History of Phillips
History of Phillips
Compiled by Wendell Whitney 1933
- Phillips is situated in the northwest part of the State, in the Sandy
River Valley and at the foot of Mt. Blue, the first land to be seen when
coming into Portland Harbor. Phillips is near the center of Franklin County
and is bounded by Madrid and Salem on the north, but he latter and Freeman
on the east, Avon and Weld on the south, and Number Six on the West.
- The principal river of the town is the Sandy River, which runs in an
easterly direction across the middle of the town. It has never been
navigable on account of the many rocks and low water. Frequent rises of
water have widened its banks and caused numerous sandy beaches which are the
derivation of the name "Sandy River"
- Among the Norridgewock Indians the French Catholics had a priest whom the
Indians accused of instigating trouble. These accusations led to hostile
relations as a result of which the Catholics assisted by a troop of English
soldiers attacked and cruelly massacred all on whom they could lay their
hands. The tribe being threatened by this onset with extermination, the
survivors migrated and made settlements for themselves. Pierpole came to
Strong, while others came to Curvo Falls (the Indian name at that time for
Phillips), and established a small colony of sixteen wigwams between Lookout
Bluff on the farm now owned by Ardine Kinney and the side of the residence
of Winfield Corbett. Across the river from the settlement was a samll cave
cache which is still in evidence. On the left-hand side of the present road
was a large magnet rock fragments of which can still be found. The Indian
trail followed from this point the river whcih at that time flowed in a
straight line from Black Brook bridge. An old Indian told the people that
the river struck a ledge and then followed the present course. Forty years
ago an old Indian woman by the name of O’Connor, a descendant of this
tribe lived in Madrid and later died in Saco jail.
- The first homes built were those of the first settlers who came in 1791.
These were rudely constructed log huts which served as dwellings until frame
houses were built. The first frame house was constructed by Horace Greely.
Though he had an intervale he built his buildings on a hill. The log house
and frame house that followed it were long ago torn down, but his barn still
stands as that on the George Voter farm. Schools were sometimes kept in this
barn on the scaffolding. The planks that made the floor for the school room
are still in use. It is quite probable that this barn is the oldest building
now standing in Phillips. The above-mentioned planks were sawed out by two
men with a whip saw.
- The fertile valleys and intervales attracted the first settlers who passed
by where the lower village is now and made clearings on the more inviting
intervales above. The first settlement was made then in 1791, when homes
were erected at intervales on both sides of the river from the fair grounds
to the fording place in front of the farm of Hezekiah Hinkley. The plots
were taken up in 1790, but not cleared until 1791.
- No one man can be called the first settler. In 1791 seven young men came
here and made clearings, erected log huts and the next year brought their
families. Capt. Perkins Allen of Avon built his house on the elevation near
the farm of Ardine Kinney. The stone fireplace has been visible until
lately. Isaac Davenport, the great-grandfather of Marshall Davenport of this
town, made improvements on the land on which the upper village is now
located. Harry Dunham’s intervale and Bangs’ Island. He built his house
near the residence of Charles Ross. Josiah Davenport, the great-grandfather
of Mrs. Daisy Pratt, settled on Wheeler Hill and although only eighteen
years old, cleared land and had a large farm. The location of his settlement
was determined by a nice spring. Henry Greely built his house on the site of
the George Voter farm, 100 rods from Marshall Davenport’s residence. His
brother, Moses Greely erected his log hut between the ell of the Atwood
estate and the small pond beside the present road. He later built a frame
house and barn – in the latter church meetings were held. Another Greely
brother, Seth Greely, cleared land part of which is now Toothaker Park. The
noticeable depression in the ground about a rod and a half straight out from
the door of the exhibition hall is what is left of Seth Greely’s cellar.
