Everett Schermerhorn Stackpole.

History of Durham, Maine; online

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of the Revolution, came from Salisbury, Mass., his native place,
to Durham about 1790, and was one of the founders of the
Osgood family in the latter town.

John D. Osgood attended the public schools of Durham, and
in addition to the education thus received, he acquired a well
trained mind by his wide reading.

He married, in 1849, Sarah A., daughter of Barzillai Richards
of Durham, and settled on the homestead farm on the county
road, near the Freeport line, where he resided tmtil the death of
his wife, in 1867. He then sold his farm, and for several years
had no settled home, but visited other parts of the state and
country, spending two or three years in Boston, from which city
he went to Raymond, Me., in 1875.

He married Mrs. Emeline Nash of that place, in 1877, and
lived there until his death, Aug. 2.^, 1882.

He served repeatedly as one of the selectmen of Durham and
also as representative to the legislature in 1871.

He was a man of sound judgment, very conscientious, and
highly respected as a citizen. The honors he received from his
townsmen were not of his own seeking.

In 1868 he joined the Methodist Church at West Durham,
and was also a member of Acacia Lodge No. 121, F. & A. M.

He sleeps in the little cemetery on the Pownal road, beside
the wife of his youth, and with them rest their first born son and
their only daughter.

Two sons survive him, both residents of Boston.

Peter and Mercy (Mcintosh) Parker, was born in Durham 19
March 1824. He studied medicine with Drs. F. G. Warren of
Pownal and N. H. Cary of Durham. He also attended lectures
at the Medical Schools of Bowdoin College and of Harvard
College, from which he graduated in 1856. He practiced at
Dresden, Me., three years. Moved to Morrill's Corner, Deering,
in 1859, where he built up a large practice. In 1863 he served as
Assistant Surgeon of the First Maine Cavalry in Virginia. Was
present at the battles of Brandy Station, Chancellorsville, Gettys-
burg, Cold Harbor, Spottsylvania and at the siege of Peters-
burg. July 15, 1863, he was taken prisoner and confined four
months in Libby Prison, Richmond. He was an Odd Fellow


and Royal Arch Mason. He ranked high socially as well as

He married (i) 2 July 1848, Mary C. Corbett of Durham;
(2) Eliza A. Sawyer of Portland ; (3) Mrs. Florentine C. Walker,
widow of Capt. Joseph Walker of Portland. By second marriage
there were two daughters, Carrie Elizabeth, who married Charles
E. Clark of Yarmouth, and Alice Mary who married the Rev.
W. H. Gould of Dexter, Me. Dr. Parker died 24 Nov. 1897.
He is remembered by many friends as a true man and faithful

JOSEPH PLUMMER, son of Henry and Wealthy (Estes)
Plummer, was born in Durham 7 Sept. 1834. He lived as a
farmer in Durham till 1883. Since that time he has been a
miller at Lisbon Falls. He married Marcia Foss of Lisbon and
has one daughter, Clara A., who married 13 June 1892 Walter
Douglas of Windham.

An episode in his life caused a good deal of newspaper com-
ment. At midnight of Aug. 6, 1879, he was awakened, at his
home in Durham, by a noise like the slamming of a door. He
hastened out and saw two men about ten rods away running
across the field. With no clothing but a night-dress and without
any weapon he gave chase, shouting to a neighbor for assistance.
They pursued the two burglars some distance and finally cap-
tured both, finding them armed with revolvers. Frightened by
threats of being shot the thieves surrendered. It was found that
they had pillaged a number of houses. To burglarize houses in
Durham is not half as easy as it once was to stab horses and
burn buildings by night. The thieves got their due reward in
Auburn jail.

EDWARD PLUMMER, son of Henry and Wealthy (Estes)
Plummer, was born in Durham 4 Jan. 1830. He began his
remarkable business career at the age of eighteen, working one
year in Bath. The next year, 1849, ^^ was owner of a saw and
grist mill just below the present bridge at Lisbon Falls, which
he operated till 1862. Then he sold out to the Worumbo Co.,
of which he became a Director and Agent. He superintended
the building of the large woolen mill at Lisbon Falls. He was
a promoter and director of the Androscoggin Railroad, built in
1861. He organized the Androscoggin Water Power Co. for


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lumbering in 1875 ^^^ ^^^ been its Agent ever since. The com-
pany has paid five per cent, semi-annual dividends on its capital
of $100,000 every year since its organization. Its timber lands
in the northern part of Oxford County were sold last August
to the Umbagog Pulp Co. of Livermore Falls for $158,000. Mr.
Plummer was a prime mover in the building of the Rumford
Falls Railroad and also of the pulp mill of Lisbon Falls Fiber Co.
He was Representative to the Legislature in 1870. He has a
fine residence at Lisbon Falls, Me.

