be given for any liquor sold." The board were in-
structed to license no one else and to prosecute all who violated the
license laws. William Dyer was duly licensed October 26, 1846, the
first town agent according to the state law in Waterville. Mr. Dyer
declined and Ira H. Low was appointed to fill the vacancy. 1848 —
" Voted to license two persons in the East village and one in the West
village in said town to retail spirituous liquors for medicinal and me-
chanical purposes only." Ira H. Low and William Dyer were licensed
in the former and Samuel Kimball in the latter. 1849 — " Voted to
raise the sum of $300, to defray the expenses of the town for the sup-
pression of the sale of spirituous liquors."

It is a curious reflection that the citizens of Waterville and Wins-
low got along without a bridge over the Kennebec till 1824. During
that year a covered toll bridge was built by a stock company that did
good service till the flood of 1832 washed it away. Another covered
toll bridge was built by private parties, among whom were Jediah
Morrill, Timothy Boutelle, the Redingtons and James Stackpole.
This bridge served the public till, in its turn, a freshet swept it away
in 1869. The county commissioners immediately ordered a new bridge
built by Waterville and Winslow, and appointed G. A. Phillips, agent
of the town of Waterville, to superintend its construction. The work
was pushed so vigorously that a covered structure costing $32,000, and
free to all, was ready for use in less than a year from the loss of the
old one. Mistakes in the construction of this bridge caused its partial
failure in a few years. Its piers were excellent, however, and now
sustain the present iron bridge built by the two towns in 1884, and
costing $40,000.

At the town meeting of March 3, 1823, Johnson Williams, Jediah


Morrill, Nehemiah Getchell, William Pearson, Hall Chase and Asa
Redington, jun., were selected fire wardens, and Asa Redington, jun.,
Nathaniel Oilman and Abigail Smith, police officers. Daniel Fairfield
and Joseph Warren were elected meeting house keepers. 1847 "Voted
that a night watch shall be established within the East Village till the
next annual meeting. This watch shall consist of fourteen sober, tem-
perate, and moral men. Two out of the fourteen shall, in rotation,
serve each night." 1846. " Voted that the sum not exceeding $100 be
paid out of the treasur}' of the town to defray the expense of vaxinat-
ing said inhabitants."

At a town meeting held Monday, September 13, 1830, the following
was enacted: " Be it ordered by the /(?ze'«— That all that part of the town
included within and bounded by the following limits, viz.: On the
east by Kennebec river, on the north by the north line of river lot
numbered 106— on the west by the mile and half stream so called,
and on the south by the south line of river lot numbered 102, shall
hereafter be called and known in the by-laws and other records and
proceedings of the town by the name of the Village of Waterville."

The police, sanitary and street regulations of the village were
stringent, and sensible rules were made concerning the management
of fires and stoves in private buildings. Some of the restrictions were
curious, and some were impracticable. A fine of one dollar was im-
posed on the owner of any chimney, flue or stove pipe that should
burn out in such a manner that the flames were visible at the upper
end thereof, or that should throw out burning cinders, except where
the roofs of buildings were wet, or covered with snow, and between
the hours of sunrise and noon. No light should be carried into a hay
loft, or other place filled with highly combustible materials, except in
a lantern, and a fine of fifty cents was imposed for smoking a pipe or
cigar on any street or sidewalk, or in stable yard or outhouse — with a
provision that a person might smoke in his own workshop.

The oldest fire company in Waterville was formed about 1810 by
Captain Abijah Smith, Nehemiah Getchell, James Stackpole, Timothy
Boutelle, Russell Blackwell, and others. A hand engine, made by
Stephen Thayer, of Boston, was bought. This was of the most primi-
tive construction. Water had to be brought in pails, and turned into
a tub, from which it was forced by a couple of ordinary pumps through
a leaky hose. One day some one wrote the word " i>V()(?w^r " on the
machine at the time bloomer dresses were being worn by a few dar-
ing women. The joke took the fancy of the boys, and by that name
it was run, retired, and is now remembered. This company and this
engine were all the protection Waterville had for years against fires.
It was .supported by voluntary aid, which in the nature of things, was
in the course of time changed to a general tax. After the usual oppo-
sition, the following legislation was procured:


"An act to establish the Ticonic Village corporation. Approved
March 24, 1836.

