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Freeport register, 1904 online

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Freeport Register

1 9 O 4



Brunswick, Maine:

Published by The H. E. Mitchell Pub. Co.


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Indian History
Early Settlement


Town Officials

Military Matters

Industrial Account

Church Affairs

School Items

Professional Men

Points of Interest

General Reference


Fnccpont Toion Rcgisten


The Indians played a very important part in the early
history of the town of Freeport. The physical advantages
of the location, their burial place on Lane's Island, and the
importance of the place to them from its situation in rela-
tion to other towns, lead the Indians to resist the advance
of the whites with a hostility more indomitable and deadly
than they exhibited towards most other settlements in the
state. Owing to this, the lands in the interior continued to
be laid waste and the inhabitants, though living near
tog<'ther, were often obliged to forsake their dwellings.
Husbands and fathers were killed and wives and children
were carried into captivity. Compelled to carry arms in
their walks, their labors and their worship, the inhabitants
said: "There is no peace to him that goeth out nor to him
that cometh in. We get our bread at the peril of our lives
because of the sword of the wilderness." Mr. William Scales,
father of Deacon Thomas Scales and Matthew Scales was
killed in the year 1725 on the Scales farm, and soon after
Joseph Felt, father of Mrs. Peter Weare, was killed at Broad
Cove. Felt's wife and children were carried into captivity


and afterwards redeemed by Capt. Weare. Joseph Weare, a
grandson of Felt, never lost an opportunity to be revenged
on the Indians. Several stories told concerning him, the
truth of which the writer would not vouch for, are quoted
from "Old Times." Weare once lived near the bank of the
Androscoggin river at Lewiston Falls. In some way he
learned that a war party had planned to desceud the river
one dark night and attack the settlers in that vicinity. In
order to prevent getting too near the falls in the darkness,
they sent one of their number down the river to build a fire on
the island some way above the falls. After nightfall, Weare
surprised and killed the sentinel, extinguished the fire, and
built another on the island just at the head of the falls, now
k no vvn locally as Island Garden. The I ndians, feeling secure as
long as they were above the beacon light, were caught in the
rapids before they realized their danger and were carried
over the falls to death. On another occasion Weare was
splitting rails near his home when six Indians approached
him and asked if he could tell them where Joe Weare lived,
to which question the quick-witted old scout replied in the
affirmative and offered to show them the person they sought
as soon as he had finished splitting the log on which he was
then at work. When "Joe" had driven in his wedge and
had the log well opened he asked the Indians to help him by
pulling on each side as he drove the wedge; to this the party
agreed and took hold, three on each side, with their fingers
in the crack of the log, when Weare, by a dextrous blow of
the sledge, knocked out the wedge causing the seam to close
like a vice upon their hands and leaving them at the mercy


of their terrible enemy, who as he gave each a death blow
with his axe shouted in the ears of his victims: "I'm Joe
Weare, d you, I'm Joe AVeare."

The hostility of Weare towards the Indians was never
abated. He swore to kill one for every drop of blood they
drew from the veins of his brother-in-law.

Philip Greely, ancestor of the Greely family of this section,
and of Portland, was killed Au^^. 9, 1746, at the lower Falls,
in Yarmouth, near the house of the late Mr. Daniel True,
when a company of thirty two Indians had secreted them-
selves intending, to surprise Weare's o;arrison when the men
should have gone to work. They were discovered by Mr.
Greely's dog, else they had probably suffered him to pass
unmolested. Though Mr. Greely lost his life, this probably
saved the garrison.

