Everett Schermerhorn Stackpole.

History of Durham, Maine; online

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heirs after some years. The town of Royalston, Mass., was
named' in his honor. In his will he left two thousand acres of
land to endow a chair in Harvard College, which still bears the
name of the "' Royall Professorship of Law." He was a man
of very high character. The only thing against him was that
he was esteemed a tory, when that was a name of reproach.
Some have asserted that Durham was so named because Isaac
Royall once lived in Durham, England, but this statement is
disproved by the facts. He had no connection whatever with
ancient Durham. It is not probable that the name of Royals-
borough would be changed because Royall was a tory and then


that a name would be adopted in remembrance of him. There is
no discoverable reason why the new name of the town was
Durham, any more than why its inhabitants petitioned to have it
called Sharon or Bristol.^

COL. MOSES LITTLE was descended from the emigrant,
George Little of Newbury, 1640. He was born 8 May 1724 and
died 2.^ May 1708. For many years he was Surveyor of the
King's woods. All pine trees over two feet in thickness were
claimed for masts for the royal navy. The mark of an arrow
vv-as put upon such, and the penalty of cutting them was £100.
This office gave Mr. Little opportunity to learn the value of
wild lands, and he devoted a large part of his life to the purchase
and improvement of the same. He was colonel in the Revolu-
tionary army and fought at Bunker Hill and in the campaign
about New York.

His son Josiah (b. 16 Feb. 1747; d. 26 Dec. 1830) had charge
of his father's real estate for many years. Every year till he was
past eighty he used to visit his lands in Maine, riding over the
rough roads alone. He lost a hand by a premature explosion
while superintending the blasting of a passage through the
rapids on the Androscoggin below Lewiston ('Dresser's Ripsj.
He was leading proprietor and agent of the Pejepscot company.
Was Representative to General Court twenty-five years, and a
trustee of Bowdoin College, where a son Josiah graduated in
iSii. Another son Edward graduated at Dartmouth in 1797,
inherited much of the territory about Auburn and Lewiston,
and settled in Auburn in 1826. His statue stands in front of the
Edward Little High School. — See Little Genealogy.

COL. JONATHAN BAGLEY, fourth son of Orlando and
Dorothy (Harvey) Bagley, was born in Amesbury, Mass., 23
l^larch 1717. He married Dorothea, dau. of John and Dorothy
(Hoyt) Wells, grand-daughter of the Rev. Thomas Wells, first
settled minister in Amesbury. He was a prominent man in his
native town, for twelve years representing it in the General Court.
He was Colonel in the French and Indian war, 1756-60, and com-
missioned colonel of the Essex Co. Regt. 1767, '69, '73 and '74.

'For further particulars of the Royal Family see N. E. Hist, and
Gen. Register for 1885, pp. 348-358.


F0BUC ti


He was tlie most active agent of the Proprietors in the settle-
ment of Royalsborough, and spent much time here between 1770
and 1780. His farm consisted of lots 82, 83 and 84. ''Bagley's
barn" is mentioned in 1791. Tradition says that a house built
by him stood close to the northern line of lot 83, and near the
River Road. The part of Royalsborough known as Bagley's
Gore was granted to him by the General Court of Mass.
Here three of his sons owned farms. He was owner of what
was long known as " Chandler's Mill " in the western part of the
town. Tradition locates his mast-camp on the farm of True
G. Hunnewell not far from the mill. He died in Amesbury 28
Dec. 1780.

Col. Jonathan Bagley had children John, William, Jonathan,
Vajentine, Dorothy, Orlando and a daughter who married
Nathan Bartlett. Valentine b. i Jan. 1743, m. Sarah Currier.
He had lands on the County Road m 1770 and received his
father's farm on the River Road 7 Feb. 1779. He died in April,
1780, and was buried in Amesbury, leaving sons John and Valen-
tine. The last was the hero of Whittier's poem "The Captain's
Well." His brother John inherited the old Bagley farm and
sold a portion of it to Elijah Macomber in 1808. Orlando, son
of Col. Jonathan Bagley, b. 5 Nov. 1747, received 7 Feb. 1779,
from his father a deed of 400 acres on County Road marked
on Noyes's Plan. He received b)' his father's will the homestead
of his grandfather in Amesbury and so did not remain in
Durham. Dorothy, dau. of Col. Jonathan Bagley, born 13 Feb.
1745, married John Gushing, Esq. She received in her father's
will a house and land in Salisbury and five hundred acres in
Royalsborough a mile long by two hundred and fifty rods wide.
It is marked on Noyes's Plan as " John Cushing's 500 acres. "

