By the late Thomas Parker, Judge of Probate

Published by J S Swift 1875


Situation and Boundaries

Farmington, the shire town of the County of Franklin, is located in that section of the State of Maine commonly called the Sandy River, situated thirty miles from Augusta, the capital of the State, and about seventy miles, something east of north from the city of Portland. Farmington is bounded west by the towns of Wilton and Temple, north by Strong and Industry, and east by Industry and New Sharon, and south by Chesterville.

The Sandy River

Farmington is drained by the Sandy River and its tributaries. The Sandy River takes its rise in the highlands which divide the waters of the Kennebec from those of the Androscoggin. Mount Abraham, Saddleback and Mount Blue, summits of the highland range, are among the highest elevations in the State. The westerly or principal branch of the Sandy River takes its rise in the Sandy River Pond, a small pond south of Saddleback, and running in a south-easterly direction through the eastern part of Letter E, and Madrid to Phillips, unites with the eastern branch, which taking its rise in and about Mount Abraham, runs through Phillips and Avon to Strong, where it unites with the north-east branch, and runs to Farmington Falls, dividing Farmington nearly in the center. From Farmington Falls the river flows in a north-easterly direction through New Sharon, Mercer, and Starks and discharges its waters into the Kennebec, opposite the Monument. Mills have been erected on the river in Starks, New Sharon, Farmington, Strong Phillips and Madrid. (there was also a mill in Mercer – ed.)

Wilson Stream

The next considerable stream is the Wilson Stream. It rises in Saddleback and Bald Mountain in Carthage and the highlands of Temple, and after falling into Wilson and Varnum Ponds in Wilton, the waters are discharged at the southern extremities of each, and uniting near the Lower Village in Wilton, runs in an easterly direction through Wilton, Farmington and a small part of Chesterville and dorm a junction with the Little Norridgewock, when the united rivers run in an easterly direction, dividing the towns of Farmington and Chesterville, and fall into the Sandy River just above Farmington Falls. On this stream are some of the best mill sites in this section of the State. It now has four sawmills, and three gristmills in Wilton, with two starch factories, and a woolen factory, besides other machinery. It has also a gristmill, a fulling mill and carding machine in Chesterville, and a saw mill in Farmington. It is crossed by two brides connecting Farmington and Chesterville and by several others of less note.

Davis’ Starling or Temple Stream

The Davis’ – formerly Starling’s Mill Steam – takes its rise on the southern slope of Mount Blue, in Temple, being mostly fed by springs. The different branches unite near the outlet of Drury Pond in the east part of Temple, the stream running in a southerly direction through the remaining part of that town and a part of Farmington, and falling into the Sandy River a little below the center of the town. This stream is also favorable for mills. It now has several saw mills, and one gristmill in Temple, and one starch factory; and a starch factory, sawmill, gristmill and a clover-mill in Farmington. Numerous bridges cross this stream both in Temple and Farmington.

Fairbanks’ or Jones’ Mill Stream

The Fairbanks’ – formerly Jones’ Mill Stream – rises in New Vineyard Mountains and fills a small pond in Industry. (now called Mosher Pond – ed)Running in a south-west direction it discharges its waters into the Sandy River a short distance below Fairbanks’ bridge. On this stream are a tannery, a sawmill, a gristmill and a clover-mill, and it is crossed by a bridge on the river road.

Blunt’s Brook – Beaver Dam Brook, etc.

In addition to waters already named may be a reckoned Blunt’s Brook, and Beaver Dam Brook, which run from the north-easterly part of the town in a southerly direction, and fall into the Sandy River between the Center Village and the Falls. Small streams and springs everywhere abound, affording water to every farm and family in town. Good water may be found in almost any place at a moderate depth.

Fish; Salmon; Alewives

Salmon were formerly plenty in the Sandy River and were the only fish of much consequence to the inhabitants. They were taken by seines and spears to advantage as late as 1792 or 1793, after which date they decreased rapidly in consequence of the erection of mills. Few if any now get above the Falls at the lower extremity of town. Alewives were formerly taken as high up as Titcomb’s Mills on the Davis Mill Stream, but have now become extinct in the region. The salmon, trout and pickerel are the principal fish now taken from the Sandy River and its tributary waters, and with which many of the ponds and streams abound.

Wild Animals; Hunting

The streams and forests of the Sandy River Valley originally abounded with beaver, otter, sable, and various species of animals yielding furs, which afforded liberal encouragement to hunters. Moose were taken in great abundance in the winter season. Prior to the examination of the region in 1776, for the purpose of making a settlement, it was unknown to any civilized people excepting those who explored it for the purpose of hunting, for which purpose a Mr. Stewart Foster and a Mr. Ephraim Allen of Winthrop made a stand on the Sandy River through the winter of 1780. They encamped near where the Fairbanks Bridge now stands, in a camp belonging to Pierpole – he being absent. They killed a large quantity of moose, and at the opening of spring constructed a canoe of their skins, in which they went down the river, with their effects, to Hallowell. *

*(Note on bottom of page) The game in the Sandy River Valley attracted the attention of the Indians, and hence they gave the river the name "Mus-sa-lun-squit", which they subsequently, in their quaint English, translated to the whites as meaning "A place where you can go and get plenty of moose, deer, fur", etc.

Literally "Good Hunting Ground" – Farmington Chronicle No. 65

Natural Meadows

There are but few natural meadows in Farmington and these are small, but such as they were they afforded great assistance to the early settlers in wintering their stock. The intervales and forests served them for pasture in the summer season.

Soil; Forest Growth; Scenery

The soils of Farmington is generally fertile and more easily cultivated than that of the State generally, especially the intervales and the uplands adjacent to them; though some of the highlands, particularly in the north-west section of town are somewhat rocky and hard to cultivate, but their superior quality for grazing and the raising of stock, well recompenses the labor of the husbandman. The natural tree growth is that of the several kinds of maple, ash, beech, ash, elm, basswood, pine, hemlock, fir, spruce, cedar, with some oak on the highlands and hackmetack on the low lands. The apple tree and many kinds are fruit are cultivated with success. The soil is productive of most kinds of grain and vegetables; the low lands being best adapted to the growth of corn, and the highlands to that of wheat. Limestone has been discovered in many places in this and adjacent towns, but those who have attempted its manufacture into lime have had but little success, and owing to its interior quality perhaps it may never be profitable for mechanical purposes. The extent of the intervales, the gentle rise of the uplands, the convenient ridges into which it is thorn, the superior quality of the soil and the varied natural forests with which the town abounds, present one of the most pleasing prospects in the State, and one which perhaps is not surpassed by any. *

*(note at bottom of the page) The editor of the Gospel Banner, who has been somewhat of a traveler came to a spot a little above Farmington Falls, as affording one of the two magnificent landscape views he has ever beheld. It is something of a compliment to the taste of the now venerable Stephen Titcomb Esq. That spot in which his axe first disturbed the slumbers of the primeval forest embraced in the foreground of that view.


There are two leading county roads through Farmington passing longitudinally north and south – one on each side of the river, which with various others, going in various directions, all centering in and accessing the center of the town, take a large amount of travel. The great roads that pass north and south accommodate most of the travel from the interior towns of Hallowell and Augusta – the principal market for this part of the State. Much of the business, however, which was formerly done in these towns is now done in Farmington.

Bridges; Public buildings; Common

There are two bridges across the Sandy River, supported by the town of Farmington, and the most of another supported in connection with Chesterville. The public Buildings consist of an Academy, Court House, Jail, a County Building for several offices, five Meeting Houses, and twenty-two School Houses. The Common – a public square in the center of the Village – encircled by rows of rock and sugar maples forms a pleasant and agreeable object and adds much to the beauty and convenience of the place.

Farmington First Explored; The Party; Their Route

The tract now comprised within the territorial limits of the town of Farmington was first explored, with a view to settlement, in 1776. The exploring party consisted of Stephen Titcomb, Robert Gower, James Henry, Robert Alexander, and James Macdonnell. They were piloted by Thomas Wilson, who a previously explored the region as a hunter. The whole part were from Topsham, and they came in canoe up the Kennebec as far as Hallowell, which then contained but three or four houses and some fish stores. From Hallowell they proceeded by a bad road, ever a thinly settled tract, to Mr. Rumford Smith’s just above the present site of the Lane’s Oil Mill, Mr. Smith’s being the last house. (Ransford Smith lived in Winthrop – ed) From this place they traveled by compass a west-north-west course, supposing that this would enable them to strike at place near the "Great Intervale". They struck the Sandy River at New Sharon Falls, near where the mills now stand – crossed the river, and traveled along its northern bank to Farmington Falls. From the Falls they proceeded up the river about a mile, to the southeast line of the farm known as the Tufts Farm, now owned by Samuel Daggett. Here they stripped some basswood bark for a substitute for a chain, and commenced measuring off lots for farms. They made the lots one hundred rods in width (a rod is 16.5 feet). They measured off six lots, which they divided by lot among them. After prosecuting their explorations further up the river they concluded to return to Topsham, procure tools, and return to commence clearing, in two weeks from the time of concluding the agreement.


At Farmington Falls, Mr Titcomb and his part found two Indian camps – Pierpole’s and Phillip’s – and some Indian corn and potatoes growing. They here found a considerable tract of land cleared, extending from the upper part of the present site of the village down the river to the edge of New Sharon. The remains of a considerable Indian village, and of a fort enclosing about an acre of land, were to be seen. The fort was situated near the center of the tract now covered by the Falls Village. The Indian burying-ground has since been discovered in digging the cellar to Croswell’s house. Several skeletons were found in an upright position. Tradition related that many years before, a boy by the name of Knights, was captured in the town of Gorham, and carried to the Sandy River, where he was kept through the winter. The camp of the Indians was on the "Great Intervale", near the spot first improved by Mr. Titcomb. In the spring the boy was left with the squaws while the Indians again repaired to Gorham to obtain scalps and more prisoners. Young Knights found a way of escape, and passing within the site of the Indians, arrived in Gorham in season to give notice of their approach, which warning probably prevented an inhuman massacre. Tomahawks, arrow-heads, and other Indian relics have been discovered in different parts of the town.

The Party return to the Sandy River by a New Route

At the time appointed the party supplied themselves with batteaux, and ascended the Kennebec to the Cobosseconte Stream, (now Gardiner) – carried their batteaux around the falls, and followed the stream till they came to the Indian Great Carrying Place, which leads to Winthrop Great Pond, passed up this pond to South Pond, near Winthrop Place, which leads to Winthrop Great Pond, passed up this point to South Pond, near Winthrop Factory, carried to the pond near Readfield Corner, then proceeded up Bog Stream to Greeley’s Pond, and carried one mile to Crotchet Pond (Now Parker Pond). From Crotchet Pond they carried two miles to a pond west of the Ridge in Chesterville, (Norcross Pond) and followed its waters down the Little Norridgewock to Sandy River. They filled some trees on the lots they had previously selected, and after exploring the country to a greater extent than they had done on their first visit, descended the Sandy River to the Kennebec, and navigated that river and Merrymeeting Bay to their homes at Topsham.

From 1776 to 1781

From the date of the beginning described, this company with others, continued to make improvements in different parts of the town till 1781, when the first families removed into the Sandy River Valley. About this time another company came from the vicinity of Hallowell to explore, with a view of making a settlement on the Sandy River. The two parties formed an Association in Hallowell, Dec. 17 1777, known by the title of "The Proprietors of a Township on Sandy River". The Association afterwards became known as the firm of "Reuben Colburn and his Associates". At their meeting Ephraim Cowan was chosen Clerk, and arrangements were made for laying out a road to the township. James Cowan and Moses Aires were chosen a Committee to petition the General Court for the road. At the first attempt the petitioners failed to promote a grant in consequence of a supposition that the township would fall within the limits of the Plymouth Claim. IN the following season – July 28, 1778 – the Associates had a meeting to petition to the Plymouth Compnay, but as doubts respecting the title were entertained, they concluded not to petition, but made arrangements to open the road laid out the previous winter, from John Stearns’ land to the mill stream on which Titcomb’s (Walton’s) Mills now stand. The meetings of the Associates were generally held at Amos Pollard’s, in that part of Hallowell now Augusta, and their business was conducted by a clerk, treasurer, and a committee of three, who were chosen annually, and their expenses were paid by assessments on the rights of the township. After some verbal communications from Mr. Bowdoin, Chairman of the committee of the Proprietors of the Kennebec Purchase from the Colony of New Plymouth, it was voted, at a meeting held on the 24th of May, 1779, to make some proposals to Mr. Bowdoin on condition that he would give warrantee deeds, and Mr. Weston was chosen to make the proposition.

The Original Survey

It appears by a memorandum signed in Boston Oct 4 1779, by James Bowdoin, Daniel Jeffers, James Hewing and John Hancock, and from an alteration annexed, dated at Boston, March 3 1780, signed by Henry Allen, Proprietor’s Clerk, that the following arrangement was made with the Committee of the Proprietors of the Kennebec Purchase, by Reuben Colburn and his Associates, viz: - That the Associates should cause a survey to be taken of all that tract of land west of Kennebec River and north of the southerly line of Settler’s Lot No. 70, in the town of Vassalborough, now Sidney, and south of the mouth of Sandy River, and extending westerly fifteen miles: viz – The course of Kennebec River to be taken, then commencing at the mouth of Sandy River, to run a due west course fifteen miles, there to make a corner marked K. 15 M.; thence southerly two miles; thence varying the course so as to conform to the courses taken on the Kennebec River, until it strikes the Little Norridgewock Stream, there to be marker K. 15 M. To show that it is 15 miles from Kennebec River, on a west-north-west course; and from thence to the first mentioned bound. The ponds and rivers to be laid down on the field book, together with the growth of timber on the land, and the quality of the soil, and every thing of a remarkable nature, including the road laid out to the township which was to be surveyed from the rear of this tract of land, and the line of which to commence at the junction of the Little Norridgwock with the Wilson Stream – from thence to follow down the Wilson Stream to Sandy River, thence down the river about half a mile, from thence a due north course until it should intersect the fifteen mile line running west from Kennebec River, making the town about ten miles in its longest extent. The township was to be laid out in lots of two hundred acres, and two hundred and fifty acres, alternately, that is, first a lot of two hundred acres, then a lot of two hundred and fifty acres, and so on through the whole town, except on the Sandy River, where all the lots were to be of equal extent, - sixty rods on the river, and not to exceed one hundred and fifty acres; the whole to be laid out with as much equality as possible. One of the one hundred and fifty acre lots was to be for the first settled minister, and one of the two hundred acre lots to be for the use of the ministry, both to be marked M. The one hundred and fifty acre lots on the river were to be marked, first P for proprietors, next S for settlers, and so on, alternately, and two hundred and fifty acre lots were to be marked P for proprietors, and the two hundred acre lots S for settlers; first laying out a lot on the mill stream for encouraging the building of a gristmill and a sawmill for the accommodation of the inhabitants., not to exceed one hundred and fifty rods in width, and to run three hundred rods back from the river, if there should be room. An exact plan of the town was to be made out, and the plan, with the field-book to be returned to the Clerk of the Proprietors of the Kennebec Purchase, bu the tenth of the following May. The survey was to be at the expense of the Associates, if they were admitted as settlers on certain conditions. When the survey was completed and the return made according to directions, the Committee concluded to recommend to the owners to admit the applicants as settlers in the township. They were to obtain a written license from the owners, and with such as might associate with them, each select a settler’s lot, to which he was to be entitled after a residence of two years, and actually live on the premises himself during three years, or in a case of his death, his heirs or some one under them to complete the term of residence, he or some one under him likewise to reside on the premises seven years longer, and work on the ministerial lot, or on a house for the public worship of God, two days in a year for ten years, when required by the Committee of the Proprietors or their agent. – and also two days each year on the public roads till the lands should be incorporated into a town; each one likewise agreeing to submit in public affairs to the decision of the majority of the settlers at any public meeting regularly called. The settlers were to petition the owners, and the plan was to be made and returned by the 10th of May, 1780.

It appears that the survey was completed, and the returns made, agreeably to directions, in June 1780, by Joseph North Esq. But as it was considered somewhat doubtful whether the town would fall within the limits of the Plymouth Claim, no further measures were taken to obtain a title to the lands till after the Revolutionary War, when the boundaries were settled between the State and the Plymouth Company.

A front lot and a back lot making a right in the town, the settlers chose a Committee to couple them according to quality, and draw them by lot, on the 17th of May, 1780. Some, however, who had commenced improvements on particular lots were exempted from this mode of division, and permitted to retain the lots they had before selected. The result of drawing the lots were recorded in a book kept by the Clerk of the associates, and agreeably to a vote of the associates, all conveyances of lots were to be recorded by their Clerk in his book, which was admitted as evidence in the trial of the action, "Simeon Pane vs. Thomas and Timothy Johnson", in the Supreme Judicial Court, at the October Term, 1816, by the Court directing depositions to be taken some persons who were present when the lands were divided and the lots drawn, and also that the deposition of Solomon Adams, Esq, should be taken in perpetuam, identifying said book, confirming the records of that book, - he being the last Clerk of the Associates. This being done agreeably to the directions of the Court, the deposition recorded in teh Registry of Deeds for Kennebec County, and annexed to the book, it was directed that it should be lodged in the Town Clerk’s Office for the use of the town, and any person who may have occasion to use it in defense of his title.

In July, 1780, measures were taken to lay out and open a road from the head of Chandler’s Pond to Farmington, and to build a bridge over the Little Norridgewock Stream, and in the year following a contract was made to have one built over Wilson’s Stream. In 1782 a vote was passed to have the survey completed as soon as might be, the side lines of the lots not having been run when the plan of the town was made, the lots only having been fronted on the river, with the corners of the back lots marked on the range lines of the first survey.

First Mills Built in 1781

In was agreed by the Associates, July 4 1780, that Reuben Colburn and Stephen Pullen should build the mills at Sandy River, upon their giving bonds that it should be done by the first of August, 1781, and that they should be kept in repair seven years. The sawmill was first put in operation in Nov 1781, and the gristmill in the following August.

Meetings of the Associates

The first meeting of "Colburn and his Associates", held at Sandy River, was on the 15th of Oct, 1783, at the dwelling house of Samuel Butterfield, where their meetings were afterwards held as long as they continued to transact business in that capacity. At this meeting they chose Samuel Bullen, Moderator; Nehemiah Blodget, Clerk; Peter Corbet, Treasurer; and Reuben Colburn, Samuel Butterfield and Nathaniel Davis, Committee, - who were empowered to finish the survey in the most convenient possible manner for the Associates. The next meeting was held on the 12th of May, 1785, which was organized by choosing Samuel Butterfield, Moderator; Solomon Adams was chosen Clerk; Peter Corbet, Treasurer; and Samuel Butterfield, Solomon Adams and Nehemiah Blodget, Committee for that year. At this meeting they took measures to settle with Joseph North and Solomon Adams for the survey of the town, which had previously been completed. Samuel Butterfield, Church Brainard and Solomon Adams were chosen a Committee to dispose of lots on which the dividends had not been paid. This meeting was continued by adjourning to the first Wednesday in March, 1786, in the course of which period the Proprietors closed most of their business, and made an assessment of one pound on a right for the repair of roads, to be paid in labor at four shillings a day. Seth Greely and Church Brainard were chosen Surveyors to see it expended, and make returns to the Committee. Samuel Butterfield, Solomon Adams and Samuel Bullen were chosen Agents on matters relative to securing their titles; but it does not appear that anything decisive was done til Feb., 1790, or any records kept of the doings of the Associates.

