David Thurston.

A brief history of Winthrop, from 1764 to October 1855 (Volume 2) online

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Roe liov/ much schooling the town will hire, and what
method the town will take respecting the school." In
the wanant for a town meeting in March, 1776, was an
article relating to schools, upon which they " voted not
to raise any money for a school, nor for preaching, nor to
defray town charges." The war of the Revolution
oppressed them. March, 1777, the article in the Avar-
rant " To see if the town will come into some meas-
ures to provide a school the year ensuing," was passed
in the negative. In March, 1782, the town appropriated
twenty pounds for schooling. The Selectmen were au-
thorized to divide the schooling according to their dis-

The town was divided into six school districts by

accepting the report of a committee appointed for the
jHirpose, in Dccembei;, 1782. In 1783, and in each of
the three following years, the town voted to raise thirty


pounds, lawful silver money, to support schools. In 1 787,
they voted to raise fifty pounds, and in 1788 they added
ten pounds lawful money to the fifty pounds of the last

For a number of years the town chose a School Com-
mittee .of three in each district, and a Collector of the
money for schooling in each district. Generally, but not
Invariably, one of the Committee was appointed Collector.
In 1789, they voted to raise one hundred and sixty pounds
to build school houses in the several districts. They
appropriated sixty pounds for schools. 1790, they raised
one hundred pounds to hire school teachers, and two
hundred and twenty pounds to finish school houses.

April, 1791, Readfield was incorporated into a town.

At the first town meeting after this. Committees were
chosen for the several school districts, as follows :

1st district, Benjamin Fairbanks, Timothy Foster and
Elijah Fairbanks.

2d district, Stephen Pullen, John Comings and Reuben

3d district, Ebenezer Davenport, Charles Harris and
James Atkinson.

4th district, John Chandler, Cyrus Baldwin and Gideon

5th district, Phillip Allen, Solomon Stanley and John

6th district, Arnold Sweet, Samuel King and Henry

1792, thirty-five pounds were raised for the support of
schools. In 1793, sixty pounds. In 1794, sixty pounds.


In 1796, three hundred dollars. In 1797, three hundred
and thirty-three dollars.

In 1797 or 1798, the interest in having their children
instructed, became such, in one district, at least, which is
the Snell district, that after expending their portion of
the three hundred and thirty-three dollars raised by the ?
town, individuals subscribed two, five or ten dollars each
to have the school continued. They were generous
enough, not to make it a private school, but allowed al
the scholars in the district to attend, whether their parents
had subscribed any thing or not. They thus employed
a teacher by the name of Burgin, a year and nine months.

In 1800, the town raised four hundred dollars for the
support of schools. In 1804, six hundred dollars. In
1807, seven hundred dollars. The same sum was raised
annually for many years.

April, 1807, "Samuel Wood, Dudley Todd, Esqrs.,
Capt, Hushai Thomas and Rev. David Thurston were
appointed the School Committee, and were also requested
to draw a plan for the instruction of the youth in said
town and report at the next town meeting, if they should
be of opinion that they can make any improvement of the
present plan of schooling."

May, 1807, the committee chosen in April, to report
any improvement in the mode of schooling, offered the
following : вАФ

" In our opinion, it would be an improvement, if, in
all the districts where there are more than 40 scholars,
no small children, who cannot read in two syllables so as
to be classed with others, should be admitted into the
winter schools, and that the teachers in their respective


schools should be the judges what scholars are not capable

of being thus classed ; and in case of any disagreement

between the school teachers and parents or guardians of

children, it shall be referred to the School Committee to





May 4, 1807."

The town accepted the report.

1822, the town voted to raise six hundred and fifty
dollars for the support of schools. They continued to
raise this sum for the support of schools till 1824, when
they raised seven hundred and ninety dollars. In 1825,
they raised six hundred and fifty dollars. In 1826, they
raised seven hundred dollars. In 1828, they raised eight
hundred dollars. They raised this sum annually, till
1833, when the interest on the Ministerial Fund was
appropriated to support primary schools, when they raised
six hundred and twenty dollars. In 1837, they raised
six hundred dollars.

For many years, more than an usual degree of interest
was manifested by some of the people of Winthrop to
have their schools answer the valuable design of their
establishment. The Superintending Committee have been
at considerable pains to have the money appropriated to
the purpose of education, judiciously expended. Solicit-
ous to have no other than suitably qualified teachers
employed, a sense of duty compelled them, occasionally,
to withhold the required certificates from applicants. In


their visits to the schools, they endeavored to impress
U23on the minds of the pupils the value of their privileges,
and their duty to avail themselves of them in laying a
good foundation for an education. They also sought to
encourage and stimulate them to be thorough in every
branch of study to which they attended. Many persons
suffer all the way through life from being permitted to
pass over their early studies in a superficial manner.
Habitually to recite lessons half learned, forms a perni-
cious habit, which, at length, disqualifies the person for
ever doing any thing well.