It was in a skirmish with the savages that Walter Gend-
all, one of the bravest and foremost men oi the early days,
was slain by a shot through the body. Separated from his
men by the river he suddenly noticed that they ceased firing,
and by their signal he knew that their ammunition was
exhausted and that they were at the mercy of the savages.
Against the entreaties of his wife and family he determined
to risk the chance of death, by crossing the open river to
save his men. He managed to get safely by the middle of
the stream, but as the boat touched shore he received a
bullet in the body and immediately expired, having only
time to throw the ammunition ashore and sa}': "I have lost
my life in your service." The party were now enabled to
maintain their ground till night came on when the Indians



On Saturday, May 4th, 1756, a large party of Indians
appeared at Topsham, where they separated, one party to
ifo to New Meadows, and the other to North Yarmouth.
The latter party, at day-break, on Sabbath morning,
attacked the house of Mr. Thomas Maiues, at Flying Point,
now Freeport, which, though well fortified, they finally
entered. John Martin was in the chamber of the house with
a loaded gun, but not being able in the darkness to find it,
kept himself concealed. Mr. Maiues, his wife and children,
and a sister of Mrs. Maiues, Miss Skinner by name, were
dragged from the house, and Mr. Maiues shot near by; mean-
while, Mrs. Maiues and the children succeeded in regaining
the house and fastening the door. A ball from the gun of
an Indian entered the house and was fatal to an infant in
the arms of Mrs. Maines, also wounding the mother. At
length the Indians again entered the dwelling, but Martin,
pointing his gun which he had found, through the chamber
floor, dropped one of them in the entry; retaining the sister
of Mrs. Maines and bearing away their wounded man, they
hastily departed.

A Mr. Bryant was killed near Cousin River, and two oth-
ers near by. Edward Brewer, a Connecticut sailor living on
Wolf's Neck, and Ambrose Talbot, Henry Parker, and
Stephen Wesson, who were all settled near South Freeport,
were driven from their homes by the Indians. Three times
the woods were fired, forcing them to begin anew.

These are only a few typical illustrations of the warfare
that was continually raging.


To summarize the Indian wars which bore directly on
the history of Freeport: In 1675 the Indians began a war of
extermination, and the settlers were obliged to abandon
their homes which were pillaged and burned. Alter three
years, peace was made and the inhabitants returned to their
desolate homes.

In 1688 there was another outbreak. The saw mills
were burned and many inhabitants butchered. Forced to
abandon their homes the second time, the few surviving set-
tlers removed to Jewell's Island and built a fort there to
protect themselves until they could return to Massachusetts.

Soon after the breaking out of the war between France
and England in 1744, hostilities were resumed, and for sev-
eral years the savages sought the destruction of the p]nglish

The old redoubt on Prince's Point behind which is a
grass covered lawn succeeded by a beautiful grove, was the
annual resort of the Indians in the early days. The high
bank to the left of the redoubt is for many rods composed of
shells intermixed with soil which is the accumulation of these
annual feasts. To the right the falling bank occasionally
discloses an Indian skeleton showing this bank to have been
to them the place of burial for their dead, and the feasts
were probably held to the departed warriors.



The ancient settlement of Wescustogo, which was incor-
porated a town in 1680, by the name of North Yarmouth,
then included the present town of Freeport, but we shall at-
tempt in this brief account to give only the names of the
men who settled within our present limits, or those whose
action bore directly upon the development of this town.

The early voyagers reported tish, game and v\ild fruits
in great abundance within the waters and upon the hillsides
bordering the coast of the Harriseeket river, but the diffi-
culty of escape from Indian incursions prevented any per-
manent settlement on the main land for many years. A few
had located on the islands in the bay. In 1658 James Lane
ventured a short distance up Cousin River, and located on
its east bank in what has become Southwest Freeport. He
soon afterwards received a grant of the laud on which he
had settled, and also of the island which bears his name at
the mouth of the river. About 1660 John Mosier settled on
Mosier's, siuce changed to Moge's Islaud. Richard Dummer
occupied Pine, since changed to Flying Point, until his death
in 1666. Richard Bray settled a short distance south of Mr.
Lane. Nathaniel Wallis bought his improvement and claim
of 55 acres of laud in 1672. Mr. Lane's land was deeded in
1673. Wolf's Neck was held and occupied by John Shep-
herd in 1666. Amos Stevens, son-in-law of Wm. Royal),
joined him in 1674. Bustin's Island was occupied by Wm.