Stephen Titcomb

We shall now trace the settlement of the town from the commencement in 1781, till the title was obtained in 1790, from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Stephen Titcomb, Esq., as has already been stated, commenced making improvements on the farm on which Capt. Gill now lives, in Sept, 1776, which he continued to enlarge till 1780, when he built a log house, having before lived in a temporary camp. – That season he raised some corn, potatoes and turnips. Having secured his corn in a crib, and his potatoes and turnips in the ground, he returned to Topsham. From Topsham he started with his family in the winter of 1781, intending to move immediately into his log house, but on account of the depth of the snow he was compelled to stop through the winter at Constant Norton’s in Readfield, near the spot now accupied by the Brick School House, his being the last house. In the spring he came up and got in his crop, and then went down after his family. On the road he met Joseph Brown and Nathaniel Davis, on the way, with their families, to the Sandy River. – Mr. Titcomb immediately returned with his family. The corn, which the fall before he had secured in a crib, was destroyed by bears while he was detained by the snow. His potatoes and turnips having kept well, the potatoes supplied seed for the settlers that year. The stock which Mr. Titcomb brought with him consisted of a yoke of oxen and three cows, which he provided for by pasturing them in the woods in the summer season, and by cutting meadow hay and raising oats for fodder in the winter. The nearest mill at this time was at Winthrop where the Factory now stands, about thirty miles distant. This circumstance subjected the settlers to great inconvenience, as the road was bad and the settlers were deficient in means of transportation. A sawmill, however, was put in operation as early as November, 1781, when Mr. Titcomb went up with his team to haul in timber to saw for the running gear for a gristmill. He staid all night and sawed a thousand feet of boards in the evening, being the first boards sawed on the Sandy River or any of its tributaries. The gristmill was set in operation in August following, which relieved the settlers from one of their greatest embarrasments, Mr. Titcomb built his first barn in April 1785, and his house in 1788, into which he moved in 1789. The Rev. Mr. Emerson preached the first sermon in the Valley of the Sandy River in Mr. Titcomb’s log house. Stephen Titcomb Jr., son of Mr. Titcomb, was born Nov. 4 1782, being the first white child born in the town. He died Sept 26 1830, Mrs. Titcomb was a native of Johnston, Rhode Island. She died Nov. 6 1839, at the age of ninety. Mr. Titcomb lived on the farm on which he first settled 59 years. In 1840 he sold his farm to Capt. Charles Gill, and removed to the village, where he was living in 1846 at the advanced age of ninety-three years. At that date he was the only survivor among the heads of the seven families who first spent the winter in the town.

Joseph Brown

Joseph Brown and Nathaniel Davis removed from Winthrop to this then uninhabited wilderness in May 1781. Their families were the first families who moved into the town, or anywhere this side of Readfield. Mr. Brown settled on the farm which in 1846 was owned by John Brooks and Loring Sweet. Having made but little preparation for the accommodation of a family, Mr. Brown erected a temporary camp, which answered his purpose till he became able to build a more substantial one. Mrs. Brown, whose maiden name was Mary Greely, was on of the six heads of families of the same name, and children of ______ Greeley, who early settled in this town. They were natives of Haverhill, Mass. Mrs. Brown being lame and there being only a path bushed out along the river, was under the necessity of riding on horseback, notwithstanding the many dangers of the road. Coming down a steep descent within a short distance of their destined residence, she was thrown over the horse’s head at the risk of her life. Mr. Brown built his first house on the intervale where it was surrounded by water to a considerable depth in the great freshet of 1785, when the family had to make their escape in a canoe during the darkness of night. After this he built another log house on the upland. He suffered severely by the loss of his crops in 1783, by a frost on the 9th of August. He put up the first framed barn in the upper part of the town in about 1787, the boards of which were fastened on by pegs. This was an invention not uncommon with the early settlers, and which answered a valuable purpose. He erected his house in 1793. Mr. Brown was born on the banks of the Merrimac, in Massachusetts. He served as a soldier in the French War, in which he was made partially a cripple through life, by the lodgement of a ball in his leg. The ball was never extracted. He came to the place poor, himself and wife partially crippled, but by persevering industry and strict economy they soon became clear of debt and independent, but from circumstances mostly beyond his control, he subsequently became reduced in circumstances and his farm was sold to John Patterson, from Damriscotta. About 1796, he removed to Industry, (then Plymouth Patent,) with his eldest son, Samuel Brown, where his wife soon after died, and the wife of his son likewise. The family having been broken up, he was supported by the town of Industry, where he died about 1810.

Nathaniel Davis

Mr. Davis, who as has been already stated, removed to Farmington in May, 1781, and who wife also was a Greely, settled on the farm now owned by Jacob Abbott, Esq. His situation was similar to that of Mr. Brown, he having made little or no preparation for the reception of a family. He, however, fitted up a camp which answered his purpose for a time. He afterwards erected a more substantial log dwelling. He subsequently became insane, and, inclining to foresake the society of his family and betake himself to the forest, he made the little eminence just south of the present residence of Rev. Samuel Abbott {since the Little Blue Family School} his principal abode. The eminence was then covered with a thick growth of spruce. He afterwards became quite rational. For about three years previous to 1793, Jeriah Blake lived with Mr. Davis and his wife, who had no children. Mr. Davis, about this time removed to the "Upper Town" – now Phillips – where his wife died. He afterwards resided in the family of Mr. Blake, in Temple. He was subject at times to partial insanity, and was afterwards supported by the town of Temple, where he died. Mr. Davis’ farm passed into the hands of Samuel Pool, who set up a tannery and continued business for some years. Mr. Pool was a soldier in the war of the Revolution and with his wife was living at advanced age in Mount Vernon, in 1846.

Jeriah Blake

About 1790 Jeriah Blake removed with his family from Augusta into this town, and took up his residence, as already state, with Mr. Davis. About 1793 he removed to the farm in Wilton, owned in 1846 by Adam Mott. Mr. Blake died at the residence of his son, John L Blake, in Phillips, July 14 1849, at the age of 89. He was an officer in the Revolutionary Army.

Enoch Craig

In June, 1781, Enoch Craig, Robert Kannady, Calvin Edson, and Gerret Burns came from that part of Hallowell now Augusta, for the purpose of viewing the country. Mr. Kannady had drawn a right in the town the year previous. Mr. Craig was a native of Wrentham, Mass. He early enlisted in the Continental service and served until 1780, when he left the army and came into this part of the country for the purpose of procuring land on which to settle. His brother Elias was then settled at Augusta. The party returned immediately, and in Sept. Mr. Craig with William Kannady came up and felled some trees on the farm which Joseph S Craig now lives, and on that known as the Heath Farm, on which Mr. Kannady settled. They found some bark peeled, of which they constructed a camp. Mr. Craig sowed two bushels of winter wheat in the fall of 1782, which was all winter killed. He sowed the same ground with spring wheat in 1783 and planted some corn which was all killed by the great frost in August. In 1785 he suffered considerable damage by the great freshet which flowed his hovel to a considerable depth, and injured his grain. Mr. Craig continued to make improvements and added to his farm the lot immediately above it. He erected a superior log house near the intervale. In the winter of 1789 he went to Augusta, with Dorothy Starling his intended wife, for the purpose of being married. There was then no one nearer who was authorized to solemnize marriages. Their intentions of marriage had been previously published at Augusta. He erected his framed barn about this time, but his house was not raised till 1795 or 1796. He possessed the universal confidence of his townsmen, and was elected on of the first selectmen, in which office he served some years. He was subsequently town treasurer, and held other responsible offices, all of which he filled with fidelity. He died Dec 10 1835, at the age of 77, and his wife died Feb 2 1829 at the age of 66.


William Kannady

William Kannady, as has been stated, commenced on what has since been called the Heath Farm, in 1781, where he made a permanent settlement. He erected a log house on the first rise from the intervale. In Jan 1788 his wife died. She was the third adult who had died in the town. Mr. Philip Davenport, who lived near the present site of Fairbank’s Bridge, lost a child a few days before, and they were both buried in what is called the Old Burying Ground, near the Center Bridge. This was the first Burying Ground in town. Mr. Kannady was afterwards married to Sarah Smith. They accompanied Mr. Craig to Hallowell for that purpose. He continued on the farm on which he first began til 1792, when he sold to Benjamin Heath, from Freetown Mass. Mr. H. Set up and carried on the blacksmithing business in connection with farming for some years. About 1817 he sold and removed with his sons to what is now Salem, and built the first mills in that place, where he died in 1826. Mr. Kannady removed to what is now Temple, and, after a number of removals he again settled in Farmington where he died in 1820, aged 57. His wife was living in 1846.

Solomon Adams

Solomon Adams, a native of Chelmsford (now Lowell, Mass) having served in the War of the Revolution from its commencement to near 1781, in the course of that year came to the Sandy River for the purpose of settling. He made some improvements on the farm on which Benjamin Adams now lives, and built a log house. At this time he brought his provisions from Chelmsford to Boston by land, from Boston to Hallowell by water, and from there to his destination on horseback. He lost his barn by fire, with all his effects, in 1788. He erected his first framed house in 1788, and married Hannah Butterfield about the same time. He was a practical surveyor, in which capacity he was of great use in the then new country. Mr. Adams held various offices in the militia, was early commissioned as Justice of the Peace, was chosen Town Clerk, Treasurer, and Select Man, in all of which offices he served for many years with credit to himself, and to the interest of the town. He was killed in Vienna by being thrown from his carriage, Nov 4 1833, at the age of seventy five. His wife was living in 1845 on the same farm, and was drawing a pension from the United States for the services of her husband in the War of the Revolution.

Nehemiah Blodget

Nehemiah Blodget begun on the farm known as the Brown Farm, in the lower part of the town, now owned by Daniel Beal, Jr. (George Gower) in 1780, where he made a permanent settlement and built the first framed house in Farmington, about 1785. The same house has since been fitted up and now stands on what was a part of the Tufts Farm, a little east of its former location. Mr. Blodget sold to a Mr. Ditson. Capt. Samuel Brown settled on this farm in 1801, and erected new buildings. He died in 1811. His widow, Susannah Brown, was living in 1846 at the advanced age of 94 years. Mr. Blodget soon left the place and little is known of his history.

Samuel & Jonas Butterfield

Samuel Butterfield and Jonas Butterfield removed from Dunstable, Mass, to Farmington in Nov 1781, bringing their families in a wagon. They came through Lewiston Monmouth, over a new road, where there was only a spotted line the spring previous. Samuel Butterfield settled on the lot now owned by Moses Butterfield. Having no buildings erected, he set up four crotches on which he laid poles and covered them with elm bark, which answered a valuable purpose for a dwelling house for some years, with the addition of a small framed building, the first of the kind put up in the town. These buildings were occupied by Mr. Butterfield til he built what was long called the Butterfield Red House, about 1789 (now white, and occupied by Moses Butterfield). Mr. Butterfield built the brick house now owned by Col. James Butterfield, in 1800, the first brick building erected in town. Mr. Butterfield was one of the three who purchased the town in 1790. He was chosen representative in 1808, and died in the same year at the age of 66. Prudence Butterfield, his youngest daughter, (now (1846) Widow Whittier, formerly Russell) born Feb 12 1784 is said to have been the first female born in town, but it appears by the records that she was the second, a Mr. Page having a daughter born in the winter of 1783. Jonas Butterfield settled on the farm now owned by David Ingham, where he died at an advanced age. The farm cleared by him passed to David Ingham, a son-in-law, and from him to the present occupant.

Jonathan Knowlton

Jonathan Knowlton 1st, moved into this town in 1781, from Damariscotta. He was a native of Ipswich, Mass., and settled on the farm now (1846) owned by Jonathan and Francis Knowlton. He built his first log house on the intervale, where it was surrounded by water in the great freshet in Oct 1785, to the depth of four feet. He was compelled to convey his family across the river in the night in a canoe, to a higher peak of intervale on which Francis Tufts had built a log house, which was all surrounded by water. Here they all remained in trembling anxiety, expecting to see the canoe sunk by the drift stuff which run without cessation from the low lands then in the process of clearing, til the last trip was made, and to their astonishment and joy all were safely landed. Mr. Knowlton soon after built a more substantial log building on the upland. He lived in this till about 1796 when he built a framed house. At this date he was in easy circumstances, though in the commencement of pioneer life his family suffered in common with many others, as is frequently the case in making new settlements so far in the wilderness. For the first year they were not favored with a chair or a table, and for the want of a mill had to hull corn and pound samp. Mr. Knowlton was one of the principal agents in the purchase of the township now New Vineyard. He was also the principal owner of the mills and machinery at Farmington Falls for a time. He died in 1819, at the age of 70. Samuel Knowlton, his second son, was born Jan 14, 1783, being the second male child born in town.

Peter Corbett

Peter Corbett brought his family into the new settlement from Winthrop in Jan 1782. Mr. Corbett was a native of Millford, Mass. He had moved his family from Millford to Winthrop the year previous. His family remained in Winthrop while he was making preparations for their residence in Farmington. He was one of the Associates, and drew the lot on which he settled. It was the south part of the farm now (1846) occupied and owned by Rufus Corbett and sons, on which he built the second framed house in town, in 1786. (This has been recently torn down) Mr. Corbett made the bricks for his chimney on his farm. He is supposed to have made the first bricks made in Farmington. Mr. Corbett made the seventh family that wintered in town in 1782. He was one of the first selectmen, in which office he acted for many years.

Francis Tufts

Francis Tufts, a native of Medford Mass, having married a daughter of Ebenezer Blunt and settled in Nobleborough in 1780, came on horseback to a Mr. Emerson’s on the farm since known as the Ingham Farm, at the foot of the Folsom Hill in Mount Vernon, from thence by a compass struck the Wilson Stream near the present location of the Whittier Bridge, and then traveled up as far as Strong, his object having been to explore the country. He purchased a possession of one Mr. Knights, the farm on which Samuel Daggett now (1846) lives, and continued to make improvements till Nov 1783, when he removed his family, together with Mr. & Mrs. Blunt, his wife’s parents. He was four days on the road. He brought his children in hanyards made of basket stuff, on horseback. He came some distance on the east side of the Kennebec, under the bank at low water to Pittston Ferry, there crossed, then had a road to Mount Vernon, and then followed a spotted line. They brought little more than their beds. Mr. Tufts had erected a log house which he covered with elm bark and floored with hewn basswood planks and made partitions of lumber of the same description. The jambs and back were of hemlock. He cut the first English hay, though Mr. Titcomb raised the first corn and grain. His corn was injured by the frost on the 9th of August 1783, yet he saved his red corn. Mr. Blunt died in 1784, the first instance of the death of an adult in the town. Mr. Tufts built the first mills at the Falls in 1788, sold one half to Mr. Jones in 1790, and he built his framed house on the intervale in 1791, and his barn previously to that time, and his brick house on the road in 1800. He was one of three who purchased the town in 1790. He sold his farm and removed to the upper part of the town about 18__, and subsequently to his son’s, near the old farm, when he relinquished business. On the death of his wife he went to the State of Ohio, in 1831, where in died in Oct 1834, at the age of 93 years.

Jesse and William Gould

Jesse and William Gould removed from Dunstable, Mass., in 1782. Jesse settled on the farm now owned by Ira Armsby, and married with _____ Starling. They sold in 1837 and removed to Ohio, with their son, where both have since died. William Gould settled on the farm where Daniel Sewall now lives, and where he died. He was appointed Adjutant in the Militia soon after it was organized on the Sandy River, and subsequently held the office of Brigadier General. He represented the town in the General Court of Massachusetts in 1822, and died at his residence some years since.

Benjamin Weathern

In 1783 Benjamin Weathern, from Nobleborough, made a beginning on the farm now owned by his son, of the same name. Here he subsequently made a settlement, and died of Cold Fever about 1814.

Reuben Lowell

Reuben Lowell, from Kingston, Mass., also settled about 1783 on the west side of the river, where Samuel Lowell now lives. He was a man of intelligence, and filled several responsible offices in the early settlement of the country. He died in Chesterville.

Jesse Butterfield

Jesse Butterfield, formerly of Dunstable, Mass., was also among the settlers of 1783. He settled on the farm adjoining Mr. Lowwell’s, where Nathaniel Greenwood now lives. (Zina Greenwood) Here he lived to the advanced age of ninty to enjoy the liberality of his country for the services he had rendered in the War of the Revolution. He died March 7, 1842.

Robert Gower

Robert Gower moved his family from Topsham in 1783. He was a native of England, and his wife was from Johnstown, R.I. He settled on the farm adjoining Mr. Titcomb’s, where he began to make improvements in 1776, and where he made a permanent settlement in 1782. He died Aug. 26, 1806 at the age of 84. His wife died in New Sharon, Jan 15, 1836 at the age of 91.

Joseph Greely; Zacheus Mayhew; Hartson Cony

In the course of the year 1783 Joseph and Seth Greely, with their father, moved to Farmington from Winthrop. Joseph settled on the lot now owned by Mr. Stoyell and others, and on which a large portion of the Center Village is now situated. He purchased the possession of a Mr. Snow, who had made a temporary beginning. Mr. G. Made considerable improvements, and built the first framed barn in the neighborhood in 1788. He sold to Zacheus Mayhew, a native of Martha’s Vineyard, about 1791. He removed to Pond Town – now Belgrade – where he died some years since. Mr. Mayhew built a large house in 1792, and made considerable improvements, and soon after sold to Hartson Cony, a native of Easton, Mass., and commenced improvements on the farm now owned by Abraham Johnson. He subsequently removed to Nobleborough, where he died. Mr. Cony was naturally a businessman, and was one of the first who became retailing merchants in Farmington. He afterwards sold to Ebenezer Sweet. He died in Canada.

Seth Greely

Seth Greely, with his father, settled on the farm now (1846) owned by Enoch C Belcher and Hiram Belcher, and continued to make improvements till 1790, when he sold to Supply Belcher, and soon after, with his father, removed to Phillips, where his father died. He removed in 1818, with his son Moses Greely, to Ohio, his wife having died at Phillips. He has since died.

Supply Belcher

Mr. Belcher was a native of Stoughton, Mass. He removed to that part of Hallowell, now Augusta, from which place he removed his family to the farm before owned by Mr. Greely, in the winter of 1791. He acted as agent for the inhabitants of the then Plantation in procuring the act of incorporation in 1794, and was the first Town Clerk, and afterwards one of the Selectmen. He represented the town in the General Court of Massachusetts at different periods. He early held a commission of Justice of the Peace, and was one of the principal acting magistrates till near his death. He died in 1836, aged 84.

Simeon Russ

Simeon Russ, in the course of the year 1783, settled on the farm now owned by Samuel Stanley, whose family is said to have been the first that moved above Joseph Brown’s. He subsequently removed to the farm now occupied by Joseph Riant, and afterwards to the upper lot in the town, now occupied by James Wellman, where he made some improvements, erecting temporary buildings, and after losing his wife emigrated to Canada. The farm on which Mr. Russ first settled passed into the hands of Jason D Cony, where he made a settlement about 1794, and built the first mill in the upper part of the town, in connection with Robert Jones.

Joseph Sylvester; Benjamin Butler

Joseph Sylvester settled on the farm now owned by Thomas Hunter, sold to Benjamin Butler who was from Martha’s Vineyard, in 1790, and commenced on the other side of the river. Mr. Butler conveyed to his son, from whom it passed into the hands of Mr. Hunter. Mr. Butler was a house joiner by trade, and took the lead in building most of the first dwelling houses on the river. He died in Avon.

Joseph Holland. First Marriage

Joseph Holland made a settlement on the farm on which the upper part of the Center Village is situated, about 1783. He built a temporary house near the intervale. It is said that the first marriage solemnized in Farmington was in this house, while it was without a floor. Joseph Battle and Eunice Maloon were joined in marriage by Dummer Sewall, Esq. Of Bath. They were served with a good quarter of baked lamb, but had no knives excepting those they carried with them.

Mr. Holland sold to John Church in 1790, and removed to the other side of the river, and from there to No. 1 – now Temple, being one of the first settlers in that town.

John Church

Mr. Church moved his family from Augusta to Farmington in company with Mr. Belcher, in the winter of 1791. The winter before he had worked in company with Josiah Blake, at his trade, in Solomon Butterfield’s old log house, on the western side of the river. Mr. Church with his family went into a log house which had been built by Mr. Holland, which was his second log house and stood ont he hill, a few feet north of where the Church house now stands. The Old Church House was built by Mr. C. In 1793 or 1794. This was the first house on the rise where the village now is, the whole neighborhood being an unbroken forest except a small tract around this house. Mr. Church had caused a shop to be put up the season before, in which he commenced business as a blacksmith, which business he continued to carry on in connection with farming. Soon after he opened a public house, which was the first tavern in town. He removed to what is now Salem, in connection with his son Samuel Church, and afterwards returned to his former residence. He was a native of Kiniston, Conn and died March 12 1838 at the age of 85 years. His wife, whose maiden name was Susannah Cony, was from Easton, Mass. She died May 6 1844, at the advanced age of 88 years.

Reuben Page – E. Sweet – Micah Weathern – B. Blackstone

About 1784 Reuben Page settled on the lot afterwards owned by Ebenezer Sweet. On this lot the southerly part of the Center Village is now located. Mr. Page early removed from the place, and little is known of his history. It appears by the Records that he had a daughter born in the winter of 1783, the first female born in the town. Mr. Sweet was from Attleborough Mass, and succeeded Mr. Page some time previous to 1784. He commenced the first tannery in town in 1785. It was situated near the present site of the Congregationalist Meeting-house. He afterwards enlarged his farm by the purchase of the lot adjoining on the north. He died Nov 4 1835, at the age of 96. His wife, Desire Sweet, died Dec. 12 1839, at the age of 95. Mr. And Mrs. Sweet were of industrious habits and attained a competency of the conveniences of life by their own industry and economy. A "felled piece", about where the Congregational Meeting House now stand, was first planted late in June by Mrs. Sweet, with a caseknife for the want of a more suitable instrument of husbandry. From the corn thus planted they gathered a plentiful harvest. This was one of their first helps. In 1781, or 82, Micah Weathern visited the Sandy River region for the purpose of settlement. He commenced on the lot now owned by Amasa Corbett, and soon after exchanged with Benjamin Blackston and moved to Middle Town, now Strong. Mr. Blackston dying, Lydia Blackston, his widow, became the owner in the right of her husband, from who it passed to Peter Corbett, who had settled on the lot joining it on the south.