Mr. Plummer married (i) Augusta Taylor of Lisbon, (2)
Sarah A. Shaw of Durham. A son, Walter E. married Grace
Douglas of Gardiner. Another son, Harry E. married Mary
Libby of Lisbon. Both are associated with their father in busi-
ness at Lisbon Falls. A daughter, Ida F. married Mayor Newell
•of Lewiston.

JACOB HERRICK ROAK, son of Martin and Elizabeth
{Lawrence) Rourk, was horn in Durham 22 March 1806, and
■died in Auburn 5 July 1886. His father died when he was less
than tw^o years of age, and his early life was a struggle. He
began his business career at South West Bend as a shoemaker.
L-ater he became associated with Mr. Packard at West Auburn
in the wholesale manufacture of Ijoots and shoes. Their business
was afterward transferred to Auburn. He may be called the
pioneer of all the great shoe-manufacturing that is now carried
on in that city. He established the first National Bank in
Auburn, where his character and business ability are well known
and approved. Fle is a fine illustration of so many American
lads who by industry and perseverance have risen from humble
circumstances almost unaided to positions of wealth and public

He married (i) 1833, Mary P. Packard of Auburn; (2) 2
Sept. 1841, Ellen Blake. There were two children by the first
marriage and four by the second.

HON. WILLIAM D. ROAK, born 4 Dec. 1820, has spent
his life as a successful farmer on the farm occupied by his father.
No citizen of Durham has been more useful, respected and hon-
ored. He was on the Board of Selectmen in 1855, '56, '58, '67
and '69, the last two years as Chairman. Was Town Clerk in
1879. f^Is served on the School Committee nine years. Was


Representative to the State Legislature in 1857 and 1858, County-
Commissioner 1870-76, and State Senator 1883-86. Has been
chosen moderator of Town Meetings thirty-two times. Was Jus-
tice of the Peace several years. He held some town ofBce forty
years continuously, and always without a suspicion of dishonesty
or charge of unfaithfulness. He has acted as appraiser of over
fifty estates. An ardent lover of his native town he for many-
years has been collecting historical material, which has been util-
ized in this volume. It is probable that no one who ever lived in
Durham has been so well versed in its history. He is still alive
emphatically. In politics he is unquestionably a Republican ; in
religion, a Congregationalist ; in social and business relations a
kind, just and helpful man.

ALFRED ROBERTS, son of Oliver and Sophia Roberts,
was born in Lisbon i July 1838. When five years of age he was
bereaved of his father, and his mother with five small children
moved to S. W. Bend. When he was eighteen years old the
care of the family devolved on him. He learned the trade of
a shoe-maker. In Sept. 1861 he entered the Union army. Poor
health prevented much active service. Most of his battles were
fought with sympathizers w'ith the Rebellion at S. W. Bend.
After the war he moved to Portland and was engaged in business
there for the next twenty years as a retail and wholesale shoe-
dealer. He dealt also in real estate and acted as broker in
exchange of bonds, mortgages and other securities. In the
business of a broker he has continued in his partial retirement at
Old Orchard. For the last five years he has lived at Los
Angeles, Cal., where he has fifty acres used in the cultivation of
fruit. He has always been an ardent adherent of the Republican

MRS. ANNIE J. ROBERTS, wife of Alfred Roberts, was
the youngest daughter of Josiah Fitz, late of Lynn, Mass. After
twenty-eight years of peaceful, happy married life she passed
away 13 May 1898 at Los Angeles, Cal. Her portrait is pre-
sented as an offering of love in tribute to the memory of one
whose womanly virtues were recognized by all who knew her.
She was a type of those self-forgetful persons who ordinarily are
not found on the pages of history, who lose themselves as a living
sacrifice to the happiness and welfare of others, and thus find the





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truest value of life. Such realize more pleasure in having an
attractive, cheerful, restful home, than monarchs do m founding
and extending a kingdom. Their conquests are those of love.
Their acquisitions are such as belong to highest character.
Modesty, gentleness, sympathy, charity, patience, purity, surely
these are more valuable than the riches acquired by scheming
industry, more honorable than high political station, more lasting
than all other gains. The possession of such qualities of the
heart found a great hope of a still happier and nobler state of
existence, since no real loss can ever come to a good person.
Made perfect through the physical sufferings of her last years
she died as peacefully as she had lived.