Uriah Howard, of Avon, the great-grandfather of Miss Georgine Wilbur, was
the first to bring his family here. He cleared a great part of Davenport
Flat and lived on the site of the Andrew Davenport place, so called. He
later moved across the river and lived where Dexter Beedy now resides. The
pot holes where these settlers pestled their grain can still be seen in the
ledges back of Herman Plaisted’s residence. Other early settlers were
Charles and Christopher Church who came from Avon in 1799, the latter
building the home of Georgine Wilbur, the site of which was then in
- The first post office was established about 1818 across the river on the
"Warren Bates" house now owned by Leonard Kinney. The building was
used as a stone and post office combined.
- The first postmaster was Joel Whitney, who married for his first wife
Sarah Dyer, daughter of Rev. Joseph Dyer and grand-daughter of Elizabeth
Dyer. Mr. Whitney was also a merchant of general necessities. It is said
that his salary as a postmaster was equal the amount of cancelled stamps.
- At the time of the first post office, the mail was brought here on
horseback as the roads were then merely toepaths widened out. There were at
that time but two newspapers, The Maine Farmer and the Morning Star, which
came three times a week and were loaned from house to house. As soon as
travelling facilities permitted, a stagecoach route was established from
Gardiner and Hallowell to Phillips. Frederick Stewart of Farmington was
traffic manager and carried mail, passengers and freight.
- Phillips has had several names. It was called Curvo by Capt. Perkins Allen
in honor of a foreign port visited by to which it bore a resemblance. The
Indians at that time called it Curvo Falls. The people of Farmington called
it Upper Settlement, in the series, Farmington or Lower, Strong or Middle,
and Phillips or Upper Settlement. The real name of the place until the
incorporting act rename it Phillips was Township No. 2, Sandy River. In the
war of 1812 there were several soldiers from Phillips and it was some of
these who attempted to fasten upon the town the colorless name of "Shadagee".
- As above mentioned, Phillips was called Curvo by Capt. Allen because it
resembled a foreign port once visited by him. The Indians did much trading
at the settlement in their reference to it called it Curvo Falls. In the
serises setlements, because of its positon, it was called Upper Settlement.
The American and English forces, Oct 1813, fought a battle on the borders of
a river name Chateauguay. The former were defeated and were compelled to
spend the night in the forest. Mr. Phineas Whitney, a resident of Phillips,
was in that engagement. When he returned home, he remembered the name of the
river and endeavored to apply it to the town, but pronounced it "Shadagee".
It became a local colloquialism. Hence Phillips was called by the old
settlers Shadagee. It was called Township No. 2, Sandy River because it was
the second settlement or township along the Sandy River, the other township
being Farmington-Township No. 1.
- In 1835 the Union Church was erected and also the First Methodist Church,
both places being dedicated the same year. The Union Church was wooden
structure while the Methodist Church was built of brick. The brick church
stood a few tods back from the main road along by Warren Larrabee’s
resident. A few bricks can still be seen in back of his garage. The church
was erected there because it was believed that the main part of the village
would be located there. The building was 48 feet long and 40 feet wide. It
was lighted with its ten windows and also had two front entrance doors, one
on each side of the church, with a semi-circular lights over the doorways.
The ceiling was high and elliptical with choir gallery over the front
entrance and pulpit at the rear of the church. Pews with straight backs were
- The first parsonage was the Downing place across the road. The first
Minister was C L Browning, later I T Thurston, Camp Meeting John Allen and
others. The first baptism was on Nov 12 1859. Early deacons were Joseph and
Luther Toothaker, William Ross, William Church, Daniel Gordon, and Daniel
Badger. The statistics of the first Congregational Church follow in the
- The barn built by Moses Greely was the first church building. It stood
back of the Atwood residence, between the house and the small pond by the
road. People met there to worship for many years. It served as the Baptist
meeting place for a long time. The first organization in town was the Free
Baptist Church founded in 1794 by Benjamin Randall, the founder of the
Baptist denomination himself. When this church was established, it was the
third church in the county, the sixth in the state, and the ninth in the
- The first storekeeper in Phillips was Col. Theodore Marston. He moved here
and established himself as a merchant in 1811 or 1812. He lived where the
Bonney Cottage now stands. His residence here was short. He lived where
Harry Dunham now resides and had his store near the Farmer’s Union,
probably on the site of the house between the Farmer’s Union and Dill’s
- The first representative to the Legislature of Maine from Phillips was
Joseph Dyer. He was also delegate to the Constitutional Convention of Maine.
