An Illustrated Timeline of Whitefield, Maine
another Friends Of Whitefield project
by David Chase
Prehistoric * Historic-1700 * 1701-1800 * 1801 to 1850 * 1851-1900 * 1901-1920 * 1921-1940
* 1941-1960 * 1961-1980 * 1981-2000 * 2001-2010 * Gazetteer * References
1801- Benjamin King buys the mills at the "Great Falls" in King’s Mills from Sylvester Gardiner of the Kennebec Proprietors and is accidentally killed by a falling beam in the mill that same year. 12
Balltown population 1,859
Woodman Tavern ( a.k.a. Old Pilgrim Tavern) built in South Whitefield on the “plains”. 1
1802- Elija & Benjamin King jr. Sold their rights to the saw mill to their industrious brothers Moses and Peter. 1. Peter King went on to produce a wonderful line of forged iron tools, still found today in the old barns and antique shops of the mid-coast.
1803- The original Turner-Preble mills built in the 1770’s near Sheepscot Meadows are burned. Jedediah Preble was convicted of arson and sentenced to two months in prison. 1
* Records show that only 6 steam engines are in use in the U.S.. 45
1804- Balltown Church has 104 members now reorganized as a Calvinistic Baptist Church. New meetinghouse built at intersection of Fowles and Head Tide Roads.1.
“Road is laid out from King’s Mills in Balltown to the county road leading from Pittston to New Milford (Alna) near the home of Edward Palmer” 37
First mention of a privately built bridge across the Sheepscot near
the outlet of Pleasant Pond (Clary Lake). It was never accepted by
the plantation (despite
and fell into disrepair, never to be rebuilt.
* Whitefield, New Hampshire incorporated December 1. Also named in honor of the Reverend George. 46
* Alexander Hamilton killed (born 1755) in duel with Aaron Burr .. 5
1805- The Irish families, Breer, Malloy, Kavanagh and Finn settle in Whitefield. 11
The mill privilege at the Turner-Preble mill site at Tavern Brook on the Sheepscot is sold to 20 men for $1000 ($16,565 in 2005 dollars) with the stipulation that no dam should ever be built there again in order that the river might remain open for floating logs down river to King’s Mills. 1.
1806- small riverside mill typical of the period.
is revealing that when Balltown - a stronghold of the resistance-
was divided and incorporated as two towns, the inhabitants chose
Whitefield (western half) and Jefferson (eastern); both towns were
overwhelmingly Calvinistic Baptist in religion and Jeffersonian in
First Post Office in Whitefield area.
May 13, 1807 Margaret Bailey married John Heath, in a ceremony
performed by Rev. Joseph Bailey, Baptist minister of Whitefield and
uncle of the bride.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 1807.
On motion of Mr. Cook, Resolved, That the Committee on Post Offices and Post Roads be instructed to inquire into the expediency of discontinuing the post road from New Milford, through Ballstown, Palermo, and Davis-town, to Belfast, and of discontinuing the post road from Pittston to Wiscasset; and of establishing post roads in the District of Maine, from Wiscasset, through New Milford, Jefferson, Palermo, and Montville, to Belfast; and from Pittston, through Dresden, to Wiscasset; and from Warren, through Union, to Hope. 68
* Street lighting by gas in London. 7
1808 -Second application to Mass. Legislature is dated May 4 and signed by 104 residents requesting incorporation of our town.
Balltown petition of J. Woodman, road near near Longfellow ‘and Peter King’s - crossing Choated (sic) bridge to Baptist Meetinghouse. 37
“In September 1808, at the crest of the millennial anticipation, the Calvinist Baptists’ association for Lincoln County convened at Balltown, the most important resistance center”. 13
1809- Whitefield incorporated as Maine's 178th (177th ?) town June 19. Named for Reverend George Whitefield, revolutionary and inflammatory English evangelist to the colonies. Mr. Abraham Choate who came originally from the Newburyport parish where the Reverend Whitefield had preached, died and is buried, suggested the memorial name. The new town incorporates 30,125 acres.
On April 3rd it was voted “ ..to allow each man for a days work that shall be done on the highway before the first Monday of July one dollar and 17 cents per day………..each man is allowed one dollar per full day’s work of a yoke of oxen.” 1
Second Baptist Church organized a.k.a. North Whitefield Union Church. Among its pastors were elders, Asa Wing, John Still, William Bowler, E.J. White and J. E. Brown.
