Clement Martin Giveen.

A chronology of municipal history and election statistics online

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Book. W33 ^^


Luther G. Bunker

A Chronology





Waterville, Maine



Compiled and Edited by





Two Cooics Received

DEC 24 iSOa

Cooyrifeiit Entry
'^^^^^ , I ^ J^ o ¬Ђ

COKY a. '

In Grateful Acknowledgment of Official Faithfulness

this Book is Dedicated to the Memory of


Bom 1773 - Died 1841

Town Clerk twenty-nine yeeurs

Copyright, 1908


Clembnt M. Giveen


In the preparation of this chronology of municipal history and
the gathering together of political statistics, the writer has re-
ceived the most hearty co-operation from a host of friends, for
which he extends his thants.

The writer is especially grateful for the courtesies extended
to him by Town-clerk Eugene W. Allen of Winslow, and City-clerks
John E. Nelson and Fred W. Clair of Waterville. Mr, Joseph
Alexander, chief clerk at the office of the secretary of state, the
librarian at the State library, Harvard University and the Bos-
ton Public Library also gave valuable assistance, while everyone
connected with our home library has done everything within their
power to assist the writer at all times. Their courteous treatment
has been a source of pleasure and contributed much toward mak-
ing the compilation of this volume a delightful toil.

Introductory Chapter

August eleventh, 1693, all the chiefs of the eastern Indian
tribes signed an agreement wliereby "That their Majesties' sub-
jects, the English, shall and may peaceably and quietly enter, repair,
improve, and forever enjoy all and singular their rights of lands,
and former settlements and possessions within the eastern parts of
the said province of the Massachusetts Bay, without any pretensions
or claims by us, or any other Indians, and be in no wise molested,
interrupted or disturbed therein." The agreement was signed at
Fort William Henry in Pemaquid "in the fifth year of the reign
of our Sovereign Lord and Lady, William and Mary, by the
Grace of God, of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, King
and Queen, Defender of the Faith, etc., 1693." Those who signed
the "submission" were chiefs ''of all the Indians belonging to the
several rivers of Penobscote and Kermebeck, Amaroscogin and
Saco." The representative of the Canabas tribe was Wenobson
who signed "Wenobson of Teconnet in behalf of Moxus."

Two years previous to the signing of this document the char-
ter of William and Mary included Maine in the territory over
which royal governors were appointed, but the horrors of Indian
warfare prevented migration to the province of Maine, to any
points beyond those fortified or where settlers had gathered in
sufficient numbers to make a defense against attack. After the
meeting of the chiefs and representatives of the crown at Fort
William Henry, a movement was made to settle beyond the dan-
ger limits, but the treaty of peace was not observed and those who
had attempted to build their homes in new territories were com-
pelled to return to the settlements again for the protection and



safety of their families. In the years immediately following thi&
conference of the Maine Indians, battles between the savages and
whites were desperately fought. It appears that the English were
almost if not as much to blame for the violations of agreement^
as the Indians themselves and perhaps more so when the fact is
taken into consideration that it was the English who were en-
croaching upon the territory over which the Indians had for years
and years held complete domain. Scarcely had the treaty been
made when Bomaseen, a powerful chief of the Kennebecks, ap-
peared at Pemaquid with a flag of truce for consultation or other
purpose. He was recognized by the officers of the fort and ar-
rested on the charge that he had been concerned in the destruction
of Dover, N. H. He was sent to Boston as a spy and sentenced
to imprisonment for five years. The Kennebeck Indians, enraged
at this, renewed their warfare with all the hatred and cunning of
their race and shared in the destruction of Fort William Henry,
the special object of their wrath, in 1696, and would not listen
to any terms of peace until the release and restoration of their
chief to the home of his people were included in the agreement-
Arrangements were made for the cessation of hostilities in 1699^
and the fierce old warrior returned to his people at Norridgewock.

