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BY THE LATE
DR. USHER PARSONS.
WITH A SUPPLEMENT BY
SAMUEL M. CAME7~Es(57\
PUBLISHED BY SANFORD, EVEHTS & CO.
COLLINS, PRINTER, 705 JAYNB STREET.
BY THE LATE
DR. USHER PARSONS.
WITH A SUPPLEMENT BY
SAMUEL M. CAME, Esq
PUBLISHED BY SANFORD, EVERTS & CO.
COLLINS, PRINTER, 705 JAYNE STREET.
Eatered according to Act of Congress, in^the year 1S72, by
SANFORD, EVERTS & CO.,
In the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.
HISTORY OF ALFEED.
The following centennial history of Alfred
was written by Dr. Usher Paesons, a native
of tlie town, who took pains, many years since,
to collect accurate data. Tlie publishers have
thought it proper to insert the following no-
tice of the author : —
Usher Parsons, M.D., youngest son of William and
Abigail Frost (Blunt) Parsons, was born in Alfred, Au-
gust 18th, 1788. His boyhood was mostly spent in that
town, where he worked on his father's farm, and attended
the village school. He went to Berwick Academy ab(uit
a year. He began the study of medicine with Dr. Abiel
Hall, of Alfred, in May, 1807. He attended anatomical
lectures at Fryeburg, by Dr. Alexander Ramsey.
In the autumn of 1809, being disappointed in receiving
funds to attend a second course by Dr. Ramsey in Port-
land, he walked about fifteen miles in the night nearly to
Saco, slept a few hours on some hay in a barn, and
reached Kennebunk the following noon, and Alfred in
the evening. During the moonlight walk lie meditated
on the past and future course of his life. Though in his
twenty-lirst year, with but limited education, he resolved
that he would put forth all his energies for ten years to
obtain the degrees of A.M. and M.l)., and to become a
teacher of anatomy. That resolution was the seed-pur-
pose of his life.
He studied tlie ancient languages under Rev. Moses
Sweat, and at intervals tauglit school. In 1811 he went
to Boston, became a pupil of Dr. John Warren, and was
licensed to practice in February, 1812. He began prac-
tice in Dover, N. H.
In July, 1812, he received a commission as surgeon's
mate iu the newly organized navy ; the war with England
having begun. He was soon ordered to New York, and
volunteered for service on the Great Lakes. He spent
the next winter at Black Rock, near Buffalo ; in June,
1813, joined Captain Oliver H. Perry, and was medical
officer on his vessel, the Lawrence, at the battle on Lake
Erie, September 10th. The senior surgeons were sick,
and the whole duties fell on him at that time. His dili-
gence and success won him the warm regard of Perry, and
paved the way to subsequent promotion. By a vote of
Congress he received a silver medal for his meritorious
In April, 1814, he was commissioned surgeon ; was after-
wards attached to the frigate Java, under Perry ; and as
a surgeon of that vessel sailed for the Mediterranean in
1816. In 1817 he returned to the United States, and at-
tended medical lectures in Boston. He took the degree
of M.D. there in 1818. In July, 1818, he sailed on the
Gruerriere for St. Petersburg, thence went again to the
Mediterranean and revisited many ports on that sea. He
also went to Florence, Rome, Genoa, Lyons, Paris, and
London, examining the institutions of all these cities,
taking copious notes in the hospitals, and making the
acquaintance of the most eminent surgeons and scientists.
He returned to Boston early in 1820, and was appointed
surgeon to the marine barracks in Charlestown. He re-
sided a good deal at Cambridge, while holding this ap-
pointment, and there wrote the " Sailor's Physician." He
was in August appointed professor of anatomy and sur-
gery in Dartmouth College. Thus he realized his youth-
ful dream in the moonlight walk, 1809, of becoming a
teacher of anatomy.
In April, 1822, he began the practice of medicine iu
Providence, R. I., where he lived the remainder of his
life. In September he married Mary J. Holmes, daughter
of Rev. Dr. Holmes, of Cambridge.
He gradually rose to a very prominent position as phy-
sician, and especially as surgeon. He was widely known
as consulting physician in all the towns around Provi-
dence. He performed repeatedly most of the capital ope-
rations of surgery. He had fifty medical pupils in Suc-
cessive years. From 1822 to 1827 he was professor of
anatomy and surgery in Brown University. In 1831, he
was professor of obstetrics in Jefferson Medical College,
Philadelphia. In 1837 he was chosen president of the
R. I. Medical Society for three years. He was also a fre-
quent delegate to the meetings of the American Medical
Association, and was chosen its first vice-president in 1853.
He was honorary member of several State medical socie-
In 1843 he revisited Europe, renewing old acquaint-
ances, and again observing surgical practice in the hos-
pitals of Paris and London.
Dr. Parsons was an industrious writer on medical sub-
jects. He received four Boylston premiums for medical
dissertations, 1827-3(3 ; and one Fiske premium, 1842.
In 1831 he published a volume on the " Art of Making
Anatomical Preparations." He also was author of several
discourses of a physiological or semi-medical character,
on temperance, &c.
He was a leader in the efforts to found a general hos-
pital in Providence, and when the Rhode Island Hospital
^^as organized, he gave SlOOO to it, and was placed at the
head of its consulting board.
Dr. Parsons became prominently distinguished as a
historical student, in three different connections. First,
he was a diligent geneologist, and traced the lineage,
migration, and personal history of his ancestors with
great success. He published several papers on such sub-
jects, including memoirs of members of his family con-
nection. His most important work was the Life of Sir
William Pepperell, published in 1855, and reprinted in
Loudon — a valuable contribution to colonial history, based
in part on materials hitherto unpublished. Secondly, he
was also deeply interested in the remains, languages,
and customs of the aboriginal natives of New England.
He collected many Indian remains, studied their history,
and published a curious list of Indian names of places
in Rhode Island. He visited repeatedly the old haunts
and burying-places of the Narragansetts. Thirdly, he
took a warm and active part in a controversy in regard
to the battle of Lake Erie, and the merits of Commo-
dores Perry and Elliott. He was warmly attached to
Perry, and convinced that the claims of Elliott and his
friends, and their endeavors to detract from Perry's fame,
were unjust. He made this the subject of a stated dis-
course before the Rliode Island Historical Society in
1852. He also delivered discourses commemoiative of
the battle at celebrations of its anniversary, in 1858, at
Put-in-Bay, and in 1860, at Cleaveland, Ohio.
For several years he was mostly withdrawn from active
practice, and enjoyed leisure, travel, and study. His
health and memory were obviously impaired for some
years before his death, though he still took an active in-
terest in passing events. His last sickness was an acute
disease of tlie brain ; of which he died at his home in
Providence, December lyth, 1868, aged 80 years and 4
He left one son, Dr. C. W. Parsons, who having gradu-
ated at Harvard College and Medical School, was, at the
time of his father's decease, practicing medicine in Pro-
vidence, and was lecturer on physiology in Brown Uni-
versity. He is the author of a memoir of 72 pages, from
which this notice is compiled.
In the structure of Dr. Parsons' mind, the reflective
powers were largely predominant. These, with the co-
operation of a strong desire to excel, of a steadfast pur-
pose, and of a robust frame, strengthened by labor in early
life, were well adapted to secure for him a prominent
position in the physical sciences. The strength of local
associations was a marked trait. It prompted him to re-
visit often the localities of his youth, and to write the
history of his native town. Another characteristic was
his ready sympathies and strong affections. They made
him tenacious in friendship. He would go out of his way
to visit the humble roof of an acquaintance in early life,
and the honest smile and cordial greeting revealed the
delight which the interview afforded him. When with
the breadth of his reflective powers and love of tbe old
he pondered over time-honored institutions, his affections
clung to them as a living friend. In regard to his social
intercourse, one has written : "That his was a genial tem-
perament, a kindly heart with much of the jovial spirit
of the seas in his hours of relaxation."
Alfred is situated nearly in the centre of the county of
York, Me., about 30 miles southwest from Portland, and 13
miles from Saco. It is the principal shiretown, and con-
tains about 1200 inhabitants. It has seven schools, one
of them being graded, with about 300 scholars. It has
four religious societies, and a community of Shakers.
Formerly it belonged to Sanford, and, in 1794, was sepa-
rated into a district ; and iu 1808 incorporated into a
town. The village contains a court-house, jail, and county
offices, also a post-office and two churches.
Land Titles. — Trappers and hunters were the first civi-
lized men that penetrated the forests of Sanford and Alfred.