In their annual reports, which they began quite early to
make, the Committee labored to present the responsibility
of parents and district agents in selecting suitable in-
structors for the rising generation. They were earnestly
cautioned against the wasteful, insane practice of seeking
such as could be obtained for a small compensation.
Much stress was laid on having teachers of sound moral
principles and correct habits. Parents were urged to
indefatigable efforts to have the children make the best
use of their time and opportunities. Notwithstanding
all the Committee could do, it was sometimes a painful
task to make a true report of the state of some schools.
The effect, however, on the schools was highly salutary.
The Committee had the satisfaction to believe that their
arduous and self-denying labors were not lost. Their
schools have had the reputation of being better regulated,
better instructed, and of having made greater proficiency
in their studies than in most other places. They have
not unfrequently heard this opinion from competent


judges. May they ever maintain a superiority to others
in intelligence, morality and every good work.

In addition to the town schools, private schools have
been kept for a longer or shorter time, in the district at
the village, in that at East Winthrop and in some oth-
ers. Of late years, they have sometimes had a quarter's
schooling in the spring and autumn. A respectable
number have gone abroad, to different academies and
schools. So that the outlays for education, beyond the
legal assessments, have been very considerable.

Rev. John Butler, pastor of the Baptist church in East
"Winthrop, instructed quite a number of classes of young
ladies in the higher branches of an English education.
He was a very acceptable and successful teacher. His
pupils made highly creditable proficiency in their studies,
particularly in Geography and Astronomy. These branches
were illustrated by the use of Globes and an Orrery.
His school obtained such fame, (nor was it undeserved,)
that some of his pupils came from a very considerable
distance. His school gave an increased impulse to the
cause of female education, not only in this town, but in
the region around in various directions.

The whole number of scholars between the ages of
four and twenty-one, in May, 1804, was 685. In Dis-
trict No. 1, there were 133 ; in District No. 2, were 79 ;
in District No. 3, were 102 ; in District No. 4, were
134; in District No. 5, 39; in District No. 6, vrere 45; in
District No. 7, were 80 ; in District No. 8, were 31 ; in
District No. 9, were 42. The money raised that year for
schools was six hundred dollars.

The whole number of scholars between the ages of


four and twenty-one, in May, 1855, was 777. In Dis-
trict No. 1, 63; No. 2, 78; No. 3, 53; No. 4, 304;
No. 5, 79; No. 6, 20; No. 7, 57; No. 8, 48; No. 9,
66 ; No. 10, 11 ; No. 11, 4 ; No. 12, 4.

Wintlirop has furnished a large number for the highly
important, but by no means duly appreciated, occupation
of teaching common schools. Some of them have attained
considerable celebrity, not only in Maine and other New
England States, but also in the Middle, Southern and
Western States.


The following is a list of the graduates at different
Colleges, from Wintarop.

Abisha Benson, brought up in the family of his uncle,
Dr. Peleg Benson, graduated at Dartmouth College,
Hanover, N?H., in 1812.

Samuel Johnson, son of Dea. Samuel and Mrs. Susanna
Johnson, was born in Rowley, Mass., but came, while a
child, in 1802, to Winthrop. He graduated at Bowdoin
College in the class of 1817.

George Washington Campbell resided with his brother
Daniel Campbell, Esq., and graduated at Union College,
Skenectady, N. Y., in 1820.

Samuel Page Benson, youngest son of Dr. Peleg and
Mrs. Sally Benson, graduated at Bowdoin College in 1825.

Charles Snell, son of Dr. Issacher and Mrs. Mary Snell,
graduated at the same College, the same year.

Samuel Lewis Clark, son of Capt. Sam.uel and Mrs.
Susanna Clark, graduated at Bowdoin College in 1826.

William S. Sewall, son of Rev. Henry and Mrs. Esther

Sewall, graduated at Bowdoin College in 1834.


Thomas Newman Lord, after finisliing his apprentice-
ship with his uncle Capt. Thomas Newman, graduated at
Bowdoin College in 1835.

Samuel Elliot Benjamin, son of Capt. Samuel and Mrs.
Olivia Benjamin, graduated at Bowdoin College in 1839.