The apparent peace that followed the retirement of the
Indians to their northern homes did not have the effect to promote
the advance of civilization, and neither white nor Indian was
inclined to trust the other beyond easy reach of gun or tomahawk.
Skirmishes and wars continued. Queen Anne's War in the early
part of the century brought ruin and death to many families, and'
a long period of hostilities followed. Father Sebastian Rale, a
Catholic priest, a native of France and finely educated, who had
assumed dominion over the Indian mission at Norridgewock in
1693, and had devoted himself to the work, was killed by an
expedition led by Captain Harmon from Fort Richmond in 1724.
Brunswick had been burned in 1722, and numerous settlements^
had been destroyed, many settlers and their families had been



killed so that the whites were compelled to seek safety, and the
Indians discouraged and broken in spirit fled to Canada. It is
said that as late as 1749 only two families of white people were
left above Merrymeeting Bay, and the French and Indians were
again in complete control of the northern country.

It would have been too hazardous an undertaking at this
time to have attempted to settle near the "falls" which offered so
many natural advantages, without a sufficient force of armed
men, that would have been too difficult to have maintained, so
while towns and villages were springing into life on the coast and
near the larger towns in interior New England, the site on which
Waterville stands today, the gem city of the Kennebec, was occu-
pied only by the Indian who camped on the banks of the beauti-
ful stream, catching the salmon from its depths and occupying
himself as necessity required or the exigencies of winter demanded.

The stillness of the forest was only disturbed by the occasional
twang of the bow as some Indian hunter's arrow felled a deer or
moo=e to provide meat for himself and squaw, or snapping of the
twigs in the underbrush, as perhaps some trapper wended liis
way toward the carry by the "falls," or by the rush of a frightened
animal as it sought safety from harm among the virgin timber,
or by the rustle of the wings of the birds as tliey flew unmolested
from tree to tree, enjoying the full liappiness which Nature

Many of the pioneers of the sixteenth and seventeenth cen-
turies came across the ocean to find a northwest passage to th^
Indies, and others came to find gold. John "Winthrop, when he
selected the site for the city of Boston, selected it simply because
it had a spring of pure water. They were not seeking the wealth
of the orient or the Occident. They were seeking a home with
plenty of good drinking water, and where they miglit dwell in peace
and freedom. lentil the shock of the Revolution awakened them to
a realization that they were Americans, Virginians' "home" was
back in Encrland. Washington did not dream that he was other


than an Englishman until Braddock snubbed him as a colonial.
The Pilgrim and the Puritan, on the other hand, were frowned
or chased out of the old land, and therefore, from the very begin-
ning America was their home and their only home. Their bridges
were burned behind them. They set up their own church and
within half a dozen years of the founding of Boston they laid the
foundation of Harvard University in this savage wilderness. They
had no illusions. They knew that they were Americans or that
they were nothing. One hundred years after the landing of the
Pilgrims and the Puritans, we find the same spirit prevalent. Set-
tlers went into the deep forest, hewed out a cornfield, suffered
untold hardships and withstood an ever present danger, not for the
value to be received, but for the purpose of establishing a home
for themselves, their wives and their children. The whole New
England territory was settled by homeseekers who cherished and
held sacred the spots selected for their domestic purposes, thus
as the settler gradually crept farther and farther away from
the older communities and penetrated the forests deeper and
advanced farther up the rivers and the streams he went not as
an adventurer or an investor. His sole idea was his future happi-
ness and that was embodied in the ownership of land enough to
provide through culture sufficient provision for those whom he
had to care for.

In the same year that old Chief Wenobson of Teconnet signed
the parchment that is referred to in the beginning of this chapter,
there was born at Preston, Sussex, England, a child that had
much to do with the settlement of Teconnet. This child, Wil-
liam Shirley, was destined to be the person who should first
authorize the building of a fort that commenced the settlement of
which Waterville is a part. The lad was educated as finely as
children of the best English families at that time afforded, and
at an early age commenced the practice of law. He came to
Boston in 1734, and was appointed a Eoyal Governor in 1741.
He planned the successful expedition against Cape Breton in 1745,



after which he returned to England, not coming to this country
again until 1753. At the outbreak of the French War he was
Commander-in-chief of all the British forces in America.