The Second Church at Whitefield was organized in 1809, and was also part of the Lincoln Association in 1812. It was received into the Maine Old School Predestinarian Association by 1832.73
Also in 1809:
* Napoleon divorces Josephine..........Abraham Lincoln born.…James Madison became 4th President…..Washington Irving wrote “Rip Van Winkle”… Edgar Allen Poe is Born… Charles Darwin is born …Thomas Paine died (born 1737)…Beethoven wrote piano concerto #5 “The Emperor”….Joseph Hayden died (born 1732)…Louis Braille born …U.S. Population is about 7 million.7
1810- On March 8, 1810, one year after Whitefield was incorporated, town meeting was held at the home of town clerk Abram Choate (now 32 Wiscasset Rd.) “at eleven of the clock in the forenoon”. Among the officers chosen were tythingmen, and fence viewers and field drivers, surveyors of lumber and surveyors of highways, five school committee members, three pound keepers and 14 hog reeves. 88
Whitefield's first town meeting- Raised $1000 ($16565 in 2005 dollars) for new schools and $400 ($6,626 in 2005 dollars) for their operation.
Population 995. 6
The notice of warrant spells the name of the town WHITFIELD ( one "e" ) in all references. This was an indication of its pronunciation. “Whitfield” rhymed with “Pittfield”.
Joseph Bailey represents Whitefield at the Convention for Statehood . 18
David Ferry who had served under John Paul Jones (on left) in America’s Naval forces moves to Whitefield along with James Nary, John Dunphy and many others. 6
30 armed men assaulted Kennebec Proprietors surveyor James Marr in Whitefield.
There were 376 taxpayers in Balltown area (Whitefield, Jefferson). 13
1811- Whitefield s is population 510 males, 447 females = 957 3
Malta (Windsor) petitions the court to claim a half mile of Whitefield land protesting not to be able to trace what the selectmen of Whitefield “pretend” to be the north line of Whitefield. 2
1812 - 83 men from Whitefield are listed as serving in the War of 1812. 6
A town Militia has been formed and issued a supply of gun powder at a cost of $24-$25 ($414 in 2005 dollars) a keg. 43
“ And as to the time Dea Thomas Sweatt moved to Whitefield, the only thing we can say is that it was previous to 1812 as William than (sic) a boy of twelve rode on horse back behind his father to Wiscasset to bring the horse home in the war that year, “56
Jonathan Young Scammon, famed Chicago financier, humanitarian, civic leader and champion of education is born in Whitefield, son of a Whitefield selectman and tax assessor. (see 1890 entry).
* Corn is hybridized successfully for the first time when two strains are crossbred. 45
1814- In 1814, during the War of 1812 with England, a Yankee privateer seized a British vessel bound for Canada and took her to Boston. On board was a young Irish Immigrant, Denis Patrick Ryan. Ryan had attended the Seminary in Carlow, Ireland and, desiring to be a priest, headed West to try his luck in priest-starved North America. Ryan was ordained in 1817 and was sent to St. Patrick's in Newcastle in 1818. Due to the growing number of Catholic families in the Whitefield and Windsor area, Ryan decided to relocate to Whitefield to build a new church, making St. Denis the first resident pastorate in Maine. Fr. Ryan did not confine himself to North Whitefield and Newcastle, but traveled between the Kennebec and Penobscot rivers, establishing missions in Bangor, Augusta, Gardiner, Bath, Wiscasset, Waldoboro, Thomaston and Bucksport and encouraged isolated Catholic families to move to Whitefield. When he was transferred to Providence in 1841 he left behind a vigorous, prosperous parish with more missions than one priest could handle.
1815- 30 acres of orchards on 32 farms in Whitefield. 1
Simon Jones Murphy is born and begins a life that will make him one of this country’s wealthiest businessman and as a native of Whitefield one of our most famous. “ His father lived first on the farm of the late Levi Russell, then he brought a farm for his parents near King’s Mills… Simon lived the most of his childhood and youth with his grandfather Jonathan Jones (jr) on “Jones Hill” as it is now called.” 58
599 cows, 315 young cows, 200 oxen , 121 horses and 262 pigs. 1
* Napoleon defeated at Waterloo. 7
Eliakim Parker Scammon is born in Whitefield. He is to become a Civil War General, U.S. Consul to Canada and a professor at Seaton Hall University. He lives until 1894.