SAMUEL OWEN STACKPOLE was born in Durham 19
Dec. 1794. He received the homestead of seventy-five acres
from his father, giving bond of $1500 for the maintenance of his
parents and sister Jane as long as they lived and for the payment
of certain amounts to other relatives. The bond obliged him,
among other things, to provide for his parents "conveyance to
Meeting and for visiting their friends in such manner as has
been customary with them." This bond he gave at the age of
twenty-two and he faithfully fulfilled it. He added to the home-
stead by purchase from time to time, till he owned one hundred
and eighty acres. He engaged to some extent in lumbering,
built a saw-mill back of his house, and drove many a mast and
stick of oak timber to Freeport. When he wanted bricks, he
made them on his own farm. Industry and enterprise made
him a successful farmer. He refused all offers of public office,
though urged to accept several. The title of "Major" was
familiarly applied to him, though he would not accept that office
when it was offered to him. His hospitality was unlimited.
Everybody found a welcome to his home. He brought up four-
teen children, but there was always room for lodgers. He was
generous to the needy and to every good cause that appealed to
him for help. Hence he was an early abolitionist and total
abstainer. He united with the Methodist Episcopal church in
1838 and conscientiously and liberally supported it as long as he
lived. He drove with his family three miles to meeting every
Sunday in the year. No season of the year was too busy for
family prayer. He was a friend to many, and therefore had many
friends. In person he was six feet tall, straight as an arrow till


bent by old age and sickness, rather slim than stout, tough and
muscular. He slept but little and wanted to be at work all the
time. Evenings and when not laboring he was almost always
reading some newspaper or good book, especially in old age the
Bible. With all his hard work and many cares he retained to
the end a warm heart and genial, social ways. He lived seventy-
six years on the spot where he was born. Moving to Brunswick
in 1872 he did not seem to feel quite at home and was always
glad to drive up to Durham. He died in Brunswick 7 April 1876,
and was buried about a mile from his Durham home, where rest
also his parents, wives and several children.

JAMES STROUT, son of Joshua, Jr., was born in Durham
2 April 1792, and died in Bmnswick 15 Aug. 1875. He spent
most of his life in his native town and was one of the most prom-
inent and influential citizens. He united with the Methodist
Episcopal Church in 1816, and acted as steward and class-leader
therein for many years. The Rev. Charles W. Morse wrote of
him thus, "A man of varied powers, he consecrated all to Christ,
and showed throughout a long life a single eye, giving glory to
God. He won all hearts by his ardent and cheerful piety. Few
persons have left a more consistent example of a deep and abiding
conviction of God, and a faithful adherence to the Holy Scrip-
tures. His house was always a home to the itinerant, and he
spared no pains in their great work of saving souls. True to
God and the Church, he gained the esteem of his fellow-men,
who honored him with civil trusts, at home and in the Legisla-
ture, both for the town and county."

He was on the Board of Selectmen eleven years, thrice Rep-
resentative and twice State Senator.

DR. DAVID B. STROUT was born in Durham 5 April
1814. He was the only dentist that ever practiced in Durham.
He was well known in Auburn and Lewiston where he lived
many years. No one was better acquainted with the old inhab-
itants and folk-lore of the town. He was Captain of one of the
early militia companies. His memory retained many interesting
items of personal and family history, and he knew how to relate
them entertainingly. He was from youth a firm believer in the
doctrines of Universalism and was always ready for a controver-
sial argument. The cause of Temperance found in him an ardent
and constant advocate. He died in Lewiston 25 Jan. 1890.





He married, 28 Nov. 1839, Jane B. Lufkin of Pownal, daughter
of Joseph and Patience (Bartol) Lufkin. She died 26 Feb. 1898.
A daughter, Amanda Jane, died at the age of five years. Another
daughter, Priscilla Ellen, born 4 Nov. 1840, married Wm. Fred.
Rowe and lives in Lewiston.

Thomas, was born in Durham 24 Aug. 1848. He acquired suffi-
cient education in the public schools and by self-help to become
a very successful teacher, having taught twenty-two terms in
Durham, Lisbon and Brunswick. He has served as Town Clerk
and Representative to the Legislature. He interested himself in
the preservation of Durham's churches and collected most of the
funds for the repair of the Free Baptist Church and of the Union
Church a few years ago. He is remembered as an ardent sup-
porter of the Republican party in Durham. To him was due
much of the credit for the success of the Durham Centennial, and
without his advocacy and financial management this History of
Durham might not have been published. He is a lover and
helper of his native town. He still owns a farm near S. W. Bend,
but moved to Lewiston in 1890.