Haynes, previous to the Indian war of 1676. At the com-
mencement of hostilities James Lane was killed. His four
sons, John, Henry, Samuel and Job, fled with the alarmed
settlers, who escaped with their lives, but all lost their

When peace was again restored most of these returned,
with others. Thomas Blashford settled on the west shore
of Harriseeket Iliver in 3 681, John Harris in 1682, Vines
Llliott and John York in 1682 84. William Larrabee, east
of Cousin River, in 1685. The "waste land" between Mr.
Warton, who claimed three miles to the westward of Bur-
gomuugomug River, and B. Gedney, who claimed two miles
eastward from Cousin River, was granted to J. Dummer,
Simeon Stoddard, John Foster, and Walter Gendall in 1686.
Pine (Flying) Point was granted to Jeremiah Dummer, one
of the proprietors' committee, in 1684.

Thomas Bailey, one of the proprietors' trustees in 1685,
was a son of John Bailey who came over in the "May-
flower," and ancestor of four John Baileys in a direct line,
the last of whom was father of Seth Bailey, Sr., and grand-
father of Amos J., Asa, and Seth Bailey, Jr., of this town.
Josiah Atwood settled near Cousin River, and sold his place
to Thomas Reding in 1690.

Julj' 27, 1688, an Indian and his squaw came to the
house of Samuel and Henry Lane, and were permitted to
stay all night. The next morning the}' went to the water's
edge and called five other Indians. They asked for coals
with which the}^ began building a fire near the house. Tell-
ing them of the danger of setting fire to the house, the


Lanes carried the fire to the edge of the water for them,
whereupon they fell upon Samuel Lane, who defended him-
self so valiantly that they left him and began chasing his
hogs with their hatchets. Soon after this there was a gen-
eral outbreak, and the settlers were forced to abandon their
claims. John Shepherd was killed. Henry Wolfe, who mar-
ried Shepherd's daughter in England, came to America, and
settled upon his claim in 1717. He received a grant of 67
acres of land upon Wolfe's Neck and Wolfe's Island in 1733
and in 1735 was one of the fifteen voters of the town of
North Yarmouth. His daughter Mary was the maternal
ancestor of Nathaniel Aldrich, grandfather of Hon. George

Mr. Wolfe planted the first orchard in the town, but
finding it attractive to the Indians, who camefor the apples,
he cut it all down but one extremely sour tree.

After the settlers began to return, in 1722, there became
quite a settlement along the Harriseeket River and on Fly-
ing Point. James Anderson settled on the Point. Green-
field Pote, Gideon Maun, and Abner Dennison settled near
the Cove burying ground, and east of the river.

Mr. Boardmau came previous to the survey of 1726.
Other settlers joined them, and a block house of hewn logs
was built for their mutual protection. Joseph Anderson
was born here in 1742. Mr. Babble lived on Flying point
in 1746. Thomas Means, who was killed in 1756 by the
Indians as shown in the preceding chapter, was one of the
early arrivals after the re-settlement began. Edward
Brewer, a Connecticut sailor, was one of the earlv settlers


on Wolfe's Neck. Ambrose Talbot came up the river in a
canoe and made a settlement at South Freeport, just west
of the village. He was joined by Henr}' Parker next to the
creek westward. Steven Weston settled near. Jonathan
Rice and Phineas Stevens, who came as chairmen, settled in
the town. James Jameson came in 1758.

Amos Sylvester settled on Prout's Gore in ] 759, where
his son Thomas was born the following year. James Saw-
yer, Seabury Winslow, Melzor Byram, and Jonathan Wood-
bury also came in 1759 and settled east of the landing.
Caleb Sylvester came in 1763, and Joshua and Abraham
Mitchell in 1768. Wm. Todd settled near "Todd's Bridge"
in 1771. Moses Cobb, Ezra Curtis, Capt. Thomas Curtis,
Thomas Coffin, Job Douglass, Samuel Griffin, Richard
Grant, Richard Kilby, Asa Miller, Daniel Pratt, and Josiah
Stock bridge, were all residents here before 1771.