"Beginning .south line lot No. 100, on Dr. McKechnie's plan, we.st
one mile— thence north to south line of lot No. 107— thence east on
-south line of said lot to river— thence south by river to place of be-
ginning—which together with the inhabitants thereon be and the
same is hereby created a body politic and corporate by the name of
The Ticonic Village Corporation.

" Said corporation is hereby invested with the power at any legal
meeting to raise money for the purchase, repair and preservation of
one or more fire engines, hose and other apparatus, and for erecting
and repairing of engine hou.ses, and water cisterns, and organizing
and maintaining an efficient fire department, and also a further sum
not exceeding $50 annually to pay the expenses of ringing one of the
bells of said village. The 'officers of said corporation shall be a super-
visor, and a clerk and treasurer."

It is apparent that this was not a village corporation for any pur-
pose except to compel all property holders to support a fire depart-
ment. The town at its annual meeting in 1835 had voted the sum of
$225 for the purchase of a fire engine. This, with the incorporation
of Ticonic village, caused a general movement for adequate protection
against fires.

Engine Company No. 1, for Ticonic village corporation, was orga-
nized in 1836. The members in 1839 were among the first citizens of
the village: Samuel Appleton, Joseph Hasty, Joseph O. Pearson, Will-
iam Getchell, jun., James Pearson, George Wentworth, John A. Rhodes,
Isaac W. Wheeler, Jonathan Stanley, Llewellyn E. Crommett, David
Shorey, Joseph Percival, Reuel Howard, jun., Arthur Blish, James
Hasty, jun., Walter Getchell, B. K. Scribner, Eben Freeman, William
G. Penny, EliphaletGilman, Elisha Howard, Sumner Percival, William
Golder, Otis Getchell, William H. Pearson, Silas Getchell, Charles H.
Thayer, Philander Soule, Estes W. French, Jarvis Barney, Moses Get-
chell, Dr. Nathaniel R. Boutelle, James S. Read, Wadsworth Chipman,
Lewis Purrington, Edward H. Piper, Hiram P. Cousins, Orea Doolittle,
David Golder, Charles K. White, George H. Esty, Joseph Nudd, Sam-
uel S. Parker, Henry H. Fames, Jo.seph C. Whitman, Eldridge Get-
chell, S. T. Williams, Aaron Healey, William H. Blair, Oliver Paine,
Nathaniel Oilman, jun., Albert Bolkcom and Charles F. Oilman.

This company, with the first Ticonic engine, did admirable work
for nearly twenty years, when a new generation, in 1854, organized
the famous Waterville No. 3, and bought, an engine with which they
won memorable victories over the best fire organizations in central
Maine. They were never defeated in a public contest. The fourth
engine was brought from Pittsfield, Mass., about 1860, where it had*
been used a short time, and was known here as Ticonic No. 1.

Chief engineers of the fire department have been: Samuel Reding-
ton, Samuel Appleton, E. L. Getchell, W. A. Caffrey, W. B. Arnold,


Dr. F. C. Thayer, H. G. Tozer, C. R. Shorey, J. D. Hayden, A. H. Plais-
ted and'W. F. Brown. Simeon Keith was a member of the department
from 1837 to 1887. Hand engines were succeeded by the present
steamer in 1886 and the fire alarm was adopted in 1892.

Mills and Manufactories.— We propose to describe the various
mills and manufactories on the Emerson or Messalonskee stream in
its course through Waterville, beginning with the lower or last privi-
lege before it enters the river. This was probably first utilized by
Silas and Abijah Wing, who constructed a dam, a saw mill and a grist
mill. Samuel and Joseph Hitchings came in 1809, from Boston, and
bought the property of them. Samuel put up another building where
lie made wool carding machines and turned bedstead posts.