Beavers were abundant, and left marks of their labors in
the beds of rivers and shores of ponds, that are visible to
this day. Truck houses were early established at the
mouth of Saco and Piscataqua Rivers, and at Salmon
Falls, from which hunters were sent among the Indians
to collect furs for foreign markets. The first civilized
owners of the soil obtained their rights between the years
17G1 and 1764. Then it was that Major William Phillips,
of Saco, obtained from Fluellen, Hobinowell, and Captain
Sunday, Indian chiefs of Saco and Newichawnnock (now
South Berwick), several quit claim deeds of territory of
about four townships of the usual size, probably Water-
borough, Sanford, Shapleigh, and Alfred. This purchase
with revised bounds was, in 1(J76, confirmed by Sir Ferdi-
nand Gorges to MajorWm. Phillips and son, Nathaniel Phil-
lips, of Saco ; and Mrs. Phillips, wife of said William, gave
it by will, in 1694, to Peleg Sanford, a Rhode Islander (he
being her son by a former husband), or so much of it as
was contained in the town of Sanford, which at that day
included Alfred. The town was incorporated in 1768 by
the name of Sanford, in honor of the above-named gen-
tleman. The Alfred portion of the towm was designated
by the name of Massabesic, and the other by Phillipstown,
which name had previously been applied to the whole
township, and which continued in general use until Alfred
was incorporated iu 1794. Hence people in Alfred spoke
of visiting Phillipstown, and those in Sanford of visiting
the North Parish or Massabesic. Of the townships owned
by Sanford, and of one Saunders, there were two miles
square claimed by Hutchinson and Oliver, under what
was termed the Governor's title, which included the vil-
lage of Alfred. A suit was instituted against one of the
principal settlers, William Parsons, by the heirs of Saun-
ders in 1803. But before the writ was served, Parsons
hastened to obtain a deed from the heirs of Hutchison and
Oliver, counterclaiiiiants, by which course they were made
defendants at law, and finally gained the suit ; but with
a loss in expenses more than equal to the receipts for the
First Settlers. — In November, 1764, Simeon Coffin, the
first settler of Massabesic, now Alfred, dwelt for a time in
an Indian wigwam, that stood a few rods south of the
present residence of Col. Ivory Hall. There was no white
man living at that time within seven miles of him. A
few Indians still lingered about Massabesic and Bunganut
Ponds, one family being in a wigwam where the present
house of Shaker worship stands ; but soon all the abori-
There were three brothers named Coffin, the sons of
Stephen Coffin, of Newbury. The eldest, named Simeon,
was a shipwright. After building a vessel there, he lost
it by the bankruptcy of the purchaser, and being thus
reduced to penury, he sought a shelter for himself in the
wilderness, and also for his aged father and two brothers,
named Stephen and Daniel, who arrived early in the spring
of 1765. The father settled south of his son Simeon, and
the two other sons pitched their tents further south, and
were succeeded there by David and Moses Stevens. Be-
yond these settled soon after Daniel McDaniels, who was
succeeded by David Hibbard, Andrew and his son John
Noble, from Somers worth, and Geo. D, Moulton ; next to him
was Jas. Harvey, and still further south Jeremiah Eastman,
a shoemaker, near the dwelling of the late John Emerson.
About the same time came his father, Daniel Eastman,
from Concord, N. H., with five other sons, and settled a
few rods south of Mr. Emerson. His son Ezekiel settled
half way between Lary's bridge (now Emerson's) and the
Brooks house built by Rev. Mr. Turner. Daniel, Jr., built
on the hill a few rods south of the house formerly occu-
pied by the late Joseph Parsons and now by Mr. Bean, and
was succeeded by a Mr. Alley, who afterwards moved to '
Parsonfield. William Eastman lived near Nowell's Mill,
a mile northeast from Col. Daniel Lewis ; Jeremiah East-
man, the shoemaker, owned the site of the present Congrega-
tional meeting-house and graveyard, which he sold to Mr.
Nathaniel Conant and Mr. Emerson, and the lot opposite
he sold to .John Knight, who sold it forty years after to
Dr. Abiel Hall. It is now owned by Monzo Leavitt.
Obadiah Eastman was younger, and hired out to labor.
Daniel Lary, a tanner by trade, built a house between
Lary's or Emerson's bridge, and Ezekiel Eastman's. The
cellar is now visible. It was supposed to be the first frame
dwelling-house built in Alfred. It was finally moved to the
corner, where the brick hotel built by C. Griffin stood, and
was used many years as a school-house. Lary's tauyard
was by the brook, near his house. In felling a tree near
the late Col. Lewis', he accidentally killed Daniel Hib-
In 1766 came Charles and John White, from Kenne-
bunkport, whose father, Robert White, came there from
York in 1740. Charles married Sarah Liudsey, and John,
a Wakefield. They lived two or three years about 100
rods west of the brick house built by Andrew Conant, in
what is still called the White field. They erected half of
a double saw-mill ; and one Ellenwood from Wells, Thos.
Kimball, and his brother-in-law, Seth Peabody, and Benja-
min Tripe, owned the other half. The two Whites subse-
quently sold their field and mill, or exchanged them for a
tract of land half a mile soutli on the Mousam road.
Charles White was succeeded by his son, Deacon Samuel,
and his grandson Thomas ; and John White by his son
John, who afterwards removed further south, having sold
his lot to Daniel Conant, who dwelt and died there. This
lot of John's was previously owned by Dodipher Ricker,
who, after a short residence there, moved to Waterborough.
The father of Charles White was buried in the White
field near their house, and near the Moses Swett house.
In the same ground were buried the father of Samuel
Friend and Daniel Conant, the brother of old Mr. Nathan-
iel. Ellenwood, head-carpenter in building the mill,
erected a one-story house facing it on the hill ; it stood
opposite the present brick house. He finally sold it to
Conant, who added a two-story front to it that faced the
brick house. It was subsequently moved half a mile north,
and was the residence of Rev. Mr. Douglass, Chas. Paul,
and the late Israel Chadbourne.
In 1770, arrived Nathaniel and Daniel Conant, andSam'l
and John Friend, fromDanvers ; Samuel settlednear where
Albert Webber now resides, and John, a weaver, about
half a mile north where his son resides.
Nathaniel Conant, just named, had been a drover in
Dauvers. He bought the field west of the brick dwelling
of the two Whites, and also their half of the saw-mill.
Mr. Conant's residence was in the one-story building facing
the mill, which had been built and occupied by Ellenwood,
the millwright. To this one-story he employed Seth Pea-
body to add a two-story house, which, on the erection by
his son Andrew of the brick house opposite, was, as before
mentioned, moved north, half a mile to the lot opposite
the late William Parsons. Andrew Conant moved east-
ward, and died there. His father Nathaniel was an enter-
prising and useful citizen, and owned the largest real estate
in the town. He died in 1807, leaving five sons and two
There were two or three Indian families on the east side
of Massabesic or Shaker Pond, and on the hill when
Simeon Coffin, the pioneer, arrived. He soon after moved
from the wigwam near Captain Hall's to a cabin a little
north of Farnum's tannery, and then to the top of Shaker
hill, to one of the wigwams standing, as before remarked,
on the site of the present house of Shaker worship. He
was soon followed by Chase Sargent, Daniel Hibbard, and
Benjamin Barnes, with his five sous, wife, and daugh-
ters. There came also Valentine Straw too, near the site
of the Shaker mill, and at the south end of Shaker Hill
came and settled Ebenezer and Thomas Russell. About
the same time several families settled about Bunganut
Pond at Mast Camp, who soon became Merry Dancers, and
united with the others above named.
Besides the Coffins, who arrived in 1764 and 1765, there
came in the latter year Daniel Giles, a native of Plaistow,
litiw Hampshire, who tarried one year on his way in San-
ford, and then settled a quarter of a mile north of Coffin's
wigwam on the bank of the brook near the potash factory,
subsequently established. His son, named Stephen, was
the first male child born in Alfred ; a female child was
born among the Coffins a few months previous. Deacon
Giles's wife died in 1774, which was the first death of an
adult in Alfred. The first two-story house was built by
said Giles. Daniel Hibbard, as before stated, succeeded
Daniel McDaniels in the Noble house ; he was accidentally
killed by Daniel Lary in felling a tree, on the hill north-
east of the late Col. Lewis' ; his widow, Ruth Hibbard,
taught a school in the Ezekiel Eastman house, with her
daughter Dolly, and then moved to the Barneses on Sha-
ker Hill ; she married David Barnes ; his daughter mar-
ried a son of Deacon Stevens ; the Barnes family came
fiom York, first to the John Knight house north of the late
John Sayward's, and were succeeded by Joshua Conant,
John Knight, and Mr. Yeaton ; the Barneses moved from
the foot of Shaker Hill to the top of it, where they joined
■ the Shakers.
