Town of Greene, Maine

 Biographical Sketches


THE Sprague Family is prominent in early New England history.  William, Ralph, and Richard Sprague, sons of Edward Sprague, a fuller of Upway, County Dorset, England (who died in 1614), arrived at Salem, Mass., in 1628, and the same year obtained Governor Endicott's consent to locate in Mishawum (Charlestown), and they built the first houses in that important settlement and were men of authority and substance.  William moved to Hingham in 1635, married Millicent Eames, and had Anthony, 1636; John, 1638; Samuel, 1640; Jonathan, 1648; William, 1650, and died in 1675, aged 66.  William, Jr, went to Bridgewater and was the progenitor of a large and leading race, and Sprague's Hill in that town honors the family name.  John, born 1638, was one of the old Mendon proprietors and an extensive landholder.  He lived and died in Mendon, now the extreme southwest corner of Milford, originally laid out to John Bartlett.  He married Elizabeth Holbrook and had sons, John, William, Ebenezer, and died October 6, 1683.  William, born in 1679, inherited the homestead; his son William, born in 1719, married Margaret Brainard, had Col. William, born in 1759, subsequently removed to Winthrop, and previous to 1775 was deeded lands as "of Winthrop," and in 1775 had conveyances of lands made to him as "of Greene."  He died in Greene about 1800.

    Col William Sprague become the owner of a large acreage of land at Sprague's Mills.  Rev. Paul Coffin, in his journal of his missionary labors, says: "1797, October 24, came to Greene and put up with William Sprague.  His house is about 40 by 35, built of brick.  He came from the county of Worcester and fixed here about 15 years past.  Sprague has a grist and sawmill, and has, I think, a good interest."  Col Sprague was born March 3, 1759, in what is now Milford, Mass., and married Anna Marrow, of Winthrop, Me.  Their children attaining maturity were Moses, 1783; Ruth, 1784, m. Seth Herrick; Anna, 1786, m. Jonathan Shepley; Susannah, 1788, m. Reuben Bates; William, 1790; Isaac, 1792; Sarah, 1794, m. Russell H. Read; Charlotte, 1796, m. Benjamin Quimby; Greene, born in 1804, father of Silas, register of deeds in Auburn, and William, town clerk of Greene; Washington.  Mr Sprague was unusually active in building up and developing the town, and his mills were prime factors in the growth of the settlement.  He had a commanding presence, became colonel of the militia, and excelled as a tactician.  The brick house, now part of the residence of Virgil H. Sprague, was erected by him as early as 1796.  He was a soldier of the Revolution, and was shot at the battle of Monmouth by a bullet through both thighs, from which he was lame ever after.  He died June 26, 1828.

    Col Moses Sprague, son of Col William, was born August 8, 1783.  He was prominent in various spheres of activity, was a farmer and blacksmith, chairman of selectmen several years, representative from Greene, and was "eminently qualified for official position."  He commanded a company in the War of 1812, and later became a colonel of the militia.  At the death of his father he, with his brother Washington, succeeded to the ownership of Sprague's Mills, and having located his home near by, he continued an active participant in the business of the community to the time of his death, July 23, 1839.  He married Mirinda Read, who died in 1845.  Their children were Augustus, Elvira M., Job Caswell, Ansel, Mirinda m. Henry H. Bates.

    Hon. Augustus Sprague, son of Colonel Moses, was born September 22, 1804, received such education as could be obtained in the common schools of the day, excelling in mathematics and natural sciences, and taught with acceptance in Webster, Lewiston, Phippsburg, and his native town.  He was a great lover of solid reading - historical, geograhical, etc., and kept abreast of the times in things that affect the well-being of the country.  He possessed the family characteristics of comeliness, strength, and vigor, and was a distinguished figure in military operations, where he was noted for his fine bearing and technical knowledge.  He attained the rank of colonel of militia, and would have been higher in rank if he had been on the right side of politics.  "Always active in politics and taking a lively interest in the things that pertain to the welfare of the people, he received from his fellow-citizens repeated evidence of their trust and confidence, serving in both branches of the legislature, as county commissioner of Androscoggin county, and in many official positions in Greene.  As trustee and president of the Androscoggin County Agricultural Society, Monmouth Fire Insurance Company, Monmouth Academy, and other institutions, his was a busy life."  In 1840 he secured sole interest in the mill, and became a successful manufacturer, yielding the business to his son in later years.  A Whig and Republican, he was permitted to aid in the election of both Harrisons, and witness the triumph of American ideas.  An earnest advocate of temperance, he was among the first to discard the custom of "treating" by the old militia officers, and was a pioneer in the temperance movement in the state.  He possessed a faith and patience that carried him through many vicissitudes in life and reached into the future.  The ambition of his early manhood was to own the old homestead.  This he accomplished in 1848, "taking possession of the home carved out of the wilderness by his grandfather, living in the brick house built by him in 1796, and dying March 31, 1889, in the room that witnessed the death of his grandfather 60 years before."  He married first, Thankful, daughter of Eliphalet Coburn.  She was born January 6, 1801, and died July 6, 1867.  They had two children, Eveline H. (Mrs Samuel Oakes) and Virgil H.  For his second wife he married the widow of Hon. Elijah Barrell.