- The population in 1880 was 1437
- The population of Phillips today is 1143
- The first high school in Phillips was established on the site of the
residence now occupied by Bonney Webber and George Adams. It was built
during the winter of 1825 and was ready for use the next summer. It was
built under these curcumstances because the old schoolhouse burned. It was
built in a rough way and was not so comfortable as its predecessor. It was
built with a fireplace in the front of the room and a stove in the rear, but
the fireplace was later removed.
- In 1812 the only school house in Phillips was situated near where the
Bonney Cottage now stands. It was a square building unpainted. The yard was
graded and there was a high bank in front. The school house contained a
teacher’s desk, then called a pulpit and on each side of this a large
fireplace. In the rear of the room was a closet where wraps were left. There
were four aisles and three rows of seats, six to eight sat in a seat. The
old pupils sat in the back and the younger ones in front. The lady teachers
taught in summer received a salary of nine shillings a week, and the
gentlemen teachers who taught in winter, eight to nine dollars a month. In
the winter of 1825 this building was burned.
- The school district in the upper village was called District No. 3, and
that in the lower village No. 11. In 1859 the people began to talk about
uniting the two district, but the schools went on as usually until 1867 when
the schoolhouse in district No. 3 was sold to Abner Toothaker for $100 and
that in No. 11 to W B Beal for $145. A new school building was built where
the present one now stands. Mr. Beal took the contract to build it above the
stone work for $3000, and it was completed the same year. The bell on No. 3
was placed on the new building. On the first floor was a primary and
intermediate department and on the second floor a Grammar department. The
yard was graded and a number of trees set out.
- Sixty years ago there were twenty school districts in Phillips; they were
Worthley, Wheeler, Butterfield, Prescott, Byron, Hunter, Sprague, Sampson,
Toothaker, Barker No. 15, Morrison Fuller, Smith Winship, Leavitt, Reed,
Brimigion, Dill, and Kempton. In 1861 the districts were known by number and
were numbered from District 1 to District 27. A short time before there were
twenty-seven districts, but they were consolidated these to suit the need.
- The schoolhouse in District 1 or the Worthley District was opposite the
cemetery this side of the Soule place on Tory Hill. The schoolhouse in
District 2 was known as the White Schoolhouse and was situated at the
intersection of the Parlin Road and the road leading past Dexter Beedy’s
in the Dunham pasture; lead pencils were later made there; later burned.
District 3 was the upper village and the schoolhouse located where Adams and
Webber live. District 4 was the Butterfield and schoolhouse on the same
spot. District 5 was the Prescott Neighborhood and the building near the
George Prescott place, near the present location. District 6 was what is now
the Blethen school and the schoolhouse in the same place near Eugene Hinkley’s.
District 7 was on the Bray Hill Road and the schoolhouse near the residence
of Abram Wyman. The schoolhouse in District 8 was teh Sprague School on the
road by Chick and Walsh between the W. P. Sprague and T Bunnell Places. The
no 9 schoolhouse was the Sampson school near the Josiah Sampson place on the
road by Fred Toothaker’s. Schoolhouse No. 10 or Smith was between the
Wright and Moulton places on the road leading to Henry Goldsmith’s
residence. The schoolhouse of District 11 was in the lower village probably
in the Parish House. District 12 was on the Newman Road and the schoolhouse
was on a road at right angle with that by Charles Pinkham’s. District 13
was in the western part of the town near the residence of Horatio Thomas.
