H. E. (Harry Edward) Mitchell.

The town register, 1903: Solon & Bingham online

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Indian Account

Early Settlement


Church Account

Organization — Pastors

Mercantile and Manufacturing

Professional Men

Doctors — Lawyers

Military Matters

General Survey

Town Officers

Census and Non-Residents


Early Settlement


Military Matters

Mercantile and Manufacturing

Church Account

Organization — Pastors

Professional Men

Doctois — Lawyers

General Surve}'

Town Officers

Census and Non-Residents


When in Solon
don't lail to \'isit the store of


Where ;ill the latest novelties
can be lound in the line ol"

Crockery and Con?ectIonercj
in great variety

Also Clothing and Underwear,

Carpeting, Oil Cloti7,

Tinu/are, Etc.

Call and see the linest line in Somerset Countv, all up-
to-date i^oods and prices ri^ht. We keep no
goods we cannot recommend. The disposition
ol this store is to do business on honor — laii"
and scpiare. It is our aim to ser\e you politely,
promptU' and properh', with least trouble to
you. Appreciating your patronage, we shall
study \'our wants in order to turnish you good
goods at the right prices. The more you know
our liberal policy the better youMl like this store.
We inyite you to call again. Always buy lor
cash and so pay no interest or extra prices lor
running the accounts. Trade where the\' don't
gi\e credit and you wont have to help pa\' lor
what the}' lose on those who don't pa^" their
bills. Remember the place, opposite hotel. ^|

MRS. A. F. JONES, Solon, Maine.

C. A. PAUL, M. D,

Physician and Surgeon


Attorn ey-at-Law


All business receives prompt attention

Collections a specialty.

Physician & Surgeon

Solon, Maine

Office Hours — When not professionally engaged.


IF 3'oii want health, go to G. N. SNELL, who car-
ries all kinds of Fresh Fish in their season. We
are sole agents for the Narragansett Bay Oyster
Co., Providence. Also F. L. Jones & Co., Oyster
Crackers, the best made in New England.

r\iK pi.Aci': TO lUTV-









Next Door to Post Office MADISON. MAINE


Ho. 3 Unlop Block MADISON. MAlHE

Has one of the most complete lines of

Drugs, Family Medicines. Books, Stationery, Fancy and
Christmas Goods in Somerset County.

We have no desire to draw you away from your nice drug stores in
Solon and Bingham, but only to suggest that if you require
a larger market and a full stock to select from, be sure to
come to us. We have most everything that is called for and
at the very lowest prices. We warrant all goods to be as
represented or money back. All orders by mail promptly
tilled. Yours for business,


)m T©"w^ii Register

Indian Account

The Indian history of this valle}' centers about the
Norridgewock tribe at Old Point in the southwest cor-
ner of the town of Madison. There had been for
many generations a contest between the Indians and
the English in Maine. When Father Rasle, the
French missionary, came to Old Point in 1695, the
contest for supremacy became more bitter as Rasle
was not only desirous of having the Indians continue
to hold the territory along the Kennebec, but wanted
to hold the English at bay until the French should as-
sume control. The Indian, tossed between the surges
of hatred that rolled between the English and the
French, was destined to destruction. That destruction
came in the month of August, 1724, when the English
Captain Harmon at the head of two hundred armed
men arrived at Old Point and recklessly shot, pillaged,

and burned the beautiful Indian village. Rasle was


shot and scalped, with a hirgc number of his dusky
converts. Tlie Catliolic cliapcl was burned. Men,
women, cliildren were ruthlessly slaughtered. The
tribe was tore\er broken uji. The most ot'the last of
the famous Norridgewocks gathered about the Catholic
mission, at St. Francis, (^lebec. A few located along
the banks of the Sandy ri\er, but at the approach of
the whites, all sa\e Pierpole, a famous Indian chief ot
Franklin c()unl\-, lied to parts unknown. The sad late
of the Norridgewocks has brought lorth from the pen
of Poet and Historian many a line. All mourn the un-
happy end of the gaUant and enthusiastic missionary
who labored so zealously to establish the Christian
faith in the hearts of the red-skinned children of na-
ture. All mourn the loss of home which befel the
Norridgewocks, but we can only say it was one of the
inevitable results of the progress of ci\ ilization.