Mr. Thomas married, 25 June 1871, Cathie Susan, dau. of
James and Sarah (Ilerrick) Newell.

Their children are George W. b. 25 July 1873, who graduated
at Bates College in 1896 and is a student of Law at Harvard
University ; Charles H. b. 29 Mch. 1875, "^^^o is an employe in the
Manufacturers' Bank of Lewiston ; and Emery J. b. 12 Dec. 1876,
who is a student in the Medical Department of Tufts College.

child of John Quincy and Ellen Maria (Cary) Warren, was born
in Durham June 9th, 1859. His father dying in 1863, his mother
married the Rev. Wm. H. Haskell in the fall of 1864 and moved
with her husband and son to Westbrook (now Deering, Wood-
ford's Corner) Maine, in 1865. The latter attended school at
Casco St. Vestry (Miss Hall's) in Portland, the district schools
at Woodford's and of Falmouth, to which town his parents
moved in Jan. 1869. In the autumn of 1872 he was sent to
Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass., where he graduated in 1875.
After a residence in France and Germany (attending M. Cuillier's
school in Paris for a year and living in Hanover with a private


family) he entered the Freshman Class of Amherst College in
April, 1877, and graduated as A. B. in 1880. The year following
he was a student and private tutor in Amherst. In August, 1881,
he was appointed Instructor in Modern Languages at Western
Reserve College, Hudson, Ohio, and when that Institution
moved to Cleveland in 1882 and became Adelbert College of
Western Reserve University, he was retained in the same position
in Cleveland for one year. The academic year 1883- 1884 was
passed as a graduate student at Johns Hopkins University, the
years 1884-1886 at the Sorbonne, College de France and I'Ecole
des Chartres in Paris. In 1886 he was appointed Instructor in
French at Johns Hopkins University. In June, 1887, he took the
degree of Ph. D. at the same institution, and, continuing there
as instructor, was made Associate in Modern Languages in 1888.
In 1891 he was appointed Professor of Romance Languages in
Adelbert College of Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio,
which position he now holds. He was married in Baltimore,
June 8th, 1892, to Estelle Ward Carey, daughter of James Carey
Jr., of Baltimore (deceased) and Martha (Ward) Carey of Rich-
mond Co. Virginia. On June 24, 1894, a daughter, Martha
Stockbridge, was born and on October 18, 1896, a son, James

Besides various contributions to scientific periodicals and
magazines he has edited several French texts for class use, and
is the author of "A Primer of French Literature,'' 1889 (D. C,
Heath & Co., Boston) and "A History of the Novel Previous to
the Seventeenth Century," 1895 (Henry Holt & Co., New York).

WAITSTILL WEBBER was born in Harpswell 17 Sept.
1779. At the age of thirteen and a half he was sent to live
with a Mr. Corey who kept a grocery store in Harpswell near
where Mrs. Eleanor Merriman now lives. Here he worked till
he was sixteen. Not liking to sell rum he left the store and
learned the carpenter's trade with John Curtis, remaining with
him till twenty-one years of age. In 1803 he bought one half
of lot No. 12 in Durham for $650. The new house which he
built in 181 1 was destroyed by fire in 1831. He at once built
the large two story house where his son, Charles W. Webber
resides. In 1814 he joined the Society of Friends at South
Durham, and was an honored member till his death, 15 Jan.



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1869. In 1828-9 he was one of the Selectmen. He preferred
the walks of private life and worked as a carpenter and farmer
nearly up to the hour of his death. He was a good citizen and a
v«5ympathetic helper of his fellowmen. The text used at his
funeral was Psalms xxxvii :2)7-

HOWE WEEKS, son of Benjamin, was born in Gorham 28
April 1812, and moved to Durham when six years old. He
served his apprenticeship with John A. Briggs, a dam and bridge
contractor. He helped build the old toll bridge between Lewis-
ton and Auburn, also the first log dam on the Androscoggin
River at Lewiston, and the Lincoln Mill. In 1840-6 he was in
partnership with Daniel Wood in a general store on lower Main
St., Lewiston. In 1858 he moved to Auburn and was for several
years engaged in the manufacture of shoes with A. C. Pray. He
served on the Board of Selectmen of Lewiston, and was tax-
collector in Auburn several years. He was a Director of the
Lewiston Falls Bank and one of the promoters of the Lewiston
and Auburn Railroad, connecting with the Grand Trunk.