    Virgil Horace Sprague, son of Hon. Augustus and Thankful (Coburn) Sprague, was born at the old homestead, March 18, 1835, and was educated at the common schools, Lewiston Falls Academy, and Maine Wesleyan Seminary.  He succeeded to the homestead and business of his father, and has resided in the West and in Greene.  He is a stalwart Republican, casting his first vote in 1856 for John C. Fremont while a resident of Chicago.  He first married, September 20, 1857, Julia R., daughter of Oliver Mower.  They had two children, Oliver A. (a physician of Turner) and Lillie F. (dec.).  July 5, 1868, he married Mrs Nellie R. Lemont, daughter of Hon. Elijah Barrell.  They had one son, Richard W.  Mr Sprague has been in the U.S. Postal Service with a short interruption since 1882.  He is numbered among the best people of the town, is a deacon of the Baptist church, and a valuable citizen.  He has held official positions in his town, has served as chairman of the board of selectmen, as supervisor of schools, and as a member of the legislature.



    The Daggett Family made its advent into America a decade after that of the historic Mayflower band, as Savage in his Genealogical Dictionary says that "John Daggett was in Watertown in 1630, probably came in the fleet with Gov. Winthrop, was made freeman May 18, 1631, removed to Rehoboth in 1645, was a representative in 1648.  August 29, 1667, he married Widow Bathsheba Pratt, at Plymouth, then called himself of Martha's Vineyard, where he doubtless went with Gov. Mayhew as a first settler.  His sons were Mayhew, Ebenezer, Thomas, Naphtali."

    Capt. John Daggett, son of Thomas, who was, according to Samuel B. Doggett, the family genealogist, son of Ebenezer and grandson of William of Saco (Maine) in 1681, and Martha (Stockwell) Daggett, was born in Sutton, Mass., in 1748, married Mary Stevens, and came, it is said, from Charlton, Mass., to Greene in 1786 with his wife and children, Thomas, John, and Sarah.  Simeon, Aaron, and Mary were born in Greene.  Captain Daggett was the first military captain in town, receiving his commission from Gov. John Hancock, October 24, 1792.  He was an educated man and a great acquisition to the settlement.  He taught the first school, was selectman for 21 years, chairman of the board 13 years, moderator many times, representative to the General Court for several years, and a very prominent and respected citizen.  He died in 1816.  Thomas married a Record; Sarah married Capt. Samuel Bates; Simeon died at 21; Mary married Deacon Luther Robbins.  John Daggett, Jr, was a Baptist clergyman for 16 years, and ministered 10 years to the church in Greene.  He was an excellent citizen, patriotic, and a sound philanthropist.  He married Sarah Record, of Minot, and died in 1824.

    Captain Aaron Daggett, son of Captain John Daggett, was born March 4, 1787.   He married first, Almira, daughter of Simeon Dearborn, of Monmouth, a descendant of Gen. Henry Dearborn.  Their children were:  Greenlief D., who graduated at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York, located in New Jersey, where he took high rank and was president of the County Medical Society at the time of his death, July, 1854.  Converse R. had an academic education, taught school, as a medical student attended lectures at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York, studied theology in Bangor, has been in the ministry in Somerset and Androscoggin counties, enlisted in 23d Me, was chaplain and hospital nurse at Washington, D.C., and has represented Greene in the legislature.  He married Anna F. Packard Bailey, of Cambridge.  They have a daughter, Emma Rose.  Simon D., a young man of brilliant promise, died when nearly 18.  Almira Augusta married Isaac C. Merrill, of Lewiston.  She died aged 36.  Captain Daggett married second, Dorcas C. Dearborn, a sister of his first wife.  She died in 1867.  Their children were:  John C. settled on the homestead, where he now resides.  He married Abbie Fogg; their children are Aaron, Augusta, and Simon.  Mary E., died in 1861, at the age of 26.  Aaron S. Captain Aaron Daggett, was well educated, and "was a man of more than ordinary intelligence and goodness."  He occupied several public positions, was on the board of school committee many years, a justice of the peace, representative, church chorister for 30 years, school teacher, and a valued member of the community.  His title of captain was acquired in the militia, and with his company he served in the War of 1812.  He died in 1862.