Reuben Butterfield

Reuben Butterfield came from Dunstable, Mass. While a single man, in 1781, with Samuel Butterfield, and made a temporary stay. He, however, returned to his native place, but after a stay of a year or two, he returned again to the Sandy River and recommenced improvements or purchased a new possession of Abraham Page. This was the farm now owned by Thomas Lewis and Alfred Bradford, and which soon after passed into the hands of Joseph Bradford. Mr. Butterfield then purchased of Moses Chandler, who had previously commenced on the farm where he now (1846) resides, in the family of Geo. Wheeler, on the west side of the river.

Moses Chandler

After selling his first lot to Mr. Butterfield, Mr. C. Purchased the lot adjoining, now owned by his son, Moses Chandler. This he purchased of a Mr. Kinney, from Hallowell, who had made some improvements. Mr. Kinney’s crops having been injured by the frost he became discouraged and return to his native place. Mr. Chandler was chosen Captain of the south company of militia, when it was organized, and he was the second Colonel who commanded the regiment first organized on the Sandy River. He represented the town in the General Court of Massachusetts in 1806. He died some twenty years since. His wife is still living.

Joseph Bradford – Indian Cruelty – Wonderful Escape

Joseph Bradford was from Meduncook, now Friendship, in this State. His wife, formerly Abigail Starling, with her sister Dorothy, afterwards Mrs. Craig, - came from Friendship on horseback, but as they had one of Mrs. B’s children to transport they could only ride by turns, - the one riding taking charge of the child. The road then was only a spotted line bushed out. During the French and Indian War of 1755 the parents of Mr. Bradford were inhumanly murdered by the Indians. They, with others equally enterprizing, had located themselves in what was then the new and thinly settled portion of the State known as Meduncook, and already had their labors been crowned with success. But the din of war, with its attendant perils, broke in upon their peaceful toils. A garrison was speedily erected and the various families removed there. Mr. B., residing but a short distance from the fort, and directly in view from it, he did not deem it necessary to remove, supporting that if alarmed they could easily reach its protecting shelter. One morning while Mr. B. Was engaged in pounding corn – a simple process of obtaining meal, a party of Indians was seen from the garrison to be approaching the house. An alarm gun was soon fired, but owing to the noise of the mortar it not heard by the inmates, and the Savages were not perceived till they entered the dwelling. They immediately dispatched Mr. And Mrs. B. A daughter of some twelve or fourteen years of age, who had sought a momentary concealment, sprung from under the bed, and caught the infant as it fell unharmed from the mother’s arms, and fled through the open door for the garrison. The Indians pursued, but not being able to overtake her, threw a tomahawk, which inflicted a deep wound in her side. But the heroic girl, clasping the babe more firmly with one hand, and with the other prevented her intestines from falling to the ground, and in this situation she reached the garrison. She recovered from the wound and subsequently married and removed to Vermont, where she became the mother of a family of children. The Indians succeeded in capturing two of Mr. B’s brothers, being young lads, and carried them to Canada. They were afterwards exchanged, but deceptively detained in the State of New York, but eventually reached home, after a lapse of some time, through a train of providential circumstances.

Isaac Teague, Isaac Page, Samuel Keen, S Blake

Not long after 1782, Isaac Teague settled on the farm now owned by Francis and Peter P Tufts, from who it passed to Francis Tufts 2nd., the father of the present occupants, in about 1790. About the same time Isaac Page settled near the center of the town, on the lot afterwards owned by Jedediah Thomas and others, on the west side of the river. He left the town at an early day and little is known of his history. Samuel Keen commenced a settlement on the farm now occupied by Williams Adams, prior to 1784, and Samuel Bullen from Hallowell – who was one of the Associates – on the Case Farm, soon after. Mr. K afterwards sold to Solomon Adams Esq., and went to Curvo – now Phillips – whre he afterwards died.

Philip Davenport; John Huston; John Austin

Phillip Davenport settled about 1783, just below where Fairbanks’ Bridge now stands, near Jones’ Rock, on the Mill Lot. He soon left and followed by Robert Jones. John Huston, from Dunstable, Mass., removed from Sidney about this time, and settled on the farm now owned by Jeremiah and Ephraim S. Butler. He made his first clearing on the intervale, where he erected a log house. He made a clearing on that part of his farm where the village at Backus’ Corner now stands, and where he built a log house in 1792. He died in 1794. His first wife was one of the Greely family. John Austin removed from Brunswick in 1784, and settled on the west side of the river, opposite the center of the town. He was the first sexton in the town, in which capacity he served many years. He was a soldier in the French War of 1755, was at the taking of Quebec under Gen. Wlof, and also served as a soldier in the Revolutionary War. Mrs. Austin was a native of Cape Ann, and was generally known to the first settlers on the Sandy River as a doctress, in which capacity she rendered the inhabitants essential service for many years. There was no settled physician in this section of the country till about 1792.

Jacob Eaton

Jacob Eaton removed his family from Bristol to Farmington in Oct 1784. He settled on the farm now owned by Thomas M. Davis, The Greenwoods, and others, known as the Mill lot. He purchased the mill built by Colburn and Pullen, with his brother – Joseph Eaton – who sold his half to Moses Starling, about two years after, and returned to his former residence. Mr. Jacob Eaton attended to farming as well as to carrying on the mills, which were rebuilt and considerably improved by him and Mr. Starling. He erected framed buildings prior to 1790. In 1791 he went to the Province of New Brunswick, where he drowned at St. John’s Falls, Nov 18 1791. Mr. William Thorn, father of Mrs. Eaton, an elderly gentleman, who came with Mrs. Eaton’s family, died in the fall of 1786 – the second death in the town. Mr. Thorn was from Topsham, where he suffered severely in the French and Indian War of 1755. He lost an arm and had a son scalped by the Indians. He was buried near the Center Bridge, in what is now called the Old Burying Ground. Mrs. Eaton died in 1804, at the age of 64.

Moses Starling

Moses Starling came from Bristol to this town in Sept 1786, and commenced on the farm now improved by the widow of the late Lemuel Perham. His family remained in Bristol till 1788. He soon after purchased half of the mills formerly known as Starling’s Mills – of Joseph Eaton. He carried on the mills in connection with his farm. He was the most efficient carpenter in the place for some years. He received a commission as Justice of the Peace, in 1790, which was the first held in town. He was also the Postmaster, and the first Town Treasurer. He died in Oct 1809 aged 62. Mrs. S. Died in 1814 age 75.

Samuel Sewall

About 1786 Samuel Sewall settled in Farmington. He located himself where John Morrison now lives, at the lower extremity of the town. He commenced tanning on his place – being one of the first tanners in the town. He built the house now occupied by Mr. Morrison some time previous to this date. Mr. Sewall became an acceptable preacher and sold to Mr. Morrison about 1805, after which he devoted himself to the duties of the ministry in different places.

Amos and Ezekiel Page....Ebenezer Norton

Amos Page and Ezekiel Page, his father, settled in 1786 on the farm now owned by George W. And Samuel B Norton. They erected a temporary building below the ridge, near the intervale. They sold to Ebenezer Norton Esq., who removed from Edgartown, Mass., and built the house now owned by Geo. W Norton, and a barn under the hill, in 1791. He was chosen Representative in 1804, and died the same year.

Thomas Hiscock; Benj. Whittier; Ephraim and D B Cowan

Thomas Hiscock removed in 1787 from Damariscotta and settled on the farm now owned by Hiram and Caleb Butterfield, on the west side of the river. Here he resided many years, and on this farm he died. Mrs. Hiscock died in 1846. Benj. Whittier, in this or the following year, removed from Readfield and settled on what is now called the Whittier Farm, on the west side of the river, and adjoining Chesterville. He was from New Hampshire. He died about 1822. Ephraim Cowan, formerly of Dunstable, Mass., removed wit his family, from Augusta, in 1788, and settled on the lot now owned by Dr. Flint and others, with his son David B Cowan. There were the first settlers in that neighborhood. Mr. Cowan was one of the Associates and had taken an active part in the purchase and settlement of the town, previously to his removal into it. He was the first Clerk of the Associates. He served as a soldier during most of the French War. He died June 9 1797. David B Cowan made the first beginning on what is now called Cowan Hill about 1800, where he moved five years after. He died in 1830.

Lemuel Perham; Eliphalet and Oliver Bailey; J. F. Woods

In March, 1788 Lemuel Perham 1st, Eliphlet Bailey, Oliver Bailey, and John F. Woods 1st removed from Dunstable, Mass. They brought their families and effects with ox teams, and arrived in Farmington the 3rd day of April, having been twenty-three days on the road. They were impeded by the want of snow in the first part of their journey, and in the latter part by the falling of the snow to an unusual depth. It was with great difficult that they could make any progress on the road. The three former settled in the easterly part of the town, in the Bailey Hill neighborhood, they being the first settlers in that section of the town, excepting one Joseph Ralph, who had commenced on the farm know owned by Richard Parker, some few years before. Mr. Ralph occupied his lot along till 1792 or 3, when he sold to Peter West and removed to what is now Starks. Mr. W. Sold to Zachariah Norton, soon after, from who it passed to William Parker Esql, who died about 1840, and left it to the present occupant.

Hartwell; E. Jennings; A Smith; S Stowers; J. F. Woods

A Mr. Hartwell, Eliphalet Jennings, Abraham Smith, and Samuel Stowers settled in the more easterly part of the town soon after 1788. Mr. Jennings and Mr. Smith are still living not only to enjoy the fruits of their persevering industry in cultivating the wilderness, but the bounty of their country for their early services in the Revolutionary War, in the establishment of our independence. Deacon Woods settled on the farm now owned by Nathaniel Woods, in the southerly part of the town. He was one of the first settlers in that section. He was one of the first to enter into church relations in the town, from the date of which event, till his death, he filled the office of Deacon. He was for many years one of the Selectmen. He died in 1815, at the age of 62. His wife – Mary Woods – survived till Oct 1844, when she died at the advanced age of 95 years.

Silas Gould, and Others

Silas Gould – since known as Col. Gould – removed from Dunstable, Mass., and settled on the farm now owned by John A Gould, in the westerly section of the town in 1786. He was the first settler on a back lot. He purchased a right in what was then called Tyngtown – now Wilton – where he afterwards removed to make the necessary settlement. -Eli Brainard settled on the farm now owned by Leonard M Hiscock, at an early date. He left for the South soon after 1791. –Ephraim Butterfield 1st, and 2d, Josiah and Jonas Green, Samuel Chandler, and Samuel Knowlton were among the early settlers in the same section of town. –John Rice settled about this time on a farm now owned by J.S. Ellis. He afterwards sold to Jonathan Cushman, from the vicinity of New Bedford, Mass. Mr. C. Died in 1834, at the age of 79. In 1789 Peter Gay, a native of Stoughton Mass., removed his family from Meduncook, now Friendship, and settled on the west side of the river, on the farm now owned by Benj. Dutton. His sons, Elisha and Jabez, had worked in the place the previous year. Mr. Gay was a blacksmith, and he carried on both farming and blacksmithing successfully. He built the first framed barn in that vicinity about 1790. Elisha Gay soon after began to clear the farm now owned by Hiram Gay, where he made a permanent settlement, and where he died in 1842, at the age of 74. Samuel Briggs settled near the same place on the farm now owned by Peter R. Tufts. He sold to Nathaniel Hearsey in 1796, and removed to No. 1 – now Temple – being one of the first settlers in that town.

Settlers on the west side of the River

David Wentworth, Hugh Cox, Joseph Riant, Adin Briggs, and Benj. Handy settled about 1789 on the front lots on the west side of the River. Mr. Cox put up the first framed house in the upper part of the town soon after. Leaving the place soon after, the house remained unfinished for a few years, after which it was fitted up by Isaac Powers, who made the first permanent settlement on the lot now owned by Samu’l York and others.

Ezekiel Porter; Porter’s Hill

Ezekiel Porter and Gershom Collier were the first two who settled on what is now Porter’s Hill. Having previously made a small beginning on the farm now owned by Rial Gleason, Mr. Porter removed from Augusta about 1790, and Mr. Collier settled the year following on the same tract, and afterwards on the farm now owned by Wm. Tuck. Zebulon True commenced immediately after, still farther north, and Jabez Gay on the farm on which he now lives, to the south. Col. Porter was a native of Groton, Mass. He settled at Augusta in early life, and went into the mercantile business, in which he failed. After his removal to Farmington he entered largely into the business of farming, which he carried on, perhaps on a larger scale than has ever been attempted by any one else in this section of the State. Beginning as he did, the business of clearing land was largely prominent in his operations. He entered into the business of retailing goods in 1803, first at his residence and afterwards at the Starling Village. He traded largely for a new place for several years. At the organization of the militia, he was chosen Captain, and soon after promoted to the command of the regiment. He was twice chosen Representative to the General Court of Mass., and he served several years as one of the Selectmen of the Town. He left this State and went to New York, and settled near the city in 1812 or 13, where he died some years since.

Settlers in Holly Neighborhood; Thos Wendell

Joseph Battle made the first beginning in what is called the Holly Neighborhood, near where Thomas Wendell now lives, about 1790, or 91. He erected the first framed barn in 1793. He died about 1795. Wm. Allen from Martha’s Vineyard, settled immediately after Mr. Battle, in the same neighborhood, on what is called the Allen Place, and son followed by John Holly 1st, Hugh Stewart and Jonathan Butler from the same place. Thomas Wendell Esq settled on the place where he now lives, about 1794. Capt. Allen subsequently removed to what is now Industry, then Plymouth Patent. He was one of the first settlers in that place. James Rowings settled farther back at a subsequent period. Mr. Wendell is the only survivor of the first settlers. Peter Norton, From Edgartown, Mass., made the first beginning on the farm now owned by Joseph Titcomb, on the Industry Road – in 1791. He put up a log house and moved into it in the fall of that year – his being the first family on that road. His wife, whose maiden name was Betsey Beetle, died the winter following. He soon after settled in New Portland, where he died.

Joseph Fairbanks

Joseph Fairbanks, from Winthrop, made the first chopping on the farm now owned by James Norton, in June 1792, and Abram Smith, from Martha’s Vineyard, commenced on the Backus Farm, now owned by Capt. Wm. Cothren, the same season. Mr. Smith never made a permanent settlement, having been killed at sea, soon after, by a fall from the mast-head. Col. Fairbanks continued to make improvements, put up the present buildings, and set out the first orchard in town. He subsequently sold to Timothy Smith, when he removed to the Eaton Farm, and from there to the upper part of the town, where he built the mills known as Fairbanks’ Mills. He engaged in trading and farming in connection with his mill and continued to do a large amount of business till near his death. He was killed by a fall from his wagon, Sept 12 1831. Col. Fairbanks was a useful and enterprizing citizen, held office in the Militia some fifteen years, was for some time one of the Selectmen of the town, and he likewise represented the own in the General Court of Mass. In 1819. In 1823 and 1824 he was chosen senator from Kennebec Senatorial District to the Legislature of this State.

Settlers in 1793 and 1794

Zacheus Mayhew made the first beginning on the farm now owned by Abraham Johnson in 1793, and Rufus Allen on the farm now owned by Dennis Allen, in 1794, and Peter Norton about the same time on the north part of the same lot. John Tufts settled on the old Backus Farm a short time previous, and Isaac Perkins and Otis Foster on the farm now owned by Uzziel Weeks and others. Mr. Perkins soon removed to the river at the upper part of the town. It is to him and Rufus Allen that we are mostly indebted for our first and early start in orcharding. They furnished most of the trees in town from nurseries of their own planting. In 1790 or 91 many of the first settlers in the middle and upper sections of the town were disposed to sell and go back to still newer settlements. Other came in, among whom were Benj Butler, Elvaton Parker, Peter West, Elijah Butler, and Abiatha Green.

Barter Trade Exports

During this period most of the business was done by exchange of articles. Corn and grain at first, and afterwards neat stock, were the staple commodities produced by the farmers, and most of the paper taken was for specific articles of this character, at a stated marker or cash price, as might be agreed upon. In 1791, Mr. Brown received a silver dollar – silver being the only money in circulation – in payment for the labor of himself and team for a day, which he observed, was the first dollar he received for the ten years he had lived in the place. At this period considerable quantities of corn and grain were hauled to Hallowell, the nearest market, and exchanged for such commodities as were needed by the inhabitants; a trade which continued for many years, while the new lands were being cleared. Since this, grass seed, beef, store cattle, sheep and wool have become the chief articles of export. The potato crop has almost invariably been abundant, until affected by the rot the last year, but the situation is too far in the interior to afford a profit by transportation to market. Should the potato rot cease, however, it is thought they will afford a profit to the producer by being manufactured into starch. From the sugar maple considerable quantities of sugar and syrup have been produced and were sufficient attention paid to the subject a liberal supply might be made for many of the inhabitants, and in many instances a surplus might be furnished. In 1791, being 10 years from the first settlement, there were about 85 families in the town.

Question of Proprietorship Settled

Previous to the winter session of the General Court of Massachusetts for 1790, the boundary line between the Plymouth Company and the State Lands had been settled by agreement that the boundary of the former should begin at the mouth of the Wisserunset Stream, which empties into the Kennebec just below Skowhegan Falls, in Milburn, running from thence due north, three miles, thence west twenty miles, thence southerly to agree with the courses of the Kennebec. A survey having been taken by Samuel Titcomb Esq., it found that this town would fall without the Plymouth Claim. A meeting of the inhabitants was held at the house of Samuel Butterfield for the purpose of petitioning the General Court to obtain a title to their land. It was agreed to petition jointly, that the Colburn Associates who had settled on settler’s lot should be used as they were to have been used under the Plymouth Company, and that the settlers on the proprietor’s lots should be used as other settlers were on State lands. Samuel Butterfield and Benj. Whittier were chosen agents on the part of the proprietors of the settler’s lots, and Francis Tufts on the part of the settlers on the lots reserved for the proprietors of the Kennebec Purchase, agreeably to the arrangement made with them by Reuben Colburn and his Associates. This Committee attended the General Court at the winter session of 1790, and obtained the following Resolve in favor of the inhabitants, and granting the residue of the unsettled lands to Dummer Sewall, Francis Tufts, and Samuel Butterfield.


Commonwealth of Massachusetts

In Senate , February 4th, 1790

Whereas, the proprietors of the Kennebec Purchase. By their Committee, on the fourth day of October, 1779, under the apprehension that the tract now called the Sandy River Lower Township, belonged to said proprietors, did enter into an agreement or contract respecting the land contained in said township, with Reuben Colburn and his Associates, wherein the said Associates on their part agreed to survey and lay out said township, divide same into lots, mark the lots for settlers with the Letter S., and the lots to be reserved for said proprietors with the Letter P., and return a plan there of to the Clerk of said Proprietors, and within a certain time to settled said township, make improvements therein, clear roads &c; and in consideration thereof the said Committee, in behalf of said Proprietors, on their part agreed that the said Reuben Colburn and his Associates, should hold all the lots in said township marked with the letter S, in the said plan returned, a duplicate whereof accompanies this Resolve.

And whereas it appears to the Court, that said Reuben Colburn and his Associates have complied with the said agreement, on their part, and would have been entitled to the several lots in said township marked with the letter S., if said township had really belonged to the said Proprietors. But whereas it now appears that the lands in said Township are the property of this Commonwealth, and inasmuch as considerable advantage has resulted to said Commonwealth from the settlement of said Township by said Associates; and in order that said Associates may not be disturbed in the possession of their settlements:

Therefore, Resolved, That there be, and hereby is, granted and confirmed unto the said Reuben and his Associates aforesaid, their heirs and assigns, all the lots in said plan marked with the letter S., together with the Mill Lot in said Township, so called, as tenants in common, excepting such lots as have already been drawn to the Associate, his heirs and assigns accordingly.

