AGRICULTURE IN 1870


In issue 137 we described Agriculture in Crawford using the 1870 agricultural census and the 1873 tax collector’s list. Now we will look at Alexander and Cooper for 1870. This Alexander and Cooper lists include each name in order as found on the original 1870 agricultural census. The number is the dollar value of the farmland. Following the lists we will describe a farm on either end of the economic spectrum in Alexander and farms of three Cooper neighbors.


ALEXANDER

TAYLOR, Jonathan - $500

TAYLOR, Stillman - $600

SIMMONS, Samuel - $600

HUNNEWELL, Andrew - $200

HUNNEWELL, Jonathan - $500

BLANEY, James - $400

MCLAUGHLIN, John - $400

GRIFFIN, Hugh - $600

KEEN, Reuben - $500

BOHANON, Jones - $800

ADDISON, James - $400

STROUT, Solomon - $1000

STROUT, Solomon, Jr. - $1000

SPEARIN, John - $800

PERKINS, Elisha - $800

PALMER, Taylor - $700

BAILEY, Josiah - $700

FROST, Thomas B. - $400

FROST, Stephen - $1000

PERKINS, John J. Jr. - $500

PERKINS John J. - $1500

BROWN, Robert C. - $1200

STROUT, Benjamin - $1000

FOSTER, Isaiah - $1000

LYONS, Greenwood - $1000

THISTLEWOOD, Robert K. - $1800

SPEARIN, Jeremiah Jr. - $1500

MURPHY, Edward - $2400

ELLSWORTH, Joseph - $900

LIBBY, Asa - $1500

BERRY, Cordelia J. - $700

LOVERIN, Joseph – $1000

BAILEY, Edmund - $700

ROBB, Thomas - $---

BROWN, Joel K. - $400

DAVIS, Gordon - $400

SPRAGUE, Cyrus - $400

PIERCE, David - $900

CARTER, Thomas - $400

KNIGHT, Paul - $500

BROWN, Michael - $800

SPEARIN, Jeremiah (Sr.) $500

BROWN, William - $500

CARD, Charles - $500

TOWNSEND, Almeda S. - $3000

BERRY, Hiram - $1500

BAILEY, Joseph - $1200

SPRING, William - $1500

PERKINS, Joseph - $1200

CRAFTS, Isaac P. - $3000

STEPHENSON, Elisha - $600

TYLER, Belcher - $600

CRAFTS, Hiram - $500

DWELLEY, John - $700

STEPHENSON, Jesse - $500

GOOCH, John - $1000

AVERILL, Sewell C. - $300

CONNICK, Levi - $1000

FLOOD, Wesley - $1000

MACKLAN, John - $1500

LITTLE, Mehitable - $900

GILLESPIE, William - $900

GRANGER, Joseph - $600

GRANGER, Joseph - $600

THISTLEWOOD, Robert K. - $600

FOLEY, Thomas - $600

PERKINS, John - $2000

CARLOW, John P. - $800

BAILEY, David E. - $700

HUFF, Claudius M. - $1000

GODFREY, Joseph - $2000

BOHANON, George - $500

CARLOW, Benjamin - $375

LITTLE, Andrew - $1000

WALLACE, Robert - $300

FENLASON, James - $300

BAILEY, Nathaniel - $400

SCRIBNER, Stillman - $1000

McPHETERS, Joseph - $800


HOW RICH AND HOW POOR?

When we compare the range of farm value in Alexander, Cooper and Crawford, we find a great disparity in Alexander. In Cooper the poorest farm was valued at $500 and the most valuable at $1500, three times the poorest value. In Crawford the range was from $200 for the poorest to $1000 for the richest, or five times the value of the poorest.

In Alexander, the poorest farm was worth $200 and the best farm worth $3000, or 15 times the value of the poorest. Almeda S. Townsend’s farm was worth $3000, but she, widow of Manly B. Townsend, had come to Alexander 25 years earlier with a pocketful of money and had hired men.

The other Alexander farm that was valued at $3000 belonged to Isaac Porter Crafts.

ISAAC PORTER CRAFTS

[1870 census: Crafts, Isaac 75 farmer, Rebecca 67 keeping house, Emma 25 domestic, Frederic Cottle 23 domestic, Mary Cottle 19 school, Willie McLean 7 school]. Fred, Maria and Willie were children of Isaac’s first child, Mary Jane; and yes, Mary Jane’s second husband was Edward McLean! Fred had a problem in that he was not allowed to vote, not for rebellion or other criminal reasons, but maybe because he was mentally ill. His other grandfather, Samuel Cottle, had died at the Insane Hospital in Augusta on June 12, 1867. All this complicated mess proves is that Isaac had little family help on his farm.

