Prepared by John Dudley - 2010
Is there a connection among the three Spragues found in John G.
Taylor’s or his successors’ records? Taylor was Alexander’s first
town clerk and the Spragues listed were Eli, John and Matthew. Who
was the Miner Sprague who signed the petition to incorporate
Alexander? Which Sprague gave his name to a site on the South
Princeton Road called Sprague Bars? Hazel Bohanon Dwelley referred
to this place north of the home where she was raised. Who was the
Cyrus H. Sprague buried in the John Sprague lot at the Alexander
Cemetery? Who was John Sprague? Finally, member Sheri Sprague asked
if we were going to do something on the Sprague families. If we find
the connections among those bold names above, they will be in bold
print in the text.
Sources used for this journey include material from Pliney Frost,
Florence (Anderson) Frost, a letter by Susie Vance Frost, Gertrude (Strout)
Winter, Jerry Gower, Margery Sprague Dreselly and Sheri Sprague’s
web site <www.shewins.com/famtree.htm> Of course we used Alexander
Vitals by Sharon Howland. Some material was from Sprague Families in
America. Additionally one might mention chapter 3 of Basil Kinney’s
Pocomoonshine Pioneers and pages 59-61 of Albert Bailey's History of
Early Baileyville. Jerry Gower advised that these sources are all
consistent and therefore are redundant.
Interested readers can look at the above references, especially the
Sprague Families of America to get more detailed information on the
early Sprague line. Generations are numbered from Francis. As
always, errors are mine and additions and corrections are welcome.
1. FRANCIS SPRAGUE came to America on the good ship Anne that
sailed from London and landed at Plymouth in July 1623. Aboard with
him were his wife Lydia and a daughter. Francis ran a tavern. He and
Lydia had five children; Anna, Mary, Mercy, JOHN, and Dorcas.
Francis died before 1669.
2. JOHN SPRAGUE (Frances) was born ca 1635 and died in 1676
at Pawtucket while fighting in King Philips War. He married Ruth
Bassett, daughter of William and Elizabeth. John and Ruth had seven
children; John, William, Ruth, Eliza, Desire, SAMUEL and Dorcas.
3. SAMUEL SPRAGUE (John, Francis) was born about 1670 at
Duxbury. On November 29, 1694 he married Ruth Alden, daughter of
David and Mercy (Southworth) Alden. Lieut. Samuel Sprague was a
carpenter by trade and later in years moved to Rochester,
Massachusetts. He died there on July 25, 1740. Ruth followed him to
the grave on July 2, 1758. Their nine children were Noah, Elizabeth,
Nathaniel, Samuel, Mary, Priscilla, ABIEL, Micah and Ruth. Abiel has
various spellings; here we will use Abiel.
4. ABIEL SPRAGUE (Samuel, John, Francis) was born about 1710
at Rochester. On June 18, 1730 he married Elizabeth Ashley and by
her had one child, ABIEL. He later married Hannah Smith. Abiel moved
to Harpswell where he was a shoemaker. In 1763 he sailed to Machias
on Captain Buck’s vessel. He died at Machias prior to May 20, 1774.
His children by Hannah were Ruth, Servia, Elizabeth and JAMES. It
was that Elizabeth Sprague who married Joel William Bonney and was
Moses Bonney’s mother. Moses was the first settler of Princeton.
5. ABIEL SPRAGUE, JUNIOR (Abiel, Samuel, John, and Francis)
was at Machias as a private during the 1775 naval battle and at the
1777 attack by the British. On October 2, 1776 he married Martha
Bryant. In 1779 he, his brother James and two others moved to Grand
Manan. The Indians did not welcome them so they left. In 1781 he,
James and Jones Dyer went to Calais. Abiel was listed on the 1800
census of Township 7 (Baileyville). Their daughters’ ages are listed
on this census, both between 16 and 26. Abiel and Martha had three
sons: Matthew, Captain ELI and ABIEL.
5. JAMES SPRAGUE (Abiel, Samuel, John, and Francis) was born
in 1746. He was at Machias during the American Revolution and was on
board the Unity when the British warship Margaretta was captured.