And it is further resolved, that there be, and hereby is granted and confirmed to Dummer Sewall of Bath, Esq., Francis Tufts and Samuel Butterfield, of Sandy River, aforesaid, yeomen, their heirs and assigns, all the rest and residue of said Township, on the following conditions, and with the following reservations: viz – That the said Dummer, Francis, and Samuel shall quit the settlers hereafter named, who settled in said Township before the first day of January, 1784; viz: Benjamin Weathren, William Gould, Reuben Lowell, Jonathan Knowlton, William Gower, John Austin, Simeon Russ, John Huston, Enoch Craig, Joseph Sylvester, Joseph Holland, Ebenezer Sweet, Abram, Page, William White, Samuel Keen, Lydia Blackstone, Stephen Titcomb, Robert Gower, and Francis Tufts, by granting to each of them to hold in fee one hundred acres of land, to be laid out as will best include his or her improvements, and be least injurious to the adjoining lands, upon the receipt of thirty shillings from each settler, to be paid by each within nine months from this date. And also shall quit the settlers hereafter named who settled in said Township after the first day of January, 1784, viz. – Josiah Blake, Samuel Ames, Samuel Briggs, Joseph Riant, Hugh Cox, David Wentworth, Joseph Bradford, Benjamin Handy, Isaac Powers, Abram Page, Silas Gould, Samuel Chandler, Ephraim Cowen, Noah Billington, Susannah Davenport, Isaac Teague, Abram Smith, Joseph Ralph, and Oliver Bailey, by granting to each of them to hold in fee, one hundred acres of land, to be laid out as will best include his or her improvements and be least injurious to the adjoining lands, upon the receipt of six pounds from each settler, to be paid within nine months from this date. Reserving, however, four lots of three hundred and twenty acres each, for public uses, viz. – one for the first settled minister, one for the use of the ministry, one for the use of schools in said Township, and one for the future appropriation of the General Court, to be laid out near the center of said Township, and to average in goodness with the other lots therein; and on condition that the Dummer Sewall, Francis Tufts, and Samuel Butterfield shall pay or give sufficient security to pay to the Committee on the subject of unappropriated lands in the Counties of York, Cumberland and Lincoln, or to the successors in office, for the use of the Commonwealth, the sum of four hundred pounds in specie, within the space of one year from the time of passing this Resolve, which committee upon the receipt of said sum of four hundred pounds, or sufficient secuirty therefor, are hereby empowered to make and execute a good and lawful deed to the said Dummer, Francis and Samuel, their heirs and assigns, of the land granted to them in this Resolve, on the conditions, and with the reservations therein contained.

Sent down for concurrence. Thomas Daws, President Pro Tem

In the House of Representatives, February 4th, 1790.

Read and concurred David Cobb, Speaker

A True Copy, Attest, John Avery, Jun, Secretary

The aforesaid Sewall, Tufts, and Butterfield gave security to the satisfaction of the Committee and received a Deed before they returned home. Although the purchase of the town was not entirely to the satisfaction of the inhabitants, yet they complied with the provisions of the Resolve, and received titles to their lands agreeably to the conditions therein specified.

Town Incorporated.

From this time till 1794, when the town was incorporated the settlers had no particular mode of transacting public business. They were never organized as a Plantation, but proceeded in regard to roads, schools, &c, as individuals were disposed to associate. In the later part of 1793, the inhabitants at a meeting held for that purpose, agreed to petition to be incorporated agreeably to the original survey of the town; and Supply Belcher Esq., was agreed upon to attend the General Court at its next session, with the Petition, which was signed by most of the inhabitants. He accordingly attended, and obtained an act of incorporation, which was signed by Samuel Adams, then Lieutenant Governor and Acting Governor of Massachusetts, on the 1st day of February, 1794, incorporating the Plantation of Sandy River, with the inhabitants thereof, into a town by the name of Farmington. The name was given to the town by Col. Porter, by the consent of the inhabitants. The Act thus bounds the town:



"Beginning at a maple tree marked, on the easterly side of the Sandy River, and near the same, at the south-east corner of said Plantation, then running north eight miles and fifty-six rods to a beech tree marked; thence west five mile and two hundred rods to a bass tree marked, then south two miles, thence south thirteen degrees east three miles, thence south thirty-five degrees east two miles one hundred and fourteen rods to a hemlock tree marked, thence north sixty-seven degrees east one mile one hundred and ninety rods to the junction of the Little Norridgewock with the Wilson Stream to a birch tree marked K. 15M 1780, thence north forty-nine degrees east one mile and ninety rods to the Sandy River, thence down the Sandy River to the first mentioned bound – estimated to contain 27,000 acres."

The last course has been so altered as to make the Wilson Stream the line, which varies but little from the former course. The beech tree marked, first mentions stands a few feet from the original corner made by North in 1780, for the corner of the Plymouth Claim, marked K. 15 M. On a small birth tree, denoted 15 miles from the Kennebec River. Stone monuments have since been erected at the several corners and angles of the town, and in most cases on the roads.


By the Act of Incorporation Wm. Reed Esq. of Middle Town, now Strong, was authorized to call the first meeting of the inhabitants for the choice of such town officers as towns are required to choose in the month of March or April annually, by directing a warrant to some one of the principal inhabitants of the Plantation for that purpose. On the 15th of March a warrant was issued by Mr. Reed to Moses Starling Esq., requiring him to notify the inhabitants to meet at the dwelling house of Thomas Flint – now Wm. Marvel’s – in said town, on Monday the 7th day of April, 1794, at 10 o’clock, A.M., for the choice of Town, County, and State officers. The meeting was organized by the choice of Solomon Adams for Moderator, and Supply Belcher for Town Clerk. Peter Corbett, Ezekiel Porter, and Enoch Craig were chosen Selectmen; Moses Starling, Treasurer, and Benjamin Whittier, Constable and Collector.


Farmington was represented in the General Court for the first time, in 1798, by Supply Belcher Esq. In 1799 the town was represented by Col. Ezekiel Porter, and in 1800 by Stephen Titcomb Esq. In 1809 the town being entitled to two Representatives, Supply Belcher Esq. and Nathan Cutler Esq. were elected. Joseph Fairbanks and Josiah Prescott represented the town in the Convention which met at Brunswick in 1816 for the purpose of forming a Constitution, had the requisite number of votes been given in favor of separation from Massachusetts. Nathan Cutler and Jabez Gay were elected delegates to the Convention which met in Portland on the 2nd Monday in Oct. 1819, for the purpose of forming a Constitution for the State of Maine. In 1820 Jabez Gay represented the town in the first Legislature of this State.


The first County Road was laid out from Hallowell, through Chesterville, to the Old Fordway, just above Center Bridge, and afterwards continued on the west side of the river to Strong. The County Road was laid out on the east side of the river by Dr. Hubbard, and others in 1793. In was located near the intervale and some parts of the location were altered by the town before it was opened. Subsequently the town altered the location of other parts of the route, but the whole has been since established by the County Commissioners, and the road has been continued across the Fairbanks Bridge. The principal Town Roads were laid out and established in 1794 and 1795. Others have since been laid out as occasion has required. The Temple Road was first laid out by the town in 1802, and afterwards established as a County Road. Various alterations have been made in the old ones, and several new County Roads have been made from time to time as circumstances seemed to require, the most of which have proved to be advantageous.


The mail was first brought from Hallowell to Farmington about 1793, by Zacheus Mayhew. Moses Starling was appointed the first Postmaster. A Mr. Willis had brought newspapers, etc, a short time previous. The mail was carried on horseback till 1829, when the means of conveyance was increased by a contract with Moses Hanscom, to a two hose team. By the contract the mail was to be carried under cover, and continued twice a week til 1841. In 1841 the establishment was increased to a four horse team, with post coaches to Farmington, and from thence to Phillips with two horses. This line is now owned by F. V. Stewart, who employs some 24 horses, and it is one of the best managed routes in the State. The mail route from Farmington direct to Portland was established about 1830 – was purchased in 1834 by F. V. Stewart, and in 1838 passed into the hands of Thomas Beede, the present owner. This employs a two horse team to Minot where it connects with the Hallowell and Augusta line. This furnishes a quick and expedicious conveyance west, by land, and the route is well managed. Beside those already mentioned there is a cross mail, carried by one horse, passing from Anson, through Farmington to Wilton.

First Mills; Starling’s Mills

The first mill in Farmington, as has been stated, was built by Colburn and Pullen, where the Titcomb Mills now stands. The Sawmill was set in operation in Nov 1781, and the Gristmill in Aug. 1782. These mills were injured by the great freshet in 1785, on which account, and on account of the scarcity of water, - the dam being defective, as it common in new establishments in new countries, - the inhabitants suffered greatly for want of facilities for procuring grinding, and were compelled to go to Winthrip to mill, a part of the time, for some years, and frequently with handsleds. To remedy this hardshop many of them prepared mortars with a spring-pole to raise the pestle, by the help of which they made tolerable meal. This was the only mill for something like seven or eight years. It was rebuilt by Jacob Eaton and Moses Starling in 1790, and some time after again rebuilt by Mr. Starling, and more recently by Capt. Davis, and again by Butterfield & Witham in 1836. The first run of stones that was pit into this mill was hauled from Winthrop in the winter of 1781. It has now four runs of stones, one of them Burr stones, with a superior cleanser, and the mill does a good business. The Sawmill was rebuilt at the same time with the Gristmill, both being greatly improved. (Now Walton’s Mills)

Mills at Farmington Falls

The next mills were built by Francis Tufts, at the Falls, on the main river, at the lower end of the town, about 1788. About 1790 one half was sold to Ebenezer Jones, and the remaining half soon after to Jonathan Knowlton. Jonathan Russ purchased these mills in 1803. The dam having been carried away, he rebuilt it the same season, and rebuilt the mills in 1804. These mills were burned on the 29th of January, 1813, and rebuilt by John and Henry Russ immediately after. They were carried away by the great freshet in Oct. 1820, and again rebuilt by the same individuals. These mills once suffered some embarrassment for the want of water, occasioned by the owners not having the control of the opposite bank, which has been remedied by the erection of mills on the Chesterville side. This water privilege would be one of the best in the vicinity were it not for great rish in freshets, occasioned by the water being confined to a narrow channel. Ebenezer Jones built a sawmill and a gristmill at the foot of these Falls, about 1802. The Gristmill was carried away by the water in 1814, and the Sawmill in 1820. The mills were supplied with water by a canal from the dam at the head of the Fall. David Dwinnel erected a shop on the canal which conveyed the water to the lower mills, with a trip hammer, which was carried away at the same time with the mill. John Russ having purchased the site where the Fulling Mill and Carding Machine formerly stood, erected a Sawmill, which was burned soon after, and another put into operation by Thomas Chase.

Keith’s Mills

The mills commonly known as Morrison’s or Keith’s Mills were first built by Samuel Sewall, about 1792. They were sold by Mr. Sewall about 1796, and passed into the hands of Edward Lock. Not much attention was bestowed upon them for some years after. The Sawmill on the Farmington side of Wilson Stream was rebuilt by John Morrison and others. The Gristmill is now on the Chesterville side, th eline passing between that and th sawmill. It is now owned by Mr. Davis, by whom it was rebuilt, and it has a liberal business. Here is also a Fulling Mill and Carding Machine on the Chesterville side, owned by Joseph Keith, which has been for many years one of the best establishments in this section of the State.

Fairbank’s Mills

The Mills at the upper end of Farmington, known as Fairbank’s Mills, were first built by Jason D Cony, in 1794, and were owned by him and Robert Jones, who owned the privilege. They were situated where Mr. Townsend’s Bark Mill now stands, in connection with which a Sawmill was afterwards erected. They passed into the hands of Hartson Cony, about 1797 or 98, who commenced digging the canal where the Mills now stand. He put up a Sawmill, which was carried away by the freshet in June, 1799. He sold to John Patterson, who fitted them up. In the winter of 1801 they were burned. The privilege and remains of the mills were purchased by Joseph Fairbanks, and the mills were rebuilt the same season. Col. Fairbanks completed the canal commenced by Mr. Cony, and built a Gristmill where the present one stands, in 1807; and afterwards the Sawmill at the same place. May 14, 1814, the dam was mostly carried away by the freshet, which was attended with considerable loss to the owner, in the mills as well as in his store, which was then connected with the mills. In 1820 the Mills were rebuilt by Col. Fairbanks, and greatly improved. At this time he introduced a cleanser, which was the first put in operation in the vicinity. These mills are now owned by Hiram Belcher and Luther Townsend, who rebuilt them in 1841, with four runs of stones, one of which was shifted, the last season, for a set of Burr stones, accompanied with a superior bolt. It will now rank with the first in this section of the State. Its superior location gives it an advantage over many others, and helps to compensate for the lack of water to which it is exposed in severe drouths. The Sawmill is now owned by Mr. Belcher and does a good business.

Russell’s Mills; Lumber in Farmington

In 1825 a Sawmill was put into operation by Nathaniel Russell, in the westerly part of the town, on what is called the Starling, or Davis Mill Stream. At his death, in 1827, it passed into the hands of his son Isaac Russell, who has run it to good advantage most of the time since. It is now owned by the Messrs. Butterfield. It was taken down the last season, and the dam was carried away by the freshet in the fall of the same year. It is expected that it will be rebuilt. This mill can be well supplied with various kinds of lumber, such as hemlock and spruce, and some pine, and with various kinds of hard wood, as is the case with other mills in the town. Pine timber is scarce in every section, but the mills at the lower part of the town procure a considerable amount of pine timber from Chesterville, to which town we are mostly indebted for our pine lumber. Perhaps this deficiency is more than compensated by the superior quality of the soil which renders the inhabitants independent than they could have been rendered by application to the lumbering business. Perhaps it may be said with propriety that there is scarcely a lot of land in the town that will not admit of settlement, or on which a man, with industry and economy, might not maintain a family and lay up property.

Fulling Mills

The first Fulling Mill was built by Wm. Allen in 1792 or 1793, on what is called the Allen Brook, in the north-east part of the town. The stream not being sufficient to answer his purpose he removed his works to the Falls, on the main river, where he fitted up a temporary mill in connection with one at that time owned by Jones and Knowlton. Mr. Knowlton soon after put up a Fulling Mill, which was carried on by Jeremiah Stinchfield and a Mr. Stanley, in 1797 and 8. In 1799 it was purchased by Mr. Stinchfield, and by him rebuilt. It was carried away by the great freshet of 1820, with the cloth and apparatus. It was again rebuilt by Mr. Stinchfield, and enlarged and finished in a superior style. This was the only establishment of the kind on the Sandy River or any of its waters for many years, and it had an unusual run of business. After Mr. Stinchfield’s death, in 1824, the business declined, other mills having been erected. It was afterwards purchased by John Russ and used for the manufacture of hat bodies, and at length removed by him to give place to a sawmill. The Carding Machine at the Falls was first built by Blake & Morrill, in about 1800. It was purchased by John Shaw, in 1804, and for some time owned by him and his brother Ebenezer Shaw, in whose hands it was once partly burned. It was afterwards purchased by David Morrill. It was carried away by the water in 1820, and again rebuilt by Mr. M. He afterwards removed the machinery to the Chesterville side of the river, where it continues to run. In 1810 a Fulling Mill was put in operation on the Fairbanks Mill Stream, by Enoch Wood and Luke Perkins of Winthrop, which was, in connection with a Carding Machine, owned by John and Eben. Shaw of this town.

They had a good run of business for some years, and passed through various hands, when the building became decayed. They were never rebuilt. Samuel Emery carried on the Fulling Mill, and Daniel Davis the Carding Machine most of the time.

Meeting Houses at the Falls

The first Meeting House was built at the Falls by the Methodist Society in about 1800. The upper story was never finished. Jonathan Knowlton and Stephen Titcomb were among those who took the most active part in the erection of the house. It was suffered to go to decay and by degrees became useless. It has recently been taken down. The new Meeting House was raised in 1826 and finished the year following. It is owned by the different religious societies, and is free to all under certain regulation, viz: that no religious society shall be excluded, but any one may occupy it on posting up a written notice on the door of the house at any time within four weeks of the appointment when there is no prior appointment. But no one society is to occupy it more than one Sabbath in four to the exclusion of others.

First Meeting House at the Center

The first meeting house at the Center was raised in June, 1803, and finished soon after, with the exception of the gallery pews, which were not completed for some years. The house was built by a voluntary Association of individuals of different societies, who chose David Moors as their Treasurer. The site on which the house stands was given to the Society by Mr. John Church 1st, in 1802 – except the Burying Ground for which fifteen dollars was paid. This site contains two acres of land, embracing the Common and Burying Ground, and was deeded by Mr. Church to Mr. Moors as Treasurer of the Society and his successors in that office, July 13, 1802. The house was built by selling the pews to the highest bidders, who gave their confessions to the Treasurer, to be paid in assessments to be made by the Treasurer as the money should be needed to meet the contracts made by the society, which were made by a majority of the whole at their meetings. The house and land cost about what the pews sold for, exclusive of the gallery pews, the sale of which paid for finishing them. The remaining third was never paid in. The Society obtained an Act of Incorporation, which was passed Feb. 6, 1822, for the purpose of confirming their title, and for the better management of their affairs. The steeple was erected in 1827, by voluntary subscription, the porches at each end, with which it was originally built, being then removed. The house was occupied by the different religious societies in proportion to their respective interests, as regulated by the By Laws of the Society, for many years. In 1838 the several societies having built separate houses, the old house ceased to be occupied, and it became nearly useless, excepting for town meetings, for which it has usually been occupied. At this date the County of Franklin was organized, and it was proposed to transfer certain privileges in the house to the County. Some doubt being entertained whether the society had a right to appropriate the house to any other purpose than a house for religious worship, Mr. J Church was induced to execute a deed of Quit Claim, on the 28th of February, 1838, to the Society, of the whole site, for public buildings, while it might be used for a Court House, a Town House, or Meeting House. – The Common on the west side of the road was to remain and be used as a Common, and the Burying Ground to remain for the same purpose to which it had been appropriated. In consideration of this deed and of Mr. Church’s former liberality, the Society paid his widow two hundred dollars. On the 27th day of June, 1839, the Society deeded to the County of Franklin, the house, with the site on which it stands, extending from the road to the Burying Ground reserving a passway through the lot to the Burying Ground, and the use of the lower floor for the town or other meetings while the present house may remain, the County to have the right to fit up and improve the upper story for a Court House, at their discretion, or to take down the present house, and rebuild at their pleasure, their title to cease whenever a Court House shall be built on any other site.

Brick Meeting House, North Farmington

In the fall of 1830 a number of individuals were organized into a Society for the purpose of building a Meeting House to accommodate the north and westerly part of the town, known as the Farmington North Meeting House Society. The season following the Society built what is more commonly called the Brick Meeting House. It is located near the Upper Bridge. The cost, which was about $1400, was defrayed by the sale of the pews. The dimensions of the house are 40 by 50 feet, and it contains 62 pews and a singing gallery. By the Constitution of this Society the different Religious Societies owning, have a right to occupy in proportion to the number of pews by them respectively owned. The house was mostly built by the Methodist Society, who have supplied preaching as far as it has been occupied. The Freewill Baptists, who own the residue, having built a house soon after at the Center Village, are better accommodated there. The Methodist Society having since become divided, the house is now occupied alternately by the Episcopal and Wesleyan Methodists.

Freewill Baptist Meeting House.

The Freewill Baptist Meeting House at the Center Village in 1835, at an expense of $1250, including the cost of the lot. The sum was raised by the sale of the pews. It is built of brick in the present style of building. Its dimensions are 36 by 43 feet, and it contains 43 pews.

Baptist Meeting House

The Baptist meeting House is situated at the Center Village. It was commenced in 1835, and completed in the year following. It is a brick house, 42 ½ by 68 feet, and contains 62 pews, with a vestry on the same floor, which serves as an entry to the body of the house, and to communicate with the gallery. The gallery is very pleasant, the building being an extra height. It is supplied with an organ at the cost of $250. The structure of the house is good. It has a belfry but no bell. The cost of the house was about $5000, which was raised by the sale of the pews, with the exception of $600 which was appropriated from the funds of the society, and perhaps $200 by voluntary subscription or donation. It has a commanding prospect, and with the Academy, which is on the same eminence, adds much to the appearance of the village.

Congregational Meeting House

The congregational Meeting House at the Center Village was erected in 1836. The house is of brick, 42 by 54 feet. It is a neat and convenient house, but small for the congregation usually attending the meetings held there. The original cost, including the lot was about $3000, which was mostly paid from the sale of the pews. It has a belfry and is furnished with a bell, the purchase of which was made by voluntary subscription, in which Jacob Abbott Esq. was a liberal donor. Arrangements have been made to enlarge this house the present season (1846) by an addition of 15 feet, which will add 20 pews, making the whole number of pews 76. The expense is estimated at $800, $200 of which will be required for repairs and alterations in the present house. This will make the entire cost of the building about $3500. The house is furnished with a number of sheds for the reception of carriages.