* Stethoscope invented. 7
1818- Rev Denis Ryan, first Priest ordained in New England, is sent to Whitefield. 11 Here he became an active promoter of industry and the Church (see entry for the year 272). He and his brother brought Irish from other towns here to join his Parish and to buy land from him. He owned mills and farms and lived in a fine three story building on what is now Gorman Lane. 25
“…as many as 108 families with such names as Kavanagh, Breen, Molloy, Keating and Finn had settled on the West Side of the Sheepscot River along what is now the Hunt’s Meadow Road in Whitefield and Windsor.” 8/12/1993 KJ 41
Selectmen notify Whitefield and surrounding towns (by posted notice) that paupers who “ misspent their time and property in the intemperate use of spirituous liqueurs…” are not to be sold same under penalty of law. 12
1819- First Whitefield representative to the Massachusetts General Court-David Crowell (of King’s Mills section).
Nathan Bailey died in Whitefield (born 1735 in Newbury, MA) He served in the Revolutionary War in 1777 and in the Penobscot Expedition in 1779 97
Rev. Joseph Bailey represented Whitefield in the government of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts four consecutive years. He was chosen a delegate to the constitutional convention in Portland and represented Whitefield in the State Legislature three times. 6
This year if you were a male inhabitant of Whitefield at least 21 years old having resided here for at least one year, and having a free hold estate in town of the annual income of at least 3 pounds or any estate of the value of 60 pounds you were instructed to gather with others of alike to vote. All others were excluded! 39
Whitefield casts 90 yeas and 10 nay votes for separation from Massachusetts. 18
First Catholic funeral in town interred, Mrs. Edward Finn, an original settler.
1820-Maine is declared a State in separating from Massachusetts. Whitefield’s Arthur Ware is our 1st Secretary of State.
When Congress ordered a general census this year it also called for a new census of the country’s manufactories. Secretary of State John Quincy Adams (left) drafted the instructions, which proved too complex for most, but Maine’s John Langdon - Lincoln County’s Census man ignored instructions to exclude “Works of handicraft” from his census. What resulted is one of the strangest and most valuable documents produced for the census and Whitefield was one of the five Lincoln County towns included in this landmark work. Some of Langdon’s 10 page + of findings are as follows: In 1820, 29 men and 1 girl were practicing some form of mechanical labor in Whitefield. There were 324 agriculturists, 1 commercial,16 manufacturers & mechanics in our town population of 1429. Our 156 families burned 16 cords of wood each making 3648 cords at $1.25 = $4560.
“Jesse Crowel’s Machine worked by a girl 4 months in a year spins 3 lbs of wool per day into 7 knotted skeins per lb is 21 skeins at 4 cents per skein for warp and 3 cents for filling average 3 ˝ cents per skein is 73 ˝ cents per day( $12.18 in 2005 dollars). 16 weeks 96 days at 73 ˝/ 100 is $70.56 ” ($1,168.89 in 2005 dollars)
“Jewetts sawmill cuts 400m at 5 ˝ $ per m 2200 Logs cost 1100$ 4 persons employed 9 months - 1100 = 1100 ”
These detailed accounts tell of the economics of James Gray, Leonard Cooper and King’s sawmills; Jared Bates, Mark Gray, Markus How (e), Ezekl Totten and William Avery blacksmiths all; and 11 other Whitefield workers and the results of their toil, in detail.
Shingles made at Whitefield 500m = $666, Staves 80m = $480, 100 cords of hemlock bark = $350, 250 cords of cordwood for fires -= $500 and $300 worth of masts and other lumber.
He ends his elaborate report in saying:” This solicitation is earnestly made. Any attention it may meet with will be gratefully acknowledged by John Langdon.” 40 1820 U..S. Census for Lincoln County , Maine
There were 108 families in the two congregations of St. Patrick and St. Denis.
Whitefield land valued @ $.75 an acre ($12.42 in 2005 dollars).