Deacon Daniel Wells built a carding and clothing mill on the same
dam, supplied with machinery made by Samuel Hitchings, and ran it
till about 1832, when he changed it to a shingle mill. About 1820 the
old saw mill was rebuilt by Joseph Hitchings, and about 1830 the
grinding and bolting machinery were taken from the grist mill to the
Crommett grist mill on the upper dam. The great freshet of 1832,
the only one ever known to do any damage on this stream, carried all
the buildings on the Hitchings dam away except Deacon Wells' card-
ing mill, which was burned two years later.

The saw mill, which was carried but a little ways by the flood, was
brought back and put in operation, soon after which the Hitchings
brothers sold the dam property to Francis Batchelder, of Boston, who
built another saw mill on the other side of the stream and did for a
few years a large but unprofitable lumber business. The property
was abandoned and the mills rotted down. The site is now owned by
Samuel Hitchings, son of Joseph.

The next privilege above, now owned by Webber & Philbrick, was
the site of one of the earliest saw mills in Waterville, built and owned
by Asa Emerson, from whom the stream took its name. One of the
election notices in 1790 was posted by vote of the town on Emerson's
mill. The old buildings and dam wasted away and the power had
been idle for years till, in 1833, Joseph P. Fairbanks, one of the three
famous scale builders of St. Johnsbury, Vt., and Arba Nelson built the
present dam and began making cast iron plows in December of that
year, under the firm name of Fairbanks, Nelson & Co. The " Co."
comprised Erastus and Nelson Fairbanks, of St. Johnsbury.

After a few years the Waterville Iron Manufacturing Company
•was formed, John Webber and Fred P. Haviland becoming stockhold-
ers and directors. In 1843 these two men bought the entire property
and added stove making. Webber & Haviland continued the business
for the next twenty-eight years. In 1871 a half interest was sold to
Frank B. Webber and C. T. Haviland, sons of the senior partners, and
Webber, Haviland & Co. in turn changed, in 1873, to Webber, Havi-


land & Philbrick, at which time F. B. Philbrick bought an equal part-
nership with F. B. Webber and C. T. Haviland. The present firm of
Webber & Philbrick was formed in 1882, when C. T. Haviland dis-
posed of his interests to his partners, who have given steady work for
the past ten years to twenty -five men, and are the only concern in the
foundry and general machinery business in Waterville.

The next dam above was built soon after 1850, by Erastus O.
Wheeler. Samuel Appleton, Zebulon Sanger and John Ransted built
a paper mill and made newspaper stock. The Warrens and Monroes,
of Boston, the next owners, made cedar bark paper till they were
burned out. In 1873 Winslow Roberts and A. P. Marston bought the
site and built a large factory, in which they made wooden shanks, used
in the manufacture of boots and shoes, for several years, employing
fifty people. Their works were burned in 1878, rebuilt, and again
destroyed by fire the next year, since which no business has been done
on this dam.

Proceeding up stream we come next to the old carpet factory, built
by Windsor & Barrett for a cotton factory, and run by Gilroy more
than sixty years ago. He made genuine Wiltshire goods, and several
of the first families ordered a carpet in advance to encourage his com-
ing. The only trouble with his carpets was that buyers did not live
long enough to wear them out and need more. After Gilroy, Israel
Johnson made machinery there for woolen mills till William Pearson
& Sons bought the property, put up more buildings and established a
tannery that used 3,000 cords of bark yearly. About 1854 the Pearsons
quit the business and the property stood idle till 1865, when it was
bought by H. S. Ricker & Co., refitted and run till 1874, when Mr.
Ricker became and has continued to be the sole proprietor. Upper
leather made from hides and skins is the special product of this tan-
nery, which employs five men and uses yearly 300 cords of bark.