    Brigadier-General Aaron S. Daggett was born in Greene, June 14, 1837, son of Aaron and Dorcas (Dearborn) Daggett.  He received good educational advantages and became a successful teacher.  On the breaking out of the Rebellion he deemed it his duty to enter the field in defense of his country and was among the earliest volunteers, enlisting as a private April 29, 1861; was commissioned second lieutenant May 1, 1861; first lieutenant of Co. E, Fifth Maine Infantry, May 24, 1861; captain of Co. E, August 14, 1861.  From the first engagement of the regiment (the defeat at Bull Run) to the end of its three years' memorable service General Daggett did faithful duty; was promoted to major April 14, 1863, and January 23, 1865, was commissioned lieutenant-colonel of the Fifth Regt. U. S. Veteran Volunteers (Hancock's corps).  March 2, 1867, according to the U. S. Official Army Register, he was brevetted colonel and brigadier-general of volunteers "for gallant and meritorious services during the war," and received these brevet ranks in the regular army: "major, for gallant and meritorious services in the battle of Rappahannock Stations, Va., November 7, 1863";1 and "lieutenant-colonel for gallant and meritorious services in the battle of the Wilderness, Va."  General Daggett won the confidence of his superior officers by soldierly qualities.  August 4, 1864, General E. Upton, commander of the Second Brigade, in recommending him for promotion  to Governor Cony, says: "Major Daggett served his full term in this brigade with honor both to himself and state, and won the reputation of being a brave, reliable, and efficient officer.  His promotion would be a great benefit to the service, while the honor of the state could scarcely be entrusted to safer hands."  This was concurred in by Brigadier-General D. A. Russell, commanding the First Division, Major-General H. G. Wright, commanding the Sixth Corps, and Major-General George G. Meade, commanding the Army of the Potomac.  February 28, 1866, General Upton, then in command of the District of Colorado, recommended Lt-Col A. S. Daggett for promotion, and said:

    In the assault at Rappahannock Station Col Daggett's regiment captured over 500 prisoners.  In the assault at Spottsylvania Court House (May 10) his regiment lost six captains out of seven, the seventh being killed on the 12th at the "angle," or the point where the tree was shot down by musketry, on which ground the regiment fought from 9:30 A.M. to 5:30 P.M., when it was relieved.  On all these occasions Colonel Daggett was under my immediate command and fought with distinguished bravery.  Throughout his military career in the Army of the Potomac he maintained the character of a good soldier and an upright man, and his promotion would be but a simple act of justice which would be commended by all those who desire to see courage rewarded.

Major-General Winfield S. Hancock, commanding First Army Corps, in recommending Colonel Daggett for a position in the regular army, says:

    The records of this office show that he first entered the service as private in the 5th Maine Inf. April 29, 1861; that he served in the Army of the Potomac, was wounded at Spottsylvania, very slightly, and also at Cold Harbor, and was discharged from the service with the rank of major in the 5th Maine Inf. by reason of expiration of service July 27, 1864.  He was appointed a lieutenant-colonel in the First Army Corps, January 18, 1865.  Upon examination by the Examining Board, he was found good in general information, in knowledge of tactics, in knowledge of regulations, in knowledge of the service, and recommended for lieutenant-colonel, the grade to which he had been appointed in the corps previous to examination.  He was faithful while recruiting for the corps, and since he was assigned to duty with his regiment he has borne an excellent reputation.  I recommend him to the favorable consideration of the Department.

    From 1866 General Daggett has been an officer of the regular army2 and is now on service in Boston.  He married, June 14, 1865, Rose, daughter of Major-General Phillips Bradford, of Turner, a lineal descendant of Gov. William Bradford, of Plymouth Colony, and resides in Auburn.  Their children are Mary A., Royal Bradford, Alice Southworth, Helen.  In civil life General Daggett is distinguished for courteous and gentlemanly bearing, and unostentatious and unassuming manners.  His strict integrity, frank courtesy, and sterling worth have given him staunch friends.