District 14 schoolhouse was at Bragg Corner beyond the Maxwell place on the
right hand side of the road leading to Reeds Mill. No. 15 was toward the
Avon line to the southwest corner of the Four Thousand Acres. No. 16 was the
Morrison district and the schoolhouse was on the left hand side of the road
to Rangeley this side of Charles Dodge’s residence. No. 17 was near the
residence of W. Ross in the eastern part of the town. Schoolhouse in
District 19 was where the Winship is now located on the Weld Road. No. 20 or
the Leavitt School was beyond the farm of Ernest Rowe on the same side of
the road. No. 21 of Lufkin was where the Reed is now located. No. 22 was on
Bray Hill a short distance from the Salem Line where the main road and a
road leading to S. William’ intersected. District 25, the Calden District
Schoolhouse was located a short distance southeast of Ben Calden’s
residence near the bridge on the road leading to Walter Hodges’ back farm.
The schoolhouse in District no. 27 was located on a road branching from Tory
Hill road a short distance beyond the residence of C Y Meserve. This
district was what is now called the Cushman District.
- In 1812 Phillips was incorporated as the 193rd town. The act of
incorporation passed the Lower House on February 21, 1812; the next day it
passed the senate, and three days later, Feb 25, was signed by one who
thirty six years before was a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
- The first town meeting of the new town was held on April 6 1812 in the
house of Elder Samuel Williams, who lived on the east side of the river in
the lower village, near where Colby Whittemore now resides.
- According to town records, the first appropriation for public schools was
less than $100. The first town tax assessed totaled $240.69 of which $20 was
state tax; $17.61 was county tax, the school and town tax assessed together
$200, with $3.08 overlaid. In 1813 the school tax was assessed separately
and amounted to $98.75
- Records show no early appropriations for roads. It is very likely that the
proprietors built or supervised the building of the first roads. Jacob
Abbott was the proprietor of a district comprised of the towns of Madrid,
Salem, Avon, Carthage, Weld, Temple and special grants. He was in charge of
the wild land and the settlers thereon. The first real appropriation for
roads is said to have been made in 1835 and to have been $225.
- As shown by records the first town officers were: Thomas C Jordan,
moderator of the first town meeting, Jacob Whitney, Town Clerk, Jacob
Whitney, Benjamin Tufts, and Isaac Davenport the Selectmen and Assessors.
Elder Samuel Wheeler was first town treasurer. Thomas C Jordan lived where
Mrs. Elma Dill now lives; Jacob Whitney lived on the farm on this end of
Davenport Flat now owned by Hezekiah Hinkley. Benjamin Tufts in the French
place, so-called, at the foot of Blake Hill and now owned by Harry Dunham.
Isaac Davenport lived at the foot of Davenport Hill in the Andrew Davenport
- Quite a part of the taxes in Phillips one hundred years ago were paid in
labor and produce – a certain portion in cash. Some road taxes were worked
out on the roads. In 1822 when Phillips had been a town for ten years, a tax
of $304 was assessed to be paid in money, and a tax of $369 was assessed to
be paid in corn and grain. Teachers were frequently paid by wheat at the
standard price of $1 per bushel.
- The man elected to collect taxes was called Tythingmen. As then
interpreted the term meant men who served as constables in enforcing
community rules and performing acts of responsibility.
- Part was taken from Berlin and annexed to Phillips. The Legislature of
Maine by an act passed January 31, 1824 incorporated the town of Berlin
which comprised all that part of Plantation No. 6 in the county of Oxford,
which lies east of the line dividing the tenth and eleventh lots west of the
four thousand acres, so called, with the inhabitants thereof. In 1846
(Chapter 46, Special Laws of Maine) the former act was repealed and a part
of the town annexed to the town of Phillips in Franklin County. Berlin
contained about thirty families most of which were large. The town contained
one sawmill but no other machinery. Farming was the chief occupation and
wolves were abundant.