He was a lifelong Democrat and never missed casting his
ballot at election till the one preceding his death, which occurred
in Auburn, Me., i Mch. 1895.

He married (i) 1839 Sarah Daggett; (2) May 1850 Pamelia
H. Stetson. Their children were Flora L., b. 4 April 1852, d.
Feb. 1869, and William H. b. 19 Aug. 1858.

ABIJAH B. WRIGHT, M. D., was one of the early
physicians of Durham. He lived just south of the present Cong,
church, near S. W. Bend, and had an apothecary shop by the
side of his house. He came to Durham from Lewiston. His
ancestors came from Dracut, Mass. His widow, Abigail
(Hardy) Wright, married Nathaniel Parker in 1858. He had a
son Horace who married, May 14, 1840, Mary Ann Lincoln of
Durham, and a daughter, Allura, who married, July 30, 1835,
Sidney Skelton of Lewiston. She is still living in Auburn.
Joel Wright was his nephew, who used to live near by the
Doctor and had a family of thirteen chikiren, none of them,
however, born in Durham. All have moved out of town except
Geo. Washington Wright. Joel Wright died 10 Jan. 1884, aged
^2) yrs. 9 mos. 5 days.

Dr. Abijah Wright died 17 April 1842, aged 52 years.


WILLIAM RILEY WRIGHT, M. D., was a cousin to
Joel. He was son of Capt. Jonathan and Sallie Weight, born
in Strong, Dec. 15, 1816. His early life was spent on a farm.
He was educated for his profession in a Medical School at
Worcester, Mass. He moved to Durham in Sept., 1856, and
resided there till his death, June 12, 1879. He married, Nov. 27,
1839, Mary Hinkley Backus of Farmington. They had two
children, Belle J., who became the wife of Samuel K. Oilman
of Boston, Mass., and now resides in Farmington, Me. ; and Jo-
siah Lister Wright, M. D., who was born in Farmington Dec. 22,
1850, and has practiced medicine in Durham since 1884. Dr.
William R. Wright was a man of cheerful and sunny disposition
and one whom little children greatly loved. He was generous
to an eminent degree, never pressing a claim against the poor
or the unfortunate. The hungry were fed at his board and the
homeless always found shelter under his roof. He was prom-
inent in the establishment of the Acacia Lodge of Free Masons
in Durham and was always a worker in that society. It may
be truly said of him that he was "one who loved his fellow-men."
His wife died Sept. 11, 1889.






Many will remember the little round brick powder-house that
stood not far from the old North Meeting House. It was
built in 1812 by William Webster and Barnabas Strout. The
cost was $70, and the builders were to "have the rocks on
Wesson hill to underpin the same gratis." It formed part of the
habitation of Deborah Parker when she was burned with it a
score of years ago. The Pound near by was built by John
Newell in 1821.

The year 181 5 was known as the year without a summer.
Snow fell every month. July 5, ice formed as thick as window -
glass. Corn sold for two dollars per bushel. Alany farmers
became discouraged and resolved to emigrate to the far West,
i. e., Ohio. It has been estimated that 15,000 people went out
of Maine. They were said to have the "Ohio fever." May 5,
1816 eleven emigrant wagons left West Durham, with as many
families. Among them were families of Luther Plummer, John
Ellis, Samuel Roberts, Eben Roberts, Daniel Roberts, James
Roberts, Reuben Roberts. Others went in 1817. The Trues
emigrated at this time to Indiana and N. Y. state. One of these
emigrant trains was accompanied by sorrowing friends as far
as the Pownal line. Here they halted. Hymns were sung and
prayer was offered. So they parted, most of them to meet no
more on earth. The journey occupied six weeks.

It has been previously said that after the building of the
North Meeting House town meetings were held in it. This
continued till 1840. Then some wanted to buy it and fit it up for
a town hall. It was decided, however, to build a new hall. At
a meeting held Nov. 9, 1840, it was voted "to set the Town
House on Merrill W. Strout's land, near the great Gully ;" that
it "'shall be thirty-six by forty feet square with ten feet posts and
twenty-three feet rafters." Nov. 15, the report of the committee


appointed to draw up a plan was heard, and it was voted to
amend their report "by having three rows of seats on each side
with a rise of eight inches from the back seat to the front ; " also

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Online LibraryEverett Schermerhorn StackpoleHistory of Durham, Maine; → online text (page 12 of 28)