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

1851- Stone rectory built at St. Denis. 6

New district 5 (Crowell) school built for $1075.
New district 18 (King’s Mills) school built for $ 725.

         Report that there are 5 (schools) in town considered entirely unfit for school rooms. "Students had to endure the greatest amount of cold and suffering with their dilapidated walls."

         Attorney & legal fees ($294.89) ($7,486.96 in 2005 dollars) were nearly 10% of entire town budget ($2968.48) ($75,366.74 in 2005 dollars)

        * Herman Melville wrote "Moby Dick" 7
* Maine & Illinois enforce prohibition against liquor. 5


1852 - Whitefield’s Jonathan Young Scammon’s Chicago law firm ( Scammon & McCagg) has “ by far the largest library of anybody in town (Chicago) and their office was constantly resorted to by members of the profession to consult their works and access to them was never refused. They were very kind to young men.” 36

            * Potato chips are first made. 45

1853- HOMICIDE in WHITEFIELD – On Friday last, Michael Skehan, a farmer in Whitefield was killed by an Irish pauper named Thomas Ward, who was in the keeping of Skehan. They were both at work clearing up a piece of land, and at the usual hour Ward made his usual appearance driving the cows home, and having put them in the yard, he disappeared and has not since been seen. Skehan not making his appearance at night, search was made in the morning, and his body found in the bushes, with his head severed from his body by a blow from an axe.. Ward has been subject to fits of insanity, and had before attempted violence upon persons.( Kennebec Journal Thursday Sept 8 1853 Page 2 column 4)
For the Kennebec Journal:
  “In your paper of last week, in noticing a homicide in Whitefield, you say Thomas Ward, - it should be Michael Ward. Thomas is a very quiet man, and came near being killed some four years ago by the same Michael, who is a brother to him. Thomas wishes you to make the correction. S”. (Kennebec Journal, Thursday Sept 15 1853 – page 2 column 7)

      “on the 4th of July …Scammon ( Charles M.) and the Rio Grande had gone north again and were whaling around the area that would soon become famous because of him, Baja California, which he always referred to as Lower California.” 44

1854- Jeremiah Preble of Whitefield killed his wife and received life imprisonment. 3

1855 - James W. Gray is operating a “Public House” in town. 18

          King, Sorren W.** Whitefield -1855-
          Tools Made: Edge Tools
          Remarks: He is listed in the 1855 Maine Business Directory.

* There are 37 Daguerreotype photographers practicing in Maine (16 years after its invention in Paris)18

1856- Whitefield’s J.S.Scammon is one of the organizers of the Chicago Historical Society, becoming vice-president and then its president. 36 (It's first meetings are in his law office.)

         J.S.’s brother, Eliakim Parker Scammon is dismissed from service during the Seminole War in Florida for disobedience and bad conduct this same year. 50

          King, Benjamin Jr. & Peter Whitefield -1856-
Tools Made: Axes
Remarks: Both Peter King and Benjamin King Jr. are listed in the same 1856 directory, but the connection, if there was one, is not known; whether they worked together or separately is also unknown. Peter was a particularly important edge toolmaker who was born in 1804; his grandfather, Benjamin King lived in Kings Mills, Whitefield, Maine circa 1790 and died in 1801. Who is Benjamin, Jr.?

          King II, Peter* Whitefield -1856 (b.1804 d.1858)
Tools Made: Axes
Remarks: An ax marked KING P.K. has been reported to the museum (photograph from Iron Horse Sculpture). Peter II was a particularly important edge toolmaker who was born in 1804 and had his blacksmith shop on the Sheepscot River below his home in Whitefield. The area where his foundry was located came to be known as Kings Mills, see King's Mills, Whitefield, Maine 1772-1982 by Henry Waters, which contains an extensive summary of the King family beginning with Benjamin King, Sr., who first bought land from Abraham Choate in 1790, and later his house and mill in 1801. He was killed in an accident at the mill the same year. The property then descended to Peter King I, who may have been the father of Peter II. It is this second Peter who is the famous edge toolmaker; after his death, his son Sauren King continued as a blacksmith at this location. A number of Peter King II edge tools are in the collection of the sculptor,

         1857- King’s Mills School (Bell School) House erected, replacing Jesse Crowell’s school that was apparently on the site of the church (built in 1870). 12

For setting monuments on Whitefield town line $1.50 ($33.37 in 2005 dollars) was paid to Samuel Brooking’s.

         Whitefield results in Presidential race: Fremont 227, Buchanan 137, Fillmore 15

         Grist Mills : John King, Chaney & Partridge, William Glidden, Briggs Turner.
: (Baptist) William B. Poole Charles Glidden , Jonathan Jewett, (Roman Catholic) Edward Putnam, (Sec. Adv’t) Sanford K. Partridge.

Jonathan Young Scammon’s Chicago Marine Bank was at the head of moneyed institutions of the entire Northwest. He left with his family for a protracted stay in Europe, wishing to give them the advantage of travel and education.36

           * Brigham Young, by proclamation, ordered troops to repel "invasion" of United States troops sent by President to establish new Governor and officials in Utah. 5

1858- J.Y. Scammon’s wife dies while traveling in Germany and is buried there. He and his children did not return to the U.S. for two more years. 36

1859- “ Oct 17, 1859, Michael C. Rogers of Whitefield in the county of Lincoln having produced the necessary certificates from the selectmen of the town of Whitefield and satisfactory proof of good moral character and of citizenship as required by law .It is ordered that the clerk issue a license to said Rogers to trade and sell merchandise with a carriage drawn by one animal upon his paying into the county Treasurer the sum required by law.” 34

        J.Y. Scammon of Whitefield is the earliest homeopathist in Chicago. He organizes the Hahnemann Medical College and donated the land on which it’s hospital was built in this year. He served many years as trustee of both the college and hospital.36

1860- Population 1,883, 319 horses, 786 milch cows, 386 working oxen, 809 other cattle, 1,549 sheep, 256 swine. Production of : 283 bushels wheat, 10 grass seed, 1,297 rye, 7,759 Indian corn, 11,620 oats, 1,122 peas & beans, 30,331 Irish potatoes, 6,607 barley, 167 buckwheat, 6,165 lbs. wool, 60,126 lbs butter, 2,877 lbs cheese, 134 lbs maple sugar, 15 lbs bees wax, 1,296 lbs honey, 40 gallons molasses and 5,912 tons of hay. Evaluation $392,809 population 1883 polls 418 18

         C.F.Barker is overseer at the Town Farm. (The 1857 map shows the Town Farm located one mile north on Town House Road.- Town Farm Road off East River Road is not shown)

         Our J.S. Scammon returned from Europe to find the first University of Chicago in full operation. Because of his previous work, foresight and leadership in education he was made a regent and a trustee and in 1862 became vice president of the board continuing in that position until 1879. 36

         The Pinhook hotel at Cooper’s Mills destroyed by fire 3

1861- Schoolhouse at King’s Mills built. 3

         Jonathan Young Scammon becomes president of Mechanics National Bank. Also is active in the incorporation of the Chicago Academy of Sciences and president of its board for 20 years. 36

         Brick belfry in Gothic style replaces one of earlier style at St. Denis. The bell cast in 1834 by G.H. Holbrook Co. of East Medford Mass was transported from the belfry over the church to the newly erected tower. 23

          Michael Whalen of Whitefield age 19, single-one of nine from town, is mustered in Oct 20 1861 for service in the Civil War, Company C 1st Regiment Cavalry as a farrier (a blacksmith who shoes horses.). 20

          J.Y. Scammon is one of the incorporators of Chicago’s Old Ladies’ Home.

            *Charles Dickens wrote "Great Expectations".7

1861-65 117 men from Whitefield enlist in the Union forces of our Civil War. ( 33 nine-month men , 19 one year men, 65 three year men ) 6

Here is a list of Whitefield Veterans of the Civil War

 We are coming, Father Abraham,
Six hundred thousand more,
From Mississippi's winding stream,
And from New England's shore.

We leave our ploughs and workshops,
Our wives and children dear,

With hearts too full for
With but a silent tear.

We will not look behind us
But steadfastly before.

We are coming, Father Abraham,
six hundred thousand more!