James and his brother Abiel settled in Calais in 1781, drawn there
by forests. He and his unnamed wife were the parents of seven
b. James lived at Red Beach.
e. Jeremiah was born December 8, 1786, lived at Houlton
f. Stephen F. was born ca 1788. Lived at Machiasport
g. JOHN MINER was born ca 1789, probably at Grand Manan.
6. Captain ELI SPRAGUE (Abiel, Abiel, Samuel, John, and
Francis) was born at Machias on November 4, 1768. He went to Grand
Manan with his father and later to Calais. There he married about
1787 Sarah (Sally) Bailey, daughter of Nathaniel Bailey (1740).
Sarah died about 1797, near the time of birth of their last child.
Eli married Jane Livermore Thornton (born April 4, 1776), daughter
of Matthew. Eli and Jane lived at Sprague Falls in Baileyville and
all their children were born there. Eli Sprague died on Aug. 18,
1850, likely in Princeton where he was listed on the 1850 census
living with Isaac Edgerly. The children below number 17, but Dr.
Bailey states Sarah was mother of 5 and Jane of 11. The order does
not appear to have much reason.
Children of Eli and Sarah Jane (Bailey) Sprague;
a. Nathaniel was born on November 4, 1790 at Calais. He married
Nancy McClain and died in Rockland on February 17, 1865.
b. ELI, Jr. (June 7, 1788 – May 16, 1869)
c. Abiel (March 7, 1792 – March 18, 1853), unmarried, buried at
South Princeton Cemetery
d. Martha called Patty, was born in 1794. She married a Theophilus
Libby. Theophilus was a brother of Dorcas who married Samuel Brown.
Patty later married Moses Sprague, oldest son of Abiel.
e. Sarah or Sally (1796 – 1869) married Ephraim Fogg
Children of Eli and Jane (Thornton) Sprague. Six of these children
were baptized at Kirk McKoll on February 6, 1817; that also gives
their dates of birth.
a. John (Feb. 14, 1805) – Hellish John - married Rachel Sprague,
daughter of Abiel and Leah.
b. Eleazor (Jan 12, 1807) Moved west.
c. Joseph T. (Nov. 9, 1808) lived in Baileyville until after 1850
when he moved to Princeton.
d. Ethan Allen (Dec. 8, 1812). Ethan married Mary R. Sprague and
went to California.
e. Catherine Young (June 25, 1814 - 1897) married James Sidney Tyler
f. Rebecca (July 3, 1816) married Benjamin Fickett
g. Perez (April 17, 1800) married Elizabeth Bonney, daughter of
Moses and Elizabeth Bonney.
h. Elizabeth (Oct. 27, 1802)
i. MATTHEW THORNTON (July 8, 1798 – March 29, 1889).
j. Sophonia P. was born on February 6, 1822. Married 1) Lewis Irish,
2) Roberts, 3) James Staples.
k. Mary Jane was born September 2, 1826 and died on October 2, 1910.
She married, Alden Trott and/or William Carlyle or, unlikely, Isaac
l. Ezra C. was born ca 1807 in Baileyville. He married Martha
Waldren and lived in West Princeton.
6. ABIEL SPRAGUE (Abiel, Abiel, Samuel, John, and Francis)
was born on June 30, 1776 at Machias. He married Leah Thornton on
November 19. 1797. They lived in Charlotte on Mt. Tom and in
Baileyville. Abiel died before February 13, 1831 for it was on that
date Leah was married to Jonathan Pineo by General John Cooper. Leah
and Jonathan lived on Pineo Mountain on the Breakneck road in
Cooper. Children of Abiel and Leah were:
a. Moses (Aug. 12, 1798 in NB). He was the second husband of Martha
(Patty) Sprague Libby, widow of Theophilus Libby and a daughter of
Captain Eli Sprague
b. John (May 29, 1800 NB) was known as Heavenly John.
c. Hannah Getchell (1802 – 1803).
d. Hannah Getchell (1804, was single). She was the bedridden one.
e. Rachel (Jan. 30, 1806) married her cousin John Sprague, called
f. Leah (Feb. 14, 1808) married Charles Kincaide.
g. Jane (Oct. 15, 1810 or Nov 14, 1810 – March 22, 1901) married
h. ELI THORNTON was born on Dec. 14, 1813 in Maine, according to
i. Sally (Jan. 14, 1816) married George Babcock.
