McPHETER’S FAMILY

William McPheters showed up on West Ridge in Cooper sometime in the 1820s. Jerry Gower sent a copy of the Bangor Historical magazine, Volume VI that gives the following.

Archibald McPhetres came to Bangor from Bath about 1771. About 1796 he moved to Orono. His children were Archibald, Jr., Charles, William, James, John, David, and a girl without name.

William (Sr), the third son, married Esther Ayres on September 15, 1796 at Orono. Their children were William (Jr), John, Archibald, Joseph A. and an unnamed daughter. William (Sr.), likely was at Eastport where he served in Captain T. George’s Company of Lieutenant Oliver Shead’s Regiment from August 14 to August 31, 1812. The 1850 census lists his family this way, with year of birth calculated from age at time of census.

William’s (Sr.) son William (Jr.) was the one who moved to Cooper and married Rebecca Averill. The Cooper census records report the following.

William (1800)

Rebecca (1806) Averill, see family listed below.

William L. (1833)

George W. (1836)

Melvin (1838)

Diantha (1840)

Elizabeth (1844)

There were more children. The 1830 census reports two boys under age 5 and a girl between 5 and 10 years old. One of those boys was Joseph, born July 26, 1824 and died April 7, 1890. This man was Ida’s father whose death was reported in her diary elsewhere in this newsletter. Hopefully one of our readers will add the names of missing children. William and Rebecca lived on West Ridge of Cooper, on the east side of the Cooper Highway (Route 191). Issue 88 gives the exact location. William died in 1873.

The Averell – Averill – Avery Family by Clara Avery (1926) tells on page 564 of the family of Joseph Averill (born October 1, 1782 at Machias) who married Dolly Fogg on March 31, 1805. Their children were Rebecca, Jeremiah, George, Lois, Eleanor, Lavinia, Stephen, Jesse, Eliza, Joseph, Abiel, Emery and Warren.

Austin Gray copied a news item of interest from the Machias Union.

Melvin S. McPheters died at Little Huntley Brook by accident February 26, 1869.

Readers will remember that Little Huntley Brook is on the west side of Crawford Lake, near the head of the lake. This accident likely was woods work related. Melvin and his wife Mary (1835) were living in Cooper in 1860.

The 1870 census lists Mary, a widow, with three children Arthur (1861), George W. (1864), and Mollie E. (1869). Also in the household are three other children of the Ford family Ida (1855), Lois (1857) and Aribelle (1860). The 1860 census of Crawford identifies them as the children of Robert M (1828) and Lois R. (1835)(Vickery) Ford. Also in the Mary McPheters household are Robert K. Scott Thistlewood (1839), his wife Lois (Vickery) and their children Frank (1869) and baby girl (1870). Who was Mary McPheters and how was she tied to the Ford/Thistlewood family? Added to this we know that Arthur McPheters (1861) was Fred McPheters father. Many will remember Fred as a bail commissioner in Calais and as a clerk in Todd’s hardware.

Joseph McPheters and Hannah Bohanon were married on September 15, 1849. Hannah was born in Alexander on March 21, 1822, a daughter of Annaniah and Amelia (Campbell) Bohanon. In 1850 Joseph and Hannah were living in Cooper with their four-month-old daughter. On the 1860 census they were still in Cooper with Clara, Willie, Oscar, and Olive. Sometime after the 1860 census, the family moved to Alexander into a home on Annaniah Bohanon’s lot, north of where the Bohanon house had been. Annaniah was living with the family in 1870 before moving to Minnesota. This house, with its three fireplaces, was where Ida lived when she wrote her 1890 diary.

Pliney Frost and Chris Gentry created this list of Joseph and Hannah McPheters’ family:

Clara E. (February 5, 1850 in Cooper - 1909) married to Shepperd Cottle.

Amelia R. (October 22, 1851 – May 15, 1853 at Cooper)

Willie H. (February 22, 1853 at Cooper – June 29, 1875 at California)

Oscar H. (March 24, 1855 at Cooper – December 7, 1863)

Nelly O. (May 15, 1858 – December 16, 1863) died where??

Charles L. (January 3, 1862) married Esther J. Huckins on April 13, 1885.

Ida Ella (July 6, 1865 – April 26, 1937) See next section

Embert L. (June 24, 1868 – November 12, 1933) See last section

Unnamed child (1870 – 1880), this child not listed on either census.

Ida Ella McPheters married Charles Sidney Hunnewell on July 4, 1899. (Charles and Eliza J Keene had been married on December 11, 1871 and were divorced on May 6, 1899. Their Hunnewell children according to Darrell Keene, Jr. were Orren, Mona, Eda, Lilly, Howard, Wesley, Clara, Eva, Charles, Harris, Melvin, Morey, and Roy. The story is that Charles had been visiting “up the road” and upon returning one day was met by Eliza with the butcher knife. He divorced Eliza because she was cruel and abusive!

Ida and Charles had one child, Floyd Llewellyn, who was born on January 2, 1907 and died on January 5, 1987. Floyd married Ethel May Knowles (October 11, 1918 – December 8, 2001) on June 5, 1937. Ethel was the daughter of Earl and Jenny (Henderson) Knowles. Floyd and Ethel lived in the home Charles had built on the corner of the Airline and the Old County Road. They had three daughters:

Virginia (1939) married Foster Carlow, Sr.

Louise married Raymond Griffin

Ellabell married Richard Howe.

Eddie married Nellie Mary Murray who was born in 1869 in Ireland. She died at Calais in 1953; both are buried in the Woodland Cemetery. . Eddie and Nellie lived in the old house for many years. They had two children of record:

Kenneth (May 14, 1903 – June 28, 1990) Kenneth married twice, first to Blanche Smith of Princeton on October 23, 1923 and second to Vira (Leahan) Frost of Alexander.

Nellie was born in 1905 and died on February 8, 1997. She married Antonio Eugene Dechene of Woodland on June 18, 1931 and had a son, Francis, (1944 – 1967). Another son Phillip, of North Carolina, and his children and grandchildren survived her.


The material in this article came from census records, A-CHS files, Alexander Vitals collected by Sharon Howland, and Jerry Gower’s notes from the Bangor Historical Magazine. Additions and corrections are requested. jd