William Bradford Snell, son of Capt. Elijah and Mrs.
Abba Snell, graduated at Bowdoin College in 1845.

Luther Sampson Gibson, son of Rev. Zechariah and
Mrs. Theodate Gibson, graduated at Nassau Hall College^
Princeton, N. J.

Perez Southworth, son of Mr. Benjamin and Mrs.
Content Southworth, graduated at Bowdoin College in

George G. Fairbanks, son of Mr. Elijah and Mrs.

Fairbanks, graduated at Waterville College in 1847.

John Walker May, son of Seth May, Esq., and Mrs.
Cynthia, graduated at Bowdoin College in 1852.

Francis Everett Webb, son of Mr. Samuel and Mrs.
Olive Webb, graduated at Bowdoin College in 1853, in
which he was tutor in Greek one year.

Henry Clay Wood, son of Major Samuel and Mrs.
Florena S. Wood, graduated at Bowdoin College in 1854.


Winthrop has raised Physicians for several other places.

Bezer Snell, son of Capt. Elijah and Mrs. Abba Snell,
went to Virginia in 1818. He was employed as a teacher
for some time. He studied the healing art. He went to
Red-house, Charlotte County, Virginia, where he has
since been in the practice.

John ^Calvin Metcalf, son of Dea. Joseph and Mrs.


Olive Mctcalf, had the degree of M. D., in 1823, from
the Medical Institution in Philadelphia. He has been a
practitioner in Kentucky since the year 1831.

Gorham Albion Wing, son of Ichabod Wing, Esq., and
Mrs. ElizabelinVing, born July 15, 1798. Having a
feeble constitution, his early life was devoted to studies.
After he left the town school, he was instructed in Read-
field, and was for a season under the tuition of the ^vriter.
At the age of fifteen, he commenced teaching a town
school. In 1818, he went to Taney town, Maryland,
where he taught school and studied medicine, and after
five years he returned, attended Medical Lectures at
Brunswick, and in 1824 had the degree of M. D. con-
ferred upon him. He returned to Maryland, and after
practicing medicine one year in company with Dr. Heb-
bard, he removed to Boxborough, Person County, North
Carolina for five years. He then went with a company
of emigrants to Spring Hill, Maury County, Tennessee,
where he remained in his profession, until his decease,
May 31, 1854.

Charles Snell, son of Dr. Issachar and Mrs. Mary
Snell, had the degree of M. D. conferred on him in 1825,
and after practicing some time in Augusta, he went to
Bangor, where he still continues the practice.

Samuel Lewis Clark, son of Capt. Samuel and Mrs.
Susannah Clark, had the degree of M. D. conferred
on him by Jefferson College. Pennsylvania. He had
acquired a very respectable degree of skill in the healing
art. He practiced some time in Winthrop, but princi-
pally in the city of Bangor. He died August, 1851, in
the forty-fifth year of his age.

David E. A. Brainerd, son of Mr. Reuben and Mrs.


Fanny Brainercl, received the degree of M. D. at Bowdoia
College in 1828. He practices medicine in the town of

Nelson Howard Carey, son of Capt. Simeon and Mrs.
Roana Carey, had the degree of M. D. conferred on him
at Bowdoin College in 1828. He pursued his profession
many years in Wayne, and then went to Yarmouth.

George Fillebrown, son of Hon. Thomas and Mrs.
Elizabeth Fillebrown, received the degree of M. D. at
Bowdoin College in 1831, and at Columbia College,
D. C. He pursued his profession in Phippsburg, and
secured the confidence of his patients. He died in 1833,
aged 39 years.

Josiah Harris, son of Dea. Charles and Melatiah Harris,
left Winthrop, April, 1830. He had the degree of M. D.
from the Medical College in Baltimore, Maryland. He
settled as a physician, in Ohio. For several years, he
held the office of Judge in that State, where he yet lives.

Lewis Page Parlin, son of Capt. Silas and Mrs. Mary
Parlin, received the degree of M. D. at Bowdoin College
in 1834, and pursues his profession in the State of Rhode

Daniel Bobbins Bailey, son of Mr. Ezekiel and Mrs.
Mary B. Bailey, had the degree of M. D. conferred on
him at Philadelphia. He practiced some time at Win-
throp village, and then removed to Fairfield. After some
years, he returned, and is practising in East Winthrop.


Dr. Michael Walcott, from Attleborough, Mass., was
here about two years, the first regular practitioner in the


place, at a very early period. For several years, after lie
left, the nearest physician was the late Dr. Cony, of
Augusta, then Hallowell.