* poem printed on the envelope of a Civil War soldier's letter to his parents

1862 - A special town meeting was called September 3rd to “To see if the town will vote to grant and raise a sum of  money for the benefit of drafted or enlisted soldiers (in the Civil War) to fill out the present quota assigned the town.”

At the Battle of Antietam, Whitefield’s Elikham Parker Scammon leads his troops . 28 are killed, 134 wounded and 20 are captured or missing. The next month he is promoted to Brig. General of Volunteers for the Union Army.


Washington, July 11, 1862.
War Department, July 11, 1862.
Sir: I have the honor to propose for your approbation the following-named person for appointment in the Volunteer force now in the service of the United States:
Colonel E. Parker Scammon, of the Twenty-third Regiment of Ohio Volunteers, to be brigadier general
I am, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant,
Secretary of War.

Davis H. Preble was lost with the steamer Golden Gate which was burned just after leaving San Francisco, Cal July1862 AE 36.” From a stone in the Preble cemetery on East River Road. This is an engraved image of the event. Harpers Weekly Aug 23, 1862

Article 2 : Voted that each man enlisted in the service of the United States under present call shall receive $100.00 (
$1,930.40 in 2005 dollars) bounty from the town.

51 men from Whitefield mustered in this year, for service with the Union forces. 20

         Whitefield’s, Jonathan Young Scammon receives honorary LL.D. degree from the University of Chicago for his reputation as a “Man of Culture”. He is chiefly instrumental in the organization of the Chicago Astronomical Society. He was president of its board of directors. He was head of the committee that purchased the largest and best refracting telescope that had ever been made at that time. He furnished $30,000 ($579,120.00 in 2005 dollars) for the construction of the Observatory on the campus of the University. It was named in honor of Mrs. Scammon, as the Dearborn Observatory. For many years he paid the salary of the director of the Observatory. 36

1863- Father Edward Putman dies after serving the church for 13 years, and is buried inside St. Denis to the left of the altar, in the European manner. He was considered “Whitefield’s Saint”, for his important work here (The rectory and bell tower were built during his tenure). Parishioners would pray for health at his grave. He was born into a Protestant family but converted to Catholicism - his family was not to see him again, until his funeral. 25

Medal of Honor winner from Whitefield

On Dec 25, 1863 Boatswain's Mate, USN. FARLEY, WILLIAM Born: 1835, Whitefield, Maine. Accredited to: Maine. G.O. No.:32, 16 Apr 1864. Citation: Served on board the USS Marblehead off Legareville, Stono River, 25 Dec 1863, during an engagement with the enemy on John's Island. Behaving in a gallant manner, Farley animated his men and kept up a rapid and effective fire on the enemy throughout the engagement which resulted in the enemy's abandonment of his positions, leaving a caisson and 1 gun behind. 78   ............Biography

Christopher Erskine Pr. Corporal of Whitefield age 39 - married, mustered in Aug 25 1862. .(along with 12 others from town that year.) is killed at the battle of Gettysburg, 20

         Claims for aid to soldiers families in Whitefield is $1,354.38  ($20,950.63 in 2005 dollars)  20

MONDAY, January 19, 1863.

      The following messages were received from the President of the United States by Mr. Nicolay, his secretary: To the Senate of the United States:

  I nominate the persons named in the accompanying list for appointment in the Army of the United States, as proposed by the Secretary of War.

Washington, December 10, 1862.


        Return of bounties paid by Whitefield $13,219.00 ( $204,482.00 in 2005 dollars) 20

1864- Balltown Church accidentally burned.

        4 Whitefield men are mustered in the Union ranks.

       Dr A.R.G. Smith MD of Whitefield is serving the Union Army as hospital steward in New Orleans, La. (See 1894 note.)

        First case of small-pox brought from Whitefield, Maine by a student at Kent's Hill, resulting in two cases of small-pox and five or six of Varioloid, non-fatal. 96

         * Union army numbers 806,737...President Lincoln called for 500,000 men to be drafted for 3 years.6

1865 - The Catholic Society of North Whitefield has its first of what was to become an annual picnic, later to become    known as “The Irish Picnic”.

         J.Y. Scammon started the Chicago Republican newspaper that survived until the Great Fire of 1871. He helped establish the Chicago Hospital for Women & Children, was president of its board and contributor to its funds and management. 36

          President Abraham Lincoln is assassinated, Whitefield native Jonathan Scammon is chosen as a pallbearer to his friend, the great President. Scammon’s son and Lincoln’s son would later form a law partnership.

1866- Whitefield High School begins sessions in three locations.

         A photographer aboard the ship Nightingale in Plover Bay, Russia snaps a picture of its captain, Charles Melville Scammon and his wife Susan and crew of geologists, biologists and surveyors all ready for their work of raising the first Western Union Telegraph line in Siberia.44 The Captain and his wife’s thoughts must have been a long way removed from their beginnings on the farms of the Whitefield area, thousands of miles and oceans away.

           * Alfred Nobel invents dynamite. Degas begins to paint his ballet scenes. 7

1867- Abraham Lincoln’s son Robert Todd Lincoln joins Whitefield’s J.Y.Scammon’s son Charles Trufant Scammon in Chicago to form the law partnership firm of Scammon and Lincoln. 52

          Glidden & Sons** Whitefield -1867- Tools Made: Edge Tools
Remarks: This company is listed in the 1867 Maine Business Directory.

            * Russia sells Alaska to US for 7.2 million. 5

1868 -Grant beats Seymour in Whitefield Presidential race 187-162.

1869 - Whitefield’s Jonathan Young Scammon receives an honorary LL.D. degree from Waterville College ( Colby  College ) 36

The Gardiner Reporter says a Valuable mare belonging to Patrick Crowley was stolen from his stable in Whitefield on Thursday night of last week. The thief was traced by officer C. J. Smith of Gardiner, to Litchfield Corner, on Friday, and finally overtaken at Durham on Saturday forenoon, and the horse secured, but the thief made his escape by taking to the woods. Lewiston Evening Journal - May 10, 1869

1870 - Whitefield’s population 1702 valuation $441,346

          Census lists 103 Whitefield inhabitants who were born in Ireland.

MONDAY, April 11, 1870.

  Mr. Hamlin submitted the following resolution; which was considered, by unanimous consent, and agreed to:  Resolved, That the Committee on Post Offices and Post Roads be instructed to inquire into the expediency of establishing a post route in Maine, from Cooper's Mills, in Whitefield, Maine, to Union, by the way of West Washington, Washington, North Union, and thence to Union. 67

         The Union Meeting House (church) erected in King’s Mills. The Old School Baptists, who followed the Reformed Predestianarian Baptists of the early 19th Century, worked with the Methodist to erect the building. 23

        J.S. Scammon helps organize Chicago’s Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, now known as the Illinois Humane Society. 36

1871- St. Denis "Convent" Whitefield Academy and Orphan Asylum built. 6

         North Whitefield Mission, was undertaken by Mother Warde, who likewise sent foundations to Jersey City, Bordentown, and Princeton, N.J. In 1857 Bishop Bacon requested her to open an orphanage in Portland, but a disastrous fire delayed the work until 1872 77

The Oracle says a curious illustration of the uncertainties of political life is found in the record of the doings of the citizens of Whitefield at the recent election, where one of the candidates for town representative received 53 votes in caucus, and was nominated; at the polls he re­ceived 31 votes only and was defeated ! Lewiston Evening Journal - Oct 2, 1871

         Palmer, Hiram Whitefield -1871- Tools Made: Rakes (Horse Rakes) 74

        * “Whoever blasphemes the holy name of God by denying, cursing, or contumaciously reproaching God, his creation, government, final judgment of the world, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Holy Ghost or the Holy Scriptures as contained in the canonical books of the Old or New Testament, or by exposing them to contempt and ridicule, shall be punished by imprisonment not more than two years, or by fine not exceeding two hundred dollars….”  From The Maine Civil Officer a guide for justices of the peace, trial justices, sheriffs and their deputies, coroners and constables.. 1871 by Wm. Wirt Virgin esq.

         Great Chicago fire destroys much of that city along with the fortunes of Jonathan Young Scammon one of Whitefield’s most successful sons ( see 1890 entry), and one of the richest men in America.