Seventeen years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth,
Mass., in 1620, the Plymouth Company had been formed and
chartered by the King of England. In 1620 a new company was
formed, succeeding the old company, and on JSTovember 3, King
James I granted the "New England Charter." The company in
turn granted privileges, including that of the Kennebec Patent in
1629, and met with varied misfortunes until discouraged by its
losses it surrendered its charter in 1635. The King immediately
appointed his Privy Councillors, Lord Commissioners of all
English possessions in America. In 1636 Lord Proprietor Gorges
established a capital and Court at Saco, but never exercised his
power over the Kennebec region. In 1661 the Kennebec Patent
was conveyed to John Winslow, Artemas Boies, Edward Tyng,
and Thomas Brattle. After this transaction considerable trouble
had occurred and so many difficulties had arisen with Gorges and
Commissioners appointed by the King, that Massachusetts in
1677 purchased all the rights of Gorges in the province, and for
nearly a hundred years trade was unmolested although of very
Bmall proportion. In 1749 a new Plymouth Company was formed
and organized along lines that were the means of causing the rapid
settlement of the Kennebec valley.

As appears in the first pages of the chronology of municipal
history that follows this introductory chapter, Governor "William
Shirley was petitioned by the new Plymouth Company to erect a
fort at Teconnet, which petition he granted and he personally
accompanied the expedition that erected Fort Halifax in 1754.

Thus one hundred thirty-four years after the first settle-
ment in New England at Plymouth, the march of progress and
civilization, reached the falls of the Kennebec, and there com-
menced the building of a community that has never yet allowed
itself to take a backward step.

Could we but look into the past beyond the years allotted



to the time of man and gaze upon the picture that presented
itself as the eight hundred soldiers received the command to halt
on tlie spot where the first structure was to be erected, a monu-
ment to might and power, marking the passing of a race of people
and the onward march of an ever conquering arm}-; could we
push aside for a moment the clouds that envelop the past and
hide its distinctness, and look upon the scene as the ruddy glare
of the fires penetrated the dark depths of the forest and cast their
bright rays of light upon the swift flowing waters of the Kennebec,
and the smooth surface of the Sebasticook, perhaps, as we watched
the soldier and the mechanic spread their blankets beneath the
spreading branches of a monarch of the forest, we could see the
face of an Indian youth peer with wonderment expressed on every
feature as he carefully brushed aside the foliage of a convenient
bush to more closely examine the forms and faces of those his
fathers had taught him to fear and hate. Perhaps we could see
inat old warrior chief with stern and battle-scarred features stand-
ing in the shadows of a sturdy pine, his blanket wrapped closely
around his aging form, regarding the scene with the stoicism of
his race, though perhaps if we gazed a little closer we might de-
tect a trace of sadness creep across his brow, as perhaps for a
moment, the memory of his former greatness is uppermost in his
thoughts. Perhaps he may have helped to have defended Rale at
Norridgewock, or used his bow with unerring aim at the massacre
at Brunswick, or wielded his tomahawk with deadly effect at some
settler's home whom he believed was encroaching upon his right
by birth. As we watch the officers give their nightly instructions
to the guard and watch the slumbering fires grow dim as soldier
after soldier falls in slumber in peaceful thoughts of their security.
Bee the Indian youth glide back to his lodge, and watch the camp
Buccumb to tbe quietness of the hour with only the roar of the
falls reverberating through the evening air, we will withdraw our
grasp on the veil of the past and let the clouds of time again sur-
round the scene, to be cleared away by the morning sunlight upon
the beautiful city of Waterville of today.



The completion of Fort Halifax, together with the privileges
offered by the Plymouth Company, were the means of bringing
many settlers to the Kennebec region. Farms were cleared, trad-
ing posts established, and a system of communication and trans-
portation put into effect.