Early Settlement

The town ot Solon was first settled in 1782 and
was one of the leading towns in the county for many
years. At an earl}- date the great tertility of the lands
along the Kennebec became well known and move-
ments were made to improxe them. JSolon was well
up in the vallev where the width was less but had
manv of the fme farms so common to the region


below. So far as we have been able to learn William
Hilton was the first white settler. He came to Solon
in the summer ol 1782 and made a clearing and built
his log cabin. He returned to Anson to spend the
winter with a brother who lived there. In the follow-
ing year he came back with his wife and son, David,
when he made his permanent settlement on Lot 17.
This was the first permanent settlement in town. Mr.
Hilton come trom Wiscassett. His two brothers set-
tled just north of Patterson Bridge.

This same spring William Hunnewell settled here.
He took up a lot which has since been divided. The
old Hunnewell homestead is now the property ol Zina
Norton. This was a hundred acre lot.

Not far trom this time Luther Pierce settled on
a lot between lots 26 and 25. This place is now owned
by Sarah B. Pierce. The next lot of 100 acres below
this one was taken up at about the same time by Jona-
than Bosworth. It is now occupied by Fred Magoon.

Eleazar Whipple, one of the settlers who were
here prior to 1784, settled on Lot 25 now the property
ot Alfreda B. Withington.

Next to Mr. Whipple and at about the same time
came Moses Chamberlain on Lot 24. This lot has also
been divided. The north halt is now owned by Joseph
C. and George B. Pierce. The south half is now the
property of Charles Clark.

Moses Thompson also settled on a lot of one hun-
dred acres now owned b}' Hiram C. Rice.


Other Early Settlers.

Josi.'ili French came from Saulisbiiry, Mass., in
1800 and settled on wliat is locally known as French
Ilill. I lis grandson Josiah French lives there today.
Moses F'rench who came irom the same place as Josiah
settled also on French Hill in 1802, took up the lot ad-
joining Josiah French's. Nicholas Smith settled near
the town line of Bingham and Solon a little to the east
of the river. John, Silas, and Simon Maynard settled on
the river road in 1802. Not far from this time Moses
and Samuel Eaton came from Saulisbury and took up
lots on what is now known as Eaton Hill, about four
miles east of the village. Benjamin Merrill who was
also from Saulisbury, Mass., came to Solon at an early
date and settled east of French Hill. Matthew San-
born settled on Fall Brook about one mile northeast
from the \illage. He was from Massachusetts.

These settlers were allowed the above mentioned
lots in the survey made by Samuel Weston in 1791.
The settlers lots beside the above were as follows:
David Pierce, Lot No. 27 of 200 acres l3'ing wholly in
the town of Bingham. On this lot at this time there
was a house. David Pierce the owner was a single
man and lived with his brother," Calvin Pierce on the
lot next below. Mrs. Fla\ ilia Jewett now owns the

Calvin Pierce was assigned in the survey the lot
which is now the property ot Henry F. Maynard.


To Moses Ayer Island "H" in the Kennebec river
containing 88 acres was set off. He also had a small
island west of "Island IF' containing live acres, "ot no
great value except to guard the large island."

To William Hilton in addition to the Lot 17 was
allotted Island "D" of 18 acres adjoining the front of
Lot 17. Mr. Weston's return sa3-s "This Island will
accomodate Lot 17 well."

The above gives in brief the information available
concerning the earliest comers to the town ot Solon.


Before we continue farther it is perhaps well to con-
sider the circumstances which led to the settlement
and survey of the town and the dissentions which fol-
lowed and which are of interest to every citizen of the

After the close of the Revolutionary War, even
the boundar}- lines of Massachusetts and her sister
states were not entirely settled.

There was a controversy between Massachusetts
and New York over the line between them. The line-
was run and it was found that certain lands granted by
Massachusetts to settlers in the town of Groton laid
within the bounds of New York. Hence the grant
was void, and these settlers had no claims on the lands
above mentioned.

On Februrary 18, 1791 the General Court of Mas-
sachusetts passed a resolve on Petition of James Pres-
cott in behalf of the proprietors of the town of Groton
praying compensation may be made them for land lost


by running the line between this commonwealth and
the state of New York.

Whereupon 6500 aeres ol land were laid out on
the south side ol wliat was later llie t()\\'n of Solon
bouiuled on tlie north h/V a line parallel with the south
line otthe town, and so far distant therei'rom as to in-
elude 6,300 aeres exelusive ot 500 aeres laid oil to
settlers In' Sanuiel Weston ;ind reser\ed lor tlu-m.
'I'he land eon\eved by this resohe \^'as subsecpiently
deeded to Thomas Spaulding, et al. This deed with
the settlers lots eo\ered the south 7000 aeres ot the
town of Solon.