            * Rasputin, Russian Monk born ...died 1916 7

1872- 1 physician, 1 lawyer, 6 stores, 6 manufacturing mils, and 2 hotels listed in Whitefield.

The Augusta Journal says that a meeting of several gentlemen was held at the Augusta House on Saturday forenoon, to examine the survey made by Col. A. W. Wildes of the route of the Kennebec and Wiscasset Railroad from King's Mills in Whitefield, to the National Military Asy­lum, at Togus. The survey was completed last fall as far as King's Mills. The new survey con­templated a road direct from King's Mills, almost in a bee line to the National Military Asylum. This will make the distance by the road from Augusta to King's Mills 13 3-4 miles, cutting off five miles of the old plan, and making the grad­ing, bridging, much less expensive. Col. Wildes' survey seemed to be favorably regarded. The estimated cost of the road (3 feet narrow gauge) rolling stock, depots, does not exceed $18,000 per mile. The distance from Augusta to Wiscasset is about 26 miles. Lewiston Evening Journal - Jun 3, 1872

          Revere House is open in Cooper’s Mills, J.K. Folsom prop. 10

          Whitefield's Presidential election results: Grant 94 Greeley 179

1873- Catholic Sisters hired by the town as teachers of public school 13 (Church school)

1874- S.K. Partridge's mill at Whitefield producing flour. S.M Partridge's mill, long lumber, shingles and salt boxes.

          “James Brown and Dominicus Winn have been arrested in Whitefield by Deputy Marshal Marble, for running an illicit distillery for the manufacture of rum………It is said has been running since the war.” Aug 7 9

          *  First Impressionists exhibition in Paris (name from Monets' "Impression Sunrise")7

 The Marine Mammals of the Northwestern Coast of North America described and Illustrated:” is published and illustrated by Charles Melville Scammon, son of former Whitefield selectman and tax assessor, Eliakam Scammon. This book remains today a landmark scholarly work on the subject by a man who lived as a famous whaler on the west coast. 44

1875-Whitefield Grange #101 chartered.

         Thomas Kelley returns to Whitefield and his wife and children, from the California mines where he had spent three years making “more money than a lifetime of farming”. 2

          The Revere House in Cooper’s Mills is open under J.K. Folsom. 18

           * Alexander Bell transmits sounds over electric cables. 45

1876- "The people of King’s Mills are again agitating the subject of a cheese factory, for next season.”. Nov 15 8

         “ Oct 12, State of Maine vs. Francis E Vinight on complaint of Mary A Miller for larceny , picking cranberries on her bog or meadow. After final examination….is guilty as charged ..fines $1 plus costs." 35

1877- “ Diphtheria is quite prevalent in this town now. Warren Cunningham has lost two children by it and another is sick. Several other children are sick in another family. “March 22 8

The Journal says that among the deaths in Whitefield last week, are the names of three rather aged people.. Moses Peaslee, aged 85 years; Mrs. Macfalee, aged 67 years'; and Mrs. Margaret Sullivan, aged 98 years, all passing away on the 14th.  Lewiston Evening Journal - Sep 18, 1877

"The labors of Rev. O. L. Leonard, evangelist, have been blessed at King's Mills, Whitefield, in the conversion of sinners, reclaiming of backsliders, and in the general building up of the cause of Christ." Lewiston Evening Journal - Nov 22, 1877

1878- Cooper’s Mills and No. Whitefield Baptist Church organized and meeting house erected. Rev O.O. Ordway pastor. Meetinghouse erected by Deacon Solomon E. Hopkins at a cost of $3000 ( $61,468.11 in 2005 dollars). Dedicated to the Baptist Convention in 1883. Reverends Peter Collins and Mr. Clark were later pastors. In June 1903 the house was leased to the Union Y.P.S.C.E.. This society has 25 active and 8 associate members. Rev Alfreda Brewster, State evangelist, preached from Oct. 1904 to June 1905; rev L.L. Harris June to Nov 1905.

On Sunday, July 14, eight were baptized at Cooper's Mills, Whitefield, by Rev. Wm. Tiller, and were receded into the Baptist Church recently organized at that place. Lewiston Saturday Journal - Jul 27, 1878

Dear sir - I don’t know as you ever let any of your instruments, but it is no harm to ask. I didn’t know but I would try and hire a violin of you, if you did, if I can get it reasonable. I would take either of them good violins and in one year could improve it wonderfully, because I should keep it to the letter A. and incessant use will improve them. I play considerable for parties, etc. If I should get one for a year I would return it as I took it, of course. I will give you a dollar at the end of the year if you want to let the best one, or next to it and if you don’t say I have improved the tone, I will throw in a quarter more. If you accept this offer I think it would be quite safe to put it in a box and carry it up to the Carney House and let the stage driver take it o Cooper’s Mills which is three miles north of me and let the mail carrier bring it down, as I hardly ever get out that way. If it comes, I will buy the strings of you.” Note written to a musical group and reprinted in the Thursday April 18 8 with an editors note about the writers creative gall.

         * Proclamation of President Hayes warned freebooters led by " Billy the Kid" to stop robbing ranches in New Mexico. 5

1879 -“Union Hotel is said to be the name of the new hotel at Cooper’s Mills, kept by A.B. Folsom.” 2

Mr. Marcus Howe of Whitefield, died very suddenly on Sunday last. He had just eaten his dinner, and was found dead in his chair, dying probably of apoplexy. His age was 88 years. He had been prominent in the affairs of his town, a large owner of mills, and had held several town offices. Evening Journal - Jan 18, 1879

         * Men from Saint Paul Minn. representing the flour mill industries, attend a meeting in Augusta discussing the possibilities of a railroad from Wiscasset to Quebec. 14

        “There is to be a lecture on he subject of phrenology at Douglass & Tarr’s hall by Prof. J.P. Hallowell. The professor has a reputation of being a very fine speaker. The lecture will take place Friday night”. 9 Phrenology is the study of bumps and formation of the head as a way to determine the nature of ones character.

         Several parties in this vicinity are doing quite an extensive business of getting out ice. 9

         “On Wednesday night of last week, the store of Tarr & Douglass, at Turners Corner,was broken into, and goods consisting of tobacco, prints, sheeting, men’s boots, ladies shoes and rubbers and cash in the amount of $100 ($1946.49 in 2005 dollars) or there abouts was stolen. They also took bitters to cheer them on their way. It would have been a good thing for John to have given them a blue pill to have quieted them for a spell.” In the next paper there was the following addition : “ …Well, we meant bitter-medicine. Not a tipplers drink….so that part is settled. Now for the “blue pill” we meant lead bullets ………”  9

         “There has been a regular stampede for the West by the young men of this place. During the last week five have gone and more are going if they can raise the funds to pay he expenses. Times are so hard up here that some of us will have to quit using the weed altogether on the account of the scarcity of money. ” 9

1880 - Population 1511 ( 764 males and 746 females), 9 Catholic Sisters listed at an average age of 29 years of age, 54 orphans are listed at the St. Joseph’s Convent (22 females and 32 males ranging in ages 3 to 18 years), 23 people died in town, valuation is $440,974 (1880 census).

          Wetherall, Samuel Whitefield 1880- Tools Made: Edge Tools
    Remarks: Wetherall was a blacksmith associated with the Kings Mills complex in Whitefield and almost certainly made tools for the shipwrights of the Boothbay region. 74

Mr. A.B. Noyes the enumerator of Whitefield kindly furnished the following particular of census of the town: Inhabitants June 1, 1880: 1510, age 70-75: 32, ages 75-80: 25, ages 80-85: 20, ages 85-90: 4, age over 90: 4, idiots: 5, insane: 4, paupers: 9, families: 330, farms:287, horses 344, oxen 282, cows 653, sheep: 1263, hens: 4,964, doz. Eggs: 52,890, lbs butter: 63,622, tons hay: 5,582, bu. barley: 3,853, bu. oats: 6,554, bu. wheat : 11,869, bu.peas: 1,157, bu. beans: 1,296, bu. potatoes: 20,000, deaths: 23, births: 13.” 9

The Gardiner Reporter says: “ Joseph Mooney of Whitefield is selling apples to John Dumphy for his saloon customers. One (apple) weighs a pound and very few out of a bushel weigh less. They are eagerly sought after as curiosities.” 9

Some time ago a ledge was discovered on the farm of Elbridge Moody in Whitefield, which was thought to contain gold, and specimens of he surface rock was sent to Nevada and essayed (sic) . The samples sent gave $7.23 in gold and 98 cents in silver to the ton. Mr. Moody with some of his neighbors through whose farms the ledge runs, propose to work into the ledge and see what they can do with it. 9

At King’s Mills, William Ford esq. Has nearly completed his new mill. He will continue to manufacture long and short lumber. A grist mill will be connected with the mill. “ 9

In the Presidential election Whitefield voted: 172 Davis, 211 Plaisted, 171 Garfield, 185 Hancock and 5 Weaver. Garfield was elected President.