There are 9 saw mills and 4 grist mills operating on the river in town. 27
Abraham Choate is postmaster .. letter rate to Portland is 10 cents ($1.66 in 2005 dollars) and the distance at 69 miles. 18 (At today’s rate that letter would have cost only 3 cents to mail.)
$31.18 net postage ($516.52 in 2005 dollars) collected at Whitefield Post Office.
148 barns,73 horses, 223 oxen,447 cows, 282 swine and 1429 people in Whitefield.
Voted at Town Meeting to raise $14 ($231.92 in 2005 dollars) for gunpowder. 39
* Discovery of the Venus de Milo sculpture. 7
1822- Saint-Denis, 2nd Catholic Church in New England (after St. Patricks in Newcastle), built. Replaced 11 years later in 1833, by the present brick building . 11
* Liberia founded as colony for freed American slaves.7
1823- John Ball died 6
* John Quincy Adams inaugurated 6th president.5
1826- $573.53 raised in taxes ($11257.52 in 2005 dollars).
Whitefield has 11 school districts..427 school children. There are 691 children between 4 and 21.
There are 95 members of the Whitefield Old School Predestinarian Baptist Church. 54
1828- King’s Mills Baptist Church organized. 6 …largely from Rev. Mr. Bailey’s church. Elder Wm. Poole ordained pastor, April 13, 1830Succeeding pastors: Rev’s Thomas Goldswaith, Charles Glidden, J. Jewett, O.R. Hunt, W. O. Thomas, E.J. Whittemore, G.R. Barstow,(1883-87). Rev Charles Williams, was the last pastor serving this church and the Alna church.
Post offices opened in North Whitefield (Briggs Turner) and Cooper’s Mills (Leonard Cooper) 21 years after Whitefield’s.
...... for building a bridge near Turner's mill $487.14 ($9,981.19
in 2005 dollars) Samuel
* Suttee, the Indian custom of immolating a widow along with her dead husband, abolished in India7
Whitefield Treasurers book from 1820 to 1830 - a compilation
Crowell of King’s Mills is a Major in the First Regiment Militia of
Maine. ( Maine Militia Volunteer Belt Buckle)
The brethren first met together in the capacity of a yearly meeting
with the First Baptist Church of Whitefield, August 25, 1830. Among
those present were: Elder Joseph Bailey, Enoch A. Glidden, John
Potter, Levi Moody, and William Peasley, from the Whitefield Church;
Elder Asa Wilber and Elijah Hammond, from the church in Sidney; and
Elder Joseph Macomber, Deacon Oliver Fuller, and brother Uriah Capen,
from the Jay Church.
1830-40- Famine in Ireland contributed more to the continual flow of Irish immigrants into New England and the Whitefield area. Earlier immigrants were from the south-east section of Ireland and were seekers of opportunities in the New World.
1831 -Clara Barton famed Civil War nurse spends summers in S. Windsor- visits friends in Whitefield.
Whitefield’s, Jonathan Young Scammon entered law office of Hon. John Otis of Hallowell, after spending a year at Waterville College (Colby College). 36
1832- 9 saw mills and 4 grist mills on the Sheepscot in Whitefield town.
North Whitefield Baptist church organized. 6 Rev. William Poole was pastoral supply for 10 years. Elder Sylvanus Warren was a later pastor.
1,200 parishioners at Saint Denis 11
* First horse-drawn trolleys in New York. 7
1833- The bricks to build the new Saint Denis are handmade in the churchyard. 28
Simon Jones Murphy leaves his grandfathers home on Jones’s Hill on Hilton Road with his cousin and walks to Bangor where he worked in a sawmill for $7 ($161.89 in 2005 dollars) a month. Little did he know that over seventy years later his labors would result in the building of the tallest skyscraper in the world outside of New York in downtown Detroit.
1834- Catastrophic fire destroys the entire mill complex and Captain King’s home at the "Great Falls" in King’s Mills. A public notice was placed in the ZIONS ADVOCATE Christian Magazine Nov. 24 to notify about the loss and plea for aid in the $5000 ($11,3387 in 2005 dollars) loss in the “Great Fire” at King’s Mills.