6. JOHN MINER SPRAGUE (James, Abiel, Samuel, John, Francis)
John Miner Sprague’s family is listed in John G. Taylor’s Records in
John Miner Sprague was born on July 12, 1790 on Grand Manan. Hannah
Andrews was born on October 1, 1798. Hannah was a daughter of Israel
and Mary (Seavey) Andrews. Hannah died on June 21, 1882 at Machias.
They were married on December 31, 1821. Their children:
a. William Adna born May 25, 1825, died March 11, 1828
b. Aaron Edgar was born March 21, 1827
c. Lydia was born in 1833
d. Emma was born in 1836
e. John M. was born in 1839
John Sprague also lived in East Machias, Eastport, Calais and in
1821 in Township #14. While in Eastport John was in Colonel Oliver
Shedd’s 3rd Regiment in the War of 1812. John Miner Sprague signed
the petition for incorporation for Alexander in 1825 and likely
resided here until after the births of his first two children. It
appears that the family then moved to Baileyville and more children
were born than listed. .
7. MATTHEW SPRAGUE (Eli, Abiel, Abiel, Samuel, John, Francis)
Matthew was born on July 8, 1798 at Stephen, NB. Mary Brown, his
wife, was born March 25, 1807 at Baring. They were married March 28
1829 and have children as follows
a. Olive and Amanda or Miranda Sprague twins born May 14, 1829
b. Ruth Sprague born March 20, 1832
c. Samuel Brown Sprague born December 18, 1835 in Alexander
d. Almeda Knight Sprague born April 24, 1837
e. Jane Sprague born December 1839
This family was living in Alexander according to the 1840 census and
is found listed in John G. Taylor’s Records found in Alexander
Vitals. They were living on lot 45, the site of Sprague Bars. There
was another adult male in Matthew’s household, between ages 20 and
30. The 1850 census of Princeton lists this family and Matthew was
one of the first members of the Advent Church.
7. ELI THORNTON SPRAGUE (Abiel, Abiel, Abiel, Samuel, John,
and Francis) married Hannah Friesi Averill. Eli and Hannah resided
in Cooper until after October 1855, but were in Alexander before
October 1859. Eli T. Sprague and his family are on the Alexander
1860 census. Their children:
a. Harriet Almina was born at Cooper on July 10, 1846. She married
Winfield Thornton on October 15, 1877
b. Calvin C. was born at Cooper on August 27, 1849. He died in
California in 1897.
c. Seth was born at Cooper on March 13, 1852. Married, he died in
d. ASA BONNEY was born at Cooper on October 28, 1855
e. Clara Arvilla was born in Alexander on October 17, 1859. She died
f. Leila was born in 1863. She married Benton Scribner of Lambert
Lake on June 28, 1884.
(One source lists Clara and Arvilla as separate children, I haven’t
because the census didn’t.) Eli T died on May 31, 1875.
7. ELI SPRAGUE (Eli, Abiel, Abiel, Samuel, John, Francis)
Eli was born on January 7, 1792 and died on May 19, 1869 in
Princeton where he had lived. He married Rachel Hopps (Feb. 8, 1787
– April 17, 1836) on October 1, 1818, their children:
a. Nancy M. (Aug. 23, 1819 – March 28, 1889) married Thomas Haley,
b. Mary Ann (Dec. 3, 1820) married Abiel Thornton,
c. Mariah (Jan. 25, 1822 – Jan. 26, 1869) married Joseph Edgerly in
Alexander on December 20, 1847.
d. William Ira (Jan. 20, 1824 – April 22, 1847) apparently died in
e. Spencer M. (June 24, 1826 – Feb. 19, 1888)
f. George M. B. (May 20, 1828 – July 7, 1913)
g. Lucy Libby (June 15, 1830)
h. Henry Austin (Nov. 7, 1834 – April 6, 191?) married Mary Colwell.
Moved to Wisconsin.