1881- Paul King Gold Mine started and ? on top of a hill on Aldridge (sic) Moody Farm on Townhouse Road . 75’ from the Branch Brook where the findings were washed. 12

North Whitefield has 2 saw mills, 1 grist mill, 2 shingle mills, 1 planeing mill, 1 stave mill, 1carding mill, 2 carriage factories, 1 furniture factory and a boot and shoe factory. Cooper’s Mills has 1 lumber and shingle mill, 1 flour mill, 1 tinware factory and a boot and shoe factory. 27

Mrs. Mary Morse of North Whitefield, mother of the late warden of the Maine State Prison, James E. Morse, was fatally injured, Thursday night, by falling down the cellar stairs. She was about 80 years of age.
Lewiston Evening Journal - Jul 22, 1881

There are 3 Baptist, 1 Advents, 1 Free Baptist, 1 Methodist and 1 Roman Catholic church . 27

          There are 16 public schools and Saint Joseph’s Academy at North Whitefield. 27

          * US President James Garfield, shot by an assassin on July 2, is given air-conditioning from a device that sucks  in outside air, then passes the air over salted ice and into the sickroom; it lowered the temperature by 11 degrees C (20 F) for a period of 58 days, using over 250 tons of ice; Garfield dies anyway.. 45

1882- Joyce Post Office established. 2 D.H. Dunton Postmaster.

         “A Military Company has been formed at South Whitefield by the young men of Whitefield and East Pittston with a few gray-haired veterans sprinkled in, for counsel and for keeping the young members in line, I suppose. The Company at present bids fair to be a success. They have already about fifty members and are well organized, considering they have met but a few times. They have chosen for Capt., Jonathan Norris and for 1st Lieut. Marcillus Philbrick They expect quite a large addition to their number and intend to procure arms and uniform as soon as they are thoroughly organized. Friday June 9. 9

         The Catholic Society of North Whitefield will give their 17th annual picnic on the grounds near the church on Wednesday August 16……..the National Band will furnish the music, and if the weather is stormy, the affair will take place the next fair day. Quite a company from this city usually attend. 22

         “Preble and Turner sawed two thousand feet of hemlock boards with their new mill, one day last week, in two hours and ten minutes, with a 52 inch circular saw driven by a 36 inch Burnham Wheel, under a ten foot head. 9

       “They celebrated the Fourth at King’s Mils with a rag-muffin procession and fireworks. Probably the new Military Company, which has now received its uniforms will parade also.” 9

1883- " The most interesting, perhaps the most enchanting business man to take part in trading activities in this community (Cooper’s Mills) was Commander James Robbins. In 1883 he opened a jewelry repair shop in a small building west of the present Birch residence. James Robbins, said to be the most original man in the State of Maine weighed 180 lbs, wore a 36 ladies shoe , starched petticoats, frills, ruffles and corsets when at home or in the shop. For street wear he donned man's pants. For more of this story consult the writer." Marieta K. Colby 1959 23  There is an interesting note in the German book "Jahrbuch für sexuelle Zwischenstufen unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Homosexualität" on page 330 "...Mr James Robbins, kommandeur der militarstation in Coopers Mills............" The famous European psychologist, Henry Havelock Ellis wrote a detailed account of our Coopers Mills character, found in "Cross Dressing, Sex, and Gender" by Vern L Bullough.

         Roman Catholic Bishop Healey at a meeting in Portland spoke of the Whitefield Catholic Orphan Asylum ..”……..started in this city in 1873, on Free Street, the Sisters of Mercy took charge of it . By 1875 it was found that accommodations were too small,……so the school was moved to Whitefield. It now contains 70 children “  9

         “There is now in process of erection, for the use of the children at St. Joseph’s Academy, the Catholic Institution, a building for a gymnasium or play room.” 9

          G.A.R. (a Civil War fraternal organization called " the Grand Army of the Republic) is considering building a hall at Turner’s Corner. William Douglas has offered land. They have 30 members. 9

          “ The hall over the store of Mrs. J.W .Tarr having been considered, for some time, as somewhat unsafe, she has, with characteristic energy, commenced repairs upon it, and will soon have desirable and convenient accommodations for public entertainment of all kinds. Mrs. T deserves praise and encouragement for he perseverance with which she has labored for the last three years. To carry out the business left by her deceased husband, for the support and education of her orphan children, and it is gratifying to know that she has established an excellent trade, and has a very large share in the confidence and patronage of the community, and especially of such ladies as believe in the capabilities of a woman in taking care of herself when occasion calls and rejoice in such practical demonstration there-of.” 9

* Augusta has 12 papers published : Gospel Banner, Kennebec Journal, Maine Farmer, Home Farm, The New Age, Peoples Literary Companion, Vickery’s Fireside Visitor, Illustrated Family Herald, True’s Illustrated Magazine & Home Companion. Golden Moments, Illustrated Family Magazine. 1 daily, 4 weekly and 7 monthly.

1884 - “ The question of a town library is now being agitated at Turner’s Corner to be located in the new G.A.R. hall, when built. “ 9

        “There is a great deal of building and repairing in Whitefield the present season , especially of very large barns; which certainly give an appearance of prosperity to the place.“  9

        “The Collector has followed the old custom of balancing the account of 1882, by a portion of the tax of 1883. Consequently there are still an uncollected balance of about two hundred dollars on the tax book of 1882.” F.W. Douglas, Treasurer 10

         “ In district # 2 better known as the Lewis Neighborhood, they had their annual tree on Christmas Eve. We also hear of two or three trees in private families.”  9

           * Maine’s Hiram Maxim develops the machine gun. 45

1885- Wed. Jan 21  
"Quite cold, about 5 degrees I should think.  Went to Martz's show at Mrs. Tarr's hall in eve. and never want to go again.  About 100 present and a dance after show."

Sat. May 30
Bunched shingles in the A. M.  Decoration in the P. M. The Lodge escorted the G. A. R. to the yard and back, headed by the Alna Band. "

       Mon. Jun 15 
" Fire broke out in G. W. C.'s store just as I got opposite it, and together with the stable was burned.  About 10 o'clock."  [At back of diary he notes G. Carelton's store burned 6/15.]

       Sat. Jul 18
 "Father came for me at night.   A.? Howard killed his wife and cut his own throat. " (He died a week later)

" D.H. Duton, postmaster of the new post office at Joyce, whose leg was very badly broken a
 few weeks since, is now able to walk a little with tee(sic) aid of a cane. The above mentioned
post office is in the western part of this town, and would have received the name of West Whitefield if it had been allowed, but as it was not, it was called Joyce from the lovely little sheet of water in the neighborhood, which, with the surrounding scenery, has been said to resemble a view in Central Park, New York." Friday ,July 31, 1885.