Farmington Academy was incorporated Feb 13 1807. The following person constituted the Board of Trustees by the Charter:

Dea. Church Brainard, Nathan Cutler Esq., Mr. Thomas Hiscock, Ezekiel Porter, Esq., Mr. Timothy Smith, Dr. Ebenezer Taylor, Stephen Titcomb Esq., Thomas Wendall, Esq.

All of Farmington

Benjamin Abbott, Esq. of Temple, Ebenezer Eaton, Esq. of Wilton, Thomas Fillebrown of Hallowell, Dr. Thomas Flint of New Vineyard, John Hovey Esq. of Mount Vernon, Wm Read Esq. of Strong and Rev. Jotham Sewall of Chesterville

The Charter provides that all the number of Trustees shall never be less than nine, nor more than fifteen, five of whom at least shall be necessary to constitute a quorum. It allows the Trustees to hold real estate the income of which shall not exceed $3000 annually. The first meeting of the Trustees under the Charter was held April 14, 1807, and organized by the choice of Wm. Read, Esq. as President, Nathan Cutler, Secretary, and Church Brainard, Treasurer. The Trustees had no funds except the voluntary subscriptions of individuals. Relying on these they proceeded to erect the fram of the present building in the Fall of 1808, which, in the succeeding three years was so far completed that instruction was commenced in it the first of Jan. 1812, by Mr. James Hall, at a salary of $400 for one year. Since this date the school has continued in operation most of the time. By a Resolve of the Legislature of Massachusetts, passed Feb. 17 1812, a grant was made of one half of a township of land, six miles square, to the Trustees, to be selected from any unappropriated lands belonging to the State; and the Land Agent was authorized to lay out the same, subject to the usual reservations. In 1822 the Trustee received a conveyance of the south half of Township No. 5, in the 5th Range west of the Bingham Kennebec Purchase, in the County of Oxford, containing 11,520 acres, subject to a reservation of 480 acres. The creditors of the institution, by an agreement took the amount of their respective claims in land in the township, at the appraisal of the Surveyor, who valued it at 35 cents an acre on an average. The residue of the land was sold at auction for from 24 to 30 cents an acre. The amount added to the funds of the institution by the sale of land was small. The whole amount of the funds, at the present time, exclusive of the building and lot, is not far from $1500. This institution has suffered considerably from the embarrassed state of its funds, owing to a considerable loss in the subscription raised for its encouragement, and being unfortunate in the selection of the land appropriated by the State. It is now furnished with an extensive Philosophical Apparatus, and retains a very respectable standings as a literary institution. For its standing it is much indebted to its superior location, the prudent and economical management of the Trustees and the superior talent and untiring exertion of the Preceptor. The records do not show the names of all who have been employed at different times as Teachers. The following names and dates appear:

James Hall, from 1812 to 1814

Otis Briggs 1814 to 1815

N B Howard 1816

Joseph Caldwell 1817 to 1818

Moses S Moody 1818 to 1819

Wm A Drew 1820 to

Nathaniel Green 1823 to 1830

David Worcester (no dates)

M. Upham

John J Butler 1837 to 1839

O B Cheney 1839 to 1841

Alexander H Abbott 1841 to present (1846)

Jonas Burnham followed Mr. Abbott, to who Mr. A P Kelsey succeeded after which the Academy was merged into the Normal School.

Trustees of Farmington Academy

The following statement shows the names of the Trustee, the date of their appointment, when their places were vacated and how they were vacated:

Constituted by Charter, 1807; Church Brainard, Resigned 1838

Nathan Cutler

Thomas Hiscock Resigned 1814

Ezekiel Porter, Absence 1814

Timothy Smith, died 1818

Ebenezer Taylor, by vote 1808

Stephen Titcomb, Resigned 1811

Thomas Wendell

Benjamin Abbott, Resigned 1816

Ebenezer Eaton, died 1838

Thomas Fillebrown, resigned 1821

Thomas Flint, age 1845 {no idea what this means – ed}

John Hovey, resigned

William Read, died

Jotham Sewall, Resigned 1837

Appointed Joseph S Smith 1808, Vacated by Absence

Thomas John Jr, appointed 1811, vacated 1828 by vote

Oliver Bailey, 1814, died

Josiah Prescott, 1815

Sylvester Strickland, 1817, resigned

Wm Gould, 1818, died

Joseph Fairbanks, 1821, died

Isaac Rogers, 1827, Resigned 1833

John Corbett, 1823, Resigned 1845

Isaac Tyler, 1828

James Butterfield, 1828, Resigned 1845

John Read, 1828, died

Robert Goodenow, 1832

Asa Abbot, 1832

John Russ, 1832 Died

Charles Morse, 1835 Died 1845

Ebenezer Childs, 1835

Jacob Abbott, resigned 1845

Lafayette Perkins, 1845

Holmes A Boardman, 1845, died 1846

Moses Sherburne, 1845

George Gage, 1845

William Cothren, 1845

John L Cutler, 1845

Samuel Belcher, 1845

Abbott Family School as it was in 1846

There is also in the Village a Family School for boys, which was established by Rev. Samuel P Abbott in 1844. The situation of the house and grounds is very favorable for the health of the pupils, and for their progress in study, being quiet and retired, and affording every opportunity for healthy recreation. The terms are $150 per year of 46 weeks. This includes every charge excepting for traveling expenses, clothing, postage bills, classical books, medical attendance in case of sickness, and any incidental expenses which may incurred at the request, or by the permission of parents. Pupils are received at any time, and are charged in proportion to the time of their connection with the school. No deduction is made for absence of less than one week. Payments are made quarterly, and in advance when convenient. The only regular vacation commences on the first Monday in May, and continues six weeks. Mr. Abbott endeavors to exert over his pupils, the government of a Christian parent, and he expects them to be under his entire direction and control, except as he receives specific directions from those who entrust them to his care. The present number of pupils is seventeen.

Public Funds

In 1811, agreeably to a petition of the town, Oliver Bailey, Elijah Norton, Nathan Cutler and Timothy Johnson were incorporated into a body politic, by the name of the Trustees of the Farmington Ministerial and School Funds, with power to sell and convey the ministerial and school lands belonging to the town, and to put at use the moneys arising from the sale of the same, as soon as might be; the interest arising from the money due for the ministerial lands to be annually appropriated to the support of the gospel ministry in said town, in the same way and manner as the income and profits of said ministerial land would by law be appropriated if this law had not been passed. And the interest arising on the money due for school lands, to be annually appropriated for the use of the public free schools in the town, it never being in the power of the Trustees or town to alter or alienate the appropriation of the funds aforesaid. This Act passed Feb. 5, 1811. At the first meeting of the Trustees Oliver Bailey was chosen President of the Board, Nathan Cutler, Treasurer, and Timothy Johnson, Clerk. The Board was then filled up by the choice of Moses Chandler, Jabez Gay, and Jesse Gould, making seven in the whole, any four of whom were to form a quorum for doing business, agreeable to the act of incorporation. The whole of the lands have been sold at different periods. The total amount of sales amounted to – Ministerial Fund $1297.88, interest, 77.87, - School Fund $1449.25, interest $86.95. The income arising from the School Fund has been annually applied to the support of free schools in the town, agreeably to the original design of the appropriation made by the State. In 1824 the land reserved for the first settled minister was sold by the board of town officers, agreeably to the direction of the town; an Act having been passed by the Legislature of the State on the 12th day of Feb. 1824, making them a body corporate for that purpose, and declaring the lands vested in the inhabitants, where trustees had not already been appointed, and the lands become otherwise vested. The lands were sold, and the securities received amounted to $1368.08, bearing date the 15th day of May, 1824. By the provisions of the art the interest accruing from this fund was to be added to the principal annually, and the whole kept at interest for the original purpose. This fund was kept at interest and managed according to the foregoing regulations till Sept 10 1832. The interest arising on the former fund raised from the land reserved for the use of the ministry having been divided by the town equally between the different religious societies existing at the time, was by the societies appropriated for the support of preaching – An Act was passed by the Legislature in 1832 authorizing the inhabitants of Farmington to distribute the proceeds of the land reserved for the first settled minister equally among the six following religious Societies, viz: the Congregational, Baptist, Freewill Baptist, Methodist, Universalist, and Unitarian. But doubts were entertained of the constitutionality of the law, and it was thought advisable to settle a minister by the first Parish, which was organized on the 10th day of Sept 1832, at a meeting duly called for that purpose, when it was agreed to give the Rev. Timothy Johnson a call to become their pastor, on condition of his giving his consent to an equal distribution of the whole of the ministerial fund, excepting fifty dollars, which he was to retain for his own personal benefit – among the six following religious Societies, viz: the Congretaional, Baptist, Freewill Baptist, Methodist, Universalist, and Unitarian, to be by them received and managed at their discretion, and for their individual benefit. Mr. Johnson having signified his acceptance, the parish passed a vote confirming the sale of the lands, and also giving their consent to the foregoing arrangements, which was accordingly carried into the effect by the proper officers, and the funds transferred into effect by the proper officers, and the funds transferred into the hands of agents chosen by the Town, in trust, for the Societies, and by them passed over to the several Societies, and by them having been appropriated to their individual benefit, amounting to $636.17 to each society.


The first bridge across the Sandy River was built by Benj. Butler, at the center of the Town, on the road laid out on the dividing line between the Church and teh Stoyell lots, being a continuation of the Perham Road west across the river, thence northerly around the hell to intersect the County Road near where Jedediah Thomas formerly lived, the whole of which has since been discontinued. The bridge was begun in 1805 and completed in 1808 on a contract made by Ezekiel Porter and Timothy Johnson, who were to pay Mr. Butler $1000 on its completion. – A small part of the amount was paid by subscription. The bridge was damaged by the freshet in 1812, and repaired by the town. It was rendered impassable by the freshet of 1814, when the road on the intervale was much damaged, and it was soon after discontinued.

Farmington Falls Bridge

The second bridge built across the Sandy River was at the Falls, in about 1808. It was built by voluntary subscription. A part of it was carried away by the freshet of 1814, and repaired by the Town. By the great freshet of 1820 it was wholly swept away, and it was rebuilt in the following winter by the towns for Farmington and Chesterville. – Chesterville now builds and keeps in repair about one third part of this bridge. – The larger part of the bridge was again carried away, and the Farmington part rebuilt at the expense of the town by John Russ, in 1827, and again by Mr. Russ in the winter of 1828, and again in 1831, at the expense of $1300, and covered. Since that time $250 only have been expended.

Fairbanks Bridge

The third bridge was built in 1811 at the upper part of the town, by subscription. It is commonly called the Fairbanks Bridge. It was accepted by the Town in 1813, free of any expense. In May 1814, the bridge was carried away by the freshet. It was rebuilt by the town in 1815, and was somewhat damaged by the great freshet of Oct. 1820 and again repaired by the town. In the winter of 1826 it was rebuilt by John Russ, on a warrant for ten years, for the sum of $890. He partially rebuilt it once during the period. In 1838 it was built with stone abutments and covered, at an expense of $1800, and destroyed by the ice in the winter following. It was again rebuilt, in its present form, in 1839, at an expense of $600, and again rebuilt in part in 1842, since which time it has undergone some repairs.

Center Bridge

The first bridge built where the one now stands, at the center of the town, was in 1818. The cost was $4837.12, of which $497.91 was raised by subscription, and $1357.12 was paid by the town. In 1820 it was somewhat damaged by the great freshet, and repaired by the town. It was again repaired in 1827, and extended in length. In 1831 it was rebuilt at an expense of $2117, the road from the eastern abutment being filled to the high bank. It fell in 1841, and was rebuilt the same year at an expense of $700. The eastern abutment was injured by the November freshet in 1845, and has since been rebuilt.

Powder House

The town has a substantial brick magazine for the deposit of military stores, which was built in 1817. It is now of little use, as by the present laws, the town is not required to keep such stores on hand. (Since the publication of the first edition of Judge Parker’s History, Farmington has had a race of boys, and consequently we have now no Powder Magazine. The Powder House, however has given a permanent name to the hill on which it once stood.)


The first tanyard in Farmington was commenced by Ebenezer Sweet about 1785, a few rods southwest of the present site of the Cong. Meeting house. This was the first tannery this side of Winthrop. – Samuel Sewall commenced tanning at the lower end of the town soon after Mr. Sweet. Samuel Pool commenced about the same time, near Mr. Sweet, on the farm now owned by Jacob Abbott, Esq. Messrs. Baker and Hopkinson constructed a Tannery at the yard afterwards owned by Joseph Knowlton, in 1805. Mr. Baker soon after sold out to Mr. Hopkinson and removed to Wilton. Mr. Hopkinson continued to carry on the business with success til 1818, when he sold to Mr. Knowlton and removed to Ohio. Mr. K. Made a considerable improvement, and continued the business with apparent success til 1842, when he failed in business and went to Indiana, where he has since removed his family. This Tannery is now improved by Mr. Taylor. Elijah Butler built a Tannery on the farm now owned by James Presson, in the upper part of the town, about the same time. He continued the business for some time, after which it passed into the hands of his son, Winthrop Butler, who carried it on till near his death in 1835, since which time the buildings have been taken away and the yard has become extinct. Luther Townsend began the establishment now owned by him in the upper section of the town in 1810. The dam connected with the Bark Mill was swept away by the freshet in 1827, when his yard was much injured. He was since rebuilt it with considerable improvement. He was a Bark Mill which goes by water. Mr. T has since turned his attention for farming, and the Tannery is now managed by his son, Samuel O Townsend. Johsua Adams commenced the Tannery formerly owned by him, at the Center Village, in 1828, where he did considerable business until the present season. He has removed to Wilton. The yard now owned and improved by Charles Hutchins was put in operation by Henry Brooks about the year 1835, in connection with Apollos Osgood.


The first Blacksmith Shop put up in Farmington is said to have been opened by one Sally, on the west side of the river, near where Mr. Austin lived, opposite the Center Village. He continued the business but a short time. Peter Gay put up a temporary shop where he settled, at the upper part of the town, on the west side of the river, about 1789 or 90, where he did some business for some eight or ten years. – Soon after this a Mr. Bowley commenced, and continued the business for some years, near Mr. Knowlton’s at the lower end of the town. – John Church put up a shop at the center of the town in 1790. He was the principal workman for some time. – John Young commenced the business at the Falls about 1800, where he has continued the business most of the time since. – Benjamin Heath made a settlement on what is commonly called the Heath Farm, now owned by Henry Titcomb and others, in 1792, where he continued to carry on the Blacksmithing business till he removed to Salem in this County, about 1818, who with his sons were among the first settlers in that place. – Asahel Wyman, from Groton, Mass. Set up the business on the farm since owned by Mr. Quincy, prior to 1800, and continued it while he was able to attend to business. After him Jeremy Wyman, his son, set up the business on the west side of the river. He built the brick shop now occupied by M S Norcross for the Pottery business, in 1810, where he continued till March 1814, when he died with a spotted or cold fever, being the second case in town. – Nathan Backus first commenced the business on the west side of the river, about 1800, and soon removed to the east side and built what is now called the Backus Shop in the Center Village, where he continued business the most of the time to his death in 1841. – The Blacksmithing business was commenced at Fairbanks’ Mills by a Mr. Allen in 1812, who continued but a short time, and was succeeded by another man by the name of Allen. After him Robert Bangs prosecuted the business. – Ephraim J Green commenced in 1824 and has since done a good business. – Daniel Baker has more recently set up the business at the same place, and Hosea Bump at the corner just below. – Charles Savage from Anson commenced business at the lower part of the village, about 1817, where he did a good business for some years. He left about 1833 since which time various others have occupied the stand. – Many workmen have set up the business in different parts of the town, and at different periods, and various shifts have been made too numerous to mention, our object being to give a clue only to the first rise and progress of various kinds of business pursued in town.


The following is a list of some of the first Carpenters and House Joiners in town.

Moses Starling, Joseph Sylvester, Hugh Cox, Benjamin Butler, Elvaton Parker, Hugh Stewart, Thomas Wendell, Rufus Davis, Peter West, David Morrill, Jonthan Graves, Lemuel Bursley, Henry Stewart, Daniel Stanley, and Zenas Backus. Many of these carried on the Cabinet and Chair Making business in the winter season, and most of them were more or less engaged in farming.


A Hatter’s shop was built by Robert Baker in 1805 at the Center Village, where he carried on the business for a few years. When he left it passed into the hands of Samuel Belcher who occupied it as a store. – In 1811 Christopher Atkinson commenced the hat business at the same place. He built a shop soon after, where he continued the business for a time. He was followed by Coburn Emerson for short time. Wood & Bond set up the business in 1825. Mr. Bond soon left, and Mr. Wood continued for some time after. – In 1816 Isaac Hibbard set up the business at the Falls, where he has continued it most of the time since. – Thomas Spooner commenced business at the same place in 1826, but soon left.


Thomas Flint and Hartson Cony were the first two who brought goods into the place to trade upon. Dr. Flint opened his store in a small building on the farm now improved by John Bailey, and built the first Potash, near what is called the Old Beaver Dam Brook, not far from the east end of the Center Bridge. Mr. Cony opened his store in a part of Mr. Church’s log house, in the winter of 1792. Thomas Whittier and Nathaniel Bishop built a store at the Falls and furnished it with goods about 1796. – This store was afterwards fitted up, and with some additions, changed to a dwelling house, and is known as the Russ House. Whittier and Bishop sold to Zachariah Butterfield, who continued trading and manufacturing potash till 1802, when he sold to Jonathan Russ, who continued the business for some time to a considerable extent. Daniel Beal opened a store at the Falls about the year 1800, where he continued to do business for some time under different firms. He is now engaged in connection with his son, D. Beal, Jr. At the Center Village, where they have continued the mercantile business for some years with success. Thomas Croswell commenced as a retail merchant at the Falls a few years after Mr. Beal, where he made a permanent settlement, and has continued the business to the present time. Benj. Sampson was connected with Mr. C. For a while, after which Mr. S commenced business by himself. A B Caswell, Lemuel Bursely Jr, L S Caswell, and some others have been engaged in trade at the Falls to a considerable extent.

David Moors, from Groton, Mass., moved to Farmington with his family in 1799, and opened a store in the Church House. The house was then occupied by John Church 1st. Mr. Moors soon after built what is now called the Moors House, on what was then called the New Road (now Pleasant Street) a part of which he occupied for a store. The first County Road lying under the hill, the town laid out a new road in 1797, from the County Road west of where the Freewill Baptist Meting House now stands, direct to the top of the hill in from of Thomas Hunter’s house, and from thence so as to intersect the former road at Enoch Craig’s north line. The first beginning on the hill where the village is now situated, as has been before stated, was made by Joseph Holland, who was succeeded by John Church 1st, whose house, and that of Dr. Stoyell, were the only ones on the Hill prior to Mr. Moors’. Timothy and Thomas Johnson soon after put up what is now called the Lowell House, on the rear of the same lot, on the Front Street, a part of which was occupied by Timothy as a store, which he opened in 1800 or 01. The Messrs. Johnsons soon after built a store on the same street, adjoining the Common, which was afterwards moved on to Main Street, and is now occupied by Lemuel Adams as a Saddle and Harness Maker’s shop. (Now the dwelling house next north of the Forest House) The Johnsons subsequently built a large and convenient store, by the Common, which was afterwards purchased by Edward Butler and changed to a dwelling house and is now occupied, with some additions by J. S. Milliken as a tavern. – The Johnsons and Mr. Moors both erected Potasheries and Pearl Ovens, and carried on a large amount of business for some years. Timothy Johnson, after a short recess from trade, again commenced with his brother, Joseph Johnson, in a small shop then owned by Ebenezer Childs, near the upper part of the Village. Subsequently they traded separately, lower down, where the center of business now is. Joseph and his son, Joseph S., still continue to trade. Clifford Belcher and Joseph Titcomb commenced trade soon after the Messrs. Johnson, at the upper part of the Village, where most of the business was done for many years. Mr. T sold to his brother, John Titcomb, and retired to his present farm in 1820. – Mr. Belcher continued trade till near his death, in 1832. Samuel Belcher commenced trade in a building opposite his brother’s in 1811, and died in 1814. His business was closed soon after by his brother, B. M. Belcher. Ebenezer Childs commenced trade about 1815, and continued business till within a few years, when he became engaged in other business. – Rosimus K Lowell commenced business also in the upper part of the Village in 1817. His health failing, he closed in about 1830, and died in 1837. Asa Abbot commenced in 1827. He retired in 1841, and has since pursued his former occupation of farming with success. Isaac Tyler commenced trade in the lower part of the Village about 1825, where he continued till 1835.