Simon Nowell moved from York 1770, and erected the
saw-mill three-quarters of a mile north from Col. Lewis's ;
he was succeeded by James Hill, having moved to Shaker
.John Knight came from Kittery Shore, near Portsmouth ;
he purchased land of Isaac Coffin, where Alonzo Leavitt
lives ; he built a barn and resided in one portion of it,
and entertained travellers with whom he acquired the
name of "Barn Knight;" at one time religious meetings
were held in it, which were much disturbed by the Merry
Dancers; he moved to the Hill, now Yeatou's,and was in
1801 succeeded by Dr. Hall, and since by General Thomas
and Alonzo Leavitt.
Samuel Whitten, who married a Poindexter, and Hum-
phrey Whitten, who married a Lassel, came from Cape
Porpoise and settled in Back Street and were succeeded
by numerous children; their father came from Salisbury,
Matthew Lassel, near George W. Came's, was succeeded
by Benjauiin Whitten.
John Kilham, a shoemaker and gardener, came from
Danvers ; he was brother of Dr. Daniel Kilham, a senator
in the legislature ; his wife was a Dodge, a relative of the
elder Mrs. Nathaniel Conant,
Samnel Cluff came from Kittery Point and resided in
Back Street near a bend in the road, and was succeeded
by his son James and Rev. James Ferguson ; he was pro-
moted from a captain to a major.
Paul Webber came from Cape Neddock, in York ; ho
was a soldier in the Revolution, and subsequently was
hired on the farm of the widow of Samuel Friend, who
became his wife ; he built the house now occupied by
George W. Came, and about the year 1795 erected the
large house at the village, occupied by the late Joseph
Sayward ; for many years he kept a hotel and grocery
store ; he commanded the militia company as successor
to Major Cluff; he afterwards, in 1808, returned to the
present house of Mr. Came and died there, leaving one.
son named Paul, who occupied the house built by Joseph
Jotham Wilson came from Wells and resided many
years near Mr. Came's house, recently occupied by young
Mr. Ferguson, and was succeeded by Thos. Lord.
Gideon Stone settled in Back Street and moved to the
Gore. He was succeeded by John Plummer, who came
from Somersworth. His son John Plummer represented
the town in the legislature. The house is now occupied
by Chas. H. Fernald.
Eastman Hutchins came from Arundel and settled at
the north end of Back Street, where he was succeeded by
Abiel and Geo. B. Farnum. Hutchins was a sergeant in
the Revolutionary War, in the company of which Tobias
Lord was lieutenant. He served as town clerk and select-
man. He died without issue.
Levi Hutchins, cousin of Eastman, came from Cape Por-
poise and was also a soldier in the Revolutionary army.
He resided near John Plummer's.
Joseph Avery came from Cape Porpoise. He was
the sou of Joseph, who came there from Kittery in
1714, and lost seven children out of eleven with throat
distemper. Mr. Avery was a selectman many years ; a
blacksmith, and moved to Shapleigh and died there.
Samuel Dorman, an old bachelor, came from Boxford in
1769. He was born in 1716 and died 1804. He entered
upon a strip of laud as a squatter, extending from tlie
middle Mousam branch to the eastern. He sold the east-
ern portion of this strip to Goodrich, and resided himself
on the west portion, which he sold in strips to William
Parsons. The old brick school-house made the northwest
corner of Dorman's or Goodrich's lot sold, to Joshua
Knight, who gave the lot on which the school-house stood.
Along the north side of this lot towards the new bridge,
Tan the Pickwacket Road, crossing the river a little below
the new bridge, so called, which is 100 rods from Mr.
Tobias Lord, son of Capt. T., was born in Wells. Was
a lieutenant in the Revolutionary armj under Capt. Lit-
tlefield, and was in Col. Storer's regiment at the taking
of Burgoyne in 1777. He died in Kennebuuk, 1808.
Morgan Lewis arrived in 1772. His wife was sister of
Benjamin Tripe, who helped build Conant's Mill. He came
from the north parish of York and settled near where his
son, Col. Daniel Lewis, lived. There came with him Jo-
, seph Welch, Benjamin Lord, Sr., and a Mr. Mclntire. After
Che war several of Mr. Lewis's old neighbors came, viz.,
William and Theodore Liuscott, three Traftons, Benjamin,
John, Jeremiah, their motber and two sisters, Mrs. .John and
Ebenezer Sayward. These settled in what is called York
Street. Mr. Lewis was lieutenant of a York company when
the war broke out, and marched to Cambridge, and from
there to Bunker Hill to cover the retreat of the exhausted
soldiers under Prescott. His captain never joined the
company, and he was promoted to the rank of captain
and major. He purchased a place north of Farnum's tan-
yard and placed Col. Joel Allen upon it as tenant^, who
afterwards moved to the Mast Road, so called. Mr. Lewis's
son Jeremiah lived there awhile, and was succeeded by
John and Joshua Conaut, and Roswell and Nathaniel Far-
Benjamin Trafton was a sergeant in tlie Revolutionary
army. He was in the battles of Bunker Hill and Mon-
mouth, and was in the retreat under General Lee.
John Trafton, brother of Benjamin, lived near Ridley in
Moses Swett came from New Hampshire about 1772, and
lived in a small house thirty rods east of Swett's Biidge.
About 1795 he built a two-story Iiouse opposite, which was
moved in 1801 a mile north, and is now occupied by Jas.
L. Emerson. Mr. Swettwas a lieutenant iu Lewis's com-
pany and marched to Bunker Hill.
John and Joshua Goodridge came in 1774 or 1775 from
South Berwick. John settled where Albert Webber lives,
and Joshua opposite Samuel Dorman's. They both moved
to the Gore. They were blacksmiths.
Moses Williams settled near Deacon Giles, a few rods
north, and at about the same period of time. He was an
eminently pious man and good citizen. His descendants
are numerous, but scattered abroad
Ebenezer Hall came from Concord, New Hampshire, in
1770, and resided where liis nephew, Col. Ivory Hall, lives.
The year previous to his anival he .-pent at Fryeburg with
Col. Frye. He and Deacon Giles were deacons in Mr. Tnr-
3ier's church. He kept a hotel ; was a most genial and
hospitable citizen, and universally beloved. He was the
f:econd militia captain of Alfred, Lewis being the first. .
Arcliibald Smith, father of the Elder, lived opposite
where his son lived as early as 1771, and his son, Archi-
bald, Jr., who settled one hundred rods west of hira. He
married a Tripe, and his brother, the Elder, a Hodgdon,
sister of the mother of John Noble. His wife's brother,
Benjamin Tripe, Jr., resided near him.
Eliphalet Griffin was a blacksmith, from Deerfield. He
was succeeded by his son, John Griffin, and Orin Downs.
He was drowned in Shaker Pond.
John Turner, the first settled minister, was from Ran-
dolph, Mass., graduated at Brown and settled in Alfred.
He removed from there to Biddeford, and thence to King-
ston. He died in Iloxbury.
Joseph Emerson, sou of a clergyman in Topsfield, gradu-
ated at Harvard 1775. He taught school iu Kennebunk,
married a Miss Durrel. Soon after the war he removed
to Alfred. Twice he taught school in Alfred village ; wa.-j
many years a justice of the peace, and a selectman, and
the first postmaster appointed in Alfred. His dwelling
for many years was the one-story part of the house his
late son Joseph resided in.
Jeremiah Clements built the house subsequently occu-
pied by Joshua Emery, a quarter of a mile south of Shaker
Moses Stevens, father of David and Aaron, bought the
estates of Stephen and David Coffin, tlie pioneers, and
resided there. It came into the possession of Tobias
Lord, Esq., the wealthy Kennebnnk merchant, wlio built
there a handsome dwelling, which is now occupied by
J. E. Pollard and W. C. Taylor.
Tliomas Kimball, one of the builders of Conant's mill,
dwelt a quarter of a mile north of it. He sold to Araos
Grandy, a seafaring man from Guernsey, and moved a
quarter of a mile east of the brick school-house.
Benjamin Tripe, another builder of Conant's mill,
lived halfway between it and Grandy's. He moved to
Lyman, and was succeeded by Nathaniel Conaut, .Jr.,
who erected the fine house lately occupied by Mr. Herri ck,
and now by James G. Allen.
Seth Peabody, another of the builders of Conant's mill,
and of Mr. Conant's two-story dwelling, resided thiity rods
west of his brother-in-law, Thomas Kimball. He left for
service in the Revolutionary War, having sold out to Wil-
liam Parsons, who, after residing in it seven years moved
it a quarter of a mile north and used it for a potash factory.