With the coming of more settlers new branches of business
were established, the farms, increasing in acreage of cultivation
under the untiring efforts of their proprietors, were beginning to
increase their products, and as years went by the old-time trad-
ing posts became centers of prosperous and growing communities.

The settlers began early to provide for the educational needs
of their children, they contributed as generously as their means
would permit for their religious instruction, and they founded the
industrial success of the town upon the solid rock of hard and
honest toil.

We have not in this section of Maine a balmy climate or a
soil particularly adapted to produce, in competition with western
communities, a single one of the great agricultural staples, nor
can we by delving into our hills find stores of iron, or coal, or
precious metals. For more than a century, however, this com-
munity in thought and action has been profoundly influenced and
benefited by the high standard of these first colonists, and their
determination that their children and their children's children
after them should like them be men of education and intelli-
gence. In establishing their first school our forefathers were not
merely providing for the elementary "R's" of reading, writing and
arithmetic, but were supplying for their children the advance type
of education which ever since has been afforded by our public
schools. Of vital importance to this community are our public
schools, and these our citizens have always supported with great
generosity. For a long period in our history our public school
system has been substantially efficient, and it is this as much as
any other factor, notwithstanding disadvantages in soil, climate,
and mineral wealth, which has caused Waterville to prosper so



While we had some lumber, little wool, no coal or cotton, we
had an abundant water power, an advantage which has counted
for much. More than all else, however, the energies of our people
were early turned in an industrial direction, inventions have
multiplied here, and through the thrift due to Puritan ancestry,
wealth in the form of productive capital has accumulated, giving
to Waterville an industrial importance and economic efficiency
entirely beyond that attributable to the mere possession of peculiar
natural advantages. Waterville's educational and industrial growth
has been the result of the wise government and good citizenship
of those who planted their homes in the early days under tlie pro-
tecting guns of Fort Halifax. It has been due to their foresight
and care in founding the systems of education and industry that
we can point with pride to our factories, our college, our business
blocks, and our schools.

In addition to their zealous care and careful nursing of Water-
wile's industrial infancy, and voting from their poverty and means
whereby the future generations might be benefited by a free and
liberal education, the early settlers of this community were devot-
edly patriotic to their country. No city in Maine has a more
splendid record in patriotism than Waterville. It was in New
England that the torch of American liberty was lighted, and it
was passed on from Lexington, Concord, and Bunker Hill in
undimmed flame to Yorktown. "Here," in the words of John
Adams, "the Child Independence was born." Waterville has never
forgotten that glorious fact, and never has ceased to cherish the
noblest traditions of that dearly bought freedom, Waterville has
welcomed the children of other nations within its borders, and so
potent has been her example of patriotism that these adopted chil-
dren have learned to cherish with the mother's zeal and fervor
the greatest principles upon which the American government was
founded. Nowhere else are the truths of the declaration of inde-
pendence taught more thoroughly or persistently than in the pub-
lic schools of Waterville, where the children of another nation and



another tongue so different from ours are soon saturated with the
spirit of American patriotism.

The epitaph prepared by Eichard Thomas for his own tomb-
stone, which can now be eeen at the old cemetery in Winslow,
causes the reader to smile at first, but read it over a second time,
read between the lines and you will read a lesson in patriotism
that cannot be excelled.

"Here lies the body of Eichard Thomas,
a whig of 76
By occupation a cooper,
jSTow food for worms.
Like an old rumpuncheon
marked, numbered and shooked, ;| -,<!|

He will be raised again
and finished by his creator.
He died Sept. 28, 1824, aged 75.
America, my adopted country, my best advice to you is this, take
care of your liberty."
This was the spirit of the early American settlers, English-
men, many of them by birth, but whigs of '7G. Defenders of lib-
erty and religious freedom, surrendering the ties of home to fight
for a new country, the embodiment of their ideas of freedom and
happiness, struggling through the trying days of its infancy to
promote its efficiency and establish its permanency, devoting their
time in preparing laws for its government, and expending their
means to provide for its maintenance. Then like an old rum-
puncheon, marked, numbered, and shooked and laid aside they
were willing to pass to the great beyond in perfect faith of their
promised reward, happy in the thoughts of their achievements and
admonishing those left behind to gu^rd well the liberty for which
they had fought and died.