On the twentx'-lourth of January, 1792 for the
reason <;"i\c:n abo\ e there was granted to Palmer
Gardener et al, jiroprietors of Groton 3S.S0 aeres ol
land in Solon, bounded on south by land granted to
Thomas Spaulding, et al, and on north by a line paral-
lel to and three miles distant trom the south line ol the
town exelusive of lour lots ol 160 acres each reserved
tor public uses, \iz: one for the lirst settled minister,
one for the use of the ministry, one for the use ot
schools in the said township ajul one lor the tuture ap-
propriation of goNernment, to be laid out near the cen-
ter of the township and to axerage in goodness with
the other lots therein.

Including the public lots this grant contained 4520
acres and was bounded on the south hv the land
granted to Thomas Spaulding et al.; and on the north
b\- a line running east from the Kennebec Rixer par-


allel to and three miles distant from the south line of
the town.

There was a similar controvers}' betw^een the
Commonwealth ol Massaehusetts and the state of New
Hampshire over the state line, Massachusetts having
granted to Thomas Stevens et al. certain lands in the
town of Warner which were afterwards found to be
in the state of New Hampshire. To compensate them
for the loss of their land there was granted to Jona-
than Barnard et al. a tract of land six miles in length
and three miles in breadth from any of the unappro-
priated lands in the counties of Lincoln, Hancock, or
Washington. Pursuant to the grant there was deeded
to Jonathan Barnard and others the north half of the
town of Solon, bounded on the south b}' a line parallel
to and three miles distant fVom the south line of the
town, reserving four lots of land equal in quality with
the rest of i6o acres each for public uses, viz., one for
the first settled minister, one for the use of the minis-
try, one for the use of the schools, and one for the
future appropriation of the General Court.

There was also reserved in the deed to Barnard
et al, to Calvin Pierce, Eleazar Whipple and Moses
Chamberlain, settlers on settlers lots, so called, 200
acres each, and to Luther Pierce, Moses Thompson
and Jonathan Bosworth 100 acres each. The said
Luther Pierce and Moses Thompson, who were set-
tlers since the year 1784 paying each of them th^
grantees in the resolve $20 and the said Jonathan


Bosworth a settler bclorc the year 1784 paying them

Apparenth' tlie two deeds of the south lialf" to the
proprietors ol" (jroton were treated by them as one
grant. They lirst sold to John Ware 3672 aeres from
the west end of their grant, bounded on the west by
the river, on the east by a line at right angles to the
south line of the town and fai enough east to inelude
the abo\e mentioned number of aeres.

In 1792 the north half was sur\eyed and lotted
into 80 aere lots by Benjamin Poor. That ]-)art of the
south half belonging to Spaulding, Gardener and others
w^as lotted by Daniel Steward into 160 aere lots.

Subsequently the southwest part of the town sold
to John Ware et al. was surveyed and lotted by Eleazar
Coburn. Neither Ik-njamin Poor nor Daniel Steward
had the authorit\- to run the di\ ision line between the
owners of the nortli and south halves. Both ran their
range lines east and west parallel to the township lines.
Poor working tVom the north line and Steward work-
ing from the south line. 'I'he ranges were intended to
be one half a mile wide so that Poor ran liis south
range line two and a halt" miles distant from the north
line of the town.

Steward intended to ha\ e done the same thing but
his ehainmen missed a tally in eaeh ol the tirst and
fourth ranges so his north range line whieh should
have been two and a half miles north from the south
line of the town was aetuall>- run l()rt^■ rods farther


north. The proprietors of the halves oftlie town e\i-
dentl}' supposing that eaeh owned one half of it agreed
that Daniel Steward should run the division line.

In 1802 Daniel Steward measured from the south
line to the north line ot the town and run a line in the
center from east to west, and found the town to be
from south to north six miles and forty rods.

Meanwhile the owners of the south tier of lots in
the north half and the north tier of lots in the south half
each owning as they supposed a half mile north and
south had found that between Poor's south range and
Steward's north range line there was, just a mile, had
caused a line to be run east and west across thfe town
midway between the two range lines for the bounds
of their respective lots. Owing to the mistake made
by Steward in his survey this division line was twent}'
rods north of the division line run by Steward in 1802.

By the terms of their grant, the proprietors of the
north half were to leave for public uses four lots ot
160 acres each. On apportioning the land among them-
selves they lacked land for the public lots. About this
time thev apparentlv discovered their grant extended
south to a line three miles distant from the south line
of the town which would be twenty rods south of the
division line run bv Steward in 1802.