William Parsons, after residing in the Peabody house,
erected a two-story dwelling near the potash factory. He
was the son of Rev. Joseph Parsons, of Bradford, Mass., and
grandson of Rev. .Joseph P., of Salisbury. He was the first
justice of the peace appointed in Alfred; was many years
town clerk and selectman. He manufactured lumber and
potash, surveyed land, kept a retail store, and carried on
farming. He was succeeded by his sou Wm. P., Wm. G.
Conant, Jotham Allen, and George Tebbetts. Joshua
Knight succeeded Goodrich, nearly opposite Wm. Parsons.
He married the daughter of Thomas Kimball. He was suc-
ceeded by Samuel Clark, and Clark by B. F. Knight.
Daniel I\night, brother of Joshua and son of John, resided
many years opposite the school-house at the Corner, and
moved to the hill near his father.
Otis Alley, whose father lived on the hill near Bean's
lived a few rods southwest of Swett's Bridge. He moved
to Kennebunk, and was a ship-caipeuter. He died a sol-
dier in the war of 1812.
Ambrose Ridley came from Passamaquoddy and settled
in York Street, where his descendants lire. He had five
sons and several daughters.
.Jotham and Joel Allen, sons of Col. Joel, married
Gareys, the daughters of Deacon Joseph Garey and Jas.
Garey, and both had children.
John Sayward came from York wiUi the York Street
emigrants, married a Trafton, sister of Benjamin and Jere-
miah. He was succeeded by his sou Rufus, and Jotham
Ebenezer Sayward, brother of John, settled near him.
He was many years jail-keeper and deputy sherifi".
Daniel Lewis, sou of Major Morgan L., resided next
east of the river, in York Street. He married Abigail,
daughter of William Parsons, and was succeeded by his
son John, who died 1861, leaving four children. Daniel
Lewis commanded a company, and was colonel of a regi-
Morgan Lewis, the youngest son of the major, lived
near the colonel.
Jedediah Jellison came from South Berwick, and set-
tled a mile southwest of Swett's Bridge. His son
Thomas settled opposite him, and was succeeded by
Deacon Alden and B. Kimball.
Samuel Jellison, brother of Jedediah, settled in Mouse
Lane, and was succeeded by a Mr. Day. He removed to
Simeon Witham, a Revolutionary soldier, resided near
the Haleys in York Street, and also at the grist-mill that
once stood a quarter of a mile west of the late Aaron
Littlefield's, who moved it to its present site.
William Haley lived near the west side of the Round
Pond. He moved to Shapleigh.
Elder Jonathan Powerrs lived halfway between tlie
Round Pond and the Hay Brook, where Edmund Fernald
now lives. He was an elder in the Baptist Church, and
preached in Back Street.
Evart Willard lived near Hatch's at the Hay Brook.
He arrived at an advanced age. He came from Sanford.
Stephen Hatch was among the early settlers, and owned
a brickyard, the second one in town. He came from
York. Samuel Usher lives on the place now.
Richard Phenix lived between Powers and the Hay Brook.
He was a shoemaker by trade, and liad liis leg auipa-
ated in 1799. He lived to a great age, and died in 185S.
Bartholotaew Jones lived in Mou:!?e Lane. He came from
Bo>ton, and was succeeded by his son Calvin. Biirtholo-
Diew JoiiHi!, tliOUiih a common farmer, was a most polished
gentleman in manners, address, and personal app^arancH,
He was an exemplary and religious man. George W.
Tripp now lives on the farm.
There were two other Jones in Mouse Lane, besides Bar-
tholomew, viz: Elisha, and Elisha, Jr., who were farmers.
Joseph Knight, John Linscott, Jacob Linscott, Henry
and Wilton Day, Benjamin Estes, Joshua Goodwin,
Ephraim and Solomon Ricker, John Shackford, Aaron
and John Wormwood, and John, Jr., all resided in Mouse
Lane, and were teamsters and farmers.
On the Gore, as it was called, there were three persons
named Bean, viz: John, and liis sons John and Jeremiah.
The first John was succeeded by John Hazletine and
Edgecomb, and Jeremiah Bean by Benjamin Bean and
Stevens, and the other John Bean by William C. Marshall
and John Yeaton.
Wm. C. Marshall, ablacksmith,builtalog-housein 1790.
The place is now owned by the widow of lienry Marshall.
Benjamin J. Jewett, a bowl and mortar turner, came
from Stratham, N. H., in 1775. The place is now owned
by his son.
Wu\. Smith, one of the first settlers, was succeeded by
Wm. Leavitt and Jolm Wheelwright. David Davis was
succeeded by his son Daniel, commonly called Major, and
Samuel Davis. There were also a Samuel Tweed, a farmer,
and John Scribner, who resided in or near the Gore.
The number of tax-payers in Alfred in 1799 was 122,
as shown in a list taken for "John Adams's direct tax,"
to which the following certificate was appended: —
" Alfred, March 25, 1799.
The foregoing is a true copy of the General List of letter
D, in the 13th District and 2d Division of the State of
Massachusetts, a.areeabl*^ to an act of Congress, passed
the 9th day of July, 1798.
Wm. Parsoxs, PrhicijJul Assessoj-.^^
Saio Mills in AlfrcJ. — The first one erected was Co-
iiant's, already described. The water from it tiowed back
to the Pickwacket Road, and incommoded tlie emigrants
to Fryeburg, who forded the river a few rods below the
bridge near Mr. Game's.
The second one was at the extreme south end of the
town, formerly owned by Jno. Parsons.
The third, Moody's mill, near the Gore,
The fourth, York's mill, above Moody's.
The fifth, Swett's mill, half a mile southeast of Co-
The sixth, north of the late Col. Lewis's, called Nowell's.
The Seventh, John Knight's, north of Shaker Hill.
The eighth, Ricker's, near Knight's, afterwards the
The ninth, Sayward's, between John and Ebenezer Say-
The tenth, Littlefield's, built near the bridge.
The first grist-mills were : 1. Couant's ; 2. Shakers^ ; 3.
Littlefield's, built by Morgan Lewis and Wm. Parsons, 50
rods west of the present one ; 4 and 5. Estes's and Moul-
ton's, at the extreme end of the town ; 6. Burleigh's, near
The first pottery was started by Joshua Emery, as early
as 1791 ; the second, by Daniel Holmes, 1805, opposite
the meeting-house, which was moved north to the road
in front of Mr. Brooks's house, and afterwards to nearly
opposite the court-house, by Porter Lambert ; fourth, by
the late Paul Webber.
The first tanners were Deacon Stevens, Daniel Lary,
Major Warren, and Farnum & Lindsey.
The first postmasters were Joseph Emerson, John Co-
nant, Abiel Hall, etc.
Schools. — The first school-teachers were females. Mrs.
Hibbard and her daughter taught about 1770, and were
succeeded by Dolly McDonald. The earliest school-master
was .John Dennie, grandson of Rev. Dr. Coleman, of Bos-
ton, who taught one session among the Gileses. He was
succeeded by Jonas Clarke, John W. Parsons, Joseph Em-
erson, John Giles, Mr. Emerson again. Rev. John Turner,
Daniel Smith, Robert Harvey, and Robert Jenkins. Until
the beginning of this century school teaching was almost
entirely at the Corner, and in the old frame house first
raised in Alfred, by Daniel Lary. After 1800 the town
was divided into school districts. In 1803 a brick school-
house was erected, which was removed in I860; the lot
for the same was given, as before observed, by Joshua
Knight, and the building erected by Joseph Parsons. TJie
teachers after this century commenced were Daniel Smith,
John Bucklin, Abram Peavey, Jotham Hill, Thouias Rol-
lins, Abiel Hall, Usher Parsons, Isaac C. Day, Joseph
Brown, John Frost, Henry Holmes, Benjamin Emerson,
John P. Hale, and Daniel Goodenow.
Academy. — Tlie academy building was built by private
subscription in the year 1828. The State granted $300.
W. C. Larrabee was the first preceptor, and Bion Bradbury
the second. It was kept in operation a portion of the
year, most of the time until the erection of the graded
school building in 1862.
The first traders were : 1. Nathaniel Conant ; 2. Wm.
Parsons, who brought a few goods with him from Berwick ;
3. Thomas Giles; 4. Nathaniel Conant, Jr. ; 5. Paul Web-
ber; 6. William and Daniel Holmes.
The first brickmakers were Daniel Hibbard, who was
accidentally killed by Lary, Gilbert Hasty, Nathaniel
Webb, all of them near Conant's mill, and Stephen and
Henry Hatch, near the Hay Brook.
The first potash-makers were Deacon Giles and Andrew
Burleigh, which proved unsuccessful. William Parsons
and Thomas Giles were successful, and continued the busi-
ness several years. Parsons also carried it on at Water-
The first blacksmiths were John and Joshua Goodrich,
Joseph Avery, and Eliphalet Griflfin.