CAPT. DAVID DUNNING, son of Andrew and Susan
(Bond) Dunning, came from Ashburton, Eng., with his father
and family in 1718, via Boston and Georgetown to Brunswick.
His father settled at "Maquoit," where he died Jan. 18, 1736,
aged 72 years. It is claimed that John Dunning, created Lord
Ashburton in 1782, was his grandson. David was born in 1706.

He married Mary about 1735. She died Aug. 16, 1784,

aged 74 yrs. His second wife was Mary (Lithgow) Hunter,


widow of Capt. Adam Hunter of Topsham. Both were over
eighty years of age at this second marriage. David Dunning
owned a large part of the land where the village of Brunswick
now is. He built a block-house and lived in it till 1772, when
he built a frame-house on the spot where Brunswick Town-hall
now stands. This was, after his death, kept as a hotel, called
•'Washington Hall," by his son John. He bought, with
Jeremiah Moulton, Fort George, when it was dismantled in 1761,
and built the first dam and saw-mill at Brunswick. He was one
of the most active, enterprising and respected men of his time.
He was Deacon in the Cong, church, first Represen-
tative of Brunswick in the General Court of Mass. in 1742 and
1743 ; one of the first Board of Selectmen in 1739 and again in
1 741 and 1749. He was a soldier at seventeen years of age and
Lieut, of militia in 1746. For years he was Capt. of an inde-
pendent "Alarm" company, and scoured the wilderness up and
down the Androscoggin and Kennebec in pursuit of Indians.
Two of his brothers were killed by the Indians while crossing
the river at Brunswick. In military and lumbering expeditions
he learned the value of the surrounding country. This led him
to buy one sixteenth of the townsliip of Royalsborough. In
division of lots he drew Nos. 9, 74, 91, 113, 143 and' 153. Lot
9 he sold in 1792 to Lemuel Jones; lot 74 he sold in 1776 to
William Gerrish ; lot 113 was inherited by his son Andrew; lots
143 and 153 went to his heirs. Lot 91 he deeded in 1783 to his
daughter Elizabeth (Duiming) Stackpole, grandmother of the
author of this book. Thus {he casting of a lot led to the loca-
tion of the Stackpole family in Durham.

David Dunning died Aug. 16, 1793 Six children grew up
I. Andrew b. 9 Nov. 1736, m. Dec. 29, 1768 Elizabeth, dau.
of Rev. Robert Dunlap. d. 3 July 1800, first Post Master of
Brunswick and Selectman seven years; 2. John, b. 19 Sept. 1738,
m. Lois, dau. of Judge Aaron Hinkley, ten children, one of whom
was Nathaniel Dunning, whom many will remember as an
honored citizen at S. W. Bend; 3. Mary b. 22 Oct. 1740, m. 7
Jan. 1764 William Owen of Brunswick; 4. Alargaret, b. 11 Feb.
1745, m. 19 Oct. 1765 Robert Sutherland of Portland; 5. Jennet,
b. 29 Jan. 1748, m. 1 Jan. 1774 John, son of Rev. Robert Dun-
lap. Her granddaughter was the second wife of Prof. James

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!\usseli Lowell; 6. Elizabeth, b. 9 Sept. 1751 ; m. 4 July 1775
John Stackpole, then of Harpswell.

MAJOR CHARLES GERRISH was born in Berwick, Me.,
in 1716, as a deposition shows. He married Alary Frost of Ber-
wick. They came to Falmouth, now Portland in 1748. In 1758
he moved to Saccarappa. Jan. 17, 1762 he sold his land in
.Saccarappa to Enoch Freeman, Esq. A document, reproduced
in fac-simile, sheds light on his proceedings. The remarkable
thing for his day is, that the document is correctly spelled,
which proves him to have been a man of some education. His
general ability is inferred from the fact that he was selected
as an agent of the proprietors. He was by trade a blacksmith
and maker of edge-tools.