Abiatha Green put up the first Potash at the upper part of town about 1802, and took in ashes in connection with Mr. Beal, then trading at the Falls. Francis Norton opened the first store at Backus Corner in 1804. Joseph Fairbanks commenced trade at his mills in 1808, having before been connected with Leonard Merry, on the other side of the river. He soon after put up a potash and entered largely into trade in all its various branches. He continued the business nearly twenty years. He was followed by Francis Butler in 1828. Mr. B afterwards sold to Huse & Read. Edward Butler and Samuel Jones traded at Backus’ Corner for a time and were followed by Zenas Backus. Trade has since inclined to the center of town and little is done here.

Center Village in 1846

Dwelling Houses 86

Stores 14

Millier’s Shops 4

Mechanic’s Shops 18

Law offices 5

Brick School House 1

Brick Meeting Houses 3

Academy 1

Boarding School 1

Court House 1

Jail 1

Fireproof Building for County

Offices and Post Office 1

Tannery 1

Boot & Shoe Factory 1

Saddle and Harness Makers 3

Blacksmiths 4

Carriage and Sleigh Maker 1

Tin Factories 2

Lawyers 7

Physicians 3

Tailors 2

Printing Establishment 1

Provision Shop 1

Cabinet and Chair Makers 1

Watch Makers 2

House Joiners 8

Proportionate number of Shoe Makers and other Mechanics

Town Officers from Date of Incorporation to 1846

(see other link on Farmington site list)


1798 Supply Belcher

Ezekiel Porter

Stepehn Titcomb

Supply Belcher

Vote not to send rep.

Vote not to send rep

Ebenezer Norton

Ezekiel Porter

Moses Chandler

Zachariah Norton

Samuel Butterfield

Supply Belcher, Nathan Cutler

Nathan Butler, Joseph Norton

Nathan Cutler, Timothy Johnson

Leonard Merry, T. Johnson

Leonard Merry, Asahel Gross

Voted not to send rep

Voted not to send rep

Meeting adjoined without (decision?)

Voted not to send rep

Voted not to send rep

Nathan Cutler, Joseph Fairbanks

Jabez Gay

Hiram Belcher

William Gould

James Butterfield

James Butterfield

Edward Butler

Edward Butler

Joseph Johnson

Hiram Belcher

Joseph Johnson

John Russ

Hiram Belcher

Francis Butler

Isaac Tyler

Moses Butterfield

Joseph Russell

Samuel Stanley

Josiah Prescott

Samuel B Norton

Alanson B Caswell

Samuel Belcher

Moses Chandler

John Jewett

Classed with Temple, not represented. Nathan Cutler Chosen Apr 29 1844

James a Dunsmore, Temple

Eliab Eaton

Peter R Tufts


Theophilus Hopkins was the first Physician who settled in Farmington. He settled on the place now occupied by John Bailey, where he remained on a few years.

Aaron Stoyell was the second. He settled at the Center Village in 1794, where he remained 40 years, and had an extensive run of practice. His was the second house built on the Hill, which was in about 1796, and was rebuilt by him in 1827. He died in Ohio in 1834.

Samuel Guild made a partial settlement in the place about 1796, but soon left.

Ebenezer Taylor commenced practice in the town in 1804 and left soon after

Josiah Prescott commenced practice in 1813, and has continued practice in the place the most of the time since.

Joseph Caldwell commenced practice in 1825. He remained but a short time.

Thomas Flint in 1826

Allen Phillips in 1829

Lafayette Perkins in 1836

C W Staples in 1840

N. Dillingham, Botanic, 1840; a short time

Jophanus Henderson, 1831

(----Blake in at the Falls in -----_


Polls Inhab’s Valuation

1790 494

1794 136 $24,183

1800 218 942 58,752

1810 279 1639 93,761

1820 320 1938 115,462

1830 397 2341 164,798

1840 452 2613 462,375


Henry V Chamberlain, from Worcester, Mass, settled in the town as an attorney in 1800, where he continued to do business till 1808 when he moved to the South

Nathan Cutler, from Weston, Mass., settled in the place in 1804, and is still living, but from age has discontinued practice. His place is supplied by John L Cutler, his second son.

Zachariah Soule, from Halifax, Mass., came to Farmington from Paris, Me. About 1806, opened an office and practiced till 1812.

Elnathan Pope opened an office at the Falls in 1809, where he continued till 1828, when he removed to New Sharon.

Hiram Belcher commenced the practice of law in 1812, and continues the practice under the firm of H & H Belcher.

Hannibal Belcher was admitted to the Bar in 1839.

Samuel Belcher commenced practice in 1835

Robert Goodenow, from Alfred, removed from Wilton, in 1832, and still continues to practice.

Joshua Randall, who commenced practice in Phillips, opened an office in Farmington in 1841.

Growth of Farmington

The growth of the town from the commencement has been rather gradual. The increase of population was most rapid while the new lands were settling. The increase of the Center Village was considerable from 1799 to 1810. From that time to 1820 it did not compare with former years, which was the case with the country generally, which perhaps may be accounted for from the unsettled state of our trade with other nations, and the unfruitfulness of some of the seasons. Since that time it has increased, not only in population, but in wealth, and every kind of business, equally if not beyond any village in the State, which is destitute of water power, and situated so far from water communication.

Religious Societies – Freewill Baptists

The Valley of the Sandy River, although settled by a moral and to come extent a religious community, was to a great extent, for some years after the first settlement, destitute of the means of forming and sustaining a proper organization for religious worship on the Sabbath. The first preacher who visited the place was the Rev. Mr. Emerson of Georgetown. At the request of Mrs. Stephen Titcomb he visited the family, and preached the first sermon in the then about almost entire wilderness of the Sandy River, in Mr. T’s log house. After this the place was visited by the Rev. Mr. Little, of that part of Wells, now Kennebunk, as a missionary. He was followed by some others. In the summer of 1794 the Rev. Joseph Thaxter, from Edgarton, Mass, under the patronage of the Massachusetts Missionary Society, pretty extensively explored the Valley of the Sandy River, and attended to the distribution of books to some of the most destitute of the inhabitants. Some few years prior to this Elder Eliphalet Smith, a Baptist preacher from Fayette, attended some few meetings in the place.

In the summer of 1792 Elder Edward Locke, who had previously been pastor of a large and independent church in Loudon and Canterbury, NH, removed to this State and settled in what is now Chesterville. The church of which he had been pastor had held views in sympathy with those of Benjamin Randall, the founder of the Freewill Baptist connection, but most of it’s members, with Mr. L., were induced to join the Shakers before coming to Chesterville. Mr. L. Established Sabbath appointments at the dwelling house of Moses Starling, Esq., on the west side of the river, and at a barn on the farm now owned by Dea. John Bailey, on the east side. There was no particular interest manifested till near the close of the year, when Oliver Billings – since Elder Billings – made a visit to the family of Mr. J. Everet, a relative of his on the west side of the river. Mr. Billings had very recently been brought to a knowledge of the truth in a most powerful reformation then in progress in what was then called Starling, now Fayette. Such was the change in his deportment, and such the interest and affection with which he recommended to others the blessing so undeservedly – to use his own expression – bestowed upon him, that i was the means in the hands of God of carrying conviction, not only to some of the family, but to many in the neighborhood, who were hopefully brought to a saving knowledge of the truth. Thus from the faithful yet humble labors of a private individual proceeded on of the most extensive revivals ever witnessed in this section of the State. Mr. Billings soon after became an efficient minister of the Baptist church.

From the commencement the revival continued to increase. Elder Lock proceeded to baptize a number not long after, among whom were Josiah Everet, Reuben Turner, John F. Woods and Joseph Sylvester, with their wives, and Francis Tufts, Joseph Holland, Abigail Bradford, and some others, who proceeded to unite in church fellowship, together with Elder Luce, on the 29th day of March, 1793. Elder Luce took the particular oversight over the church. Francis Tufts and John F. Woods were appointed ruling Elders. This office has since been discontinued by the F. Baptists. Joseph Sylvester was chosen deacon and Joseph Holland, clerk. Mr. Everet is the only individual now living who was embodied in the Freewill Baptist Church in this town at its first organization. In Sept. Following Elder Benjamin Randall of New Durham, NH, who was, under God, the founder of the Freewill Baptist Church in New Hampshire, and afterwards in Maine, after attending the Yearly Meeting at Edgecomb and visiting the churches already organized, traveled up the Sandy River. With others as a Committee from the Yearly Meeting, after a proper examination, he proceeded to extend the right hand of fellowship to the church already formed, as a sister church in the Freewill Baptist denomination. This was the 23rd day of Sept 1793, and the church was then constituted what was then called a Month Meeting. It was represented for the first time in the Yearly Meeting held at Gorham on the 25th of Oct. Following. This was the first church organized in this State east of Gorham, and north of Woolwich and Edgecomb. From this beginning have proceeded the most of the Churches and Quarterly Meetings in the Kennebec and Penobscot Yearly Meetings, now numbering 15 Quarterly Meetings, 256 Churches, 176 Orgained and 37 licensed preachers, and 12,147 communicants. At this time the revival continued to increase, additions were made to the Church in this place, and branches were formed at West Pond – now Belgrade – and Seven Mile Brook – now Embden and Anson, which afterwards became separate churches.

In Sept. 1794 Elder Randall, in company with Elder John Buzzel, again visited the Sandy River, embodied a church at Upper Town – now Phillips – which constituted a separate Monthly Meeting. On their return Elder Randal preached on the Sabbath, being the 28th, at Dea. Tufts’, at the lower part of the town, and attended to the administration of the Lord’s Supper. This is supposed to be the first time that the ordinance was administered in the town – Eld. Buzzell preached the same day at Starks, where a reformation was then in progress.

At the Yearly Meeting held on the 6th of Sept at Edgecomb, the Edgecomb and Farmington Quarterly Meetings were both established, and their respective bounds defined, that of Farmington to comprise all churches belonging to the connection north of Edgecomb and east of the Androscoggin River, excepting Lewiston, Edgecomb, and all the sea shore east of Brunswick and Lewiston.

Eld. Jesse Lee was appointed by the New England Conference to travel in the Province of Maine for the Conference year of 1793. He preached in this town for the first time on the 15th of Oct of that year. At the succeeding Conference in 1794 two preachers were appointed to travel on the Circuit laid out by him in the year previous. They arrived here in the latter part of the year and took part in the revival then in progress, and, with Samuel Sewall, then living in the south part of the town; and who had established society meetings in the place, - rendered essential service in the establishment of such a Christian influence as has never been effaced, and laid the foundation for the establishment of several churches of different denominations, which have since been embodied.

The revival which had been in progress nearly two years, was still on the increase, and had extended into almost every section of the country then settled, in some instances interesting almost the entire population. Additions continued to be made to the church which now numbered something near forty in all. Besides those already named may be reckoned Joseph, Elisha, Moses, Sarah, Huldah, and Polly Bradford, David Wentworth and wife, Isaac Powers and wife, Dolly Craig, Joseph Riant and wife, Elisha Gay, John Tufts, and Pruda Parker of this town, and Isaac, Ebenezer, and Eliphalet Brown, Job and Eliphalet Hardy, of Wilton, in which direction the church continued to increase.

In 1796, Joseph Sylvester having left, Isaac Brown and Elisha Gay were chosen Deacons. They had early taken means to provide funds which it was agreed should be raised upon principles of equality, not only for the maintenance of the ministry but to afford relief to such of the church as were in needy of distressed circumstances.

They took the New Testament as their only rule of faith and practice, and were well agreed in its application to the Church of Christ. In 1798 the church had become so extended in territory as to render it necessary to establish three Sabbath appointments and church conferences,, which were alternately attended at Isaac Brown’s in Wilton, and J. F. Woods and David Wentworth’s in Farmington, for some years, which appointments were generally well attended by the members from each section, who generally came through the woods on foot, by spotted lines at first, and afterwards by a poor road.

Elder Lock, who had continued to take the oversight of the church up to near this time, although possessed of more than ordinary mind and talent, and apparently zealous in the cause of truth, perhaps never possessed that disinterested devotedness to the cause of the Redeemer necessary in a minister of the gospel, to be truly useful in the building up of the church of God. He soon attempted to create a schism in the churches by introducing a plan for forming a community of Christians, which were to have all things in common; their property to be thrown into one common stock, with himself to control, if not to possess the whole. He partially succeeded in drawing up a platform and in drawing off a few, but when his plane was more fully understood, it resulted in an entire failure, and he soon lost the confidence of the Christian public by a course of life which not only lessened his influence as a preacher of the gospel, but ended in the prostration of his moral character. His connection with the church was dissolved about 1800, and never after renewed. He died in Embden in 1824, age 82.

While these troubles were in progress the church established society meetings, and regularly sustained them. Ebenezer Brown, a man of deep piety, and who possessed an acceptable gift, rendered essential service in sustaining public worship, and during this period they were sometimes visited by the Western Elders, and they had preaching occasionally from other sources.

Ebenezer Scales was ordained in Oct. 1804, and Ebenezer Brown in May following, both members of this church. The practice of preaching at this period had more of an itinerant character than at present, and produced a more general circulation of public gifts.

The church having increased very considerably, and embracing both Farmington and Wilton, it was divided in 1807, when separate Sabbath appointments and conferences were established in each town.

Elder Beniah Pratt was ordained on the 17th of Oct. 1807, who, with Elder Timothy Johnson, took the particular oversight of the church for some time. Isaac Perkins and Jejediah Thomas acted as deacons for the time being, and in 1814 Elisha Gay and Isaac Pekins were set apart to that office, and in 1818 John Corbett was appointed, and Isaac Perkins was continued in office. After Dea. Corbett ceased to officiate, Dea. Gay again filled the office, which he continued to fill till his death in 1842. He was a member of the church nearly 48 years. His place has been supplied by the choice of Benj. Adams.

The years of 1808 and 1809 were seasons of special revival of the church, and additions were received. From this time to 1821 was for the greatest part of the time a season of trial and discouragement, and at different periods the church suffered considerable diminution, both from the disorderly walk of its members, and from difference of opinion in those who, it is hoped, remained steadfast in their profession. There were, however, occasional seasons of revival and some additions.

The year of 1821 was a season of more special revival, and the prospects of the church seem to brighten and additions were made. Eld. Pratt having removed, the church was supplied with occasional preaching from this time til 1834 by Elders S. And E. Huthincs, H. Chandler, S. Curtis, S. Hathern, and many others; Elder Johnson still remaining and taking the more particular oversight of the church.

In 1834 a Union Protracted meeting was held, commencing on the 22nd of August, which resulted in a very extensive revival, when very considerable additions were made to the several churches. On the 22nd of September an invitation was extended to Elder John Chany to preach with them one half of the time and to take the oversight of the church, - a previous understanding having been had with Elder Johnson, - which invitation was accepted. During this season large accessions were made to the church at the center of the town, where, as well as in the lower part of the town, where, as well as in the lower part of the town, the church had some time been increasing in numbers. For some years the Sabbath appointments and conferences had been divided and held alternately at the center and the upper parts of the town, but from this time the meetings were held on the Sabbath altogether at the Center Village, mostly at the Brick School House.

In the following year, 1835, the society built the Meeting House now occupied by them, and Elder Chany soon after confined his labors wholly to this church, with shich he remained till June, 1840, when, at his request, he was dismissed, and Elder Dexter Waterman took his place, but preached to the church but half the time, the remaining half being taken up in Phillips. This arrangement continued till th esprin gof 1843, when at his request, he was dismissed and was succeeded by George W. Bean, who devoted his entire labor to this church from that time to July 1845. He was ordained on the 14th of June 1843. He was succeeded by Isaac Libby, the present occupant, who commenced his labors in May, 1846.

Since 1834 the church has enjoyed several seasons of revival, and received additions, especially in the spring of 1843. A revival then commenced in the upper part of the town under the improvement of Rev. Jabez Talbot Gay, which soon after extended to the center, and resulted in an extensive work in which all the churches shared, and in which considerable additions were made to this church. The church has suffered considerably both from removals and in the death of some of its most efficient members. It now numbers 79 members, but some 25 of that number reside out of town, and are so situated as not to enjoy the privilege of associating with the church, but have not found it convenient, or have not been disposed to unite with other churches. The whole number received has been something over two hundred and twenty-five.

An Extinct Freewill Baptist Church

About the year 1813 a small church was gathered in the south-west part of Farmington, known as the Second Freewill Baptist Church in Farmington, which, after existing for a few years, was disbanded. A part of its members were embodied in the Christian Church in that vicinity, and others united with such Freewill Baptist Churches as afforded local accommodations. (Knowlton’s Corner was the central point of this Church)

Farmington Falls Freewill Baptist Church

Another church has since been established at Farmington Falls, but as it is mostly made up of members in Chesterville we shall fobear giving its particular history. David Morrill, a licensed preacher, as one of the most active members from its organization to the date of his death, which occurred Dec. 28, 1842. This church was small at the time of its organization, and remained so far some time. They were favored with a special revival in 1841 and 1842, in which Elder Timothy Johnson took a conspicious part, and where he removed his church relation, where he has continued his labors the most of the time since. This Church now numbers 28 members, and is now nearly destitute of preaching. (After the publication of the first edition of Judge Parker’s History, this church declined till it became extinct. The present Farmington Falls Freewill Baptist Church is a more recent organization)


At the New England Conference held at Lynn, Mass. In Sept of 1793, Jesse Lee, who had been the Pioneer of Methodism in New England, was appointed to travel in the then Province of Maine the ensuing year, and to form a circuit where he might think best. He preached his first sermon at Saco, Sept. 10, from Acts xiii:41 "behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish; for I work a work in your days, a work which you shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you." On the 13th of Oct following, he preached at Hallowell, and on the 15th at the house of Moses Starling, Esq., in this town, from Heb iv; 1, "Let us therefore fear," Etc. From thence he proceeded to visit nearly all of the towns then settled, from the Androscoggin to the Penobscot River. He formed a Circuit extending from Hallowell and Monmouth to Sandy River, and on his return to the Conference in 1794, Philip Wagner and Thomas Copp were appointed to take charge of it. The first Society formed in the Province of Maine was at Monmouth, on the 1st of Nov 1794; the 2nd in Readfield, and the third in Farmington, soon after. Something over a year prior to this time a revival had commenced on the west side of the river, and a Freewill Baptist Church was organized. The reformation was becoming general, in every section of the country, and the new order of people seemed well prepared to assist in carrying forward the good begun work. A class was first formed on the west side of the river in the neighborhood of Mr. Gay, consisting of Jotham Smith and wife, Micha Wethern and wife, William Gay, John Austin and wife, and some others. Jotham Smith was appointed leader. Immediately after another class was organized on the east side of the river, in the neighborhood of Elvaton Parker, who with his wife and most of the family became members, together with Mary and Polly Brown, Eleazer Pratt of New Vineyard, and Jacob Chandler, Nabby Pease, Zilpha Green, Sally Gay, Patience Butler, and some others.

Here a Sabbath appointment was established and continued for some years, at first at the dwelling house of Mr. Brown, and afterwards at that of Mr. Parker. Wm. Gay was appointed leader of this class. It continued for some years, when it became reduced by the death of some, and the removal of others, when the class was dissolved and the remaining members united with those on the west side of the river, which has ever continued its operations, and perhaps has been on of the most substantial and efficient in town.

The Class at Farmington Falls was organized in 1798. Stephen Titcomb, Jonathan Knowlton, with many members of their families, John and Sarah Gower, Nathaniel Whittier, Desire Stinchfield, Ruth Whittier, and Jesse Ingham were among the first gathered in the place.

At the Conference in 1795 Enoch Mudge, and Elias Hull were stationed on this Circuit, which comprized four Sabbath appointments, viz: Monmouth, Readfield, Farmington and Livermore, together with weekly appointments in most of the towns from Monmouth to the upper settlements on Sandy River.

During this time a very efficient Class had been formed in Strong, consisting of William Reed, Eliab Eaton, Edward Flint, Richard Clark, and their wives, and many others. Another Class or organized at Avon, among the members of which were Joshua Soule, Moses Dudley, Ebenezer Thompson, with many of their families, and others. From this Class were soon raised up three acceptable preachers viz: Joshua Soule Jr, Samuel Thompson, and Daniel Dudley, the former of whom is now one of the acting Bishops of the Episcopal Methodist Church, resident in Ohio.

This era of the Methodist Societies in Maine forms a striking contrast with the present. They not only had to contend with embarrassments incident to the formation of societies on new ground, but much of the country was little more than an unbroken wilderness. They traveled at all seasons on horseback and not unfrequently by spotted lines, experiencing all the inconveniences incident to new settlements, which seemed only to nerve them up to more zealous exertions for the conversion of souls, and the building up of the church.