Roads. — There were Indian trails leading through the
forests of York county prior to 1620, by which tiappers
and hunters pursued their game. About this time, or a
little earlier, a settlement was made at Winter Harbor, at
the mouth of Saco River, and in 1624 mills were erected
on the brandies of the Piscataqua, at Newichawannock
and Quampegan. Indians were numerous on the banks
of these and of the Mousam River, and on the shores of
large ponds, as the Ossipee, Massabesic and Pickwacket,
or Level's Ponds, who collected furs and brought them to
the truck or trading-house. The Indian pathways were
most numerous along the rivers, hy which intercourse
was held between tlie interior and the sea-board, where
■Indians were drawn in pursuit of shell-fish. Such was
probably the course of travel until the truck-houses were
opened at Saco, Wells, Salmon Falls, and Dover (Cocheco),
when the hunters opened new paths from river to river,
across the intervening territory. Thus the first road that
crossed. Alfred, of which we have any knowledge, came
from Salmon Falls over Oak Hill, and south of the house
of old Col. Emery, and near Mr. Staniel's, to the Hay
Brook, and tbence near and a little east of Aaron Little-
field's bridge, and crossing there ascended the bank and
passed along near the south side of the court-house, and
onward to the new bridge, tlirough Lyman to Little Falls,
before a single house was erected in Alfred, and was prob-
ably tlie first road opened through the town. The road
between Alfred and Kennebuuk must have been opened
early for lumber to pass from Conant's mill. It is believed
however to have passed through Mouse Lane. The Pick-
wacket road from Sanford, branched ofi' many rods east of
Littlefield's house, and went back of Alonzo Leavett's
house, and of the jail and Emerson's barn, down to the
brook at Lary's, and thence bore eastwardly to John Em-
erson's and to Shaker bridge, giving off a branch to go by
Griffin's up to the Coffin and Giles road, whilst the Shaker
branch, after crossing at the foot of the pond, went on-
ward to the mills nearer to the ponds than the present
road, which goes over Shaker Hill through the village.
Military. — Major Morgan Lewis, as before mentioned,
was first lieutenant in the army of the Revolution, and
served twelve months at Cambridge as acting-captain,
and was finally promoted to major. He marched at the
head of the company from Cambridge to Bunker Hill, to
cover the retreat of Prescott's army. After his return
from the war, he commanded a company, and Ebenezer
Hall was first lieutenant, and William Parsons ensign.
Hall was made captain on the promotion of Lewis, and
Parsons lieutenant. They both resigned, and Samuel
Clufi", the ensign, was made captain, Benjamin Trafton
lieutenant, and Joseph Parsons ensign. Clutf was pro-
moted to major, Paul Webber chosen captain, and Par-
sons lieutenant, but declined the office, and Henry Day
and Jotham Jewett were chosen lieutenant and ensign.
After this, Daniel Lewis was chosen captain, and in 1814
was chosen colonel of the regiment.
Society on Shaker Hill. — Merrij Dancers. — The Shakers,
says Peter Coffin, their preacher, in a letter to the writer,
were gathered in the following manner: Simeon C"ffin,
the oldest of three brothers, who settled first in Alfred,
and who moved from near Ivory Hall's, on the west side
of Massabesic Pond, to near Natlianiel Farnum's tanyard,
moved again to the top of Shaker Hill to an Indian wig-
wam, standing near the site of the present house of wor-
ship. Soon after, Valentine Straw settled near the site
of the present Shaker's saw-mill, and then came Ebenezer
and Thomas Buzzell, brothers, who settled at the other or
south extremity of the hill ; afterwards there came and
settled near the Shaker's church Charles Sargent and
John Cotton, and soon after, Daniel Hibbard and family,
and Benjamin Barnes and family — five sons, wife and
daughters. About the same time several families settled
at Mast Camp. These became Merry Dancers, and joined
those on the hill. They became very disorderly, and in-
terrupted the religious meetings that were held at Mast
Camp by Congregationalists, and also at Alfred Corner, in
the harn of John Knight. They disturbed the meetings
to such a degree that it became necessary to take them
out and fasten them with ropes to a tree. John Barnes
and John Cotton were the most disorderly, not only at
such meetings, but also on week days. One of their
practices was to hoot the devil, as they called it, in which
they would march around the Shaker Pond, raving like
maniacs, Barnes would wear a baize jacket over his
clothes, a wig upon his hea<l, with a cow's tail attached
to it, and Cotton an untanned cow hide, and in these garbs
would scream woe! woe!! woe!!! audible in the stillness of
evening nearly the distance of one mile. After this they
all took to intoxicating drinks, and for months were
hardly ever sober, and in their midnight revels were
guilty of revolting practices.
Shakers. — About the year 1781 or '2, there came along
two pewter button and spoon makers, gathering old pew-
ter and running it in moulds. Their names were Ebene-
zer Cooley and James Jewett, from New York State, who
mingled, with the Merry Dancers, and pretended to be
missionaries from Anna Lee, and wlio preached to them
her doctrines, and required of them total abstinence fi'om
intoxicating drinks, and the men to separate from their
wives which tliey obeyed, and have dwelt in separate
houses ever since. They were directed to use in all con-
versations yea, yea, and naij, nay. Their largest meetings
were at Mast Camp, made up of Cottons, I3arneses, Hads-
dens, Jellisons, Hibbards, Philpots, Freemans," Gowens,
Wilsons, Coffins, Nowells, and Cushmaus. Joshua and
Stephen Emery and James Barnes left for a time, and
then returned, and after some years left a second time,
and returned. Cooley and Jewett were soon succeeded
by Joseph Meacham and Daniel Goodrich.
After this, about the year 1793, the society was orga-
nized as a body, under the administration of John Barnes
and Sarah Kendall, with the present order of church
government. They wer« followed by Elisha Bote and Re-
becca Hodsdon. The present male successor is Joseph
The succession of deacons were, first, Gowen Wilson,
then John Anderson and Nathan Freeman. Peter Coffin
was the public speaker more than forty years. He died
The Shakers formerly manufactured, more than now,
wooden ware, such as grain measures, sieves, brooms,
large spinning- and foot- wheels. They have furnished
the public with garden seeds, which, being reliable, have
found ready sale.
Their plantation of over 1000 acres lies between the
two ponds. They have recently sold a tract of 800 acres
at Mast Camp, in Waterborough, and invested the pro-
ceeds in land in Michigan. Tiiey have excellent water-
power and orchards. Their meeting-house, a plain edifice,
was built 1794, and the large house opposite 1795.
Ever since Anna Lee's order to abstain from drinks, the
Shakers have been a most orderly, quiet, industrious,
and every via^y as exemplary a people as can be found
My late lamented friend, Peter Coffin, the preacher, in-
formed me that he once asked Jolm Barnes for an expla-
nation of his conduct in hooting the devil, drinking to
excess, and of tlieir indecent and immoral practices. He
replied that they were a sort of carnal slough whicli they
were doomed to pass through preparatory to spiritual re-
Religious and Parochial Affairs. — Confjregationalixts.
— This town as hefore stated was originally a part of San-
ford, which was settled in 1764 and '5, and not long after
there were religious gatherings in Waterborough and Ly-
man, at Mast Camp, near Bunganut Pond. The tirst settlers
had enjoyed religious privileges elsewhere, and desired to
establish them here, and were in the habit of meeting to-
gether for social worship. About 1780 a church was formed
consisting of from twelve to twenty members under the
charge of Rev. Mr. Little, of Kennebunk, andMerriam, of
North Berwick, who administered the ordinances of baptism
and the sacrament. In 1782, this society was formed into
what was callel the north parish of Sanford, where itine-
rant preacliers officiated occasionally. In 1786, Rev. Moses
■tSweat settled in Sanford, and frequently preached in the
north parish or Massabesic, as it was tlien called. The
ministrations of Mr. Little and Mr. Merriam wrought
some conversions, but their zeal soon engendered extrava-
gancies, and some became strangely aftected and disorderly,
which gave them the name of Merry Dancers ; most of
them secededand joined those on Shaker Hill. In 1787, the
north parish attempted to settle a minister, and invited
several preachers as candidates, among whom were Rev.