The two hundred acres first bought by him are shown on
Xoyes's plan of the town. This farm remained in the Gerrish
family for nearly a century. It was occupied within the remem-
brance of many by A. True Osgood, and is now owned by
Willard Sylvester. The first house long since passed away. It
stood on the hillside east of the old, two-story, unpainted house
that succeeded it. This is one of the oldest houses in Durham
and remains in the style in which it was originally built over a
century ago. The square chimney in the center, with rooms
built around it, is something enormous. Here may be seen one
of the old fire-places that took in eight-foot sticks of wood. The
partitions are of upright pine boards, some of them two feet
wide. The burial place of Major Charles Gerrish was near the
first house. No trace of it can now be seen, since the ground
has been plowed over. He was last taxed in 1797 but is said to
have died in 1805. He was a man of ability and served often as
moderator of Town meetings and as an officer of the Town.
The date of the above document marks authoritatively the first
settlement in the Town, in 1763. Several historians have placed
the date eleven years earlier. His house was six miles from the
nearest neighbor and tradition says his wife saw no female
except her daughter for a year and a half. For his service in
the Revolution and for the history of his family see other
chapters in this book.

JUDAH CHANDLER, son of Joseph and Alartha (Hunt)
Chandler was born in Duxbury, Mass., August 30, 1720. He


moved with his father to North Yarmouth in 1729. Among the
papers of the Rev. David Shepley of Yarmouth was found the
following :

"Judah Chandler, Oct. 21st, 1796, aged 76 last August,
deposes that when he was about nine years old he moved with
his father from Duxbury to North Yarmouth. About thirty
years ago he (Judah) moved eastward and lived about nine years
then returned to North Yarmouth. "^ He therefore moved into
Royalsborough in 1766, probably as an agent of Col. Baglev.
He built the mill, in the western part of the town on a branch
of Royall's river, that is stili called Chandler's stream. Its
successor is now called the "Old Stone Mill." Here he carried
on lumbering, sending ton-timber to Harrisicket (Freeport) by
the Old Mast Road. In the above deposition he states that he
returned to North Yarmouth in 1775. He was soon, however,
in Royalsborough again, for Feb. 24, 1777, three-quarters of fifty
acres of land together with the mill privilege and all apperte-
nences were conveyed by Col. Jonathan Bagley to Judah
Chandler, O. Israel Bagley, Daniel Bagley, John Randall,
Stephen Randall and John Cushing, all of Royalsborough, for
£30. Probably the other quarter of the fifty acre lot had been
already occupied by Chandler as a homestead. The old road
crossed the stream below the present mill and traces of Chandler's
house near by are still visible, The first mill was located at
the head of the falls, near the present bridge. Tradition has it
that the dam was built so high that the water overflowed the
adjacent lowlands to such an extent as to form a new channel,
running around and entering the main stream a quarter of a
mile below the present mill. This was, no doubt, the origin ot
the "Run Round." This mill and its four successors have been
in constant operation, except at intervals of rebuilding and
repairing, for one hundred and thirty-two years.

Chandler is repeatedly mentioned on the Town Records as
surveyor of lumber. He and his wife were assisted by the town
in their old age. They were "bid off" by James Parker in 1801
at Si. 50 per week. He died probably in 1802.

