Everett Schermerhorn Stackpole.

History of Durham, Maine; online

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Durham on lot 112, 29 July 1864. He fitted for College at
Edward Little High School, Auburn, and graduated at
Wesleyan University, Middletown, Conn., in the class of 1884.
He then taught four years in Edward Little High School.
Graduated from the School of Theology of Boston University in
1891 and has preached two years at Bradford, Mass., and four
)'ears at Peabody, Mass. He is now pastor of the Stanton Ave.
Methodist Episcopal Church in Dorchester, Mass. He is a
popular and successful preacher.

He married, 5 June 1895, Maude A. Rolfe of Auburn who
had been associated with him as teacher in the Edward Little
High School.

Susanna Newell, was born in Durham 12 May 1819. He was
educated at Kent's Hill and at Wesleyan University, Middletown,
Conn. He vv'as ordained to the ministry 7 July 1844 at Newport,
R. L Lie had charge of a school in Batesville, Pa., until
about 1855, when he went to Little Rock, Ark. Here he
united with the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and
continued in teaching till the Civil War, preaching occasionally.
He sufifered persecution and loss of property during the Rebel-
lion, and narrowly escaped with his life. His wife, who was
Hattie Hutchings of Batesville, Pa., and children died, leaving
him alone and penniless. He died 10 April 1889.

REV. JOHN VINING NEWELL, brother of the one last
mentioned, was born 26 April 1829. He began his ministry in a
Conference of the M. E. Church in Penn. in 1852, and has con-
tinued in the same Conference until the present time. He is now
afflicted with paralysis at his home in Throop, Pa.

REV. ENOCH F. NEWELL, son of Daniel and Emily K.
(Harmon) Newell, was born in Durham 2 Dec. 1842. Was for
a time a student in North Yarmouth Academy. Enlisted at age
of eighteen and was in all the battles of the Army of the Potomac,
being wounded at Gettysburg. He married 15 July 1865 Etta
M. Toothaker of Pownal. After living a short time in Illinois
and Wisconsin he settled in Michigan in 1870. In 1878 he
entered the ministry as a mem.ber of the Michigan Conference of


the M. E. Church and has preached every Sabbath since except
one. He is reported of as standing high in his Conference and
haAang success in his work. He is at present stationed at
Edwardsburg, Mich. Has had five children of whom two sons
and two daughters are hving.

REV. J. H. TOMPSON, son of Joseph and Hannah (Rice)
Tompson, was born at Methodist Corner July 9, 1847. He left
Durham at the age of seven years and lived in Yarmouth and
Lewiston. By resisting for some years the conviction that he
must be a preacher his preparation for the ministry was delayed.
He graduated at Kent's Hill in 1875 and at Wesleyan University,
Middletown, Conn., in 1878. He has served several charges in
the New England Conference with marked success and is now
stationed at Highlandsville, Mass. He married, 10 Oct. 1880,
Fannie F. Reade of Dighton, Mass. and has had four children.

REV. HENRY H. MORRH.L, son of Frank and Sarah N.
(Newell) Morrill, was born in Durham 6 Jan. i860. Moved
with his parents to Lewiston in 1869, and to Cambridge, Mass.
in 1874. Was educated in the schools of those cities and at Har-
vard University, where he graduated cum magna lande in 1882.
Took three years of post-graduate study at Harvard. Went
West and studied for the ministry of the Episcopal Church.
Ordained at Salina, Kansas, 19 Sept. 1888. Is now Rector of
St. John's Parish, Clinton, Iowa. He married, 16 Nov. 1884,
Carrie Emily, dau. of Thomas and Elizabeth Barrington of Cam-
bridge, Mass. They have one dau. b. 18 July 1888 at Holton,

The following were local preachers, but we are unable to say
whether they were ever ordained, Eben Ruby, Robert Bowie,
• Henry Plummer and Andrew Blethen.




At the first town meeting held in Royalsborough Feb. 24,
1774 O. Israel Bagley, William Gerrish and Stephen Chase were
chosen a committee to "pick out a lot for a Scule lot." If any
school existed in Royalsborough before this date it was held in
some private house. Tradition says that there was a school in
the house of O. Israel Bagley and this is confirmed by an entry
in his Account Book, March 8, 1779, " payd Danil Wizwell the
chool master 7:10:0; to 3 weaks and three days 10:10:0." In
1780 the town meeting was held at the school-house. This is its
first mention. It was built by Benjamin Vining on his own
land, lot 71, and both house and land were bought of Vining
by the town in 1781. March t6, 1780 it was voted "to have
School this year and to muve Scull according to pools." This
points to the conclusion that schools had been held in private
houses in different parts of the town. A little later the same
year it was voted " to take that money that was voted for School
to Defray town charges." The town was heavily burdened with
taxes for the Revolutionary War. Schools were suspended.
Sept. 12, 1 78 1 voted "to have School this winter." The next
year $100 in silver were appropriated for schools, two-thirds to
be expended in summer and the rest in winter.