- Phillips was formerly a part of Oxford and Somerset Counties. West
Phillips was in Oxford County and the village proper in Somerset.
- The line between the two counties extended from a stone marker on the
Madrid line near the County Road bridge so-called thence southerly to a
point on the Avon Line near the southernmost corner of Weston Parker’s
- Phillips became a part of Franklin County when the latter was organized in
- Franklin County was formerly part of two different counties, namely Oxford
- Franklin County was organized on March 20 1838.
- At present one has to go to Farmington to look up the titles to real
estate situated in the west part of Phillips. Before the county was
organized in 1838 one had to go to Paris, (now South Paris), the county seat
of the county of Oxford. At the time of the organization the deeds were
- To look up titles to real estate located in the easterly and southerly
parts of the town one has to likewise go to Farmington. Before 1838 one had
to go to Skowhegan the county seat of Somerset County.
- The Indian name for the Sandy River is Mussel Unsquit.
- The name means a place where the Indian get plenty of moose, a whole
canoeful of game, a good hunting ground.
- The Indian Pierpole, made famous by a poem by Julia Ismay Harris, lived in
a cabin at the mouth of the Crosbyville stream for several years.
- When the white man first settled in the Sandy River valley they found but
one Indian and his family. Pierpole. The chieftain was found at Farmington,
but later, yielding to the urgent appeals of his squaw he removed to Strong
wehre a lot had been reserved for him by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
This lot is known as known as the Barto Farm and extended over Day Mt. Later
he moved to the lot on the north side of the river just above the bridge. On
this lot is a spring known as the old Pierpole Spring. Some of those
familiar with Pierpole’s history say that he knew a spot on Day Mt. Where
lead was obtained in large quantities. He procured the product as his needs
demanded and gave some to the white settlers. The secret of the source was
carried away by him. It was believed that Pierpole came from the
Norridgewock tribe at the time of their persecution. He was of medium
height, broad shouldered, straight, strong and lighte. He wore the costume
of the true Indian rejecting trousers of the white men as "too much fix
‘um". To the Indian and his wife, Hannah Susup, were born Molly
Pierpole, Molly Susup, Katie, Hannah, Oppalunski, Ignoose, and Joseph Susup.
Pierpole was a firm believer in the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church,
having been converted in youth. Because she had never been baptized, he
believed Oppalunski to be under the curse of God. Once he carried her to
Penobscot to have a priest perform the rites but he was forced to return,
his mission unaccomplished. Soon after Oppalunski died. She was buried on
the Hunter farm. Later Pierpole lost a son. As he died in summer, Pierpole
suspended his body in the chimney and smoked it till winter, when he carried
it to Canada on a sled. Hannah Susup had always hated the whites and pleaded
with her husband to go away. About the close of the eighteeth century
Pierpole made preparations to leave. He was last seen in this region where
he encamped at Farmington Falls before he embarked on the trip that took him
beyond the knowledge of the white settler. IT was the theory of Peter
Nicola, Chief of the Old Town Indians that, as Nicola and another brave had
done when boys, Pierpole went by canoe down the river to the Kennebec, then
to the ocean and by Portaging sailed to Old town. Pierpole’s destiny is
unknown to those in this vicinity but this was the theory told to a late
resident by Nicola who married one of Pierpole’s descendants.
- Colonel B F Eastman of Phillips presided over the joint convention held at
Strong when it is said the Republican party was born.
- Colonel Eastman lived sometime in the house now owned by Roscoe Searles
across the river and later moved to Tory Hill where he occupied the house
now owned by Albert Whitney. He lived here 23 years.