HON. JOHN CUSHING was bornatBoxford, Mass., i May
1741 and died at Freeport, Me., 1S13. He was son of Rev. John

^See Old Times in North Yarmouth, page 305.


and Elizabeth (Martyii) Gushing, grandson of Rev. Caleb
Gushing of Salisbury, and fifth in descent from the Emigrant
Matthew Gushing of Hingham, 1638. (See Genealogy of the
Gushing Family.) He was a graduate of Harvard GoUege (1761)
as were also his father and grandfather. He married, i Dec.
1763, Dorothy Bagley, dau. of Gol. Jonathan Bagley of Ames-
bury, Alass. He was Gapt. of a company in Gol. Samuel
Johnson's Regt. of Militia which marched on the Alarm
April 19, 1775. They lived in Salisbury till the death of his
father, 1772, when they moved to Boxford, where his father
had been pastor thirty years. They moved to Royalsborough
bringing his widowed mother in 1782, having resided for a time
in North Yarmouth. April 9, 1782, Belcher Noyes sold lot 86 to
John Gushing. Oct. 4, 1788, Gushing sold 25 acres of lot 80
to Abel Gurtis. The deed is witnessed by Elizabeth Gushing.

The oldest tombstone in Durham is found in the cemetery back
of where the old North Meeting House stood. The inscription
reads, "ilrs. Elizabeth Gushing died Oct. 18, 1789, aged 76."
This was the mother of Elon. John Gushing. She was Elizabeth
Martyn of Boston, born 16 May 17 14, and married the Rev. John
Gushing 8 April 1 740. I have seen a letter of consolation written
to Hon. John Gushing by a cousin in 1790, in which Mrs. Eliza-
beth Gushing is spoken of in the highest terms as a woman of
education, piety and noble character.

John Gushing lived on the northern part of lot 80. The
farm is now owned by William Thomas of Lewiston. Traces
of the old house, which decayed over fifty years ago, may be
seen, on a hillock near the bank of the river, just south of a
gully. The house was later occupied by Abel Gurtis. In 1783
Gushing was moderator of the Town meeting and one of the
"committee" or selectmen; also treasurer of the town, and one
of a committee to petition General Gourt. He was one of the
town committee in J784, 1785, 1786. He was on the Board of
Selectmen the first year after the incorporation of the town, 1789.
In 1790 he moved to Freeport where he was a Justice of the
Peace. He was also a judge and member of the Gouncil
many years and Representative to Mass. General Gourt
as well as Selectman and Treasurer of Freeport. He was
on the Board of Overseers of Bowdoin Gollege 1796-1813. His
old account book lies before me, in which many old residents of


Durham are named. Of special interest is the account of the
settlement of the estate of Nathaniel Gerrish, Nov. 1709, for
which the total charge was $37.37. His wife Dorothy was living
in Freeport, 1816, and is said to have died soon after. Eight
marriages performed by him as J. P., 1 789-1 791, are recorded on
Durham Town Records.

The following extracts from his diary will be of interest :

June 17, 1789, Child of Edward Lane of Lewiston lost in the woods.

July 3, "Joshua Jones raised a barn.

Oct. 7. "Doct. Jones here to see my mother sick of a fever.

Oct. 13 " " " here again — mother grows worse.

Oct. 18 ■' My mother died about 8 o'clock in the morning, in the 76

year of her age.
Oct. 20, 1789. My mother was buried. Bearers were Maj. Gerrish, Mr

Pearson, Mr. Vining, Mr. Arthur (?) Capt. Bagley and Lieut.

Feb. 21 1790. Mr. Dennison preached — Gratis.
April 15, " Removed from Durham to Freeport and a most

tremendous time we had through mud and water.
June I, 1790 Dolly came home from Durham with Betty. (These were

his daughters. Mrs. Roger Merrill and Mrs. Wm. Hoyt.)
July II " First Sacrament ever administered in Freeport — 28 members.
Aug. 18, 1794 Went to Portland. — Saw a Lion.
Aug. 25 " Board of Trustees of Bowdoin College met at Brunswick

but nothing done by reason too small No. members.
Oct. 30 1795. John Cushing's barn burnt at Durham with Corn, grain &

Nov. 29 " Sanmel Proctor killed instantly by the fall of a rotten tree.
March 2 1796 Mr. Lambert killed by the falling of a tree.
June 30 " Went to carry the old chaise to N. Yarmouth to be

mended. (This was the first chaise ever driven in Durham.)
July 19 " Trustees and Overseers of Bowdoin College met at Brunswick

to fix a plan for the building, to be on the Plains near Dea.