After the purchase of Vining's school-house the public school
was held there. Soon the southern part of the town began to
ask for a school of their own. May 5, 1783, " voted not to Sett
of the quakers to have School by themselves but to have the
advantage of the town School." The next year, however, it was
decided to have school three months during the winter and that
the people "on the eastern side of Joseph Noyes River brook"
have one-third of the $40 raised for schools. Thus the town was
divided into two districts by the stream in the southern part of
the town running through the "Great meadow." March 27,
1785, the following vote was passed, "Beginning at Christopher


trases and Down to the grate meador Pond Down the mast Road
to the goer voted to have School this year the hole of the year
or 12 months. Voted to muve the School in foer Parts of the
town at mr. Thomas Parsons and hear at this hous (Vining's
School House?) and at Mr. Joshua Strouts and in the Soutfi
west part of the Plantation."

There are no records for the next four years. In 1789, at
the first town meeting of Durham, forty-five pounds were voted
to schools. In 1790 it was voted to divide the town into six
school districts, three on each side of the Great Meadow, and to
build five more school-houses. This vote was reconsidered at
a subsequent meeting, and the town seems to have decided to
leave the building of school-houses to the respective districts.
April 4, 1 79 1, the town voted that the "School be Divided into
Seven Districts, Three on the eastern Side of the Great Meadow
and Four on the Western Side of the Meadow," and that the
Selectmen divide the school and money as they see fit. The
appropriations for schools steadily increased till in 1797 they
reached $266.68 and in 1803, $400.

With the growth of population modifications and subdivisions
of the above mentioned seven districts were necessary. In 1802
Jacob Sawyer, Joseph Sawyer and Ebenezer Bragdon were set
ofif to Joshua Miller's School class. The same year the school
district on the County Road was divided by the Selectmen as
follows : " Beginnmg at Freeport Line on the County Road in
said Town as follows viz. Saml. Goodwin, Heirs of Capt. John
Scott, Josiah Burnham, Nathaniel Osgood, John Saddleman,
Nehemiah Hooper, John Eaton, Aaron Osgood, Elisha Stetson,
John Lincoln, Benjamin Roberts, Aaron Allen, George Gerrish,
Reuben Dyer, John Richards." This was called District No.
one. It shows who were the residents on the lower County
Road in 1802 and the order of their houses. The school-house
cost $175, and was built by Joseph Osgood. $3.84 were paid
for "andiorns and fier Shovel." The table cost $1.50; a chair
$1.; and a "pale," 33 cents. It is seen that there were no stoves
for school-houses. The big fire-place filled with logs and chips
together with a liberal use of the ferule, kept the pupils warm.

April 13, 1802, William Mitchell, Jr. sold for one dollar to
Abel True, School Com. land 24 ft by 22 ft on the "County Road
leading from Gloucester to Brunswick" for a school-house.
This was west of the Church at Methodist Corner.

TKF A'r^' vpRjr ~7




At a legal town meeting held i8io the following persons were
constituted school district No. 2 : John Collins, Abraham Fisher,
Nicholas Varney, Cornelius Douglas, Caleb Estes, Nicholas
Varney Jr., Samuel Collins, Abijah Collins, Joshua Clougli,
Bachelder Ring, O. Israel Fifield, Elisha Tuttle, Reuben Tuttle
Jr., Joseph Estes, Nathan Hawkes, James Welch, Joseph Ward,
Samuel Welch, Nicholas Pinkham, Samuel Field, Sarah Clough,
and Katherine Bailey. These lived in the vicinity of the Friends'
Meeting House.

In 1819 there was a redivision of the town into thirteen school
districts. The numbering was changed so that the district along
the River road m the northern part of the town was called
number one and has remained so ever since. Old school district
number one on the lower County Road to Freeport is now
number eight. Number two has been since 1819 the middle
district of the three across the northern part of the town, while
the old number two of the Friends' neighborhood is now number