Isaac Porter Crafts was the seventh generation of his family to be in America. He likely was born at North Bridgewater, Massachusetts on July 29, 1794. In 1827 he moved from Hebron, Maine to Alexander, Maine when it was almost a wilderness and he cleared up some of the best farmland in Alexander. He and his family lived at the end of what we today call the Tommy Long Road, where Merle and Ruth Knowles reside in 2008. At age seventy-four Isaac bought land on Tomah Stream. Did he plan to farm or log that land? It appears that Isaac continued farming in Alexander because he was here according to the 1870 census

 

He married Rebecca Ferris March 23, 1826, daughter of John Ferris and Mary Stillwell. Rebecca was born at Waterborough, Queens County, NB. on May 25, 1804. Isaac and Rebecca had nine children of record, 7 girls and 2 boys. Rebecca died at Alexander on March 16, 1887; Isaac died on Nov. 26, 1878 at age 84. Isaac, Rebecca and children Frances, Sarah, Rebecca, and Augusta are buried at the Alexander Cemetery. Details on this family can be found in issue 105.

Isaac had 100 acres of improved land, 25 acres of woodlot and 60 acres of unimproved land. This was all valued at $3000. His farm implements were worth $100 and the farm paid wages of $150. Considering his age, he did not hire much help.


Isaac’s stock was 2 horses, 7 milch cows, a pair of working oxen, 7 other cattle, 27 sheep and a swine. Those sheep produced 115 pounds of wool. His stock was valued at $725. Isaac grew 60 bushels of oats, 60 bushels of buckwheat, 25 bushels of peas or beans and 250 bushels of Irish potatoes. His orchard produced a value of $15 and his market garden another $25. The family churned 400 pounds of butter. Animals slaughtered were worth $425 which gave a total farm income of $625. One of the most valuable farms in Alexander had produced just an average income. Why?

ANDREW HUNNEWELL

[1870 census: Hunnewell, Andrew 37 farmer, Phebe 25 keeping house, Susanna 7 at home, Ida 5 at home, Jonathan 3 at home] Andrew Hunnewell was born on October 9, 1832 in St. Stephen a son of Jonathan and Susannah (Hall) Hunnewell. Jonathan was from Durham, down on the Kennebec River and Susannah was from St. Stephen. Family tradition has it that Jonathan had worked in the shipyard, which brought him to the St. Croix. He apparently was sent by the shipyard in Calais or St. Stephen to Alexander to find ship’s knees. Jonathan and his family were in Alexander on the 1840 census, likely moving here in 1838.

Andrew, second child of ten, married Phebe Dorothy Hunnewell. She was born on December 11, 1844 at Durham. She likely was a cousin. They were parents of nine, three or maybe four born before the1870 census. Town records indicate that Mary Elizabeth was born July 24, 1868, but she is not on the census. The cemetery stone lists Andrew 1829 – 1907, Phebe 1844 – 1913, and John 1867 – 1913. Dates don’t always agree!

Andrew acquired lots 18 and 19 on April 15, 1862 from Charles Whidden of Calais. Hugh and Clarissa Griffin had been the previous local owners. This likely was the site of his 1870 farm. His son Joe referred to the neighborhood as ‘Tuf End’. Was it ‘tuf’ because of the poor soil and small areas of arable land or because the folks who lived here were poor?

A corner of lot 18 is today the home of Marie and John Dudley and John’s woodlot is part of lot 19. Hazel (Cousins) Frost told me years ago that the cellar by the bars to my woods road was Andrew’s and that there is a well in the cellar. The well is still there. She also told me that Andrew would lock Phebe in the cellar when he went out! Why did he do that?

Andrew had 5 acres of improved farmland and 45 acres unimproved all valued at $200. He owned 1 horse, 1 milk cow, a pair working oxen and 1 other cattle, all these valued at $250. His garden produced 3 bushels wheat and 3 bushels of beans or peas. He grew 75 bushels of Irish potatoes and churned 100 pounds of butter. His fields yielded 4 tons of hay. All told, the value of his farm income was $125.

COOPER

Here the farmers are listed in original order with the dollar value of their farms (column 5) shown. Readers can compare this list to the Alexander census in this issue or the Crawford census listed in issue 137. Following the list we have described three farms in the North Union neighborhood.