Subsequentlv the proprietors of the north half dis-
covered that the agreement under which Steward ran
the division line in 1802 was a mistake on their part.
Instead of ow^ning to the center of the town they owned


to a line three miles north ot the south line. In 1811
the}' employed John G. Neal to run the line division
true. Neal's line was twenty rods south of the line
run by Steward.

The town of Solon was ineorporated in 1809 and in
1813 the town petitioned the Cireuit Court of Common
Pleas at Norridgewock praying that a eommittee be
appointed to designate and set ot\' the se\eral lots of
land reserved in the original grants lor the use of the
said town and for public uses. Whereupon E. Cobinn,
Elihu Bowerman, and AVilliam S^•lvester were ap-
pointed as a committee to locate the public lots.

The Forty Rod Strip.

There were three hundred and twent}' acres lack-
ing in the north half for public uses, and the committee
relying upon the wording of the original grant set of
the east four miles of the forty rod strip h ing between
the line twent}' rods north ot Steward's center line and
a line twenty rods south ol" it, which was run bv the
committee or had been run by some person now un-
known since Steward ran his Center line in 1802.
The owners of the lots in the south half ol the town
adjoining these public lots had been deeded lots
measuring 160 rods north and south. They were
bounded on the south by Steward's north range line and
the one hundred and sixty rc^ls deeded them included
the public lots. So when these two public lots were laid
out it took from the adjoining settlers on the south a


strip ol land U)riy rods wide ;iiid four miles long.
This was deemed by them to be a great hardship and
was in after times a eaiise of much contro\ersey and
several lawsuits. The influence ot the ancient settlers
in town atfairs was such that the town asserted no
claim to the school lots or the forty rod strip tor more
than 35 years. About 1850 the trustees of the school
fund asserted their claim and the adjoining owners
paid small amounts into the school lund ol the town to
bu}' up their titles.


The town of Solon was incorporated in 1S09. We
have given herewith the full text of the act of the i>'en-
eral court of Massachusetts for this purpose. It fol-


In the Year of our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred

and Nine.

An Act to incorporate the plantation numbered one in
the second range ot townships on the east side of
the Kennebec river north of the Phmouth claim,
in the county ol the Kennebec into a township
by the name of Solon.


Sect. I. Be it enacted by the Senate and the
House of Representatives in General Court assembled
and b}' the authority of the same, that the township
numbered one in the second range ot townships on the
east side of the Kennebec river north of the Plymouth
Claim in the County of Kennebec, as described with
the following bounds, with the inhabitants thereon be
and the same are hereby incorporated and established
a town by the name of Solon, viz — Bounded on the
north by Bingham's purchase, cast, by the town of
Athens, south, b}' the town of Madison, and west, b}'
a line drawn on the middle oi Kennebec river — and
the said town of Solon is hereby \ested with all the
powers and privileges and shall also be subject to all
the duties and requisitions of other towns according to
the constitution and laws of the Commonwealth.

Sect. 2. (First meeting how called) Be it further
enacted, that any Justice of the Peace, for the Count}'
of Kennebec, be and he is hereby authorized to issue
his warrant directed to some suitable inhabitant, of the
said town ot Solon, requiring him to notil}' and warn
the inhabitants of the said town qualified by law to
vote in town affairs, to meet at such convenient time
and place as shall be appointed in said warrant for the
choice of all such officers as towns are by law to
choose at their annual town meetings.

historical 17

Warrant for the First Town Meeting.

To Jonas Heald of the town of Solon in the county
of Kennebec,

Gentleman —

Greeting: You are hereby required in the name
of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to notity and
warn the male inhabitants of the said town of Solon
who are qualitied by law to vote in town meetings, viz.,
such as pa}' to one single tax beside poll or polls, a
sum equal to two thirds of a single poll tax to assemble
at the dwellin": house of Caleb Ilobart in said town ol
Solon Yoeman, on Monda}' the Twent}' seventh day ot
March Inst, at one of the clock in the afternoon on
said day, to act on the following articles, viz.,

ist. To chose a Moderator to govern said meeting.
2d, To chose all such officers as towns are required to
choose at their annual meetings. Given under my hand
and seal at Norridgewock this ninth day ol March in
the 3'ear ol our Lord one thousand eight hundred and

Richard Sawtelle, Justice of Peace.
Solon, March 27th, 1809

Pursuant to the within warrant to me directed I
have notitied and warned the inhabitants of said town
qaulitied as therein expressed to assemble at the time
and place and for the purpose w^ithin mentioned.

Jonas Heald.


Church Account

Organization — Pastors.