The territory including that of Waterville and Winslow previ-
ous to 1771, was known as Kingfield Plantation. The greater part
of what is now Oakland was called Dearborn. In the chronology,



which follows, will be found the incorporation act of the town of
Winslow giving the boundary lines and other interesting informa-
tion regarding the original town. Circumstances arose, which are
explained later, that caused the first division of the town in 1802,
the annexation of the town of Dearborn and the final separation
of Oakland from Waterville.

Man}' regret now that the difTiculties of the earlier days could
not in some way liave been remedied, and are sorry that the old
town lines established by the General Court could not have
remained unchanged, but the communities were tlien widely sep-
arated and those interested in the affairs of the town felt that they
could govern themselves more economically and with better regard
to the individual wants of those living in each of the different vil-
lages if under separate organizations.

Any history of Waterville that has been written is the history
of Winslow as well, up to the time of the division of the towns,
and that of Oakland, until that prosperous and enterprising munic-
ipality decided to adorn itself with the butterfly wings of state
and govern its own course in 1873. Winslow and Oakland are
now in so close touch with Waterville, one connected by both steam
and trolley, and the other by steam and three fine bridges, and
has an electric road being constructed, that they are more of one
community now than at any time during the last century. The
inhabitants are of the same character, industrious and prosperous,
all interested in the welfare of the other in doing their utmost in
promoting the best interests of all three. The municipal affairs of
Winslow since 1802 have been conducted on the same general lines
as those of Waterville. The town has been governed wisely and
well. Its public men have been prominent in the affairs of the
State and Nation, while the private citizen has closely followed
the business of the towm, attending to his own affairs with the
same careful oversight, with the result that prosperity for all has
been their portion. The great HoUingsworth & Whitney Company
paper mills are located on the Winslow side of the Kennebec. The



mills compose one of the largest paper plants in the world. The
company manufactures a fine grade of manilla wrapping paper,
and also manufactures the pulp used for all its purposes. The
products of this establishment are shipped to all parts of America,
addition after addition has been built and there has just been
completed a monster building to provide more space for the neces-
sary machinery and equipment that is required to furnish a sup-
ply sufficient to meet the demand. The town of Winslow has
been very generous in the matter of assessment and taxation of the
property of the corporation. A very friendly feeling exists between
them^ which has contributed much towards the prosperity of both.

Oakland has also continued in its prosperity since its separa-
tion from the mother town. Its various business establislunents
are doing a good business and the Somerset Eailway, recently
leased to the Maine Central Eailroad Company, connects with the
latter line at this point, adding considerable to the prosperous
condition of affairs. This is also the terminus of the Waterville
and Oakland street railway. The car barns and repair shops are
erected here, together with a large entertainment hall, which adds
both business and pleasure to the resources of the town and has
been tlie means of bringing hundreds of pleasure seekers to enjoy
the day or evening, fishing or boating, on the beautiful Messalon-
skee Lake.

The incorporation act of the town of Waterville was passed
to be enacted in the Massachusetts House of Representatives on
July 23, 1802. It had several readings and was passed by the Sen-
ate and approved by Governor Caleb Strong on the same day.
By this act the present city of "Waterville commenced its munic-
ipal career. Commencing on this day in June the little community
on the west side of the Kennebec river began to exercise its right
of self-government; that it has performed the duty well is best
demonstrated by following the growth of the town from a strug-
gling little collection of homes, through the records of the doings
of its people assembled in public meetings up to the time of today.



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Online LibraryClement Martin GiveenA chronology of municipal history and election statistics → online text (page 1 of 16)