CREAMER, Thomas $750

CREAMER, Thomas, jr. $500

McGEORGE, Warren $800

FOSTER W. W. $800

CARY, George W. $1000

DEWEY, James $550

WADE, William A. $800

MUNSON, Hiram $600

DAY, Sam $1500

McPHETERS, George W. $1000

CARY, Henry S. $500

VINING, Nathan $1000

TUELL, John Q. $800

DOTEN, William B. $800

PALMETER, G. D. $600

SMITH, George W. $500

IRELAND, James $700

SMITH, Haskell W. $1500

SMITH, Eliza $1000

HITCHINGS, Hiram $1500

SADLER, Samuel $1000

RICH, Daniel F $1500

RICH, William A $1000

HITCHINGS, Margaret $1500

HENDERSON, Isaac N. $900

PALMETER, Chas. W. $1400

BURBANK, Thomas J. $1500

HENDERSON, Eldridge $700

HENDERSON, Elmore $550

IRELAND, Abram $800

SADLER, William $600

HENDERSON, Levi $1200

HOWE, David $1000

LEALAND, Moses $800

HAYWARD, Henry $1000

YEATON, Charles N. $800

SADLER, Thomas $750

LANE, Frank $800

McGEE, John $700

SAWYER, Nathaniel $1000

NEIGHBORS IN THE NORTH UNION

HENRY HAYWARD - [1870 census: Hayward, Henry 59 farmer, Azubah 52 keeping house, Richard laborer, Harriet 21 at home, Flora 19 school, Manly 14 school, Howard 13 school, Samuel 9 school, Stillman Higgins 19 works on farm, Esther Higgins 18 domestic]. Stillman and Esther were children of Nathan Higgins, a brother of Azubah.

Henry Hayward had 50 acres of improved land, 15 acres of woodland and 75 acres unimproved. I expect the improved land to include gardens, fields for crops, hay fields, pastures and the orchard. His farm implements and equipment was worth $150. Column 7 is for wages paid, probably to farm labor. Crawford’s report has no entries for this. Most farmers in Cooper paid wages to someone. The difference, I expect, was in how the census taker regarded the question.

 

Henry paid $300 wages, maybe to himself or to family members. At a dollar a day, that is not an unreasonable amount. Henry had one horse, 4 milch cows, 9 other cattle, 25 sheep, and a swine, all valued at $650. Henry was tied with Thomas Burbank of East Ridge for having the largest flock of sheep in town. Henry’s sheep gave 130 pounds of wool. Interestingly, a tradition is that Henry had a daughter killed by a ram and she is buried by a spruce tree across the road from the house.

I chose to describe this 110-acre farm because the old house still stands at 163 North Union Road. It has been home for only four families; Haywards until August 1912, Henry Meyn until he died in August 1915, Leighton-Cousins family until 2008 and recently Adam Hunnewell. This is where Royce and Alta (Leighton) Cousins had their greenhouse. An English barn stands across the road.

Henry grew 50 bushels of oats, 6 bushels peas or beans and 200 bushels potatoes. The peas or beans were likely dried. His orchard products were valued at $20. His market garden generated $100, his woodlot $20 and other manufactured goods earned $30. The value of animals slaughtered was $300. The family churned 600 pounds of butter. He cut 20 tons of hay. Total of all farm production was $1200.

THOMAS SADLER – [Sadler, William 33 farmer, Alice 29 keeping house, Wallis 5 school, Orin 3, male infant 2/12, George Higgins 9 school]. George Higgins was a brother of Stillman and Esther, another child of Nathan Higgins, Jr.

 

Thomas Sadler had farmland worth $750; 50 acres improved land and 50 acres woodlot. His farm equipment was valued at $50. Tom had one horse, 3 milch cows, 4 other cattle and 6 sheep for a total value of $350. He paid no wages, but had machinery worth $50.

He grew 25 bushels of oats, 20 bushels of buckwheat, 4 bushels of peas or beans and 125 bushels of potatoes. The sheep sheared 20 pounds of wool. His market garden yielded $50 profit. Cows milk, or should I write cream, gave 400 pounds of butter. His fields gave 12 tons of hay. Home manufactures were worth $25 and animals slaughters were worth $75. Total farm income was $600.

 

Thomas Sadler’s house and out buildings are all gone. They stood at or near 193 North Union Road. This site today is the home of my Aunt Marjorie (Frost) Crosby, widow of Dale Crosby who is mentioned in the Cooper Family diaries. It was here that three A-CHS members, cousins of this writer, grew-up; David, Richard and Rodney Crosby. This is why I chose this farm census for this article.

FRANK LANE – [1870 census: Lane, Frank 36 farmer, Eliza 20 keeping house, Jennie 3, Temperance 67] Temperance was his widowed mother.

Frank Lane was my great-grandfather. The house he built soon after fighting in the Civil War still stands at 324 North Union Road. It has been a home to Lane – Crosby family since; the present occupant is my aunt Hilda (Gillespie) Crosby.

Frank had 30 acres of improved land, 30 acres of woodland and 40 acres of unimproved land. This was all valued at $800. His farming equipment was worth $75. Frank paid $175 in wages; did he hire a man or pay himself?

Frank had one horse, 5 milch cows and 2 other cattle. He had 10 sheep and 1 swine making his stock worth $475. Those sheep yielded 50 pounds of wool. Frank grew 60 bushels of Oats, 20 bushels of barley, 20 bushels of buckwheat, 6 bushels of peas or beans and 200 bushels of potatoes.

 

Frank’s market garden gave $75 toward the family cash needs. They churned 600 pounds of butter. The fields gave 25 tons of hay. Total farm production was worth $1000 of which $250 came from animals slaughtered and $50 from home manufactures.