Methodist Episcopal Churcil

For nian\' \cars Solon was included in Norridgc-
wock Circuit and was rcguarly \isited by the preach-
ers iVom that place, but the early records ha\e been
lost so that wc ha\'e a meagre record of the work that
was done, until 1805 when Daniel Ricker was the
pastor. At that time a great re\ival swept over the
town. It still continued a part of Norndgewock Cir-
cuit until as late as 1830 when it was set off from the
former, and Rev. E. Ilotchkiss was the preacher in
charge. The union meeting house (now known as the
Congregational church) was built in 1837, the Meth-
odists owning one-fourth of it and occupving it one-
fourth of the time. In 1858 the Methodists decided
to haxe preaching in the village half of the time; and
to this end the}' hired the town hall for meetings one-
Iburth of the time. In 1859 they built their present
house of worship. The church building has been
greatly improved by putting in steel ceilings and sev-
eral memorial windows. Several preachers and preach-
ers' wives ha\e gone out from this church and are
doing a grand work in the Master's \ine\ard. The
church now numbers 63 resident members with a
goodl\' number on probation. The Sunda\' School has
an a\erage attendence ot nearly tilt}" and is in a very
prosperous condition.


The following persons have served the church as
pastors in the order in which they are given: E.
Hotchkiss, 1831; M. Lutkin, 1832; M. Ward, 1833;
O. Bent, 1834; M. Wight, 1837; M. Brown, 1838; H.
True, 1839; J. Allen, 1840; J. Farrington, 1842; J. M.
Hutchinson, 1843; W. Bates, 1844; H. Nickerson,
1845; A. Alton, 1846-7: T. Hill, 1848; J. Gerry, 1849;
W. H. Foster, 1850; W. C. Stevens, 1855; J. Collins,
1856; J. Armstrong, 1857-8; S. Ranks, 1859; W. H.
Foster, 1860-1; A. Hatch, 1862-3; D- Waterhouse,
1864-6; E. T. Adams, 1867-8; J. H. Moores, 1869;
H. Crockett, 1870-1 ; L. P. French, 1872-4; E, Gerry,
1875; D. Church, 1876; H. B. Wardwell, 1877-8; G.
D. Holmes, 1879-80; G. W. Barber, 1881-2; W. B.
Bartlett, 1883-4; J- R- Mastcrman, 1885; C. A. Laugh-
ton, 1886-8; J. L. Fulsom, 1889; C. A. Laughton,
1890; J. R. Remick, 1891-3; D. R.Ford, 1894-5; ^'^'^•
T. Chapman, 1896-7; T. Whiteside, 1898-1901; E. T.
Adams, 1902-3.

Congregational Church.

On September 30, 1806 a Congregationalist church
society was organized in Solon. Eleazcr Whipple,
Thomas Merrill, Calvin Pierce, Deborah Pierce, and
Elizabeth Rowe were the original members. Later
the organization was merged into a church at South
Solon. From 181 1 till 1819 this society joined with
the one at the Upper Settlement as Bingham was then
known. This union was dissolved in 1809.


Oil J. 'in lira ry 25, 1S42 a brancli of the church at
Soutli S()h)n was organized into a separate societ\' at
Solon. Its members were Timothy Spaulding, Sihis
Maynard, Nancy vSpaulding, Sally Varnum, Lucy Ma}'-
nard. Bathsheba Maynard, Mary Morse, Joseph May-
nard, Lucinda Pierce and Docas Bosworth. ^fhe
meeting house at Solon Village was erected in 1837.
It was owned by the Baptist, Congregationalists, Meth-
odists and Universalists in equal shares.

The pastors have been the following: Cyrus Stone,
Januar\- 22, 1842 to August 31, 1844; Henry Smith,
September i, 1844, December Zs,, 1845; Levi Loring
supplied till September i, 1846; Sidne}' Turner, Sep-
tember I, 1846, June 22, 1856; George W. Fargo,
August 17, 1856, to August 17, 1857; Sidne}' Turner,
August 17, 1857, to November i, 1858; George W.
Fargo, Januar}- i, 1859, to January 4, i860; William S.
Thompson, February 19, i860, to February 19, 1861;
George W. Hathaway, January i, 1861, to January i,
1863, John K. Deering, November i, 1863 to Septem-
ber 30, 1865; Henr\- (). Thayer, October i, 1865, to
October i, 1867; John K. Deering, October 27, 1867,
to October 27, 1868; Edwin P. Wilson, supplied three
months in 1868-69; J. E. Fullerton, supplied seven

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Online LibraryH. E. (Harry Edward) MitchellThe town register, 1903: Solon & Bingham → online text (page 1 of 7)