David Porter, Isaac Babbit, and Mr. White, all of whom
declined. February 7th, 1791, Rev. John Turner was
called and accepted, and was ordained the following Sep-
tember, and remained with them twelve years, and then
moved to Biddeford. Soon after. Rev. .Tabez Pond Fisher
preached a few Sabbaths and was invited to settle, hut he
declined. In 1804, Rev. Joseph Brown was settled and
jemained four years, when he resigned, and the society
employed for a few Sabbaths Rev. Tilly Howe, and subse-
quently Rev. Mr. Coe, of Durham, and others preached
occasionally. In 1816 the parish was reorganized, and
Rev. Nathan Douglass was settled, and remained some ten
or a dozen years, and in the early part of his ministry was
Very successful in reviving the church. He was foUuwed
in 1828, by Revs. D. D. Tappan ; in 1833, A. W. Fisk ; in
1846, J. Orr. The first deacons in the Congregational
chnrches were Moses Stevens, Stephen Giles, Ebenezer
Hall, Joseph Garey, John Wormwood, and Samuel White.
The First Baptist Church. — The Baptists in Alfred formed
a society and held their meetings in dwellings and barns,
under the ministrations of Elder Henry Smith and Jona-
than Powers. They were uneducated men, but possessed
good natural abilities. An unsuccessful attempt was made
in 1810 to build a church on the hill between John and
Samuel Friend's. Afterwards, in 1818, a church was built
on Back road, near Mr. Bickford's. Until the year 1822
or '3, they were considered a branch of the Waterborough
church. At this time thirty members organized a church
on Back road. They kept up their organization more than
thirty years, under the ministrations of Revs. N. G. Mor-
ton, N. G. Littlefield, and others. In 1855 they joined the
Baptist organization in the south part of Sanford, and
built the meeting-house at Conant's, now Littlefield's
mills. Their first preacher was Rev. A. Dunbar, who has
been succeeded by Revs. J. N. Thompson, A. W. Board-
man, S. Powers, and C. D. Sweat.
The Methodist Episcopal Church. — Rev. Green G. Moore,
of Buxton and Limiugton Circuit, lectured in the Congrega-
tional meeting-house in Alfred, May 1st, 1829 ; and during
the following week in the Calvin Baptist house on Back
Street, one mile from the centre of the village. This was
the beginning of Methodism in Alfred. In the following
fall he held meetings once in two weeks in a hall near the
Corner. By perseverance, a little class was soon formed.
The first permanent meeting was established in May, 1830,
by Rev. John Lord, who held a protracted meeting in the
court-house. The next month Alfred was connected with
Shapleigh ; Revs. Daniel Fuller and Almon P. Hillman,
supplied the places alternately. In 1831 Alfred was sepa-
rated from Shapleigh, and Rev. Ezra Kellogg was appointed
to Alfred. During his service arrangements were made to
commence the building of the church edifice, which cost
about $2000, and was dedicated December 10th, 1834.
'J'he vestry was finished in the fall of 1838, at a cost of
$1600, and the basement remodeled lately. Rev. J. W.
ytkins succeeded Mr. Kellogg. From his time to the pre-
sent, consecutive appointments, 24 in number, have been
The Second Baptist Church. — Twelve members were dis-
missed from the Waterborough Church August 29th, 1844,
and organize! into a Second Baptist Church, at the Gore.
Meetings were held in a school-house until the building
of the meeting-house, at a cost of 6700, in 1847. Rev. Z.
Morton, their first minister, has been succeeded by Revs.
N. G. Littlefield, R. Chase, F. K. Roberts, C. Case, and
S. B, Macoinber.
Burial Grounds — There was no common place of inter-
ment appropriated in Alfred until after the first Congrega-
tional church was built, in 1784. The first person inter-
red was Major Morgan Lewis. This ground being mostly
occupied, another is soon to be appropriated. The old
ground as well as the site of the contiguous church, was
a gift from Nathaniel Conant, senior.
The first church was two-story and faced the west, and
liad a large porch at each end. In 1834 the present house
was erected in the place of the first one, and an organ,
raised by subscription, was placed in it in 1854.
Courts. — Alfred became a half shire town in 1806, a full
shire town by gaining the courts from York in 1832, and
the principal shire town by the removal of the January
term to Saco, in 1860.
Court House. — At the court of general session, held at
York, April 17th, 1806, Wm. Parsons, John Holmes and
others were appointed a committee to form a plan of the
court-house, and select a proper site. At the next Sep-
tember term they reported "that the spot on the south-
west side of the road leading from Alfred meeting-house to
Kennebunk, nearly opposite to Capt. Webber's, on a knoll
partly on the land of Abiel Hall and partly on the land
of William Parsons, is the most suitable, that the
building should be 50x40 feet, two stories high, and that
the cost would be $3000." It was ordered that the build-
ing of the house should not be commenced until sufficient
security is given by the district of Alfred, or subscribers,
to defray the expenses of the frame and of erecting the
same on the spot. In the summer of 1807 the court-house
was built, cost $3499.69.
Fire-Proof. — The fire-proof was built in the fall of 1819,
on the northeast corner of the court-house yard ; cost,
$3056. The present fire-proof wings on each side of the
court-house were finished in the fall of 1854; cost $29,-
171.50. In the summer of 1854 the "dome light" was
placed on the court-house, over the court-room ; cost,
The Jail. — In 1803 John Holmes was appointed an agent
to procure a good title of a lot for a jail. October 3, 1803,
Thomas Hutchinson and others of jDarish of Hevitoe, in
county of Devon, England, deeded, through their agent, to
the county of York, a tract of land containing two acres,
in Alfred village, for a jail. In 1S06 the log jail was com-
pleted ; cost, about §3000.
In October, 1833, a committee of eight from different
parts of the county reported that a new stone jail was
needed. Estimated cost, $6000. It was built in 1834,
costing $7737.12. Lately $6000 have been expended for
a lot and foundation for a jail and house of correction,
also power has been granted by the Legislature, authoriz-
ing the expenditure of $30,0i;0 for the completion of the
The Town House was erected in 1854, and accidentally
took fire in 1861, and, with some adjoining buildings, was
consumed. It was rebuilt in 1862.
Occurre7ices Worthy of Notice. — Persons drowned in Al-
fred : Andrew Noble, half a mile below Shaker Bridge,
at the foot of the pond ; Eliphalet Griffin, a blacksmith,
in Shaker Pond ; Bradford, son of Daniel Holmes, in
Shaker Pond ; John Leighton, grandson of Gen. Samuel
Leighton, in the pond near Lyman Littlefield's mill.
A woman captive from Wells, on lier way to Canada,
became exhausted and was tomahawked by the savages,
near where the Saco road crosses the river below the
bridge, near Mr. Game's.
The smallpox prevailed about 1780. It was caught by
a man named Gerrish, who took it from a pair of shoes
he had bought of a peddler. Dr. Hall, then recently set-
tled, and others, went into a hospital at Harmon's, north
of the Shakers, and were inoculated. Dr. Frost, of Keune-
bunk, took charge of the patients.
In 1817 an elephant was shot by a mischievous wretch,
from another town, as it was leaving the village, near the
Round Pond. The culprit was tried for the deed, but es-
caped due punishment.
A weekly paper called the " Eastern Star," was started
in Alfred, to support Mr. Crawford for the presidency of
the United States, chiefly under the auspices of Mr.
Holmes. Adams was elected, and the paper died out.
Brief Notices of Prominent Indiciduals. — Hon. John
Holmes — he was the son of ilelatiah Holmes, of Kingston,
Massachusetts. John Holmes passed his early years in
agricultural pursuits. At the age of seventeen he felt an
earnest desire to obtain an education. To aid him in the
pursuit of his object he taught school, and derived limited
assistance from his parents, who were in moderate cir-
cumstances. He entered Brown University in 1792, with
but a moderate degree of preparation, the more to be re-
gretted, because much of his time was necessarily required
in teaching, in order to pay his college expenses. He how-
ever graduated in 1796, in fair standing in his class, which
numbered among its members such men as Chief Justice
Aldis, David King, and Tristram Burges. He now entered
the office of B. Whitman, and was admitted to the bar in
1798. The first citizen he called on in Alfred was Wm.
Parsons, the only justice of the peace then residing in the
town, and the writer of this notice, then a boy of nine or
ten years, was present at this first interview of Mr. Holmes
with a citizen of Alfred, on whose mind he made a favorable
impression, and who immediately took an interest in his
success. He engaged a room in the northwest chamber
of Paial Webber's house, then a tavern lately opened, for
an oflice, and boarded at Rev. John Turner's.
^Ir. Holmes bought a small ten feet square shop of Na-
thaniel Conant, and moved it to near the site of the jail,
and used it many years as an office.
Mr. Holmes was still indebted for his education, and
unable to meet his current expenses but for the aid he de-
rived from taking a few pupils in his office, among whom
was Dr. Abiel Hall, then a lad. These minute things are
related to show that patient persevering industry may be
crowned with success.
In 1802 he built the liouse in which he resided whilst
he remained in Alfred.