                   "There is a mineral spring upon the farm of Franklin Morse, which has been known to posses great medicinal virtues...........when this spring was discovered many years ago it was thickly crusted with a yellow substance resembling paint..." July 31, 1885 9

          Palmer, John F. Whitefield -1885- Tools Made: Rakes (Horse Rakes) 74

1886 - Gray’s Hotel open under Lydia Gray and C.F. Achorn 18

           J. Robbins is a listed as a jeweler in Cooper’s Mills 18

          “Paid Seth E. Tarr,$6.00 ($124. in 2005 dollars) - digging graves and making coffin boxes for Wilmot Hayward and his wife, out- of- town paupers.” 10

 A letter mailed Aug 9, 1886 at Joice  addressed to John Lyons.  The undated letter, from W. T. C. (Campbell?) at N. Whitefield, gives John (Lyons) travel instructions to N. Whitefield:  "The Wheelans will take your aunt and sister, and I told them to expect you on Tuesday's boat.  The price will be $3.00 per week.  When you reach Gardiner you will have to wait until about 3:15 o'clock for the stage, and ask the driver the fare to the brick church.  It is fifty cents, but if you ask for No. Whitefield he will say 75cents.                                                                                     Yours truly,  W. T. C.
P.S. The steamer leaves Lincoln Wharf.  Bring a couple of baseballs with you."
Collection Whitefield Historical Society


Selectmen are chosen from three separate districts : Cooper’s Mils, Joice and King’s Mills.

Whitefield is on the north-westerly town of Lincoln County, having Jefferson on the east, Alna on the south, and on the west, Pittston and Chelsea in Kennebec County, and on the north, Windsor, in the same county. The length of the town from north to south is about ten miles; its width at the northern part is about five and a half miles and at the south about one half the latter distance. The area is very nearly 29,000 acres. It was formerly covered with dense forests of pine and oak. Agriculture is the leading business. The Sheepscot River passes through the midst of the town from north to south, and the Eastern River takes a parallel course through the western part. In 1820 there were upon the several falls upon the Sheepscot in this town nine sawmills and four grist-mills. There are now at North Whitefield a grist-mill, tow saw-mills, two shingle-mills, a planing, a stave and carding-mill, two carriage factories, a furniture and boot and shoe factory. Cooper's mills has a lumber and a shingle-mill, a flour-mill, a tinware and a boot and shoe factory. At Alna post office there is a carriage factory. There is also a small village in the southern part called Kings' Mills, which is the same as Whitefield post-office.

The Plymouth proprietors claimed the territory of this town, but failed to establish their right. It was settled about 1770 by Irish Roman Catholics. At this time the town was formed the western part of Ballstown, now Jefferson, to which it remained attached until 1809, when it was incorporated, being named in honor of the celebrated preacher, George Whitefield. At the close of the Revolutionary Was many of the veterans of the army settled in Whitefield.

The town has three Baptist churches, and one each of the Advents, Free Baptists, Methodists, and Roman Catholics. At the North Whitefield is St. Joseph Academy, an institution belonging to the Roman Catholics. Whitefield has sixteen public schoolhouses, valued, with other school property, at $5,000. The valuation of estates in 1870 was $441,346. In 1880, it was $440,974. The population in 1870 was 1,594. In 1880 it was 1.511.” 71

Wednesday in the Senate.
Petition to incorporate the Farmers' Exchange in Whitefield
. Lewiston Saturday Journal - Jan 26, 1887

Cooper’s Mills Baptist Church built. 23

The Knights of Labor of North Whitefield are about to establish a stock company for the purpose of carrying on a general merchandise store. The business establishment is to be named tee "Farmers -Exchange." Lewiston Saturday Journal - Apr 9, 1887

          Teaching Sisters and orphans leave St. Denis "Convent " for Portland.

Mr. John North of North Whitefield, aged 83 hung himself early Saturday morning to a door in his room. He got up and built his fire after which his daughter, with whom be lived, heard no more of him. His grand-daughter went to call him to breakfast and found him dead. He put the rope with a knot at the end over the door, then shut the door, put the noose around his neck and hung with his feet draging on the floor. No cause is known. He was in comfortable circumstances and had a good home. His wife is dead.... A Christmas tree was held, Saturday night with a concert. Mrs. Evans read the names all who had contributed towards the organ and presented the organ to the church. The committee have been eighteen months collecting the amount.-Lewiston Wednesday Journal - Dec 24, 1887

1888 - Whitefield votes 169 for Benjamin Harrison (Rep)., 140 for Grover Cleveland (Dem)., 4 for Clinton Fisk (Prohibition), and 4 for A.J. Streeter (Union Labor).

           * Van Gogh cuts off part of his ear, George Eastman (of Kodak) commits suicide after saying “….there is nothing more left to invent.”

1889- Sheepscot Lodge No. 122 I.O.O.F. formed in Cooper’s Mills.

A ladies. sewing circle was organized at North Whitefield last Wednesday, with Mrs. Roswell Moore as president. They will hold an old folks' party at the G.A.R. Hall,  Feb. 13.  Lewiston Evening Journal - Feb 6, 1889

         $3.00 paid to E.C. Jewett for furnishing and setting granite road markers near Ford Bridge. 10

         Pine Tree Rebecca Lodge No. 113 I.O.O.F. formed.

         "The Dance and Rainbow supper given by the society at the GAR hall, proved to be quite a success, although poor wheelin’ prevented many from attending." Thursday March 28, 1889 9

1890 - Whitefield’s population 1215

          “ The career of the late Jonathan Young Scammon, who died lately in Chicago, was of varied nature…..He began as a lawyer, drifted into railway construction, identified himself with the cause of education, went into politics, managed a bank, founded an insurance company, established three newspapers, saw his great wealth swept away by the disastrous fire of 1871, and spent the closing years of his life in an endeavor to pay his debts and achieve a competence. Mr Scammon was born in July 1812 in Whitefield and went to Chicago in 1835 where he passed the remainder of his life. ….several public institutions owe their existence to his care and munificence. He endowed the Chicago Hahnemann Hospital, paid for the erection of a Swedenborgian Church, donated an observatory to the Chicago University and defrayed all its current expenses for several years, and was an ardent supporter and contributor to he Chicago Historical Society. Yet a little before his death he told a friend that he “didn’t know where he could put his hand on a $5 bill he could call his own.” 9

         Sept 4 “ Elbridge Moody, who lives in the town of Whitefield, has just discovered gold upon his farm. A short time ago he sent some of the rock which came out of a large ledge on the farm to New York to be analyzed and found it contained $20 worth of gold to a ton. This is sufficient to pay to work it, and Mr. Moody has already refused $4,000 for his farm which didn’t cost him a quarter of that sum.” 9

         Oct 23 “ That Whitefield gold mine seems to be showing up in a pretty encouraging manner. The vein which cropped out some four feet wide, assayed $8 at the surface; ten feet down it showed over $13 per ton, and a few feet further they found the vein was yielding ore rising $15 to the ton. As a result the work is to be pushed and at once. A shaft is now under way and is to be continued along the vein as long as the yield justifies it. The workers among whom are experts in this line, being satisfied that there is is a rich deposit there. That the gold is not purely local is shown by the fact that a man digging a well in the neighborhood struck the same deposit near the bottom and another well digger in another direction from (sic) the same condition of things. The yield speaks for itself and in a pretty certain tone too.” 9         “

The Bath Enterprise has the following information in regards to the Whitefield gild mine in which Bath capitalists are interested: Fifteen years ago Elbridge F. Moody of Whitefield while on a business trip to California became somewhat interested in gold digging there, and visited the gold sections making through inspection of the ore from many valuable mines. Previous to this time he never dreamed that there was gold on his farm. In the course of his investigation he was greatly impressed by the remarkable likeness of much of the quartz to a ledge in the center of a wood lot on his farm, which he had repeatedly noticed cropped out in several points on his farm and appeared to be a section of a big vein. Upon returning to Maine he made a careful examination of this vein, as a result of which the previous impression formed in California was doubly strengthened. As it required considerable capital to operate a gold mine, Mr. Moody, although confident from actual tests made that the vein on his land was rich with gold, has done very little in its development. From time to time assays have been obtained, the first three assaying $7, $9 and $13.65 to the ton of roc. Something over a year ago Andrew S. Merrill, of Woolwich, while in Whitefield on business, visited this farm and upon an examination of the gold vein became satisfied of the presence of gold on the farm, and at once bonded the portion of the land. This fall he went on to the ledge, and drilling a six inch hole into the vein a distance of sixteen feet, sent the drilling to the Bay State Smelting Works, and got an assay of $20.60 gold and $1.20 silver to the ton. This rich prospect, with others more recently obtained, has caused no little excitement in Whitefield and adjoining towns, and even in Randolph and Gardiner. Within a few weeks a gold mining company has been organized, and while the thing is being kept as quiet as possible it is known that this company propose to test the gold region here thoroughly, and if the gold prospects warrant, institute gold mining operations on a big scale. The farm upon which the vein has been discovered is located about two miles from East Pittston and Whitefield dividing line, and about eight miles from Gardiner. It is on the west side of the Sheepscot, and directly on the country road from East Pittston to North Whitefield, King’s Mills being a short distance below the gold region.”