- Colonel Eastman had three sons. One, J F Eastman, Esq. settled in
Maryville, California, where he was a trader and lawyer. The other sons
settled nearer home and are more familiar to us. These two, Briceno and
Erman were the Eastman Brothers of the firm. Eastman Bros. & Bancroft in
Portland. This has been a large dry goods firm for years and still enjoys an
extensive clientele although the business is carried on by descendants of
- The following excerpt from a Phillips Phonograph of 1891 gives a first
hand account of the convention. "Col. Eastman, on his eightieth
birthday mentioned the fact that he presided over the first Republican
convention ever held, which he says took place in Strong on August 7 1854,
being a convention to nominate candidates for officers of Franklin County.
Col. Eastman was a Jackson Democrat in favor of temperance and opposed to
slavery. In July 1853 Albert Pillsbury was nominated by the Democrats for
Governor. On the same day three country conventions were called at Strong,
The Democratic, Whig, and Free Soil. They first met in the Methodist Church,
the Whig convention in the Congregational Church, while the Free Soilers met
at Porter’s hall. Mr. Eastman was president of the Democratic Convention
and Judge Currier of the Whig Convention. A committee was appointed from
each body to confer together to see what compromise could be secured between
the three parties thus represented. It was found that all were in favor of
the two principles, temperance and antislavery. In the meeting of the
committee, therefore, it was thought best to unite on this platform composed
simple of the two planks. One member of the committee rose and inquired what
name they had better take.
- Major Willard of Wilton immediately answered, "Let us be called
National Republicans". The committee agreed to this and so reported to
the convention and a consolidation was effected. Judge Currier and Col.
Eastman presided jointly in the new convention. The former was obliged to
leave for home in a short time and Col. Eastman presided the balance. After
the convention the members assembled at a bounteous dinner and forgot their
- Elder Joseph Dyer, the oldest son of a woman of Revolutionary War fame
emigrated from Malden Massachusetts to the province in 1806 and settled in
Phillips where he became the leading Free Baptist elder of that section. He
was a well educated man and lived on Tory Hill.
- His mother’s name was Elizabeth Nichols Dyer.
- She spent the last years of her life on the Benjamin Dodge farm,
so-called, located in West Freeman.
- Another son, John, obtained from Samuel Freeman, Esq. Of Portland, a tract
of 600 acres. This tract was later divided into four farms. The Dodge farm
consists of 125 acres much of which is hard wood. In the northeast corner of
the farm is the singled mound burying ground where repose the remains of one
who helped make American History. The grave is marked by a simple white
marble slab inscribed "My Mother, Mrs. Elizabeth Dyer, died June 7 1818
age 67. All flesh is as grass". The grave is cared for by the Colonial
- The husband of Mrs. Dyer was born in England and came to this country when
but a young man. Being a sea captain, at the outbreak of the Revoluationary
War he was engaged in carrying supplied for the American Army to Long
Island. In this hazardous undertaking he was taken by the British nine times
and the times stripped, severely flogged and kept without food for three
days, from the effects of which he never recovered. December 16, 1773 he was
the leader of the "Indians" who boarded the ships in Boston Harbor
and formed the famous "Tea Party" and his good wife Elizabeth,
then but 22 years of age, was one of those who prepared and applied the
stain that transformed white men into fierce Mohawks. At the time of the
British occupation the Dyers were living in the North-End, and friends,
becoming alarmed for her safety, took her and the children at night and put
them in a butcher cart, which had a pass, made them lie down, covered them
with cloths and matting and thus ran them safely through the lines to
Malden. Mrs. Dyer turned the Union Jack upside down on Boston Common and in
referring to this region called it "God’s Country". The home of
this family was sold to Benjamin Dodge in 1886 since which time many
improvements have been made. It is known as the "Prospect Farm",
faces the south and commands an unsurpassed view of the mountains and into
the adjacent counties. The suite of rooms occupied by Mrs. Dyer is in the
exact condition in which she left it and is very interesting to inspect.
Note: The family name has been spelled both Dyer and Dyar, however, the name
on documents and government files is spelled Dyer.