Dr. Moses Wing, from Sandwich, Mass., was some
time a physician in town. He married a daughter of
Mr. John Chandler, Senior. He afterwards removed to
Wayne, where he deceased at an advanced age, July,
1837. He was a member of the Congregational church,
and, by the recommendation of some aged ministers, he
some times preached to the destitute.

Dr. Pel eg Benson was born in Middleborough, Mass.,
December 14, 1766. He came to Winthrop in 1792.
On his way, he taught a school in New Gloucester, and
practiced the healing art a short time in Brunswick.
November 7, 1793, he married Miss Sally Page, daughter
of Col. Simon Page. His early advantages to acquire
medical knowledge were very limited, compared with
what young men now have. The progress made in the
science of chemistry and the establishment of Medical
Schools, have rendered very important aid to the pro-
fession. Dr. Benson's good common sense and sound
judgment secured the confidence of the people. From
his experience and observation he acquired a very re-
spectable share of skill and an extensive and successful
practice. He was often called by physicians in neighbor-
ing towns, as a counselor in difficult cases, particularly
in fevers and chronic complaints. He continued the only
physician in the place till the year 1806. In 1842, hav-
ing continued in the profession for half a century, he
advertised his friends that he would retire. He died at


the good old age of eighty-one. years and ten months,
October 5, 1848.

In 1806, Dr. Issachar Snell came from North Bridge-
water, Mass. He was a graduate of Harvard University
of 1797, and had the degree of M. D. conferred upon
him, and was M. M. S. Soc. He had given special atten-
tion to surgery. He had practiced some prior to his
coming to Winthrop. He had performed the difficult
operation of Lithotomy with great success. He soon
gained practice in town, particularly among the families
who emigrated from Bridgewater, of whom there were
not a few. His success as a surgeon gave him much
celebrity. He was frequently called a very considerable
distance in nearly every direction from Winthrop. He
became eminent in his profession. To the deep regret of
many, he left the town and removed to Augusta in 1828,
where he continued in the practice till his very sudden
death in October, 1847, aged seventy-two years and five

After Dr. Snell left, in 1827, Dr. Charles Hubbard
came from Concord, Mass. He had the degree of M. D.
conferred upon him, and had enjoyed superior advantages.
He was "a Avell read physician;" but some thought he
relied too much on his books. He left in 1830 and went
to Lowell, Mass.

Dr. Cyrus Knapp, of Leeds, came to Winthrop in
1827. He received the degree of M. D. from Bowdoin
College in 1825. He acquired considerable reputation
as a physician. But in 1838, he went to Augusta, and
after practicing there some time, he was appointed Super-
intendent of the Insane Hospital. From thence he went
to Rochester, N. Y.


Dr. Ebenezer C. Milliken came from Farmington. The
Medical degree of M. D. was conferred on him at Bow-
doin College in 1833. He practiced creditably in Win-
throp from 1835 to 1837, but was not fond of the pro-
fession. He then removed to Boston and went into other
business, in which he has been very successful.

Dr. Thomas L. Meguier succeeded Dr. Knapp. He
received the degree of M. D. at Bowdoin College in 1827,
and came to Winthrop in 1836. He had considerable
practice. In 1848 he sold his stand to Dr. John Hartwell,
who left in 1854, and has since died.

Dr. Daniel R. Bailey, son of Mr. Ezekiel Bailey, of
this town, had the degree of M. D. from the Medical
School in Philadelphia. He established himself at the
village in 1838, where he practiced some time. He then
left, and in 1849 returned and settled in East Winthrop,
where he still remains in the practice.

Dr. Samuel Lewis Clark commenced practice here in
1838, and in 1842 went to Bangor and practiced. He
was considered a skillful physician. He remained there
till about the time of his death.

Dr. Ezekiel Holmes was a native of Kingston, Mass.,
and a graduate of Brown University, Providence, R. I., in
1821. He had the degree of M. D. at Bowdoin College
in 1824. His health not proving adequate to the toils
and exposures of a physician, he instructed some time in
the Gardiner Lyceum. He came to Winthrop in 1832.
In January following, he commenced the publication
of the Maine Farmer. He has continued to occupy the
Editorial chair of that important and valuable periodical
to the present time. He has rendered his weekly issues


higUy popular and useful to husbandmen and mechanics.
He occasionally prescribes as a physician, and not unfre-
quently is called as a counselor, by the faculty. He was,
for 1852 and 1853, the Free Soil candidate for Governor
of Maine.

Dr. Brown practiced some years in EastWinthrop,

now Manchester.