Nathaniel Josselyn, a soldier of the Revolution, settled
here, with his brother Abner, at the close of the war. Wil-
liam, Joseph, and Nehemiah Ward were also early settlers.
Nehemiah Ward was a tithing man in North Yarmooth in

The following is a list, dated March 7, 1774, of those
living at Flying Point who objected against being set off as
a separate Parish.

George Rogers, James Jameson, Thomas Campbell,
Robert Pickeman, John Day, Edward BrUer, Enoch Dill,
Joseph Anderson, Jacob Anderson, Benj. Chase, John
Hewey, Silas Wentwortb, John Mann, Richard Goodins,
Daniel Cruer, Thos. Cobb, Gideon Mann, James Anderson.


March 1, 1782. The following, dwelling "near and upon
Flying Point Road, so called," considered its location as
"inconvenient and expensive to maintain; and pray that
it may be shut up, and that the Eange way may be effect-
ually opened in lieu thereof." Joseph Davis, Abner Denni-
son, Jr., Nehemiah Randall, Thos. Curtis, Jr., Ichabod
Frost, Job Bennett, Mark Rogers, Edward Hooper, Moses
Merrill, Jacob White, James Soule, David Cooper, Lemuel
Farrow, Abner Dennison, Edmund Chapman, Phineas Frost,
Thomas Curtis, Benj. Rackley, Ichabod Soule, Wm. Mitchell,
Jedediah Soul, Samuel Griffin.

The following, "dwelling on the eastern side of Harri-
seeket River," petitioned, Feb. 7, 178r), for a road "from the
town line to the Mast Landing,"

Thos. Bicknell, Richard Grant, Noah Pratt, Eliab Gur-
ney, Benj, Curtis, Job Bennett, Jonathan Woodman, Wm,
Atkinson, Joseph Davis, Gideon Lane.

These names we give, as they show who were then living
in those different parts of the town, shortly before the incor-
poration of the town, and as we see, before the permanent
highways were established.



The town of Freeport wasformed'from the town of North
Yarmouth, being- set off and incorporated in 1781). There
was also included in the town, by the act of Incorporation
"a Tract of Land called Front's Gore," lying between North
Yarmouth and Brunswick. The act of Incorporation passed
the Massachusetts House of Representatives Feb. 13, 1789,
and the Senate the following day. It bears the bold signa-
ture of John Hancock, then Governor of Massachusetts and
the first man to sign the Declaration of American Independ-

This town originally extended to the New Gloucester line.
That part north of lots 13, 12, 22, 23, 20, 21, 18, 19, 16
and 17, in ranges A, B, C, D and E, was taken off to form
Pownal in ] 808. The town is now bounded on the east by
Brunswick, on the south by Casco Bay, on the west by
Cousin River and Yarmouth, following the line between the
100 and 120-acre divisions, and on the north by Pownal
and Durham. It includes all islands formerly belonging to
North Yarmouth and Front's Gore lying northeast of a line
extending east-southeast from Lane's Foint, which are not
intersected thereby. The town was to pay its share of the
Revolutionary war debt, pay 2-5ths of all assessed taxes,
and receive its share of the town military stores ou hand.



Under a warrant issued by Samuel Merrill, Esq., an
election was held March 23, 1789, at the meetino: house
which stood in the old burying ground. Samuel Merrill was
elected moderator, and Nathan Wesson, town clerk. Rev.
Abraham Cumraings then opened the meeting by prayer.
John Mann was chosen treasurer, and Joseph Staple, James
Curtis and Col. George Rogers, selectmen and assessors.
The following were also chosen, whom we give as they show
who were the town leaders at the time the town was formed:
Cornelious Soule, George Bartoll, collectors and constables; '^
William Todd, constable; Bartholomew Reed, John Dun-
ning, wardens; Jeremiah Nason, Samuel Winslow, Josiah
Cummings, William Brown, Samuel Griffin, Abner Sylvester,
Mark Rogers, Daniel Curtis, Robert Anderson, surveyors of
highways; Ezra Curtis, Ambrose Talbot, tithing-men;
James Buxton, culler of hoops and staves; Seward Porter,
Thomas Meins, surveyors of boards; James Crocker,
Ambrose Talbot, Joseph Mitchell, fence viewers; Abraham
Reed, Calvin Carver, Benj. Parker, Jr., James Soule, Silas
Wentworth, Noah Pratt, hog-reves and field-drivers; and
Thomas Bicknell, sealer of leather. At a meeting held May
4, following, William Brow-n was chosen selectman in place
of Col. George Rogers. It was then agreed that the col-
lection of taxes be at the rate of 'H pence on the pound."
00 pounds was raised for schools, and one-half that sum for
the support of preaching. This was left in the care of Daniel
Deunison, Amos Sylvester and George Bartoll, who were cho-
sen a committee on ministerial and school lands. Rev. Alfred