Among his first clients was Margaret Philpot, in a suit
brought against the Sliakers for services, ami for abed slie
had left among them. In this case he gained great re-
putation. The bar in the county of York was probably
more talented at this time than before or since. Cyrus
King, Prentiss Mellen, Nicholas Emery, Dudley Hubbard,
and Joseph Bartlett were able and adroit debaters. These
powerful antagonists served to evoke and train the ener-
gies of Mr. Holmes to their utmost limits, and finally ren-
dered him a leading advocate in tlie county.
In 1800, when the subject of removing the courts from
Kennebunk to Alfred was first agitated, Mr. Holmes was
chosen a representative to the General Court, wherein he
was extremely active and successful. He also made an
able speech there on the State Constitution, which, besides
gaining him a good deal of credit, awakened a strong de-
sire for political life, which never forsook him. In cau-
cuses and conventions he was the most frequent speaker
in the county, and he was the largest contributor of elec-
tioneering pieces for the press in the State. They were
always severe upon his opponents. One of them, in
poetry, alluded to a democratic caucus, which, by its
broad humor, happy versification, and lucky hits at the
prominent leaders of the party, was often reprinted, and
will outlive all his other productions.
Bat notwithstanding the decided tone of his politics as
a federalist, he, most unexpectedly to his party, made a
sudden somersault and joined the democratic ranks, a
change as sudden if not as spiritual as that of Sanl of
Tarsus, and whether scales fell on or off his eyes in the
process, persons may difi"er in opinion. His talents made
him an acceptable acquisition to the party, who were
weak in political contests. They immediately promoted
him to ofiice as senator of Massachusetts, and there, and
everywhere he scourged the federalists as severel}'' as he
had formerly the democrats, though he now and then had
to bear a scourging in return.
His long training at the bar and in political harangue
had given him strength of nerve and dexterity in conflict,
that made even the strongest antagonists quail under his
vigorous onsets and scorching retorts. His speeches soon
attracted public attention and admiration of the war party
throughout the country, aurl Mr. Holmes suddenly stood
before the nation as a prominent political leader.
In 1812 his friends brought him forward as a candidate
for federal representative, but the war being unpopular in
the district, his antagonist, Cyrus King, was elected. The
following year he was offered by Mr. Madison a major's
commission in the army, which he however declined.
Mr. King died before the close of his term, and Mr. Holmes
was his successor. Great expectations were entertained
by his fiiends, founded on his success in the State Legis-
lature ; but he found sharper swords drawn against him
in Congress than he had before encountered. During the
first two years of Congressional life he was less appreciated
than his friends had expected, and his case was not helped
any by the frequency of his speeches. But in his next
term he appeared to better advantage, and acquired an
elevated rank as a skilful and ready debater.
In 1818 a movement was made to separate Maine from
Massachusetts and constitute it an independent State. Mr.
Holmes was active in promoting the measure, and at the
first session of the Legislature he was chosen senator in
Congress, which office he held eleven years.
Perhaps the most objectionable vote given by him in
his whole political career was for the admission of Mis-
souri as a slave State. It would seem that many at the
South were opposed to the admission of Maine as a State.
This measure Mr. Holmes had much at heart, and he felt
that he must, in order to effect his object, proceed on the
log-rolling system, and help in Missouri, Fortunately,
however, Missouri has become free, as a fruit of the re-
At the close of the war he was appointed by President
Monroe commissioner to settle the boundary line between
the United States and Canada, an important office, which
he performed in a manner acceptable to the government
and country. After his Congressional services were ended
he served one or two years as representative in the Maine
Legislature. General Harrison, on coming into the presi-
dential chair, appointed Mr. Holmes district attorney.
But his health soon after declined, and lie died from the
same disease that closed the life of Napoleon, viz., cancer
of the stomach.
Soon after his settlement in Alfred Mr. Holmes married
Miss Sarah Brooks, of Scituate in Plymouth county, who
bore him four children — two sons and two daughters. The
sons graduated and studied law, but never entered much
into practice. His oldest daughter, a beautiful and ac-
complished lady, married Judge Goodenow, LL.D. His
second daughter resides in Topsfield in feeble health.
Mrs. Holmes died Dec. 6, 1835. In the following year
Mr. Holmes married Mrs. Swan, daughter of Gen. Knox,
of the Revolutionary army, who resided in Thomaston, Me.
They moved there soon after marriage, and remained un-
til he was appointed district attorney, when his duties
required him to reside in Portland, until his decease.
His widow died at Thomaston in 185. —
The town of Alfred owes much of its growth and pros-
perity to Mr. Holmes. No citizen contributed so much
in time and expense to transfer the courts there, or to
establish the academy. He was always ready to aid in
educational, religious, and other enterprises that could
benefit the public, and he presented a bell to the Congre-
gational church. Besides his political papers he left but
few memorials of his literary labor. A legal work called
" The Statesman" is about the only important relic of his
He was of a genial and jovial disposition, fond of indulg-
ing in anecdote and repartee, and could parry and thrust
with all who might choose to measure swords with him in
sarcastic raillery. His mirthfalness was great, but apt to
run in turbid streams, when his aim was to create laugh-
ter. As a lawyer he probably had few equals in the coun-
try, and no superior. He early made a profession of re-
ligion, and in his last hours derived from it consolation
His career is a; suggestive lesson to the minds of the
rising generation. It shows what young men may accom-
plish in attaining to high and honorable distinction by
persevering industry, guided by sound Christian princi-
ples. It also shows the impolicy of indulging a thirst
for political life, which rarely remunerates. Had he be-
stowed more time on the study and practice of his profes-
sion he might have attained to the first rank in New Eng-
land as an eminent lawyer.
Tlie publishers, having requested Samuel M.
Came, Esq., to prepare brief notices of some
of the past and present residents of Alfred,
have received the following supplement: —
Hon. Daniel Goodenow was born in Henniker, N. H.,
October 30th, 1793. At the age of twenty he came to
Alfred, and entered the law office of Hon. John Holmes,
and during the next four years read Law, occasionally
taught school, and prosecuted his collegiate studies so
rapidly that he graduated at Dartmouth College, having
been a student there but a few months. Soon after he was
admitted to the York county bar. In 1825, 1827, and
1S30, he was a member of the House of Representatives
of the State, and the latter year speaker. lu 1831 and the
two following years, he was candidate of the whig party for
governor. In 1838 and 1841, he was attorney-general ; the
next seven years judge of the district court; and from
1855 to 18(J2, a judge of the supreme court. In 1860,
Bowdoin College, of which he had been many years a trus-
tee, conferred upon him the honorary degree of LL.D. He
died of apoplexy, October 7th, 1863. Judge Goodenow was
dignified and courteous to all, and always maintained a
high sense of honor, that led him to denounce trickery
and dishonesty in every form. He was an upright judge,
and his will ever be remembered as one of the most honor-
ed among the many cherished names of which the citi-
zens of Alfred are deservedly proud. He left two sons,
John H., a graduate of Bowdoin in 1852 ; was for seve-
ral years the law partner of Hon. N. D. Appleton ; a
representative to the State Legislature in 1859 ; and the
two following years president of the Senate. Since 1865,
he has been U. S. Consul General, at Constantinople. The
younger son, Henry C, graduated at Bowdoin in 1853 ;
practiced law a short time ii^ Biddeford ; afterwards was
the partner of Hon. Chas. W. Goddard, in Lewiston, and
is now "practicing in Bangor.
Hon. Nathan D. Appleton was born in Ipswich, Massa-
chusetts, in May, 1794, where his ancestors had resided
since the first of the name. Samuel Appleton moved
there from England in 1635. He graduated at Bowdoin
in 1813, and seven years later settled in Alfred, having
been admitted to the bar in 1816, His ripe scholarship
and gentlemanly deportment soon gave him an extensive
practice. In 1829, 1847, and 1848, he was a member of
the State Legislature ; and in 1852 the nominee of the
Whig party for representative to Congress. From 1857 to
1860, he held the office of attorney-general. During the
long period of over forty years in which Mr. Appleton
practiced at the York county bar, he always maintained
an unblemished character, and a high position as a law-
yer and a man.
Hon. William C. Allen commenced practice in Alfi'ed,
in May, 1822. Five years later he was appointed regis-
ter of probate, and held that office with the exception of
one year, till January, 1841. In 1839, 1844, and 1845, he
was a representative ; and in 1846 a senator in the State
Legislature; and a judge of probate from 1847 to 1854,
when he received an appointment in the post-office at
Washington, which he held till his death, August 12th,
1859. Judge Allen was a man of marked traits of cha-
racter. Singularly neat in dress and personal appearance,
he was polite, precise, and systematic, a faithful public
officer, and a respected citizen. He left two sons, Henry
W., a graduate of Darmouth College, is a resident of New
York city. The younger sou. Weld N., is a commander
in the U. S. navy.