Dr. Albert F. Stanley, a native of Attleborough, Mass.,
received the degree of M. D. at Bowdoin College in 1822,
and practiced medicine several years in Dixfield, Oxford
County. He came to Winthrop in 1843, where he still
continues the practice. He is a cordial laborer in the
cause of Temperance.

Dr. Albion P. Snow was a native of Brunswick, where
he received the degree of M. D. in 1854. He commenced
the. practice of medicine in Winthrop, soon after.

Dr. E. Small, a Thompsonian, practiced in 1844, and
left in 1845.

Dr. Palmer, a Homeopathist, practiced in town

in 1852 and 1853, and then removed,


The following, who have been admitted to the bar as
lawyers, were either born or brought up in Winthrop.

Abisha Benson, a nephew of Dr. Benson, pursued his
profession in the town of China. In 1826, he was ap-
pointed Brigadier General in the militia. He deceased
September 6, 1836, aged thirty-seven years.

Noble Snell, son of Capt. Elijah and Mrs. Abba Snell,
practiced law in Virginia.

Samuel Page Benson, son of Dr. Peleg and Mrs. Sally


Gustavus Adolphus Benson, son of Dr. Peleg and Mrs.
Sally Benson.

Seth May, son of Col. John and Mrs. Esther May.

John May, son of Col. John and Mrs. Esther May.

Samuel Elliot Benjamin, son of Capt. Samuel and Mrs.
Olivia Benjamin, is practicing in Patten.

William Bradford Snell, son of Capt. Elijah Snell,
after being preceptor of Monmouth Academy for some
years, has established himself in Fairfield, as an attorney.

Oliver L. Currier, son of Mr. Jonathan and Mrs. Phebe
Lambert Currier, was admitted to the bar in Franklin
County. He was for some years a member of the Board
of Education. He continues his profession in New


The first regular lawyer in the place was Dudley Todd,
Esq. He was a native of Rowley, Mass., and graduated at
Dartmouth College in 1795. He came to Winthrop in

. He was chosen Town Agent in 1801. He served

the town in that capacity for a number of years. In
1809, his house was burned, and he sustained a consid-
erable loss, and removed to Portland. But several of
his last years, he resided in Wayne.

The next lawyer was Daniel Campbell. He was a
native of Chester, N. H., and graduated at Dartmouth
College in 1801. He came to Winthrop and opened an
office, and in 1837, he went to Readfield, and after prac-
ticing some years there, he returned to Winthrop, re-
nounced the law as a profession, and became a preacher.

Alexander Belcher came from Northfield, Mass., to


Winthrop in 1807, where he continued till his very sud-
den death, in May, 1854, aged 75 years. Though not
distinguished as a pleader at the bar, he was well skilled
in the principles of law, and was a judicious and able

Alfred Martin, a native of Hallowell, graduated at
Bowdoin College in 1825. He opened an office in 1827.
His health declined, and he died in August, 1831, aged
twenty- eight years.

Augustus Alden, a native of Middleboro', Mass., gradu-
ated at Dartmouth College in 1802. He came to "Win-
throp, after having been in the profession several years
in Norridgewock and Augusta. He removed to Hallowell,
where he spent the remainder of his days. He was a
pious man, but never had much success as a lawyer.

Jeremiah Lothrop, from Leeds, established himself in
the profession in 1828, and subsequently went to Hal-

Samuel Page Benson, a native of this town, graduated
at Bowdoin College in 1825. After practicing law a while
In Unity, came to this town and opened an office in 1829.
During the political years 1838 and 1841, he held the
office of Secretary of State. In 1853, he was elected
a Representative to Congress in the Kennebec or 4th

Seth May, a native of this town, practiced law some
time in Wayne, and came to Winthrop in 1832, where
he still remains. In May, 1855, he was appointed a
Judge of the Supreme Judicial Court of Maine.

Thomas J. Burgess, a native of Wayne, commenced
the practice of law in this town in 1853.



John Walker May, son of Judge May, was admitted
to the bar, August, 1855.


Preachers who were members of the Congregational

Robert Page, Jr., son of Robert Page, Esq., and Mrs.
Abigail Page, graduated at Bowdoin, 1810, and at the
Theological Seminary, Andover, in 1815. Though his
parents resided in Readfield, yet, they and he were
members of the Congregational church in Winthrop. He
preached in several places as a Missionary, was ordained
pastor of a church in Bradford, N. H., and is now min-

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Online LibraryDavid ThurstonA brief history of Winthrop, from 1764 to October 1855 (Volume 2) → online text (page 6 of 14)