Aug 2, 1796 Paid to Nath Gerrish 140 dolbrs for the mill Lot.
May 13 1797 New Plow of Joshua Snow.
June 10 " John Bagley with Valentine & their wives here from

[une 14 " Went to Durhain in chaise.

Nov. 22 went to Durham to appraise Capt. Bagley's estate.
Sept. 12, 1799 Roger Merrill & wife set out for Newbury.
Jan. I, 1800. Militia Companies meet at the Corner and walk in proces-
sion with solemn musick and muffled drum to the meeting

house where an Eulogium was pronounced by Mr. Johnson

on the much lamented death of Gen'l Washington.
July 9, 1801 College Meeting at Brunswick for choice of President.

McKeen of Beverly was chosen with a salary of $1000.

CAPT. O. ISRAEL BAGLEY was born at Amesbury,
Mass., Nov. 5, 1747. He settled early in the year 1770 on lot
'}^'j and built a large two-story, square house which is still
standing. It is occupied by Charles Bliss and is probably the
oldest house in Durham. Just south of his house was his store


Built by O. Israel Bagley in 1770. Xow the

residence of Charles H. liliss.


and a little further on. in the alder swamp, was a potash-manu-
factory. His house was also a public inn, as his account book
shows. He was a shoe-maker withal. He built the first grist
mill. It was run by wind. He built the River Road from S. W.
Bend to Lewiston Falls. The first school in Royalsborough
was kept at his house. He was frequently moderator and one of
the officials of the town. He was captain of the earliest militia
company known in Royalsborough. About 1790 he abandoned
store-keeping and became master of a vessel, the "Mary Ann."
He died at Savannah of yellow fever Aug. 22, 1797. For record
of his family see Chapter on Genealogy.

O. Israel Bagley kept the first store in Royalsborough. His
account-book is in the possession of Wm. D. Roak. It is a
book twelve inches long by four wide and contains 263 pages,
bound in sheep-skin, w^ell sewed. It was evidently used as an
account-book by his father, Thomas Bagley, before it came into
the possession of O. Israel Bagley. Entries are found in it as
early as April 17, 1745. The earliest account in Durham is witli
Charles Gerrish beginning March 19, 1770, and running to June
22, 1772. Some of the items are of interest ; the accounts are in
"old tener" or depreciated currency :

To one pear of shoes, 01 105 :o

To half days works a hoing, 00:17:0

To 16 apeltrees, 09:17:0

To 6 pound of tobaca 01 :i6:o

To 4 ax handles 01 :oo:o

to halfe a Bushel of flaxsead 00:11 :o

to one wige 09 :oo :o

to filing of snoo shoos i pear 00:10:0

etc., etc., etc.
"June the 22d then Settled all accounts with Mr. Charles
Gerrish from the beginin of the world to this day and thair is
due to said Bagley Seventen pounds ten shiling old tener money
Setld by us."

Charles Gerrish
O. Israel Bagley.

We give only the items most interesting and that can be read.
Portions of two pages have been cut ofif.
Dec. II to making of nate garish. (Shoes for Nath. Gerrish.)
12 wente to the sou west Bend
" 13-16 hued and rased pig hous.


Dec. i8 Borded it.

'■ 19 finished it

■' 20 made 2 pear of shos.

'■ 24 wente to sawing of clabords

" 29 made one (pair of shoes?) wente to the landing.

Jan. 2 snod 2 ench (Snowed two inches.)

" 6 Went to sawing to jones (Ezekiel Jones)

7 down to frost's & shode 7 in shos. (Alade shoes for seven of
Phineas Frost's family.)

" 8 made 3 pear of shos

'■ 9 went up to the mill

" II went to the 40 lot to

" 12 making of clabords.

" 13 and made one thousand

" 14 thate weeke.

'■ 19 wente to calope Estes (Caleb Estes)

Jan. 2^ cornel wente to gloster (Col. Jonathan Bagley went to New

" 24 making of a Brace

" 26 wente to a falling of ash timber.

" 27 wente to haling of wood w Cap ga oxen, (hauling of wood
with Capt. Charles Gerrish's oxen.)

" 28 making of shos 2 pear.