         “Forest Ware is quite busy hanging hay forks, which are very handy, especially in large barns.” 9

Charles Shute, who has been in Australia Africa and California for 30 years prospecting for gold on the farm of Andrew (sic) Moody at Whitefield. The farm was bonded last week by Andrew Morrill. The quartz has been assayed in California at $13.21 per ton and more recently in Boston, where its value increased 1%. The vein has a width at the bottom of the hole now dug of fifteen feet, at the top 5 feet, and it extends three quarters of a mile. Mr Shute is of the belief that he has discovered gallium in the vicinity of the gold mine. A company will probably be formed soon to investigate the matter.” 9

         Average size class in Whitefield winter schools is 13 students, average in summer schools is 12

         “Lieut. John H. Little, formerly attached to the revenue steamer Dallas, died suddenly in Brooklyn, NY. ….He had been educated in the old school, had gone to sea when a mere lad, sailed in East India clippers, and when only 21 years of age was captain of a fine merchantman. ….Lieut. Little was a native of Whitefield, and at the time of his death was 47 years old. The immediate cause was peritonitis.” 9

Stained glass windows installed at St. Denis.

1891 - There are 4 Post Offices in Whitefield : Cooper’s Mills, No. Whitefield, King’s Mills and Joyce.

      “The Bath Enterprise understands that on the farm adjoining the one bonded by the syndicate of Bath gentlemen at Whitefield, a mine has been opened and the ore assays from $10 to $12 per ton. As soon as the weather permits, work will begin in earnest at the mine, and Bath gentlemen are hopeful. The entire operations will be in charge of a practical miner. A carload of the ore will be shipped to Denver, Col., early I he spring where it will be smelted.” 9

We’ll telegraph around the world
And have electric lights,

And promenade on Main street
Till twelve o’clock at night.

We will not mind policemen
Unless they get in a rage,
Then we will skip for Cooper’s Mills
Upon the Narrow Gauge.

From a 17 part song written by F.A. Nary (who lived on Benner road) “to express the hopes, aspirations, and the optimism” of the supporters of the coming WW&F. 16

       April 2“ The parties interested in the Whitefield gold and silver mine have commenced operations. They will dig 100 rod and if it will continue to be profitable as it does at present, they will erect a quartz mill “ 9

          Promoters of the “Wiscasset and Quebec” have capital stock of $500,000.00 ( $10,714,623 in 2005 dollars)14

. ….And fair Whitefield, ‘mongst the daisies wild,
Mama, how sweet’, says the little child;

At Cooper’s Mills may we tarry long,

For maidens fair inspire our song.

Lines from a poem promoting the new railroad. 14

         “Mr. Gilmore Cooper has raised from his own tree fine peaches which got fully ripe. He raised the tree from a peach stone. It I now six years old.” 9

The farm buildings of William Higgins of Whitefield were destroyed by fire, Saturday, Oct. 24. Loss $2000.  no insurance. Lewiston Evening Journal - Oct 28, 1891

Mr. Washington Clary of North Whitefield was found upon the road in a dying condition, where he had fallen upon his return home from work, Friday night.  Lewiston Evening Journal - Nov 17, 1891

1893 - In the mid 1890’s The Sheepscot Echo , printed in Wiscasset, was a very active promoter of the railroad and its pages was filled with the enthusiasm of the coming railroad and business activity in the valley as we can see from the following Whitefield news:

If the water privileges at King’s Mills , North Whitefield and Cooper’s Mills were anywhere in Massachusetts, Connecticut or Rhode Island they would be so developed as to sustain a population of 2,000 people each. With railroad communications these valuable privileges will be made use of to their utmost capacity.” 3

January 17… Fremont, Ohio—Ex-President Rutherford B. Hayes dies at 11 o’clock to-night.”

The president having served under Whitefield’s Civil War General Eliakim Parker Scammon at Fayetteville, West Virginia during the war, was one of 4 Presidents who had connections with people from Whitefield.

The Hotel Partridge at Turners Corner is a credit to North Whitefield. It would be to any place .clean, cozy and comfortable, all good things to eat, conducted by a gentlemanly landlord and a ladylike hostess.” 3

Walter Kennedy has just completed a very nice covered sleigh for Dr. Sukeforth “.9

Henry Clary of Jefferson bought the mill privilege at the Whitefield end of Pleasant Pond  in 1893 from Joseph Reeves.87

A man by the name of J.H. Hamilton lectured on the subject of temperance at the School House Hall (King’s Mills) on Sunday evening. But few were present and four signed for a good temperance lodge”  3

         “ The Railroad surveyors have again nearly reached King’s Mills Wednesday night they stopped work on the land of George Peaslee.”  3

        “ We have always heard of many different wicked things being laid to deacons but never before have we heard of their swearing, until one day last week. Now this may not be true, and we will not state it for a gospel fact, but we heard on good authority that a deacon in this town did swear on last Wednesday. We presume that this soul was very sorely tired.”. 3

          Survey of complete WW&F route is complete. The Railroad renamed Turner’s Mills to Turner’s Corner and then to North Whitefield as they changed King’s Mills to Whitefield.

         “Alden Witherell moved the Brown blacksmith shop Wednesday on to the land of Wm. Ford, near the mill pond where he intends to do blacksmith business.” Oct 21 , 1893

1894- “Two gentlemen were in town lately looking along the line of the railroad survey with a view to taking a contract for building part of it.” 9

         “The contract for erection of nine stations and other buildings between Cooper’s Mills and Wiscasset has been awarded Mr. B.K. king of Whitefield, and work on them commences immediately” Oct 13 3

         “Hurry up and get your railroad ties cut and prepared so as not to interfere with spring work “.9

         ”Some of the farmers here have men staying with them working their bond while waiting for work to begin on the railroad.” 9

                      Whitefield RR Crossings 1894

It is understood that Charles Milliken, Esq.., contemplates erecting a steam saw mill at South Whitefield.
Lewiston Evening Journal - Apr 28, 1894

T’is very interesting to see the Italians that are building the railroad. They go by most every night from work, in a hay cart, to their camp down to the Mills just beyond Sawin’s (King’s) store. As they drive by they sing their Italian songs and they have very sweet voices .It is going to be very exciting when the trains run through…..” 12

         WW&F laborers work 10-hour days, sixty hours a week and earn $6.90 weekly. 15 ($156.48 in 2005 dollars)

         “ The high school exhibition at the close of the term at King’s Mills was largely attended and much praised by all. There were dramas, three pieces of music…. and a solo.” 9

King’s Mills RR station built 1894-5 (burned 1938). 12

Mr. Abram W. Noyes of Whitefield was found dead, near his residence, one morning this week. The Lincoln County News says he had just returned from Cooper's Mills and was first seen near his residence, by a gunner. He was lying across the axle of his carriage, with his head on the thill (noun- Either of the two long shafts between which an animal is fastened when pulling a wagon.) and one foot confined so that the wheel had to be taken off before he could be removed. A slight bruise upon the forehead was discovered, which It Is supposed was caused when he pitched forward in an attack of heart disease. When help reached him, life was extinct. Mr. Noyes leaves a widow and two sons. His age was sixty-three year.  Lewiston Evening Journal - Oct 20, 1894

          “While men were working on he W.&Q.R.R. near Cooper’s Mills last Saturday, a skeleton was unearthed which had the appearance of being a very large man, with prominent cheekbones, large head and teeth in a good state of repair. It is supposed to be the remains of an Indian who was shot something like a century ago by an inhabitant of Jefferson. The ribs were so long that two of them more than encircled one of the workmen outside of his clothing.” 4

          Whitefield School District system changed to the Town System with 11 and later 12 schools.