Johnson was voted a call to the ministry of the church, in
the following September, with a salary of £90 and €180 set-
tlement, with a substantial increase from time to time.

Pounds were also necessary during- these early days
when there were few fences. If we are to judge the number
and strength of their cattle by the pound which they erected
this month on the ministerial lot we would say that these
pioneer cleariuiis were well stocked. The pound was 40 feet
square and seven feet high, built of round timber.

On March 3, by an act of the Massachusetts Legislature,
the northwestern half of Freeport was set off and incorpor-
ated a separate town under the name of Pownal.

The first town hall in Freeport was erected ov^er the
store of Mr. Samuel Holbrook, in 1831-33. Previous to
this the meetings had been held generally in the old meeting
house. This town house was burned in 1845.




The following men have filled the offices of clerk, treas-
urer and selectmen since the incorporation of the town.
These names are among the leading men of the town, and
almost witliout exception, have served the community im-
partially and satisfactorily, and with credit to their ability
as public servants.


Nathan Wesson, 1789-1807.

John Gushing, 1808, '09.

Samuel Hyde, 1810-13.

Nathan Nye, 1814-24.

Simeon Pratt, 1825-35.

Ebenezer Wells, 1886-41.

Samuel Thing, 1842-43.

Nehemiah Thomas, 1844-49, '57-61, '64-72.

Jtichard Belcher, 1850-52.

Ambrose Pratt, 1853-55.

William H. Soule, 1856.

Edward S. Soule, 1862, '83.

Edwin C. Townsend, 1863.

John C. Kendall, 1873-82.

William A. Mitchell, 1884-94.

Arthur W. Mitrholl, 1895-1904.



John Manu, 1789-98.

Joseph Staple, 1799.

John Gushing:, 1800-07.

Maj. Thomas Means, 1808, '09.

Samuel Dillintiham, 1810-13.

Samuel Porter, 1814, '15.

Samuel Holbrook, 181G, '18-23.

Barnabas Bartoll, 1817. "^

Josiah W. Mitchell, 1824-27.

Nathan Nye, 1828-35.

Enoch Harrington, 1836-38.

Samuel A. Holbrook, 1839-47, '52, '63-75.

Robert S. Soule, 1848-51, '62.

Ammi R Mitchell, 1853-61.

Enos C. Soule, 1876.

Amos Field, 1877.

John A. Brigsrs, 1878-85.

Edmund B. Mallett. Jr., 1886, '87.

John C. Kendall, 1888, '89, 1904.

Julius S. Soule, 1890, '91.

Chas. C. Wiggin, 1892-98.

William A. Davis, 1899-1903.


1789— Joseph Staple, James Curtis, VVra. Brown.
1790— Joseph Staple, James Curtis, Thomas Meins.
1791 — Joseph Staple, John Gushing:, David Dennison.


1792— John Gushing, Joseph Staple, Capt. Greenfield

1793-94— John Cushing, James Curtis, John Stock-

1795 — Joseph Staple, J. Cushing, Col. Geo. Rogers.

1796— J. Gushing, J Curtis, J. Stockbridge.

1797 — James Curtis, Noah Rurrell, James Rogers.

1798— J. ('urtis, N. Burrell, Barston Sylvester.

1799 — J. Gushing, Joseph Staple, Wm. Pote.

1800— J. Gushing, Wm. Pote, James Curtis.