" 30 wente to making of orys (oars?)

" 31 and made 1300

Feb. I wente to Yarmouth got 9 — of sola [ther] (sole-leather)

" 2 wente to mill gote 470 feet of Bords.

" 3 wente huing of oyrs (hewing of oars)

" 4 wente to making of shos Steven — (at Stephen Weston's?)

" 7 snode all day.

■' 9 Borded my Barn.

" II wente to huing Cofin.

" 12 wente to making of shos.

" 14 wente to meting to Yarmouth.

" 13 wente to huing of oyrs.

" 17 wente to spliting of oyrs.

Feb. 21 wente to herysicate (Freeport) to meting.

" 22 Mr. Prince came here

" 23 prech to my hous 4 & 9 18 and —

" 24 hailing of wod Chatman

'■ 25 to making of shos for hoyte (Shoes for John Hoyt.)

'■ 26 making of 2 pear my wife.

Mar. I wente to huing of oyrs

" 4 staid at hom layd my flours.

" 5 stayd at hom stiking of Bords

" 6 wente to yarmouth drod of my si — (drawed ofif my cider?)

" 8 wente to falling of trees.

" 9 wente to split oyrs Michel came (Hired man, who signed him-
self Mick Farren.)

'■ 12 wente to hall out oyrs 1400 —

'■ 16 wente to Bromsic (Brunswick)

" 17 went to worke upone my hous.
etc., etc.

This shows more plainly than any description could how the
first settlers ^ot a livinsf-


BENJAMIN VINING, son of Thomas, was born in Read-
ing, Mass., 16 Nov. 1738, and died in Durham 2 Aug. 1812.
On his seventeenth birthday he was apprenticed to Samuel
Jackson of Abington, Mass., for four years, eight months, during
which time the Indenture declares "he shall his said master
faithfully serve, his secrets keep, his lawful Commands every-
where gladly obey. He shall do no damage to his s'd master's
goods, nor see it done by others without letting or giving notice
thereof to his s'd master; he shall not waste his s'd master's
goods, nor lend them unlawfully to any ; he shall not Commit
Fornication nor Contract matrimony within s'd term, at Cards
or dice or any other unlawful Game he shall not play whereby his
s'd master may be damaged in his own good or the goods of
others ; he shall not absent himself day or night from his s'd
master's service without his leave, nor haunt Taverns nor play
houses but in all things behave himself as a faithful apprentice
ought to do." His master obliged himself to "learn s'd appren-
tice the art or mistery of a Shop Joyner, and to provide for s'd
apprentice sufficient meat and drink, washing and Lodging and
apparell and all Necessaryes in health and sickness fiting for
such an apprentice," also to "learn s'd apprentice to write,
Cypher and read and at the expiration of the above s'd term to
give to s'd apprentice Two suits of wearing apparall, one suit
fitting for the Lord's day." This Indenture was signed by
Benja Vining and Thomas Vining in good bold hand-writing
and witnessed by Abram Joslyn and Sam'l Norton.

He was living in Falmouth, next to the N. Yarmouth line
and near the bay in 1763. He moved to Royalsborough about
1775, and 13 Dec. 1776, he bought of Belcher Noyes Lot 71, on
the "County Road" about a mile from the river. Here he
carried on his trade in connection with farming. He was a
Justice of the Peace, Deacon in the Cong. Church, and town
Clerk of Royalsborough from 1778 to 1786. Tradition speaks
of him as a very worthy and useful citizen.




The inhabitants of Royalsborough first met for pubHc business
Feb. 24, 1774, probably at the house of O. Israel Bagley, since
it is certain that the second meeting was held there, March 14,
1774. The meeting was "in order to consult upon Some method
for Entering into Some order in Said Town." Josiah Dunn^ was
chosen moderator and Charles Hill, Esq., clerk. Charles HilP
and Thomas Coffin were elected wardens and O. Israel Bagley,
Wm. Gerrish and Stephen Chase a committee for selecting a
lot for a Meeting House and burying yard, and also a lot for a

Online LibraryEverett Schermerhorn StackpoleHistory of Durham, Maine; → online text (page 2 of 28)