Whitefield Second Baptist Church- (MF); 1834-1884 90
Rev Dennis Ryan sells, to the town for $10 ($220.36 in 2005dollars), via a quit claim deed, 2,500 sq. ft of land just west of the church yard for use as a cattle pound by Whitefield residences. 11 The remains of this ancient stone pound can still be seen today barely protruding from beneath the roadbed of Gardiner Road (Rt 126) just past the St. Denis churchyard.
* Indian Territory set apart exclusively for Indians.....Dept. of Indian affairs organized. 5
1835- The Legislature and Governor requests that President Andrew Jackson appoint a surveyor to find the best rail route from Maine’s Ice free ports to the ice locked city of Quebec. The resulting survey chose its origins as Wiscasset and running north, smack through Whitefield following the beautiful Sheepscot River Valley to Turner’s Mills ( later Turner’s Corner and later still, North Whitefield.). This route was to remain in peoples minds for many years . 4
Saint Mary’s Church is organized in Augusta as a mission of St. Denis, saving Catholics there the long trip to celebrate Mass at St. Denis in Whitefield.
MONDAY, December 28, 1835.
Jonathan Young Scammon arrives in Chicago (population is 1500, at the end of that year it is 3,265.) hailing from Whitefield to seek his fortune in this frontier town. (see 1890 note). He is admitted to the Illinois bar this same year. 36
the case of Inhabitants of Whitefield vs. Sewall Longfellow &
als. Longfellow received an “action of debt on a bond
……to pay the laying in charges of one Mary Jenny pregnant with an
illegitimate child and to pay the bills accrue for the necessary
support of the child, until it should be three years old.” This
case from the Court of Common Pleas dealt with the question: “ If
a man execute a bond for fear of unlawful imprisonment, he may avoid
it on the grounds of duress.” …a verdict was returned against
the defendants …The counsel for the defendants excepted both to the
instructions given and to the refusal of the judge to give the
Pp 146-149 May term
Freeman Greenlief of Whitefield petitions the court to change his name to Freeman Cooper. 38
1837- Whitefield's Jonathan Young Scammon marries Miss Mary Ann H. Dearborn of Bath, both became immediately interested in the Swedenborgian faith, and began the first religious services in his Chicago office. For ten years he was the vice-president of that New Jerusalem Church of the United States. Also this same year he singly handily created Chicago’s public school system, and it’s most outspoken promoter of a “free education” . (there still exists a “Scammon School”) 36
1838- Jonathan Young Scammon is a reporter for the Supreme Court of the state and published the “Scammon Reports” these were the first books published in Chicago. This year he begins a law partnership with Norman B. Judd, who later made the speech nominating Abraham Lincoln for the presidency. He, Judd, later was appointed minister to Berlin. 36
Saint Denis is dedicated in 1848 Father Ryan went west. Rev Edward Putnam was the next resident pastor from 1850 until his death in 1865. Father Peterson was pastor from 1866 to 1875, father Seneschalchi 1875 – 87, Father McDonald 1887 – 90, Rev J. C. Harrington 1890 – 95, Father Adhern 1895-6 , Rev. Alex Klauder 1896-7, Rev John J. McGinnis 1897, Rev Alphonse C. LaRiviere 1897-99, Rev Thomas J. Nelligan from 1899..
* The first photograph is made in France. 45
1840- population 2,142 18
“ Peter Kauanagh & James Gallagher bot (bought) of William Nary and James Nary 1 red and white cow six years old, 1 black cow three years old, 16 sheep, 8 marked with a swallowtale in each ear and a moth under the right ear and the other 8 marked with cropped ears all being the same that are now on the place where William Nary & James Nary live…..” 39
July 29, “I , Smith Richardson,…..yeoman….bargained and sold to Oliver Peaslee 12 tons of English hay now laying in my barn in said Whitefield…..”39
Lydia Clark Farm - “This farm has been sold for taxes by R. Lewis Esq (an oversight of course) the amount of which I have no means of ascertaining by these books it will be found on the treasurer book I presume there will also be some other charges for time spent by the Selectmen in hiring money taking a deed of said farm and settling with R. Northy all which is respectfully submitted. L. (T.?) Newell“ 66
1841- "For reasons not totally known, in 1841 Father Ryan applied for a transfer from the Maine area. A direct influence in this decision was the presence of family members in this country. It is known that his brother, Lott, and his family had come from Ireland and he was interested in acquiring farming land. Father Ryan was now in his middle fifties and contemplating life in his later years." 91
1842- Oliver F. Swan of Whitefield committed to the Lincoln County Jail for “…… riotously and unlawfully disrupting a religious meeting - 30 days and fine and costs.” 19
There are 417 people listed on the voting list, all males. 62
1843- Town meeting house built at intersection of Townhouse road and West Dexter lane. 2
South Whitefield Church organized . 6
*Daniel Webster retires as Secretary of State 5
1844- Whitefield’s Jonathan Young Scammon becomes an ardent supporter of Henry Clay after his nomination for the presidency. He founds the Chicago Evening Journal to help in the promotion of Clay.