Up to 1809 the inhabitants near S. W. Bend attended School
at the Flouse on \ ining's land, the first one built, on the County
Road nearly a mile from the river. In 1809 an assessment of
$259.14 was made on the Bend District for the building of a
new School House. It was built on the road that leads from the
Bend to Gerrish's ?*Iill on the hill before crossing Dyer's Brook.
The following persons were assessed : Andrew Adams, Symonds
Baker, M. D., Simeon Blethen, John Converse, M. D., John
Cushing, Micah Dyer, Heirs of David Dyer, Dennis George
Dyer, Richard Dyer, John Field, William Gerrish, James Gerrish,
Wm. Gerrish, Jr., Benj. Gerrish, Nath'l Gerrish, David
McFarland, John Mcintosh, Samuel Merrill, Joshua Merrill,
John Merrill, John Nichols, Ebenezer Newell, Samuel Nichols,
William Nichols, Joseph Proctor, Meshack Purington, Peter
Parker, Barnabas Strout, Ebenezer Strout, Oliver Stoddard,
Daniel Twombly, Benjamin Vining, Josiah Vining, Bela Vining,
John Vining, Benjamin Vining, Jr., Joseph Weeman, Joseph
Weeman, Jr., Luke Woodward.

These were in 1809 the inhabitants of S. W. Bend and down
as far as Gerrish's Mill.

The Schools in those days were ungraded. There was a
summer and a winter term of about ten weeks each. There were


few text-books. Each pupil made a manuscript arithmetic.
Those of James Booker and Waitstill Webber I have seen, and
they indicate such labor as must have made their owners good
mathematicians. Grammar was one of the higher branches and
was very little studied. In teaching penmanship the master
wrote a "copy" which the pupils endeavored to imitate with
a quill. Spelling-matches awakened great interest. They wert
often held in the evening and the whole community were "spelled
down." The grown-up boys were sometimes more muscular
than intellectual, av<^ if they did not like the master, he was in
danger of being can-Jed out into a snow-drlit. The switch and
ferule were always in evidence, and the mischievous girls fared
no better than the boys. Indeed tradition says that Master
Rourk sometimes took the naughty big girls across his knee,
after the manner in vogu'e with small members of the home
circle. Nevertheless the boys and girls made progress, and the
ungraded country school often produced better scholarship than
the graded school of forty weeks or more in the cities. The
pupils were required to take their books home and study every
evening, and discipline was as strict at home as in the school-

The names of a few old school teachers appear on the town
records. The Rev. Eliphaz Chapman was paid twelve pounds
and eight shillings for teaching in 1794. Parson Herrick also
taught school. "Leucenday" Curtis taught three months in
1795 for four pounds and one shilling. Elizabeth Barker taught
a term in 1800 for $10.50. Nancy Eaton taught in 1801 ; Mary
Douglas m 1799. Between 1800 and 1804 the following teachers
were employed : Beniah Hanson, Isaac Green, John Martin, Isaac
Davis, William Bartlett, John Staples, James Gerrish, Jr., and
Joseph Gerrish. The school-master, par excellence, of those days
was Martin Rourk. Teaching was his profession. He must
have been a good teacher, or he would not have been so many
times employed in several districts.

The regular terms of school were felt to be insufficient to
satisfy the thirst for education. These were supplemented from
time to time by "Private Schools" or High Schools. The
earliest of such schools recorded was kept by Joseph Hill in the
autumn of 1836. He was then a student in Bowdoin College,
where he graduated in 1838. He taught for a time at Blue Hill


and died in 1842. Hill's school at S. W. Bend was well attended.
Some students came from Lisbon and from Freeport. In 1837
the school was moved to West Durham and was held in the
galleries of the old Methodist church. Eleven of the twenty-one
males who attended that school in 1837 became school-teachers
the following winter. So writes Benjamin F. Nason who was
one of the eleven. The only survivors of that company of
academicians are Dr. David B. Sawyer and Albert H. Gerrish
of Berlin, N. H.

Some of the teachers of High Schools back in the sixties were
Frank Morrill, who afterwards began the practice of law at S. W.
Bend, Ira A. Shurtleff, whose brilliant career as a teacher in the
West was cut short by early death, Frank E. Sleeper, now a
successful physician at Sabattus, and Elbridge Y. Turner, who
always had order and got an unusual amount of hard study from
his pupils. One of the first teachers I can remember at the little
Red School House on the River Road was Edward T. Little, a
scholarly gentleman, whose early death was so much lamented.
Horace P. Roberts of Lisbon was another good teacher in that
school, as Alfred Jordan had been some years before. I well
remember George S. Wedgwood of Litchfield as one of the
best teachers I had in early days, now a prominent lawyer in
Omaha, Neb. In those days few districts had less than twenty-
five pupils, and some had three times that number. What sport
we had at noon and recess, skating and sliding down hill!
What mighty preparations for School Exhibitions in the old
Universalist Church ! I seem now to hear the dialogue of
Saladin and Malek Addel as given by the beloved and lamented
Lt. Sumner Strout and Fred Eveleth, now the honored Doctor
of Divinity and head of a Mission School in distant Burma.
Voices long hushed are still saying, " Ye call me chief, " and
are still reciting how "Old Ironsides at anchor lay." The
tableaux were quite theatrical, yet the most pious people seemed
to enjoy them. Other schools have not made so deep and lasting
impressions, nor do they awaken so many memories of unalloyed