The first Quarterly Meeting in the State was held at Monmouth, on the 23rd of June, 1795, and the first on the Sandy River in December following. – Jesse Lee was Presiding Elder, who continued in that station for some time, when he succeeded by Joshua Taylor. Mr. Lee visited Maine in 1800, and for the last time in 1808. He preached his last discourse in this section at Farmington Falls from Isaiah xxxiii; 13: - "Hear ye, that are afar off, what I have done; and ye that are near, acknowledge my might." After a rehearsal of the goodness of God in the conversions of souls, and the building up and spread of the societies, witnessed by himself, he powerfully enforced the exhortation of Joshua to the Children of Israel, "Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and truth".

Mr. Lee was born in Prince George County, Va. He entered the traveling connection in 1782, and first visited New England in 1789. At the Conference in New York in 1790 he ordained Deacon and then Elder, and appointed to travel in New England. In 1791 he appointed Presiding Elder over the first New England District. He died at Hillsborough, on Annapolis Circuit, Dec 12 1816. He was a man well qualified to fill the station he occupied, that of an itinerant preacher. Though a plain and pungent preacher he possessed an affable disposition, and was well calculated to disarm opposition in all its forms.

The first Methodist Meeting House in this State was built in Readfield, and dedicated by Mr. Lee, on the 21st of June 1795. In this house the first Conference was held Aug 29 1798, of which Francis Asbury was Presiding Bishop.

The Society at Farmington Falls proceeded to build a Meeting House about 1800, being the first in town, - where Sabbath appointments were established and continued with success for some time; but owing to various causes, the house was suffered to go to decay, and the Class became much reduced.

In 1820, a Class was organized on Porter’s Hill. Osgood Eaton, Job Brooks, Wm. Russell, with their wives, and many of their families, were among the members.

In 1831 the Brick Meeting House on the west side of the river was built, mostly by the Methodist Society, where they now have preaching half the time.

Near this time a Class was organized at the Center Village, on in the eastern part of the town, one in the Holly Neighborhood, and one at Backus’ Corner. {end of the now Holly Rd}

This town and Vienna now form a Circuit, furnishing preaching alternately on the Sabbath, once in two weeks at the Brick Meeting House, once in four weeks at Farmington Falls, and at Vienna, and various lectures through the week in the more remote sections of the towns.

There are now six classes in town, viz: at Farmington Falls, the Center Village, Mosher Neighborhood, Holly Class, at Backus’ Corner, the West Side of the River, and Porter’s Hill, numbering, after the formation of the Protestant and Wesleyan societies in 1843 – 114. About 80 of this number were members of the church, the remainder being members of classes on trial.

Several preachers have been raised up viz: Benj. F. Sprague, John Allen, Jabez Talbot Gay, who were successful preachers in the traveling connection, and John Gower, Joseph Russell, Jeremiah Butler, John Norton, and Moses Brown, who have acted in a local capacity.

In the society’s progress very many have been the changes as to the formation and alterations of classes and circuits and districts, bu the Traveling Connection has always furnished preaching to a greater or less extent. The societies have been occasionally favored with special revivals, among which may be noticed those of 1794 and 5, 1808 and 9, 1821, 1824, and 1843, and others of less note.

In looking back on the past we readily see that most of those who filled places of usefulness both in the ministry and membership, in the former part of that period of which we have been speaking, are gone the way of all the earth and their places are now filled by others; while many who remain have shifted their fields of labor and usefulness, and their stations are supplied by new gifts. Among those who have labored successively for the edification of these societies, not already noticed, may be named Stebbins, Broadhead, Kibby, Heath, Stone, S. Hull, Williston, Searl, Hall, Bates, and many others, among whom ought not to be omitted the name of Eleazer Well, who traveled in this district a number of years. It may be said of him as Stephen, he was a "man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost".

When Attending a Quarterly Meeting in Strong on the 13th of July, 1823, it being a time of unusual drouth, and it seeming to all human appearance that sustenance for man and beast must fail unless prevented by an interposition of Divine Providence – Mr. Wellls was led to exercise unusual faith in prayer for assistance in that time of distress, from that God who is wont to hear and answer the prayers of those who humbly and devoutly implore his assistance. A the close of his prayer he recommended the observance of the 17th of that month as a day of fasting, humiliation and prayer, on account of the drouth. The day was religiously observed by many of the societies, and at its close a most refreshing rain commenced, which resulted in again reviving the hopes of the husbandman, and enabled earth to produce a plentiful harvest.


The first preacher of the Baptist denomination known to have visited the Sandy River Valley was Rev. Eliphalet Smith from Massachusetts. He was an itinerant preacher, and was engaged in a revival in what was then called Starling, now Fayette. He penetrated the then thinly settled region of country as far as this place, and attended some appointments at the house of Moses Starling as early as 1792. A church was that year organized at Fayette, being the fruits of the revival referred to. Mr. Smith was constituted its pastor.

In the course of the winter following, Oliver Billings – since known as Elder Billings, - who had been a subject of the revival and who had united with the newly constituted church in Fayette, made a visit to Farmington. His testimony to the truths of the gospel carried conviction to the hearts of several in the place, which was the commencement of one of the most extensive revivals ever known in this section of the country. It continued to progress through 1793, 1794 & 1795.

Most of the early converts in this revival were baptized and gathered into the church by Elder Lock, soon after, and united with the Freewill Baptists. Some, however, embraced Baptist sentiments and occasionally Baptist preaching was had in the town from Elders Smith, Case, Billings, and some others, but no church was organized till 1797, when a small church was gathered by Elders Case and Smith. It consisted at first of seven members.

Among the first members were, Church Brainard, Abigail Brainard, Eliphalet Bailey, Joseph Fairbanks, and Abel Sweet of Farmington, and Wm. Bradbury, of Chesterville. Church Brainard was chosen Deacon. The church was furnished with but little preaching, and had but small accessions for some time, so that in 1807 it consisted of nine members only.

About 1809 the place was again favored with a pretty extensive revival and an addition was made to the church of some thirteen members.

In 1810, in consequence of some internal difficulties, the church was dissolved, and a new church was organized – July 20 1810 – by the assistance of a Council called from the Churches in Fayette and Jay, and which consisted of Elder Oliver Billings and five others. The Church then contained eight male, and fourteen female members. Benj. Brainard was chosen Clerk, and Isaac Thomas Deacon. Several others united with it soon after, among whom was Eliphlet Bailey who appointed Deacon.

From its first organization to 1821, a period of about 24 years, it received only occasional preaching by Messrs. Case, Smith, Billings, Briggs, Low, Boardman, and some others. In 1816 the church was favored with the labors of Elder Billings, to a considerable extent, which were greatly blessed to the edification of its members, and to the gathering in of a number who had not before made a public profession of their faith in Christ.

In 1821 Rev. Winthrop Morse from Massachusetts became pastor. The Church had then 52 members, but in three years it was again left destitute of a pastor by the resignation of Mr. Morse.

The next minister was Rev. Hezekiah Hull from Nova Scotia, who labored with the Church acceptably in 1828 and 1829, and some additions were made. In 1834 a number were added as the fruit of a union protracted meeting held in August of that year. Rev. Nathan Mayhew preached the former part of the year, and Rev. Wm.Wyman the latter part of the year and a part of the succeeding year, one half the time, to the advantage of the Church.

Till this time the Church had been destitute of a suitable house for public worship. Their meetings were at first held in barns and dwelling houses, and subsequently in School Houses, in different neighborhoods, and a part of the time in what is now the Court House, which was for many years the only Meeting House in the center of the town, and which was owned by six or seven different societies. In 1835 they erected a house for worship which was completed the following season. The expense of building the house was a source of some embarrassment to the Church, but from which they have nearly recovered. The Church, however, continued to sustain preaching statedly, one half or three fourths of the time, generally, till the settlement of Rev. Amaziah Joy as their pastor. He was ordained Dec. 5 1838, and continued his labors with the Church til Feb. 8 1840, when he was dismissed. His place was supplied by Rev. Levi B. Hathaway, whose ordination took place June 30 1841. They were soon left destitute again, as Mr. Hathaway closed his pastoral relation with them on the 30th of may, 1842.

In September following the Church gave Rev. N. M. Williams a call to become their pastor for five years, which was accepted by him. Application was made to the Missionary Society for assistance in his support, which was afforded to some extent for one year. The Church continued to make provision for his support year by year, by subscription, that being their usual method.

In April following a union protracted meeting was held in the place, in which the Church took a part. A general revival ensured, and considerable additions were made to its numbers, as fruits of the revival, in the course of the season. Occasional additions have since been made by letter, and the church now numbers ninety.

Mr. Williams contained his labors with the Church till the 3rd of Jay, 1846, being a period of nearly four years, when he presented a letter of resignation, which was accepted and the church is now destitute of a pastor.

Cyrus Case, who united with the Church in 1835, was licensed to preach in 1840, and ordained as Pastor of the First Baptist Church in Monmouth, in Oct 1842.


The first preacher of the Universalist denomination who visited this town, is thought to have been the Rev. Mr. Barns, and after him a Mr. Smith, and perhaps some others. In 1811 the Universalists obtained an Act of Incorporation from the General Court of Massachusetts, by which they were denominated the "First Universalist Society in Farmington".

This was the first incorporated society in town, and it consisted of fifty members who principally resided in the lower part of the town. They were organized Sept. 2 1811 by making choice of Jeremiah Stinchfield for Clerk, Benj. Weathern, Reuben Lowell, and Jeremy Wyman for assessors, Wm Gould for Treasurer, and Reuben Lowell Jr. For Collector. At the same meeting, Thomas Gorden, Reuben Lowell, and Horatio G. Quincy were appointed delegates to represent the society in the General Convention to be held at Freeport on the second Wednesday of that month. They took immediate measures to raise funds by an assessment of one hundred dollars on the polls and estates of the society, for the support of preaching. The Rev. Mr. Root appears to have been employed for one third of the time. In 1812 the General Convention was held at Farmington for the first time.

From that time to 1824 preaching was furnished for a part of the time only, as contract were made from time to time but at this time Wm. A Drew united with them and soon after commenced preaching, and being a young man of talent he soon became an able speaker. He however soon removed, and has since confined his labors mostly to the County of Kennebec, where he has acted as prominent part, both as a preacher and as editor of a paper devoted to the interests of the denomination and to other useful objects.

Soon after this period the Rev. Zenas Thompson settled with the society and continued his labors for some time. The Society up to this time, had received additional members to the amount of 38, making 88 in the whole, which number had been diminished by deaths, removals and dismissions to about 70.

IN 1829 the State of the Society having become somewhat unpromising, it was thought best to organize a new Society as the First Universalist Society in Farmington and Vicinity, which was done under the then existing law, by a Warrant from a Justice of the Peace, on the petition of Wm. Gould and sixteen other individuals, desirous thus to be embodied, who met at the Schoolhouse near Reuben Butterfield’s, on the 29th of June, 1829. Gen. Wm. Gould was chosen Moderator, and Zenas Thompson, Clerk. The meeting was the adjourned to the first Wednesday in Sept at which meeting ten additional members were received, and the following officers were chosen viz: John Russ, James Butterfield, and Lemuel Bursley, Assessors; Nathaniel Whittier, Collector; Moses Butterfield, Treasurer; and Leonard Billings, Ira Morse, and Wm. Gould, Standing Committee. The society voted that the annual meeting should be held in March or April, and also to raise the some of one hundred dollars for the support of preaching for the year. Mr. Thompson’s labors were continued with the Society till April 27, 1833, when his pastoral relation with the Society was by his request dissolved. Since this time preaching on the Sabbath has been continued but a part of the time.

In 1832 the society received in securities from the first Parish in the town the amount of $636.17 being the proceeds of the funds arising from the lands appropriated by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for the use of the ministry, and for the first settled minister, an arrangement having been made by which the funds were divided equally between the six different religious societies in town. The organization of this society has been regularly kept up, and the expenses have been borne by regular assessments, from the interest of the fund, and by voluntary contributions or subscription.


The first preaching in Farmington was by the Congregationlists. Rev. Mr. Emerson, of Georgetown, in this State, who visited the place some time previous to 1788, preached the first sermon in Mr. Titcomb’s log house, and baptized his child, being the first born, and the first baptized in this town.

In 1790 the place was visited by Rev. Mr. Little, then pastor of a church in Kennebunk, who was employed by the Massachsetts Missionary Society as a missionary. For several years succeeding the Rev. Jotham Sewall of Chesterville, and Rev. Samuel Sewall, then of the south-westerly part of this town, supplied those who preferred Congregational preaching, either by the aid of the Society or by the voluntary contributions of the people. In the early part of the present century, Rev. Jonathan Burr, who afterwards settled at Sandwich, Mass, supplied the people for one season if not longer. In 1804 Rev. Mr. Gould preached with them as a missionary from Massachusetts. In 1805 Rev. Mr. Marcy labored here as a missionary from the Massachusetts Missionary Society.

From 806 to 1812 Rev. Jotham Sewall furnished the principal supply. He was so well received that upon his exchanging for a season with Rev. Mr. Cox of New Hapshire, Mr. Starling remarked "We paid Mr. Sewall for wheat, and he has given us oats".

A Congregational Church was early organized in Chesterville, with which those of that denomination of this town united, and remained till a church was formed here in 1814. In 1813 Rev. Mr. Fifield Holt came here from Andover Theological Seminary, Mass. He was a good man and deservedly popular. He was afterwards also preached occasionally in the place, and exercised a kind of pastoral supervision over the interests of the denomination till the settlement of Mr. Rogers.

In 1814 Mr. Hezekiah Hall preached in Farmington and vicinity. He was a man of ready talent, and very fluent and copious in his words, and logical in his discourse, but he had many eccentricities, and so many and glaring faults, that although he was subsequently settled in New Sharon, he remained there but nine months.

In the years 1816, 1817, 1819, 1823, 1824, and 1825, Rev. John H Ingraham, Rev. Thomas Adams, Rev. Elijah Jones, Rev. Seneca White, Rev. George W. Campbell, and Rev. Daniel D Tappan labored here as missionaries for considerable periods of time, and others who came then and previously labored for shorter periods. To three of these – Rev. Messrs. Adams, White, and Campbell, either overtures for settlement were extended, or movements to that effect were made, but were not successful. The immediate predecessor of the present pastor, in missionary labors, was Rev. Fifield Holt, of Bloomfield, in this State. He closed his services in the fall of 1825, and died a few years after at the age of 48.

Rev. Isaac Rogers, the present pastor, came here in Nov 1825, and was ordained as Pastor of the First Congregational Church, on the 9th of March 1826.

At this time the only house for religious worship at the Center was what is now the Court House. That was then owned and liable to be occupied by six or seven denominations. For Five years Mr. R. Preached in Farmington three-fourths of the time, and the other fourth in Wilton and vicinity. The old Meeting Hosue being owned with others could not always be occupied by him even that part of the time. Hence they occupied school houses and dwelling houses, in different parts of the town, and they not unfrequently held interesting and profitable meetings in the Hall of the Academy, which is now denominated the Chapel. In 1831-2 a new building was erected by Deacon Nathaniel Green, for the purpose of High School. Through his generosity this afforded a quite convenient place of worship for several years. The Congregationlists occupied the old Meeting house half the time, which was something less than the amount owned by the Society entitled them to. The building erected by Dea. Green is that recently occupied by S. G. Ladd Esq. as a hardware store.

In 1837 the neat and convenient house of worship which the Society now occupies was dedicated to the service of Almighty God. Since that time their meetings have been stated and regular, and exceedingly well attended. The Church was organized Dec. 14, 1814. It then consisted of twelve members:

Thomas Wendell, Abrahm Smith, Luther Townsend, Ebenezer B Wellman, Harrison Allen, Mehetable Titcomb, Prudence Minot, Dorothy Townsend, Mary Bailey, Mary Case, Hannah C Beale, Susannah Richardson.

The Deacons have been Abraham Smith, chosen 1814; Hebron Mayhew, chosen 1815; died Dec 1826; Nathaniel Green, chosen 1828; dismissed 1845; Thos. Hunter, chosen 1836. Thos. Wendell, the present Clerk, was chosen in Jan. 1818.

The church had increased at the time of the present pastor’s ordination to not far from fifty who had been admitted, but by deaths and dismissions this number was diminished to forty. Some small additions were made to the Church in the years 1826 and 1827, but its greatest times of enlargement have been in connection with three seasons of deep and general religious interest, with which it was pleased God to favor the place since that period. These were in the years 1828, 1834, 1842, and 1843, and at these several periods, not far from 120 were added to their numbers by profession and letter, and upwards of 30 have been added since.

There have been connected with this Church since its organization not far from 207 members. Of these upwards of 157 have been added under the present pastor. Of the whole number 38 have died, 42 have been dismissed to other churches, and four have been excommunicated. The present number is 122. Not far from 20 of these, however reside in other places, while not far from 10 members of Congregational churches in other places reside in town and attend on Mr. Rogers’ ministry.

Christian Church

On the 22nd of Dec. 1822 a number of professed Christians in the south-west part of the town of different societies, but principally Freewill Baptists, met and formed an association for their mutual edification as Christians, to promote their spirituality, and to adopt measures to extend the cause of the earth – but without the intention of forming a distinct or separate church – but from having been impressed with the necessity of all the followers of Christ being knit togther, in th spirit of love, as far as their locality would permit, without references to differences of opinion in things which they did not consider essential to their fellowship as Christians. They proceeded to establish monthly or conference meetings, which were constantly attended from 1822 to 1832, with a few exceptions. They entered into an agreement that they would watch over each other, not for their halting, but for their furtherance in the divine life – that they would take the Scriptures for their rule of faith and practice, inviting all of every name and denomination, who sincerely love God and wish for the promotion of Prince Immanuel, to unite with them for the purposes referred to. It was further agreed that all such as might unite with them, should have the privilege of retaining their standing in whatever church they might be attached to, and help or receive help, from any Christian church or society, but were required to attend, as far as consistent, all church or conference meetings appointed by the society.

They continued to have accessions to their numbers from different denominations, and some who had not attached themselves to any church, who signed the preceding agreement, so that their numbers increased to some 60 or 70. During this period preachers of various denominations occasionally held meetings in the neighborhood where their conferences were held, but mostly of the Christian connection. On exchange of views with preachers of the land named denomination it was found that their views and practices agreed with the views of most of the Society, and thinking it might be for their furtherance in the gospel, they appointed delegates to the Christian Kennebec Conference, held at Monmouth, on the 13th of Oct. 1832, who bore a request for their admission to fellowship with that body, upon which they were received.

On the 30th of April 1835 Elder Peter Young, formerly from York, in this State, united with this Church, and became its pastor, and was much esteemed. His labors were blessed to the edification of the Church, and considerable additions were made during his ministry, which was continued most of the time till his death, being about three years. In April 1835 a number were dismissed for the purpose of forming another Church in Jay, who, with others were soon after embodied in a Church of the same order. Mr. Young died at his residence in Chesterville, May 24 1838, when the Church was left destitute of a pastor. In Oct. 1838 Elder Jonathan Bradbury of Vienna, was received into the Church and assumed the pastoral charge, and preached with the Church occasionally. He died Oct 21 1839. The church remained destitute of a pastor til March 23, 1841, when Elder Daniel Rogers, From New Hampshire, united with the Church, took the oversight, and preached with them the principal part of the time. Under his labors there was some revival, and additions were made to the Church. He continued his labors about three years, and then returned to New Hampshire. He was a man who possessed the confidence and esteem of the Church, and of most of those who knew him. Some two or three years since, some fifteen members withdrew on account of some difference of opinion, and a number having moved away, and some having died, the church is now reduced to about 30 members, whose local situation is rather scattering. Since Mr. Rogers left, Elder Henry Frost has preached occasionally with the Church. They are at present destitute of stated meetings for religious worship. John F. Woods is the only one who mar remains of the original members.