         “ Nov 4 1894 I was hospital steward of 2nd Maine Cavalry during the year of 1864 and during a portion of April and May of said year was stationed at New Orleans La. I well remember that while in New Orleans a soldier was brought into camp who had been quite seriously injured by the fall and kick of a horse while on drill or on the way to drill..…I was 28.. A.R.G. Smith MD 53

          “A bill is pending in the Legislature for the incorporation of the Maine Water and Electric Power company……surveys of the Sheepscot valley …estimates of the water power (have) been prepared. From Sheepscot Lake in Waldo county, …there is a fall of 88 feet. At Cooper’s Mills a fine water power; There is a fine power at Turner’s Mills, several miles below in the same town. At King’s Mills we find still another. And then is the Great Fall, so called , in the towns of Alna and Whitefield with a descent of 35 feet. Scattered along the river are other powers, so that in all there is about 4000 horsepower…. Much of the property along these water powers has been bonded…. And consent of the owners to raise or lower the water in the ponds if the Legislature grants the charter…. Its plan is to use the lakes and ponds, which fill the river as storage reservoirs. …The corporation is also authorized to transmit power by electricity for lighting and manufacturing purposes. And to supply water for domestic and municipal purposes.It is also proposed to exrtend the Kennebec Central from its present terminus at Togus to a junction with the Wiscasset & Quebec at Cooper’s Mills in Whitefield. 3

*Edison opens his Kinescope Parlor in New York. 7


A Woman Dies Under Circumstances That Suggest Foul Play

Gardiner, Aug. 3.—(Special). __ A rumor was afloat on the street, Monday, that a murder had been committed near Keyes’ Corner, and a Kennebec Journal reporter left immediately for the scene. After a ride of eight miles, the house where the trouble was alleged to have taken place reached, the home of William A. Nolan. The building is a one-story, typical New England farm house, with all the surroundings that go with it. It is situated on the top of a hill, the highest for many miles around, and the view one gets from the place is something remarkable. The reporter knocked at the back door and was met by Mr. Nolan’s niece, who said Mr. Nolan was at work in the oat fields. After a short walk he was reached and declared himself very glad to give the reporter the facts of the case. He said: “One week ago last Thursday, my wife had a front tooth which was loose, and she wanted me to yank it out for her. This I did, but found it impossible to stop the bleeding. Last Sunday, we went over to Dr. Smith’s and got him to fix it. After working four hours he succeeded in stopping the blood running and we came home. Everything went nicely until Thursday morning, when, after breakfast, she complained of feeling sick and I went for the doctor, telling him not to hurry. When I got back, my wife was just moving around the kitchen and said: ‘I feel awful sick; I guess I’m going to die,’ and fell over. She never regained consciousness, and died in the evening. Next day we buried her. When I heard the stories afloat, I wanted a coroner, who came and examined the body. After a little while they told me I could go as everything was all right. That is just the way it all was.” Some of the neighbors were seen and expressed various opinions on the case. A lady who helped to lay the dead woman out said she was covered with black and blue spots on her arms, thighs and stomach, As to the cause of this, no definite information could be obtained. Sheriff C.F. Choate was next seen. He said: “I heard about the matter and with the coroner, Mr. Patterson of Wiscasset, went to the Preble burying ground and exhumed the body. We held a very careful examination and found a soft place in the brain was enough to cause the woman to die in an appoplectic (sic) fit. The bruises on the body were not newly made, so the only thing we could do was to let Mr. Nolan go. I do not say that he is guilty or innocent in my opinion though there are several reasons which would point to things being suspicious, but the report of the coroner surely must relieve all doubt from our minds. Whether anything further will be done in this case remains to be seen. 9

The farmers of Whitefield have had the advantage of fine weather and sledding by getting in getting in the ice the past week. Those in the vicinity of the Carleton Bridge stored over 900 cakes in their several houses.” 9

 There are two wide places in the river near the bridge, good for ice harvesting. (this refers to the "ponds" on the up and downstream areas near Carleton Bridge).

Saturday February 25 first official inspection of the WW&F line from Wiscasset to Weeks Mills. Operation began the next Wednesday over the 28 miles. Speed was restricted to 10 mph until the tracks settled in the spring. 12

         “ Ford Bros. Have got their mill repaired so they can do a limited amount of grinding. The water is very low, not enough to run the grist mill with, only part of the time. 3

AN athletic club has been organized here and a small hall over the Wetherell blacksmith shop has been secured for practice. A set of boxing gloves have (sic) been purchased and work begun. Quite a number of young men about here are quite scienced with the gloves and thus far their sparing matches have been with good nature. 3

Pittston & Whitefield Mutual Fire Insurance Co. started March 26.

“….The order of exercises for Decoration Day was as follows: A Brass Band from China came on the train at eight o’clock, A.M., when the procession formed, going to King’s Mills on he eastern side of the river. A large concourse of people were present at the services in the cemetery at that place and an excellent address was made by Hon. R.S. Partridge of North Whitefield. The return route was upon the western side of the river to the G.A.R. hall, where dinner was provided as usual, by the ladies. In the afternoon a large audience at the hall enjoyed the oration of Maj. P.M. Fofler of Augusta, which was able and scholarly, beautiful in diction and elevated in sentiment. The singing by the same choir as the previous Sabbath, was very fine, the music being new and appropriate to the day. The band was handsomely uniformed and proficient in playing. …9

Cooper’s Mills: The Odd Fellows dedicated their new hall at Cooper’s mills, Jan 11th, and a public installation of its officers.. The hall is a large one and was filled to overflowing. They are justly proud of their new building as it is the best in town and a credit to their efforts. 3

B.F. Ware, the W&Q contractor on depots, has got the Cooper’s Mills depot nearly completed. It is the largest on the line, being thirty feet wide by one hundred feet long. It will be a very nice and convenient depot as the trains are to run through it, and the rooms will be very pleasant and handy. ...The traders are looking for freight to be brought on the new line..…Jan 16 3

Timetable for W&F

AM Train #2 (southbound)                PM Train #3 (northbound)
   Weeks Mills 6:35                   Wiscasset 4:00
Cooper’s Mills 7:27                    Whitefield 5:15
No. Whitefield 7:50              No. Whitefield 5:40
      Whitefield 8:13               Cooper’s Mills 6:07
       Wiscasset 9:21                   Weeks Mills 6:49


         “There was an excursion on Wednesday last, of over 300 people from along the line of the W&Q railroad to Wiscasset, where they took (a) steamer for a trip to the islands. Parties from this place report a very pleasant time.” 9

          October 12..”It was a delightfully pleasant morning and the ride up the beautiful valley of the Sheepscot was greatly enjoyed. Dr. A.R.G. Smith of North Whitefield was on the train and a pleasant chat with the genial Senator of Lincoln County was a pleasant feature of the trip. Dr Card, and his brother and family, who have been visiting the doctor joined us at the Head Tide Station. “3 16

         I, A.R.G. Smith physician and surgeon of Whitefield hereby certify that I have this day examined professionally John Noyes late private Co. “M” 1st Regt. Me Vol - Heavy Artillery and find his condition as follows - height 5-10 weight 139 temperature 98-6 age 47……………53

        “ The mill dam at King’s Mills has been raised 2 more feet in height, which greatly facilitates business at the mill.”  9

          The Fords have started up their sawmill..…Jan 16 3

           E.C. Jewett has a large winter's work on granite. He is cutting a fine monument to go to Woolwich..…Jan 16 3

              Ezekiel Ware died on the 10th ( of January). (He)   was born near Kings Mills where he always resided. He served in the war of the Rebellionfrom where he had an honorable discharge. He was 73 ..…Jan 16 3   

           King’s Mills, the prettiest village on the Sheepscot, is alive. ….L.S. Heath, our lumberman has all his teams in the woods…..The Ford’s have started up their sawmill…… E.C. Jewett has a large winter’s work on granite. He is cutting a fine monument to go to Woolwich….We shall all rejoice when our mail can come on the W&Q train.. Jan 16th 3

1896- # 9 school has 21 students. 12


         “ It is rather an amusing site on last Saturday evening to see the train, which was nearly an hour late stop just opposite the Ford bridge and take on water. The famous water tank on Jewett’s was in its usual condition -empty - and the engine by having a snowy rail had exhausted its supply of water, so the steam pump was gotten out, a hole cut in the river and soon the tank replenished…4

Feb 20 -“ A most sad and unusual bereavement occurred in the family of Thomas Skehan of North Whitefield in the death of two sons, both fine young men, who died of consumption and were buried an Tuesday and Thursday successively of last week “. 