Lumber was the chief article of trade during the first years
of the settlement. Ship-building was a great industry in
Freeport and Yarmouth, and Durham supplied much of the ship-
timber. Many a tall pine has been hauled over the County
Road to serve as the mast of a vessel. Deck plank, ribs and
knees were prepared in saw-pits that might be seen at short
intervals along the roads. These saw-pits were made at
convenient places where the land inclined to the road. A
suitable amount was excavated for the pit. This was
decked over a sufficient length for the longest timber. The
timber was first sided with the broad axe, then rolled on and
lined. Then two men went to work with a saw, one standing
on the stick of timber and the other in the pit, pushing and
pulling the saw. This was the only way of sawing curved timber.
-Many of the early settlers found employment in the ship-yards
and on coasting vessels.

Cord wood for fuel found a poor market in the early days.
In clearing the land for agricultural purposes great quantities
of fine hard wood were cut, rolled into huge piles and burned.
Sometimes neighbors gathered to assist in clearing the land.
Such gatherings were called "rolling-bees." In similar spirit of
helpfulness and sociability the women had their " quilting-bees."
These were succeeded by " paring-bees " after orchards were
grown, and by " husking-bees " in time of harvest.

The first saw-mill was, doubtless, that built on Chandler's
Stream by Judah Chandler in 1766. The second mill on the
same site was built in 1777 by Judah Chandler, O. Israel Bagley,
Daniel Bagley, John Randall, Stephen Randall, and John
Cushing. The third was a grist-mill built about 1810 by
Edward Thompson and Benjamin Sawyer. The present stone
mill was built by Richardson of Brunswick.

Gerrish's mill is mentioned on Royalsborough Records, Feb.







1 FUBlir ' r^ypiY


i6, 1775. How long it had been in existence is not known.
March i, 1778, George Gerrish sold to William Gerrish "one
quarter part of a Saw mill and one quarter part of a Corn mill
standing on Wire's Brook so cald and all the utensils to my
part of said mill." This is the earliest mention of a grist mill,
though O. Israel Bagley is said to have had a wind-mill for
grinding corn earlier than this. Gerrish's mill afterwards passed
into the hands of Sewall of Bath, and May 7, 1823 James Sewall,
tallow-chandler, and Lucy his wife sold to John Vining,
Benjamin Gerrish, James Gerrish and Andrew Adams, Jr. for
$550 "two acres including Gerrish's mill." "Wyer's Brook
formerly so called " is mentioned in this deed. This mill passed
into the ownership of Henry Plummer in 1835 and has been
known for half a century as Plummer's Mill.

Samuel Tracy's mill at the mouth of Meadow Brook, in the
southern part of the town, is mentioned in 1795. It was a grist
mill and long ago disappeared. Only traces of the dam can be

The first mill built near S. W. Bend was on Dyer's Brook, by
Luke Woodward and Jacob Herrick in 1810. It was a carding
mill and grist mill combined. About 1820 it was owned by
John Mayali and operated as a woolen mill till he transferred his
business to Lisbon Factory. A saw and grist mill succeeded
that of Mayali. This also has vanished away, and only the
deserted buildings erected for the canning of corn mark the site
of the old mills.

The South West Bend Dam Company was chartered in 1836.
It proposed to build a dam between Green's Rips and the mouth
of Gerrish's (Wyer's) Brook. Nothing came of it. March 15,
1837 the Durham Steam Company was chartered, consisting of
Joshua Miller Jr., Orlando Merrill, Ezekiel Hoole, Ivory
Warren, James Strout and Jonathan C. Merrill, " for the purpose
of grinding grain and plaster of Paris, of sawing all kinds of
lumber, and of manufacturing Iron, Steel, Cotton or Wools."
The proposed capital was $50,000 in shares of $100. Stock was
sold to the value of $8,400. Then assessments duly began.
Three were made in 1838, amounting to $8,150. Seven more
assessments followed in 1841-2 amounting to $5,697. The stock
holders were selling out at big discounts. The enthusiasm had
subsided. Some thought that South West Bend was to become


a great city, and all the hill about the Union Church was laid
out into houselots. The mill was built on the bank of the river
in the rear of Union Church. It discontinued in 1842, and was
removed to East Brunswick or Bath and there long known as
Humphrey's Mill.