The first Unitarian Society in Farmington was organized Feb. 27 1830, on the petition of the following individuals, who constituted the original members; viz: Nathan Cutler, Asa Abbott jr., Henry Titcomb, Joseph Johnson, Isaac Tyler, Argalis Pease, Ribert W. Robey, Henry Stewart, John A. Stoyell, Wm. H Johnson, E. Gilman Rosson, and Thomas Williams. – Wm. H. Johnson was chosen clerk and Isaac Tyler, Treasurer, and Henry Titcomb, Argalis Pease, and Henry Stewart a Standing Committee for the year. Asa Abbot Jr. Was appointed agent to receive the society’s proportion of the ministerial fund. Nathan Cutler was chosen Treasurer in 1831, and A H Stewart Clerk in 1833, which offices they have filled to the present time. They soon after received considerable accession of numbers, and they proceeded by an arrangement with the Trustees of the Academy, to fit up the upper story of the Academy Building, for the accommodation of meetings for public worship, and which answered conveniently for the purpose, and which has since been known as "The Chapel". On 1836 the Rev. Thomas Beede, Abigail Beede, Hannah R Beede, Elizabeth Moore, Deborah Belcher, Ann B Titcomb, Caroline W Belcher and Josiah Prescott were received as members of the Society. Mr. Beede was employed to preach with them, which he continued to do for some time. He was supported by subscription, and the interest arising from the share of the ministerial fund received from the town. Since Mr. Beede left they have not had stated preaching. Small appropriations have been made from the interest arising from the funds, for the purchase of tracts and books for gratuitous distribution – otherwise the interest has been added to the principal, which has considerably increased. The whole number of members received into the society appears to be 36. From deaths, removals, and other causes, the number has been somewhat reduced. The Society now numbers 23.

Protestant Methodists

A Protestant Methodist Society was formed in the upper part of the town Jan. 17 1843, but Benjamin Dodge, who had formerly been an ordained local preacher in the Episcopal Methodist Church, but who had subsequently united with the Protestant Methodists in Massachusetts, in the same capacity. The first organization embraced five persons; viz: Benjamin Dodge, Richard H Dorr, Nathan Davis, Moses Brown, and Stephen Williams. Jabez T Gay and Marchant Holly united immediately after. A religious revival soon after commenced in the neighborhood, which extended to the Center Village and into other sections of town. About 70 were received into the Society, which was divided into several classes, most of which remain, and which contain at present time about 35 members. The Protestant Methodists have at present time four ordained preachers; viz: Benjamin Dodge, Richard H Dorr, Nathan Davis, and Marchant Holly. Jabez Talbot Gay united with this Society immediately after its formation, and acted a very conspicuous part in the reformation to which we have alluded. He was a man of undoubted Christian character, though possessed of some eccentricities. He possessed an acceptable gift, and was unusually devoted to the work of preaching the gospel, to which calling he devoted himself without reserve. The interest which he felt in the salvation of his fellow men, and his incessant labors in the ministry, no doubt served to hasten his early death. He died in Feb., 1845, at the age of 35.

Wesleyan Methodists

In March, 1843, a Wesleyan Methodist Society was formed on the west side of the river, consisting of Moses Lufkin of strong, Joseph Russell, Peter R. Tufts and wife, Ira Sprague and wife, Daniel Stanley and wife, Matthias S Norcross and wife, Andrew Tuck and Daniel York or this town – twelve in all. Peter R Tufts was appointed Leader, and at the ensuing Conference, Benjamin Bullock was stationed with the Society for half the time, where he continued for the two years following, and occasionally since, occupying the Brick Meeting House alternately with the Episcopal Methodists. Messrs. Russell, Lufkin and E. Pope have occasionally supplied the later part of the time. Some additions have since been made, and the society now numbers about 20.

Sketches of Neighboring Towns

New Sharon – Prince Baker: Was the first settler in the town of New Sharon. He was a native of Pembroke, Mass., from which place he removed to Readfield, in this State, at an early day, and from there to what is now New Sharon, in 1782. Nathaniel Tibbits, Benjamin Chambers, Benjamin Rollins, James Howes, and Samuel Prescott 1st were among the first settlers in that town. The township was purchased of the State by Prince Baker, Feb. 14, 1791. It contains 28,800 acres.

MILLS AT THE FALLS: Were first built by Abel Baker, in 1801. They afterwards passed into the hands of Francis Mayhew, and were rebuilt by him and much improved. The water power privilege at the Falls is a superior one, and the location possesses many advantages for a business place. It has a Grist Mill, a Saw Mill, a Shingle Machine, Starch Factory, one or more Tanneries, a Fulling Mill, a Carding Machine, a number of Blacksmith’s Shops, and most kinds of Mechanics, a number of stores, two Lawyer’s Offices, and

FOUR MEETING HOUSES: Baptist, Methodist, Congregationlist, and Universalist. The Freewill Baptists have a meeting house in the south part of the town, and there is a free meeting house at
WEEKS’ MILLS: in the North-west part of the town, where there is a set of Mills, a Starch Factory, and a considerable village. (The mills at Weeks’ Mills have since been abandoned, as well as both the Starch Factories. Of the Six meeting houses the Baptist has been abandoned and the Universalist purchased by the Congregationalists for a Vestry. Another Saw Mil has been erected below Weeks’ Mills, and the chair and carriage manufacturing business have grown into importance)

THE BRIDGE: was build about 1809 or 1810, and has seen been rebuilt with permanent stone abutments and covered.

INCORPORATION – Valuation – Soil – Fire

New Sharon was incorporated June 20 1794. In 1840 it contained 1820 inhabitants – 319 polls – valuation as corrected by the Legislature, $286,890. The town posses a varity of excellent soil and has an advantage in location over most of the towns in the County as to access to market and water communication. A large and convenient Meeting House, built by the different religious societies, about 1816, on the site now occupied by the Congregational Meeting House, was burned in April, 1842.



Jay, which takes its name from Hon. John Jay, was incorporated Feb 26 1795. It was formerly known as Phipps’ Canada and was granted to

CAPT JOSIAH PHIPPS, and 63 others, for services in the French War of 1755. It was a large township situated on both sides of the Androscoggin, and embracing 27,200 acres, about one third of which, lying on the west side of the River, was incorporated into a town by the name of Canton in 1821. By the grant it was to be divided into rights of 400 acres each, one to be reserved for Harvard College, one for the first settled minister, and one for the use of the ministry, and one for the use of schools. It was early surveyed and divided into lots of 100 acres each, a settling committee was appointed by the associates, who subsequently purchased the whole, and so managed the business that the original owners received little or no benefit from the grant.

FIRST SETTLERS: Actual settlements were not commenced till after the Revolutionary War. Simon Coolidge, Dea. Oliver Fuller, Samuel Eustis, Scarborough Parker, Moses Crafts, Isaac West, Thos. Fuller, Joseph Hyde, Nathaniel Jackson, Samuel Jackson, Wm. Godding, and James Adkinson were some of the first settlers. There is something of a village on what is called

JAY HILL, where James Starr Esq. now a resident of the place settled as early as 1802. Here are two Stores, a Tavern, Meeting House etc.

JAY BRIDGE – MILLS near Jay Hill there is a toll bridge across the Androscoggin where a first rate Grist Mill and a Saw Mill were put in operation in 1846. There is also a Meeting House in the northern part of the town, and another in the more easterly part. This town has derived little benefit from water power or floating capital, but was settled by and possesses a population of industrious, independent yeomanry. There is also a small village known as

BEAN’S CORNER: in the north-east section of the town, where several sons of the late Friend Bean of Readfield, settled at an early day. (A fine union Meeting House has since been erected at Bean’s Corner.)

RELIGIOUS HISTORY: at first the people of Jay had only occasional preaching from traveling preachers. A Baptist Church was organized in 1799, which became large and flourishing. Joseph Adams, one of its members, became its first pastor in 1804, where he continued his labors some 14 years with success. He was followed by Rev. E. Nelson in 1821, who continued 3 years. In 1824 the Church had 153 members. In 1826 it became divided in opinion, nearly one third of the members were excluded. The excluded portion formed a second church. Since this they have been supplied by various preachers, as employed from time to time. Some six Baptist ministers have been raised up for this Church. There is also a considerable Methodist Society, who have stated preaching, and two small Freewill Baptist Churches. In 1840 the town had 1750 inhabitants, and 290 polls. The valuation in 1842, as corrected by the legislature was $239,077.



The first settlement in Strong – formerly Middletown – was made as early as 1784, by Wm. Reed, from Nobleborough, in this State. He was followed by Edward Flint, John Day, David and Joseph Humphrey, Jacob Sawyer, Wm. Hiscock, Benjamin Dodge, Timothy Merry, Eliab Eaton,Peter Patterson, Robert McLeery, and _____ Ellsworth, all from the same vicinity. The first framed barn was put up by Mr. Reed, in 1786-7, and his house – the first framed house – in 1791-2. The inhabitants of the town, as well as those locatd higher up the river, frequently had to go to Winthrop to mill, and to use mortars for some years. Richard Clark and Joseph Kersey settled in Strong about 1792. The township was purchased of the State by an Association, of which Wm.Reed was one, and who acted as agent in the purchase and survey of the Town. The State reserved one lot for Pierpole, on which he had settled, after leaving Farmington Falls. He put up the second framed house, where he remained til 1801, when he went to Canada with his family. Strong is situated directly north of Farmington, on the Sandy River. It embraces a territory of seven miles from north to south, and five from east to west. The soil is strong and fertile, though the surface is somewhat uneven. It has a considerably large pond on the eastern extremity, at the outlet of which a Saw Mill and Clover Mill, built and owned by Alexander Porter, are situated. There is a Grist Mill on the Sandy River, and on the north-east Branch of the Sandy River & Grist Mill, Saw Mill, Fulling Mill, Carding Machine, Starch Factory, Tannery, and various kinds of mechanic Shops, and a very pretty village containing a number of Stores, a Post Office, Lawyer’s Office, Meeting House and Two Taverns. Just below the village there is a bridge across the Sandy River. At the lower part of town there is also a Meeting House, and one in the easterly section, all of which were mostly built, and are chiefly occupied by Episcopal Methodists. There is a Meeting House in the north-east part of the town which was built by the Congregationlists, and which they occupy.

WILLIAM REED was early commissioned a Justice of the Peace, and held many important offices till near the close of life. He was a man of more than ordinary talent and possessed the confidence and esteem of all who knew him. His house was ever the home of traveler, and his hands were ever open to the wants of the needy. His house was burned in April, 1823, which was the cause of his instant death.


Strong was incorporated, Jan 31 1801, taking the name of Strong from the circumstance of the Act of Incorporation being the first act of the kind which bore the signature of Caleb Strong, who was for many years Governor of Massachusetts. In 1840 Strong contained 1109 inhabitants, and 155 polls. Its valuation was corrected by the Legislature of 1842 is $58,989 .



The first settlement in Chesterville was made by Abraham Wyman in 1782. Dummer Sewall 2d and Samuel Linscott commenced in 1783 near the Lower Mills. Rev. Jotham Sewall, Elder Edward Locke and others, moved into the town soon after.


Mills, Village, Streams, Ponds etc

The Mills at the Center were first built in 1785. There is now a considerable village at the place. The Saw Mills have afforded more pine lumber than any other in this section of country, a considerable part of the territory having been partially covered with a growth of pine. At this village there is a Meeting House, Starch Factory, on or more Stores, and Mechanics of various trades. There is also a Saw Mill at the southerly part of the town, and one at Farmington Falls. At Keith’s Mills there is a Grist Mill, a Fulling Mill and a Carding Machine. Shingle Machines are attached to nearly all the Saw Mills. Chesterville is situated South of Farmington and is watered by Wilson’s Stream, the Little Norridgewock, McGurdy’s Stream, the Sandy River and a number of ponds. The territory does not conveniently accommodate public meetings, as the town is some ten or twelve miles in length, and in width narrow and irregular. It has several excellent ridges of land for Farmington, and the town produces of the best neat stock in the country. The population in 1840 was 1098, and the number of polls 197. The valuation in 1842 was $142,359. Chesterville was incorporated Feb 20, 1802. The title was derived from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the township contains 19,000 acres.



The town of Avon – formerly called Upper Town, lies still higher up the Sandy River, and westerly of Strong; the Sandy River passing through the town in a nearly south-east direction. Settlements commenced in Avon about the same time as in Strong. (1784). Capt. Joshua Soule, from Damariscotta River, and Capt. Perkins Allen, from Martha’s Vineayrd, Mass. Moved into town prior to 1784. They were followed by Moses Dudley, Ebenezer Thompson, Mark Whitten, Thomas Humphrey, Charles Dwelley, and Samuel and Jesse Ingham. The southern and western parts of Avon are somewhat uneven and not wholly settled. The summit of Mount Blue is near the southwest corner. There is a small village in the easterly part of town, where there formerly a bridge across the Sandy River, which is a place of some trade. There are two Saw Mills on a small stream on the west side of the river. Avon was incorporated in Feb 22 1842. (I THINK this is a typo – I think the year was 1804) It had 828 inhabitants in 1840, and 141 polls. Valuation in 1842 $79730. (Avon has no Meeting House, nor does it particularly need one, as its inhabitants are mostly accommodated by Meeting Houses at short distances from the boundary lines in Phillips, Strong and Freeman)

New Vineyard


The town of New Vineyard was purchased of the State by an Association of individuals of Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., together with Jonathan Knowlton, of Farmington, who acted as their agent. After the survey it was divided by lot among them. Nearly all the settlers were from Martha’s Vineyard from the commencement of its settlement, and was incorporated by that name Feb 22 1802. Daniel Collins and Abner Norton commenced improvements and removed their families into town in the fall of 1791. They were the only families who wintered in the place the following Winter. The first crops were raised in 1792. They were soon after followed by Samuel Daggett, Jonathan Merry, James Manter, Ephraim Butler, John Spencer, Cornelius Norton, David Davis, John Daggett, Benjamin Benson, Joseph Smith, Henry Butler, Herbert Boardman, Charles Luce, Henry Norton, Wm. Farrand, Seth Hillman, Ezra Winslow, and Calvin Burden. Settlements north of the mountains were commenced soon after by people mostly from Middleborough Mass, among who were George Pratt, Eleazer Pratt, Paul Pratt, Elias Bryant, Simeon Hackett, Jabez Vaughan, Zephaniah Morton, and Benaiah Pratt.


That part of the Gore has since been set off to Industry, and besides which the town comprised a territory of six miles square. The south-easterly part, embracing about one-fourth part of the town, has been more recently set off, and now forms a part of Industry. The town has quite a range of mountains extending nearly across the town from east to west, near the center, dividing the waters of the Sandy River from those of the Seven Mile Brook. The soil is generally good, especially in the northerly and easterly sections. The principal stream is the outlet of Porter’s Pond in Strong, which discharges into the Seven Mile Brook, and on which are a number of valuable mill sites. A first rate Grist Mill, two Saw Mills, a Clover Mill, a Shingle Machine, and various other kinds of machinery, two Meeting House, one store, a number of Mechanic’s Shops and Dwelling Houses form a considerable village, which has been called Vaughan’s Mills. The mills are now owned by Messrs. Luce and Stewart. New Vineyard is situated east of Strong, and north of Industry, and the place of business is about nine miles from the Court House. It had a population of 927 in 1840. The valuation in 1842 amounted to $94,408. But the population and the valuation have both been reduced by the transfer of territory to Industry.


Industry was formed from a remnant of the northwest corner of the Plymouth Patent or Kennebec Purchase. It is situated easterly of Farmington, and is bounded on the west by that town and New Sharon, north by New Vineyard – part of which has been set off to Industry. The first settlements in the town were made by James & John Thompson, Zoe Withee, Thomas Johnson, and Wm. Allen, about 1793 or 1794. Benjamin Cottle, Daniel Luce, Peter Daggett, Jabez Norton, Peter West, James Winslow, John Gower and Lemuel Howes were also early settlers. The land were first taken up as each individual chose to select, and held by possession and afterwards purchased of those claiming proprietorship under the original purchase. Bull Horse, or Clear Water Pond, situated in the north-west corner of the town, affords an excellent stream of water, on which are a first rate Grist Mill, a Saw Mill, Tannery, and Starch Factory, which, with a Store and a number of Mechanics Shops, form a place of considerable business, near the outlet of the Pond. The mills were first built by Rufus Davis, and passed into the hands of James Gower, and from him to the present owners, Benj and N. T. Allen. A set of mills was built in the northeast part of the town by Peter West, at the time of the first settlement of the place, where there is now a considerable village. They have a Meeting House (Methodist), Fulling Mill, Carding Machine, a number of Store and Shops, and the village is known as West’s Mills. There is also a union Meeting House at the center of the town, and one in the Thompson Neighborhood in the eastern part of the town, owned by the Methodists. The town was incorporated June 20, 1803; had 1035 inhabitants in 1840 and 181 polls. The valuation in 1842 was $139,067. There are four churches in town viz: Methodist, Baptist, Congregationalists, and Freewill Baptist.


The town of Temple lies west of Farmington and north of Wilton, and was incorporated June 20, 1803. Temple and Wilton take their names from two towns in New Hampshire similarly situated, and from which many of the early settlers emigrated. Temple was formerly known as Number One of Abbott’s Purchase. The settlements were commenced about 1795. Joseph Holland and Samuel Briggs were the two first who moved into the place. They were soon followed by James Tuttle, Moses Adams, John Kenney, Jonathan Ballard, Wm. Drury, Asa Mitchell, Samuel Lawrence, Messrs. Farmer, Tripp and Poor, and Gideon and George Staples. Mr. Tuttle, who settled at the center of the town, was soon succeeded by Benjamin Abbott, Esq., who was one or the most useful and respected citizens in the place. He died in 1823, at the age of 53. Temple, at the commencement of its settlement, was owned by Benj. Phillips, of Boston, but was surveyed and settled under the agency of Jacob Abbott, Esq., late of Brunswick in this State, who subsequently purchased the residue of Mr. Phillips’ eastern lands. Temple is somewhat mountainous, embracing quite a portion of the Blue ridge, but is good for grazing, and is said to furnish the best of sheep. The town is watered principally by the Starling or Davis’ Mill Stream, on which there is a Grist Mill, and some two or three Saw Mills, a starch factory and a machine Shop. Temple has two Meeting Houses – Congregational and Methodist. (Since another, a Freewill Baptist) Stated meetings have been continued from near the first settlement, by the Congregationalists, Methodists, and also by the Freewill Baptists. There has been on or two stores kept at the Mills for some years, where there is something of a village, and several mechanics. The population in 1840 was 955, polls, 149. Valuation in 1842 was $90,504.


The town of Wilton, formerly called Tyngtown – was granted to Capt. Tyng, and a company under his command by the State of Massachusetts, for destroying an Indian by the name of Harry. It was explored in 1785 by Solomon Adams and others, and located by Samuel Titcomb, Esq., Surveyor to the State, and lotted by Solomon Adams in 1787. Samuel Butterfield built the first mills in Wilton about 1791. Isaac Brown was the first man who moved into the town. Wm.Walker, Ammial Clough, Joseph Webster, Silas Gould, Ebenezer Eaton, Josiah Perham, Ebenezer Brown, Joshua Perley and Josiah Blake were among the first settlers. Wilton lies west of the adjoining Farmington. It has not only a productive soil, but possess superior advantages in water power; the Wilson Stream being one of the best in this section and running through the town from west to east. There are two considerable villages on the stream. What is called the Upper Village has a superior Grist Mill, two Saw Mills, two Starch Factories, a Shingle Machine, a Fulling Mill, a Tripp Hammer, various kinds of Machinery, a Tannery, two meeting houses, a brick school house, two taverns, a number of stores, two law offices, with various Mechanics. At the Lower Mills is a Grist Mill and Saw Mill, a Woolen Factory, one Meeting House, two Public Houses, a number of Stores, and various Mechanic Shops. There is also a Grist Mill and Saw Mill at the north part of the town, at the outlet to Varnum’s Pond. The mills first built by Mr. Butterfield were where the Lower Village now stands. He soon after erected the first mills at the outlet of the pond at the Upper Village, where he successfully prosecuted business till his death, in about 1814. He was succeeded by Charles Morse who rebuilt the mills with considerable improvements, in 1840, when he introduced the first Burr Stones into this section, thought some seven or eight sets have since been put in operation in the County. Col. Morse died in 1845. He was a useful and much esteemed citizen. Wilton was incorporated June 23 1803 – population in 1840 2198, polls 401, valuation in 1842 $395,163. There are three Freewill Baptist Churches, a Congregational Church and several Methodist Societies in town.


Freeman, which joins Strong on the north, is the westerly of two townships granted by the State of Massachusetts to the sufferers of Falmouth – now Portland – in the burning of the town by the British in the Revolutionary War. It was surveyed and settled under the agency of Reuben Hill, about 1797. Wm. Brackley, David Hooper, Alexander Fassett, Samuel Weymouth, and Messrs. Burbank, Morton and Boston, were some of the first settlers. It derives little advantage from water power, but it has a productive soil, thought rather hard to cultivate. The northerly part of the town, or what is called Freeman Ridge, is said to be the best for tillage. Near the center of the town there has been a store for some years, but the town has no considerable village. It was incorporated March 4, 1807, and takes its name from Samuel Freeman, late of Portland, who was one of the principal owners at the time of the settlement. Population in 1840 – 838 – polls, 142 – valuation in 1842 $83,902. It was formerly six miles square, but a part of its original territory has been attached to Salem.