Eli married Sarah Pineo on May 20, 1841. She was born on April 7,
1803, and died on Aug. 1, 1881.
a. Laura M. (March 6, 1842 – Jan. 4, 1845)
b. Winfield A. (March 6, 1845 – Jan. 22, 1846)
c. William Augustus (April 24, 1847 – Sept. 22, 1917) married Sarah
d. Adelaide Edgecomb (May 10, 1852) married Scott Pinkerton
8. ASA BONNEY SPRAGUE (Eli T, Abiel, Abiel, Abiel, Samuel,
Asa was born at Cooper on October 28, 1855 and died at Princeton in
the spring of 1943. He married Ella Vilona Jones. Their children:
Lowell E. (1886 – 1967, married Angeline Carson), Margery (1892 –
1919, married James Moffit), Calvin Philip (1900 – 1971, married
Evelyn Blake. Their daughter Margery is one of our sources), and
Herman W. (1903 – 1939, married Dorothy Perkins).
CYRUS HUGHS SPRAGUE from Family Record found in Alexander
Vitals, with additions from Pliney E. Frost files. Cyrus, 22 years
old, was in Baileyville in 1850, living with James Collins and
family. He also is listed in Moses Jewett’s family at age 23. By
1860 he was married to Martha (Crosby) and living at 302 Airline
Road with their two older children, still in Baileyville.
By the 1870 census Cyrus and family was living in Alexander on the
south part of lot 83 west of the Flat Road. This states that both
Cyrus and Martha were born in New Brunswick and that Margaret Crosby
was born in Nova Scotia. Martha’s father had died the previous year.
Their next door neighbors were David and Susan Pierce, ages 55 and
48. Living with them were Elizabeth Brownlee age18 and Lydia Seman
(or Leeman) age 10.
IMAGES FROM SHERI SPRAGUE’S PHOTOGRAPH ALBUM
Sprague (1855 – 1943)..
Asa with a couple of young friends
in a buggy in front of the home place in Princeton.
Cyrus Hughs Sprague was born August 29, 1828. He died April 15, 1876
Martha Elizabeth Crosby, his wife, was born September 5, 1840
a. Eva Eleanor was born March 19, 1857, married in 1881 George W.
Perkins of Alexander, one child Mae married Charles Harris Sprague
of GLS. Eva died in 1885. George later married Mertie Grace Perkins
b. Estella Etta was born June 4, 1860, married on August 21, 1878
Wm. B. Doten of Cooper, William was a Civil War veteran and this was
a second marriage for him. William and Estella had a son Ralph who
survived and a son Arthur L. (1884 – 1905). She also had to help
raise three of William’s younger children.
c. John Allen was born October 28, 1863, died 1919 (line 1, page 9
for John in 1895)
The 1880 census lists Martha (38), Eva (23), John (17) and boarder
Gordon Davis (39). Gordon Davis, apparently a hired man, was working
for Charles L. Brown in 1910.
Gravestone inscriptions from John Sprague lot, Alexander Cemetery
Cyrus H. Sprague 1829 – 1876
Charles J. Crosby 1806 - 1869 (July 26, 1869)
Margaret Crosby 1800 – 1877 (March 17, 1877)
Arthur L. Doten 1884 – 1905
John Sprague 1863 – 1919
Eva E. Perkins 1857 - 1885
Ida Ella, adopted daughter of David H. and Susan L. Pierce, died
December 24, 1866 AE 1 yr. 5 mo.
We could not find the connection of Cyrus to the other Spragues, nor
find which John Sprague has his name on the cemetery lot, unless he
is the last one buried there.
SPRAGUE BARS: On October 3, 1846 Matthew Sprague of Alexander sold
to Elijah Brown and Hiram Low, both of Alexander the north part of
lot 45, having purchased it from E. Weber on June 11, 1831. Elijah,
born 1813, was a son of Samuel and Dorcas (Libby) Brown. He married
Amelia Bohanon, born 1820, a daughter of Ananiah and Amelia
(Campbell) Bohanon on December 22, 1836. Elijah died in 1849 and is
buried in the Bohanon Cemetery. So Sprague Bars must be named for
Matthew T. Sprague, Generation 7 above. Hiram Low doesn’t appear in
Sheri Sprague connects through Princeton. Her father was Herman W.
Sprague, Jr. (Herman W. Sr, Asa, Eli Thornton, Abiel, Abiel, Abiel,
Samuel, John, Francis) Her line has the DAR approval!