         March 26- “ Miss Skekan daughter of Thomas Skeahan of North Whitefield was buried on Monday being the third child of the family who had died this winter of consumption.”  9

Extra trains running much of the time for the last two weeks. A large amount of freight.”

          “Dexter Kensell lately received two carloads of corn from Portland by the W&Q.”  9 Dexter lived at Sheepscot Meadows Farm now 721 Townhouse Road 1 mile above the village.

          “The lower bridge at King’s Mills injured by a freshet, has been repaired.”  9

          “The foundation of Mr. Clary’s new mill has been laid at North Whitefield .” 9

          “There were fireworks and a dance at North Whitefield on the eve of the forth.”  9

          “We have a bakers cart weekly.”  9

          “Samuel Kennedy has engaged a man with a gasoline engine to cut up his spring’s wood.”  9

         “The Townhouse bridge is at length completed and open to travel. It is built in a much more substantial manner than the old one….”

          * The first septic tank is developed.. 45

1897-1902- 3 Whitefield men enlist in Spanish American War. Arthur Merigold lives to be 104. He would soak his tired feet in the mineral spring in the woods behind his house, not far from the “Gold Mine” on the knoll overlooking East Branch Brook..

1897- ”……Our little RR is all right 4 regular trains daily sometimes an Extra Special. Some wealthy men have taken an interest in it. The prospect now is that it will be finished as far as intended, then connected with other roads sometime in the future made wider connecting with steamers at Wiscasset for other ports. There is now a new steamer called the Lincoln which commenced last Friday to run 3 trips a week between Boston & Wiscasset this steamer is to run all winter as the harbor at Wiscasset is never frozen……” from a letter from Henry C. Pearson March 15, 1897

         8 people in town request reimbursement for expenses of feeding and lodging “tramps”. 10

         September 25, 1897,  Wm. L. Powers shot an adult male (Black Vulture (Catharista uburu)) in Whitefield. 94 

        (Article) ” 16th To see if the town will vote to exempt from taxation for a term of years the mill and machinery constructed and to be constructed and operated by Henry W. Clary of Jefferson, upon the Pleasant Pond stream in Whitefield .” 10

        “June 27 …This is to certify that I , A..R.G. Smith of Whitefield Maine was late Hosp_ Steward and asst. Surgeon 2nd Regt Me. Cav _ and well knew James S. Jeck late private of Co. E of said regiment and I further certify that I well remember that said soldier was sick with chills & fever & diarrhrea (sic) of a malarial lgpo (sic) and that he recd treatment for the same , according to the best of my recollection he had this sickness during the early fall of 1864 at which time the reg’t was stationed at Barraucas Fla……….” 53

         “Captain Ulmer of the barge Pilgrim, which arrived in Boston Saturday, reported the loss of his steward, Joseph W. Hall a native of Whitefield. During a friendly scuffle with his brother Elmer, Joseph fell overboard. Captain Ulmer is of the opinion that he must have been seized by sharks, which at this time are very plentiful in Nantucket Sound, as he was a very good swimmer.” 9

        “Franklin Morse is one of the smart old men of the town. He is 81 years of age, and assists in all the hard work of the farm. Last fall he cut10 cords of hard wood.” 9

         “Several young men from district 8 have gone to the Kennebec to work on the ice.” 9

Mr. Benaih (?) Benjamin of Whitefield. who died in that town, recently, at the ace of 98 years, 10 months, was born in Roxbury, Mass., Feb. 7, 1790. His parents moved to Livermore Falls, Me., when he was 4 years old, where he resided till he was 19 years old. He then bought a wild tract of land in Whitefield. Crossing the Kennebec at Gardiner. He proceeded 13 miles, by blazed trees, to his land, He was one of Whitefield's first settlers, clearing his land, building a house, and marrying Miss Elizabeth Noyes of that town, a daughter of one of the original settlers. Mrs. Benjamin died 11 years ago. aged 88. Mrs. W. W. Hunt and Mr. Milton Benjamin of Whitefield. as well as Mr. Washburn Benjamin of Gardiner, Me., and Mrs. W.H. Pearson of Roxbury. Mass., are the survivors of a family of 12 children. Mr. Benjamin voted at the last election, maintaining his mental faculties to the last.  
Lewiston Evening Journal - Jan 7, 1889

Today’s Clary's water mill built at end of Pleasant pond (Clary Lake) flowage to the Sheepscot.

The directors of the Wiscasset & Kennebec Railroad Company met a few of the leading citi­zens of Augusta at the Augusta House on Wednes­day, and made a statement of the present condi­tion of their enterprise. By the plan exhibited it appears that a survey has been made of a line run­ning from Wiscasset up the valley of the Sheepscot River, through the towns of Alna, Whitefield and Chelsea to Augusta. Estimates have been made of cost by both broad and narrow gauge. It was also thought that a more direct line from King's Mills to the city of Augusta would present inducements and advantages that would give a firmer basis to the project. Those who were pres­ent considered the plan exhibited a very feasible one, and one which it would be to the present advantage of Augusta to be carried out. Lewiston Evening Journal - Mar 29, 1898

          “The Wiscasset and Waterville Railroad Company” is formed April 19 in Waterville. Nothing more is heard from it. 14

          * Battleship U.S.S Maine blown up in Havana Harbor…………………. 266 killed..

1899 -  Selectmen receive petition to erect poles , stretch wire and cables for telephones.

Coopers Mills.—The shingle mill owned by Thomas Howe of Coopers Mills and situated just below the bridge, was destroyed by fire Thursday. There was a threshing machine stored In the mill which was destroyed together with 20.000 shingles and the mill machinery. The loss is estimated at $1,000 with no Insur­ance. The mill was an old landmark, being the oldest mill In the place.  Lewiston Evening Journal - Feb 21, 1899

          WW&F Fares

Fares from Wiscasset : miles from Wiscasset:

to Whitefield               60 cents ($14.00)* 13.3 miles
to N. Whitefield           75 cents
$17.52)* 17.4 miles
to Cooper’s Mills          90 cents
$21.00)* 20.4 miles
to Weeks’ Mills 1.10
$25.69)* 28.2 miles
to Albion           1.50
$35.00)* 43.5 miles

*= in 2005 dollars
1900- Whitefield Fish & Game Hall built and organized.

         W&Q changed to WW&F 16

         Whitefield's first of many game suppers started. Famous throughout Maine and New England.

         Whitefield's Population 1156

1901- School Report for the Plains School” Fall term- - Essie Gardiner, teacher. We found Miss Gardiner one of the most progressive young teachers in town. Scholars studious, and giving evidence that good honest work had been done. “10

         “ I Charles W. Brann of the town of Whitefield this day sword (sic) in said town a log mark I take oath to be mine, which are to be two notches one opposite the other as here shown \ / . Charles W. Brann. “39

Oct. 17.—Word was received here today of the sudden death, under peculiar circumstances, of ex-sheriff Charles F. Choate, of Lincoln county, at North Whitefield. last evening. Mr. Choate, with Mrs. Choate and a neighbor. Mrs. Tibbetts, attended a church supper last evening, and on the way home their horse became frightened and attempted to run away. Mr. Choate sprang from the carriage and as he was about to seize the bridle, fell to the ground. Mrs. Choate quickly went to her husband's assistance, but he was dead. The horse, finding itself unrestrained, started on a mad dash down the road with Mrs. Tibbett's clinging to the seat of the wagon, but the animal was brought to a stop before any serious damage had been done. Mr. Choate was 62 years old. He had been sheriff of Lincoln county for six years, and had served twenty years as deputy, He is survived by a widow, heart disease was the cause of death.The Lewiston Daily Sun - Oct 18, 1900

         The widow of Jonathan Young Scammon from Whitefield who died in Chicago in 1890, gives the University a plot of land to be named in his honor and used in the building of the “ NEW” University of Chicago.