* 9-year-old sentenced to 7 years for stealing toys in Britain 81
1845- North Whitefield Union Meetinghouse (church) erected.
Evaluation $268,963- 371 polls 18
The Whitefield Old School Predestinarian Baptist Church lists 42 members in the 1st church and 36 in the second church . 55
1846 or 48- “Benjamin Jewett built a vessel of some 50 or 60 tons at King’s Mills in Whitefield. It was hauled overland by oxen from there to Call’s wharf on the Eastern River , in Pittston, and launched. Rough runners were made of logs upon which it was hauled, with a sort of shoe under the keel .It was taken down to Dresden Mills where it lay all summer. It had no name at first, but someone roughly painted upon its stern "hailing from Balltown" . One Lewis of Boothbay, purchased it and loaded it with fish for Boston, and it was lost at sea”. Allen’s History of Dresden 23
1847- Jonathan Young Scammon of Whitefield receives a charter for the Chicago Union Railroad Company, the city’s first railway. 36
Simeon Wheeler of East River Road is taxed $4.30 ($101.45 in 2005 dollars) on 3 buildings, land, horse, 2 oxen, 4 cows and 1 pig. 43
The Indians of the Choctaw nation took up a collection. Irish and the Indians Moved by news of starvation in Ireland, a group of Choctaws gathered in Scullyville, Oklahoma to raise a relief fund. Despite their meager resources, they collected $170 and forwarded it to a U.S. famine relief organization. It was both the most unlikely and the most generous contribution to the effort to relieve Ireland’s suffering.101
1848- Town paid Hiram Howe $150.00 ($3,539.07 in 2005 dollars) for building bridge across Western branch of Sheepscot (1847) 10
Hasea Northey went to court to change his name to Hiram H. Northey. 38
Whitefield's Male teachers paid $12 to $19 per Month board ( $467.16 in 2005 dollars) $.95- $1.60 a week. 10
Whitefield's Female teachers paid $4 to $7 per Month board ($172.11 in 2005 dollars)$.50- $.95 a week.10
Teachers Association established to "increase the interest in education".
The Whitefield School Committee requested of the legislature that methods of training teachers be established via a Teachers Institute .
Auditors report that Selectmen for the first time kept Town books in bound books instead of scraps of paper and "blue-colored pocket books".
* First appendectomy ….. first safety matches……. first gold rush 7
1849- Whitefield’s own Jonathan Young Scammon is president and largest stockholder in the Chicago Marine and Fire Insurance Company.
1850- Whitefield population at all time high of 2,158
Reference is made to the “brick yard” at the “East end of Choate Bridge” (in King’s Mills) 43
U.S. Census lists 125 Whitefield inhabitants who where born in Ireland. ( 103 in 1870)
Whitefield’s Jonathan Scammon’s brother Charles Melville Scammon is on of 36,000 people who came to San Francisco this year of the Gold Rush. 44
Cooper’s Mills Post Office opens.
1850- 1914 Jewett Granite Quarry near Weary Pond in operation by Eugene C. Jewett & sons. 12
$150 for building bridge near Turner's Mill (Carleton Bridge above King’s Mills) 10
$20 for building Branch bridge (?).
King, Sorren W.** Whitefield -1855-
Peter* Whitefield -1856 (b.1804 d.1858)
Glidden & Sons** Whitefield
Wetherall, Samuel Whitefield 1880-
Palmer, John F. Whitefield -1885-