The next dam above the old carpet mill site is the upper dam, on
which the water company's pumping station is located. Doctor Mc-
Kechnie built a saw mill and a grist mill here on the west side of the
stream, before 1780, that disappeared before the memory of any one
now living. Election notices were posted in 1788 on " Widow Mc-
Kechnie's grist mill." James Crommett built the next dam, and on
the east side of the stream he built a saw mill, a grist mill and a card-
ing and clothing mill. The mills were run by the builder and his
sons, Orrin, Theodore and Llewellyn. The latter ran the grist mill,
which had four runs of stones and two bolts, till about 1842, after
which it stood idle many years. Orrin Crommett, B. P. Manley, James

S. Craig, Hill and Allen operated the carding mill till Fred

Bailey changed it to a grist mill and was succeeded by W. S. B. Run-
nells who was burned out in 1884.

Jerry Furbish, in 1872, bought of William Brown the old gristmill


and half the saw mill, and made sash, doors and blinds till the fire of
1884. He rebuilt and continued business till his death in 1888. Suc-
ceeding him, Bangs Brothers, Mr. Dane and Hayden & Robinson did
various kinds of wood work till 1891, when the present occupant, Al-
bert G. Bowie, architect and builder, took possession. In the various
departments of his business fifty men are employed.

On the same dam Winslow Marston bought, in 1858, of Cushman,
a part of the Pearson tannery, and inade matches till 1890. He was
twice burned out, the last time in 1889. Fuller & Haines now use the
building for a carpenter shop.

The water privilege and land on the west side of the dam were
owned by James Stackpole, who, with Erastus O. and Sumner Wheeler,
built a saw mill, before 1830, that ran many years. This privilege
and half of the dam below were bought, in 1873, by Henry R. Butter-
field. On the latter he built the shovel handle factory he still operates,
in which fifteen men are employed, and 35,000 dozen handles are
made yearly. On the upper dam, he built in 1875 a building in which
B. F. Dow & Co. made furniture. In 1880 the Fiber Ware Company
bought the property, and their works were burned in 1884. Near the
bridge, Mr. Butterfield also erected, in 1875, a large two-story build-
ing, designed for a grist mill, that stood idle till burned in the fire of

The Maine Water Company, with central offices in Gardiner, built
in 1887, and still own the water works in this city. A powerful pump
forces water from the Messalonskee to a reservoir 2-J- miles distant,
from whence fifteen miles of iron mains distribute it through the
city. The forcing capacity of the pump is 2,000,000 gallons per day,
and 1,200 customers now use about half that amount.

The first effort to use the stupendous power of the Kennebec river
at Waterville for mechanical purposes was made in 1792, when Nehe-
miah Getchell and Asa Redington came from A'assalboro, and con-
structed a dam from the west shore to Rock island and built a saw
mill. Other mills were soon biiilt, logs were easily obtained from the
river, and for the next sixty years this was the manufacturing center,
and its vicinity was the business center of the town.

Redington & Stackpole were the next mill builders after the
pioneers, followed by Nehemiah and William Getchell, sons of ]S[ehe-
miah, from Vassalboro, and the fathers respectively of Eldridge and
Walter Getchell, of this city. The Getchell saw mill was run by the
brothers, William and Walter Getchell, from 1830 to 1870, being burned
in the fire of 1849, rebuilt, and again burned in 1859. They sold in 1868
to General Franklin vSmith, who built a saw and framing mill. He sold
to the Lockwood Company. The following well-remembered men built
or rented saw mills, and were large lumber cutters and dealers here,
during the first half of the present century: John, Samuel and William


Kendall, the latter a noted man — inventor of the turbine water wheel
and the circular saw; Isaac Farrer and Zebulon Sanger, and his sons,
William, Samuel and Silas, Asa Redington, Dunlap, Hobson, Parker
Sheldon, Deacon Samuel Doolittle, David Paige, Josiah Morrill, Colonel
Scribner, Colonel Simonds, William and Daniel Moor, French Brothers,
and Jacob and William Wing. The latter made sash and blinds.
Waterville did an immense lumber business until the pine forests
were exhausted.

Moses Dalton built on the river dam very early a grist mill and a
carding mill that were run till they were worn out. Asa Redington
built another grist mill on the same site in 1838, that was successively

Online LibraryHenry D KingsburyIllustrated history of Kennebec County, Maine; 1625-1799-1892; → online text (page 70 of 151)