Jeremiah Bradbury, Esq., a native of Saco, came to
Alfred in 1820, having been appointed clerk of courts, for
which he had resigned his position of U. S. collector, at
York. He was clerk till 1841 with the exception of one
year, in which the position was given to another, on ac-
count of a political change in the State administration.
From Alfred he moved to Calais, where he resided till his
death, in 1848. In 1 810 he married Mary Laugdon Storer.
They had seven children, the oldest of whom, Hon. Bion
Bradbury, of Portland, formeHy U. S. collector, at East-
port, and in 1863, the nominee of the Democratic party
for governor, is well known throughout the State as a
g"od lawyer, and a gentleman of acknowledged ability.
The kindly disposition of Mr. Bradbury, as well as the
lefinement and culture of his wife and children, made
them a noted family in this place.
Jeremiah Goodwin, Esq., a native of Kittery, was a resi-
dent of Alfred from 1811 to 1840. He was two years a
paymaster in the 33d regiment of the U. S. army ; regis-
ter of deeds from 1816 to 1836 ; State treasurer in 1839 ;
and for more than twenty years postmaster of this town.
In all these positions Mr. Goodwin displayed skill, accu-
racy, and integrity. He died in Great Falls, N. H., July
31st, 1857, aged 73 years.
Dr. Abiel Hall was born in Alfred, Sept. 6th, 1787, and at
the age of twenty-two succeeded his father in the practice
of medicine. During the sixty years of his professional
duties Dr. Hall was always regarded as a discreet and
reliable physician. He was always an earnest advocate
of the temperance cause, and rarely prescribed alcoholic
liquors in his practice. In 1823 he was chosen a deacon
of the Orthodox church, and for the last twenty years of
his life was one of its leading members. His labors and
his usefulness ended only with his life, Dec. 18th, 1869.
His son, Dr. Edwin Hall, a graduate of Bowdoin and the
Medical School of Dartmouth, was a very promising phy-
sician in Saco, but died young.
Geo. W. Came, Esq., was born in York, April 24th, 1791.
By perseverance he acquired a thorough common-school
education, and commenced life as a school-teacher, at the
age of nineteen. With the exception of a few years spent
in mercantile business this was his principal occupation,
till he settled in Alfred in 1830. He was twice a member
of the Legislature, and many years chairman of the board
of selectmen. Mi'. Came was a successful business man,
and an influential citizen. He died Aug. 11th, 1865. Ho
left two sous — George L. succeeds him on the home estate ;
the younger, Samuel M., a graduate of Bowdoin in 1860,
having read law in the office of Hon. Ira T. Drew, and
completed his preparatory studies at the Harvard Law
School, opened an office at Alfred, where he is now in
Maj. Beiij. J. Herrick, son of Joshua Herrick, of Beverly,
wasborn April 8th, 1791. In 1816 he came to Alfred toen-
gage in mercantile business. Was a deputy sheriff soon
after, jailer from 1824 to 1830, representative in 1830,
sheriff from 1831 to '36, and register of deeds from 1836 to
'47. He was also town clerk, and selectman, and a brig-
ade major in the State militia. He always took an active
part in religious and educational matters, having been
for many years the leadiug member of the Methodist Epis-
copal church in this place, and one of the trustees of the
Maine Wesleyan Seminary. During his long official ca-
reer Mr. Herrick made many friends throughout the
county. He died May 24th, 1870. His son, Horatio G., a
graduate of Bowdoin, 1844, practiced law several years
at North Berwick. He now i-esides in Lawrence, Mass.
In 1863 he was a United States provost marshal, and is
now sheriff of Essex county, and a commissioner of jails.
Hon. Joshua Herrif:k, brotlier of the above, was born at
Beverly, Mass., March 18, 1793. He came to Maine 1811,
was agent several years at Brunswick in the first cotton
mill in the State. In 1814 was a few months in thejujli^
tary service under Gen. D. M-e^«rb^7^nd statiouedon theT)!**
lower Kennebeck ; afterwards a number of years deputy
sheriff of Cumberland county. In 1829 he removed to
Kennebunkport, and was appointed by Gen. Jackson col-
lector of customs, which position he retained until 1841.
In 1842 he was chairman of board of county commis-
sioners, but resigned in 1843 and was elected representa-
tive to the 28th Congress from York district, serving on
committee on naval affairs and accounts ; was collector
of customs again from 1847 to '49, and from '49 to '5-3
register of probate for the county. During his residence
in Kennebunkport he was for many years chairman of
board of selectmen. He is now a resident of this town.
Israfel Chadbourne was born in North Berwick, Nov. 1st,
1788, and moved to Alfred in 1831. He was jailer from
1831 to '37, and sheriff from 1S37 to '54, with the excep-
tion of two years. It was while in this office that he be-
came so well and favorably known throughout the coun-
ty. In Oct., 1864, he was elected president of the Alfred
bauk, and continued to discharge the perplexing duties
of that position with ability till his death, June 5th, 18U5.
Mr. Chadbourne was for many years one of the trusted
leaders of the democratic party in this county. His sons
— Benjamin F. and William Gr. — are prosperous business
men in Portland.
Nathan Kendall, for many years was one of the deacons
of the Congregational church. He was for a long time in
trade, and is remembered as a good citizen. His sons —
Otis, at Biddeford, and Augustus, at Portland — are both
active business men. J^^,,^,JuiA
The sons of Col. B*i^t4-Lewis — William, a physician
in Shapleigh, Daniel a merchant, in Boston, and John, a
farmer and dealer in timber lands — were each judicious,
upright, and prosperous men.
Hon. N. S. Littlefield was a prominent lawyer of Bridg-
tou. In 18 — he was a member of the State senate, and
18 — , and in 1841 elected a representative to Congress.
His brother, Eti^iek Littlefield, of Alfred, was a promising
and successful busines man, but died early.
Among the many other successful men who have been
residents of Alfred may be mentioned David Hall and
Alvah Conant, who left Alfred together, and were mer-
chants of long standing in Portland. Both retired from
business several years ago. Mr. Hall died April 14th,
Henry Farnum, an enterprising business man, in Bos-
Dr. Usher P. Leighton, now a resident of Ohio.
William, son of the late John Parsons, a furniture deal-
er in New York.
Benjamin Emerson, Esq., son of Joseph Emerson, grad-
uated at Harvard, practiced law for several years at Gril-
manton, and is now residing at Pittsfield, N. H. His
brother, Capt. Joseph Emerson, was a quiet but energetic
and esteemed citizen. He served as captain in the militia,
and many years as one of the selectmen. He died Sept.
9th, 1871, aged 8(j.
Wm. Parsons served about the same time as Capt. Em-
erson in the militia as adjutant, and was one of the select-
men several years. He was a retiring, obliging, and reliable
man. He lived in Keunebuuk the latter part of his life,
where he died in 1864, aged 84 years. He left several
children — John, a graduate of Brown University and An-
dover Seminary, is now settled in the ministry in Leban-
on, in this county ; Edwin having engaged in mercantile
business in Savannah, and then in New York, has been
steadily advancing by wisely laid plans and energy till he
has become a millionaire. Having been married Feb.
1872, in Washington, D. C, to the only daughter of Mr.
Justice Swayne, of the supreme court, he has gone to Eu-
rope. He formerly resided here. George and Charles
have been successful merchants in Savannah and New
Among those now living in Alfred may be mentioned
Hon. Nathan Dane, for more than forty years a resident
of this town, has been a senator from this county. In
1860 he was elected State treasurer, when the embar-
rassed condition of the State finances absolutely demand-
ed an officer of undoubted integrity and ability. He was
annually re-elected so long as the constitution permits —
Hon. Ira T. Drew has practiced law in this town since
1854. He was senator in 1847, and the next seven years
county attorney. In 1858 he was the nominee of the dem-
ocratic party for representative to Congress. Mr. Drew has
a large and lucrative practice, and for many years has
ranked among the most able and successful lawyers of this
William G. Conant,for more than forty years engaged in
mercantile business at Alfred, retired from trade several
years since, but still continues one of the most active and
influential citizens of the town.
Caleb B. Lord, Esq., a member of the York county bar,
and a resident of the town for the last thirteen years, was
clerk of courts for nine years, a representative to the
Legislature in 1871, and is now United States assessor for
the first district of Maine.
Dr. Frank B. Merrill, a native of Buxton, graduated at
Bowdoin in 1847, and the Medical School of Harvard in
1849. Soon after he moved to Alfred, and rapidly rose in
his profession. He now has an extended and lucrative
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