It would be easy to suggest a bigger scheme than this. It is
readily seen that the broad level farms stretching three miles
north of South West Bend on both sides of the river were once
the bottom of a lake. The river has worn a notch through at
the Ferry and so dramed the lake. Now let some capitalists
buy up the farms mentioned and build a dam twenty feet high
at the Ferry. Then with a reservoir three to four miles in
diameter they will have one of the largest water powers in Maine.
This of course would bring the railroad in due time and hasten
the Electric Road which must soon be built from Auburn to
Yarmouth, to connect with Portland. Then those houselots
staked out in 1837 will sell with a rush, and Durham, like Truth
crushed to earth, will rise again.

Or it may be thought more feasible to cut a canal from the
Androscoggin to the Old Stone Mill. It need be not much more
than twenty feet deep and three miles long. This would turn
the Androscoggin into Royal's River and boom West Durham,
Pownal and Yarmouth at the expense, perhaps, of Lisbon Falls
and Brunswick. The dam at the Ferry would also help this

In the early days the shoemaker took his kit and went from
house to house, as also did the tailor. Such an itinerant was
O. Israel Bagley. Others of his craft were John Grafifam,
Micajah Meader, Joseph Douglas, Ebenezer Stimpson, and
Benjamin Lemont. The first to do shop shoemaking at the
Bend were Winslow A. Eveleth, Jacob A. Roak (who lived in
the house now occupied by George Nichols) and Moses

April 20, 1820, John Rogers of Lynn, Mass., commenced the
manufacture of Morocco shoes at Waitstill Webber's, in So.
Durham. A score of small shoe-shops soon were built in that
neighborhood, each employing five or six, workmen. Many
took work at their homes. In the height of the industry one
hundred and fifty men were employed and as many women.
The industry continued till 1855. There were three firms ;


Lemuel Jones and John H. Buffer ; Lorenzo Day ; and Isaac
Hopkins. After 1855 work was taken from Lynn, Mass., and so
it continued to be till about 1870. This part of Durham was
called Shoe-Town. Almost every house was a shoe-shop.

In 1834 Daniel Holland established a shoe-manufactory at
South West Bend, and continued in the business two years.
He employed eight or ten men, among them being James H.
Eveleth, Robert Goddard, Amos Atkins, and G. F. Flemington.
Washington Colder was associated with him in the making of
harnesses. Holland married Mary A. Field of Lewiston in 1835.
She is still living and remembers getting breakfast for ten
boarders the morning after her marriage. Holland was
succeeded by James H. Eveleth who carried on shoe-making at
the Bend for fifty years.

Joseph Estes had a tannery and harness-shop near the
Friends' Meeting House as early as 1776. He was succeeded in
the business by Nathan Hawkes who carried it on for many
years. Near by was an old grist mill run by wind. It was
octagonal, built of huge timbers, and was moved about with
crow-bars to suit the direction of the wind. Tradition says that
there was once a tannery owned by Samuel Field in the gully
south of Dr. Converse's house, close to the river, a little north
of the Bend. A tannery, managed by William Wagg, within
the memory of many stood in the rear of R. M. Strout's store.

The first store-keeper was O. Israel Bagley, whose store was
on the County Road, just below the residence of Charles H. Bliss.
Here he did business from 1770 till 1789. John Randall had a
store between Methodist Corner and Chandler's Mill at a very
early date. On the river road, about 1800, stores were kept by
Secomb Jordan, near Everett Macomber's, by Elijah
Macomber, just above George Miller's, by Samuel Merrill and
several others. Barnabas Strout kept store and hotel where
Wesley Day now lives. Later Horace Corbett was in trade at
the Bend. In fact there were four large stores, some of them
doing wholesale business. Besides Corbett there were James
Strout Jr. and Rufus Jordan in partnership. Ivory Warren (who
was succeeded by his son Emery and his grandson George) and
John Higgins. People came from Auburn, Lewiston, Turner,
Buckfield and regions beyond to do their trading at S. W. Bend.
John Macomber was a clerk in Rufus Jordan's store about 1840.


T remember to have heard him say that he had counted at one
time as many as forty teams hitched about the stores, and at
Jordan's five clerks were kept busy selHng goods. It must have
been about this time that a milhner's shop was moved from
Auburn to Durham. A bakery was run by David Bowie, a Httle
north of Eunice's (Fitz's) brook about ninety years ago. Near
by Foster Waterman had the first lawyer's office. He was taxed

Online LibraryEverett Schermerhorn StackpoleHistory of Durham, Maine; → online text (page 8 of 28)