    Jabez5 Pratt (Benjamin,4 Jabez,3 Jabez,2 Thomas,1 of Watertown, Mass., in 1647,) came to Greene with his parents from Charlton, Mass., in 1802.  He was apprenticed to the blacksmith trade at an early age, and established himself in the business at Greene Corner; he was also a large land owner and farmer.  He married Sophia, daughter of Isaac and Huldah (Allen) Washburn; they were both active members of the Baptist church in Greene.  Their home at "The Corner" was ever open to friend or stranger, and this generous hospitality was widely patronized.  Jabez Pratt was early connected with military affairs in the Commonwealth, and in the War of 1812 was called out for service in defense of the sea-coast of Maine; later he held the office of captain in the state militia, and by this title was known wherever his acquaintance extended.  He was one of the early pioneers of the temperance cause in Maine, and one of its most enthusiastic advocates.  While he was a modest man, never sought public office, yet he was frequently engaged in business for the town; was entrusted with the administration of estates and guardianship of children.  He died in 1874, at the age of 84 years.  The decease of his wife occurred in 1863.  Their children were Louisa, Franciana, Cyrus M., and John F.  Cyrus Mower Pratt, eldest son of Jabez, followed the occupation of his father for some years, later took great interest in improved market gardening, and became an active worker in the County Agricultural Society.  He was an influential citizen in Greene, both in town and church affairs; always maintained himself a prominent supporter of the right, on all the moral questions of his time.  At his death in 1866, at Washington, D.C., he held a position in the U. S. Agricultural Department.  Louisa Pratt married Anslem C. Parker.  He was a man of marked social qualities, possessed a high degree of musical talent, had a peculiar and exceedingly melodious voice, which he was always ready to use whenever occasion required.  He was "the life" of any company, young or old, favored with his presence.  He was 2d lieutenant in the Kennebec Guards.  He was a merchant at Greene Corner, successor to Anslem Cary, of whom he purchased store and goods when the latter removed to Augusta.  Mr Parker was a contractor in the building of the M. C. C. R. in Greene, and it was the result of exposure connected with this work that caused his early decease.  His children were Frederic Byron Parker, born at Greene Corner, January 6, 1842.  He is a farmer on the old homestead owned with his aunt Franciana; Jabez P., who served as lieutenant in the 16th Maine; and Louisa F., who married Merritt Rose.  Franciana Pratt, or "Aunt Fanny," as she is called by her many friends, was born in the house where she now resides, and has been postmistress at Greene Corner since 1863.  She is a most genial and intelligent lady, has been a prominent and successful school-teacher [see teachers], and has many of the characteristics of her father, whom she much resembles in personal appearance.

    Dr John6 F. Pratt (Jabez,5 Benj.,4 Jabez,3 Jabez,2 Thomas,1), born August 3, 1830, attended school at Monmouth and Hartland (Me.) academies, received his preliminary medical education under Dr Blake of Hartland, served an apprenticeship as druggist in Portland, was student at Dartmouth and Bowdoin colleges, spent a year in hospital service in Boston, took his degree at Bowdoin in 1856, and the same year settled to the practice of the profession at New Sharon, Me.  Here he married Annie, daughter of Judge Oliver L. and Mary A. (Weston) Currier.3  In 1862 Dr Pratt entered the service of his county as Act. Asst Surg., U. S. A., joined the Army of the Potomac at Harrison's Landing, was transferred to Craney Island, and the following winter stationed at Hampton, Fortress Monroe.  In 1864 was placed in charge of hospital on flag of truce boat New York, was engaged in exchange of prisoners between City Point, Annapolis, Point Lookout, etc., until the campaign opened on the James river under Gen. Butler.  At Bermuda Hundred (Gen. Butler's headquarters), he opened and had charge of post and small-pox hospitals, and also of the Medical Purveying Dept of the Army of the James.  After the War he remained in the service of the Freedmen's Bureau, established hospitals at Point of Rocks and Petersburg, Va, of which he continued in charge until his resignation in 1866, when he returned to his private practice at new Sharon.  He removed to Chelsea, Mass., in 1873, his present residence.  He is an enthusiastic collector of Maine bibliography, and has been for many years a voluminous contributor to the early documentary history of his native state.  The town and county historians of Maine are greatly indebted to the genial doctor for his ever ready assistance in furtherance of their researches.

1"Maine in the War" statest that Major Daggett, 5th Maine Vols. received three swords at the battle of Rappahannock Stations from prisoners, etc.  This is an error, as stated, and probably came from the fact that immediately after that brilliant battle the captured trophies - flags, cannon, etc., were escorted to General Meade's headquarters, and Major Daggett was chosen by General Upton to command the battalion from his brigade.  The escort was selected from those who had taken the most conspicuous part in that battle.

2General Daggett was not an applicant for a position in the regular service.  The appointment was given without solicitation by recommendation of General Grant, and came as a surprise to General Daggett.

3Mrs Pratt has been an unwearied worker for years in historical and genealogical fields, has written for publication, prepared and read a valuable paper on the history of Greene at its centennial, and we are indebted to her kindness for valued information.



Georgia Drew Merrill, editor.  History of Androscoggin County, Maine.  Boston:  W. A. Fergusson & Co., 1891.

Chapter XXIX


Families included:

The Sprague Family

The Daggett Family

Capt. Jabez Pratt