1801— J. Gushing, J. Staple, James Curtis.

1802-03— J. Gushing, James Curtis, Win. Pote.

1804— J. Gushing, Joseph Staple, John A. Hide.

1805 — J. Gushing, Jose})h Staple, Wm. Pote.

1806— J. Gushing, Cornelious Dillingham, Edmund Pratt.

1807— J. Gushing, C. Dillingham, Thos. Bicknell.

1808— J. Gushing, lOdmund Pratt, Moses Soule.

]809 — B. vS.vlvester, Moses Soule, Nathan Wesson.

1810— N. Wesson, Henchman Sylvester, Micah Stock-

1811— N. Wesson, T. Bicknell. Thos. M. White.

1812— N. Wesson, B. Sylvester, Joseph Lufkin.

1813— N. Wesson, B. Sylvester, Samuel Hyde.

1814— ii. Sylvester, Moses Soule, .Jr.. John Webster.

181.5— B. Sylvester, Wm. Pote. John Webster.

1816— Wm. Pote, G. Dillinuhani. iMlwnrd Pratt.

1817— Wm. l*ote, C. Dillingham, Moses Soule.

1818-E. Pratt, G. Dillingham, AVm. Pote.
^ 1819— (^ornHious Dillingham, Wm. True. J. W. Mitchell.


1820— C. Dillingham, Ansjl Clark, Daniel Brown, Jr.

1821— Edmond Pratt, Daniel Brown (Jr), Joseph Den-

1822— Wm. True, Daniel Brown, Jr., John Townsend.

1823— Ansyl Clark, Samuel Porter, J. W. Mitchell.

1824— Samuel Porter, C. Dillingham, Simeon Pratt.

1625-26— Edmond Pratt, AmmiDennison, Simeon Pratt.

1827— Simeon Pratt, Edmond Pratt, Seth Bailey, Jr.

1828— S. Pratt, Seth Bailey, Jr., Joseph Mitchell.

1829— S. Pratt, E. Pratt, Thomas Means.

1830— S. Pratt, Rufus Soule, Seth Bailey, Jr.

1831— E. Pratt, S. Pratt, Thomas Means.

1832— S. Pratt, Thomas Means, Seth Bailey, Jr.

1833— S. Pratt, S. Bailey, Jr., Jot-eph Dennison.
_ 1834— Josiah Mitchell, Simeon Pratt, Joel Kelsey.

1835-36— Simeon Pratt, Seth Bailey, Jr., Thomas

1837— S. Bailey, Jr., S. Pratt, Joseph Dennison.

1838— Ebenezer Wells, Thos. Means, Enoch Pratt.

1839— Ebenezer Wellis, Enoch Pratt, Theodore Curtis.

1840— Enoch Pratt, Simeon Pratt, Solomon True.

1841— E. Wells, Simeon Pratt, Seth Bailey, Jr.

1842— J. W. Mitchell, Seth Bailey, Jr., T. R. Dillingham.

1843-44— E. Pratt, T. Curtis, Nat'l Josselyn.

1845-46-47— T. Curtis, N. Josselyn, Simeon Pratt.

1848— SimeoQ Pratt, N. Josselyn, Richard Merrill.

1849— T. Curtis, A. H. Wade, S. Pratt.

1850— A. H. Wade, S. Pratt, Am mi R. Mitchell.

1851— A. R. Mitchell, N. Josselyn, Micah Stockbridge.


^ 1852— A. R. Mitchell, E. A. Hyde, William Gre^g.

1853 — S. Pratt, N. Josselyn, Ambrose Pratt.

1854— M. Stockbridge, Charles VVaite, Nathan O. True.

1855— Wm. Gregg, N. O. True, A. Pratt.

1856-57— M. Stockbridge, N. 0. True, Joshua Soule.

1858— M. Stockbridge, N. Josselyn, David Grant 3d.

1859— N. Stockbridge, N. O. True, Henry C. Brewer.

1800— S. Pratt, N. Josselyn. Geo. \V. Randall.

1861— S. Pratt, G. W. Randall, H. C. Brewer.

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