- Several Industries have been located at Bragg Corner. The following
account enumerates a few. One of Phillips’ natural curiosities is the
nearly dry bed of a pond in the upland and the gorge through which its
unloosed waters ploughed their way towards Sandy River. This section arose
from the insertion of a plank flume, with builkhead and gate, for the
purpose of increasing the power for the grist mill of the Messrs. Noyes on a
neighboring stream. A slight leak increased so that the flume was pressed
out, when the whole contents swept down the incline ploughing up soil,
moving great rocks, sweeping away a sawmill and costly improvements made on
the same, the grist mill, a carriage shop, a schoolhouse and several
dwellings. The mill stood at the corner near the bridge and went first.
Large granite rocks were carried as far as the woolen Mill. All that
remained was the Shepard house, a schoolhouse and a flint house. It is said
that a chair and carriage factory were once located at Bragg Corner. The
original tract was very large, including Runaway Pond, 100 acres, Long Cover
and the Settlement.
- The old Powder House in Phillips was located between the Parlin Road and
the overhead railroad bridge, in the Ross field on the right hand side going
north. More definitely located, it was between the Parlin Road and the
Eastman Ross house a few rods northeast of the Woolen Mill. It was a
strongly built wooden structure where a good supply of ammunition was kept,
forearms for an expected Indian raid. The Powder House was provided with
loopholes and situated in a position of vantage so that Indian tricks would
- The Indian Lookout was located on the high bluff back of the residence of
Ardine Kinney. The lookout had a commanding view of the surrounding
territory and wisely chosen. It was back of the Indian Settlement and the
starting point of the Indian trail which followed the river.
- The old Blockhouse was located on what is now Charles Prescott farm; then
it was on land owned by Elder Thomas Wilbur. There was another blockhouse on
Tory Hill but did not serve as such for very long. The blockhouse of Kelly
Hill, then Philbrick Hill, figured prominently in the Indian scare of 1812,
as a result of which the Rangeley Lakes were discovered. Everyone expected
Indians to surround the town any minute. One day a man was looking for
cattle on the farm now owned by Ernest Bachelder in Avon. As he passed the
edge of the woods he saw the bushes move, and his receptive imagination
decided Red Men were therein concealed. He gave the alarm through the
village where upon the inhabitants left their houses open and fled to the
home of Elder Wilbur. Here a stockade was hastily erected embracing on acre
of ground around the buildings. After remaining here for several days and
seeing no signs of the expected Indian seige, a war council was held and
scouts sent out. No Indians were seen about town so the scouts climbed the
eastern slope of Mt. Saddleback, but seeing no Indians they went to the
south and made a second ascent on the western side, and from there the
Rangeley Lakes were first seen by white settlers. They quickly descended and
proclaimed their discovery.
- Sidney Harden, assisted by his brother Cyrus, used to make furniture in
Phillips. His shop was located on the same side of the road as, and a short
distance up the river from the house on the Rock, so-called. Mr. Harden
lived in the house occupied by Otis Adams and stored his manufactures,
furniture, caskets, and special orders upstairs in the same house. Power for
his power plant was furnished by means of a sweep revolved by a horse.
Sidney Harden was the father of Moses Harden, who was a barber for years and
had his shop between Cheney Parker’s residence and that of Charles
- The old Tannery and Bark Mill was located on the river bank back of the
Pratt Place, now occupied by Frank Torsey. The road leading to it was
between the present barn and stable. The mill was a wooden structure and
very attractive, especially to youngsters who were always warned by their
mothers to keep away from the large vats lest they fall therein. At the time
the mill was at its height of business the Pratt house was owned and
occupied by N.B.Beal. William Quimby was the owner and proprietor and had an
extensive business. There was a small storeroom for the skins, a room where
the bark was infused in special containers, and finally the main compartment
where the skins were steeped in the vats. Later these several compartments
were made into one compartment.
- The muster ground in Phillips was the large field owned by Harry Dunham in
front of the Atwood residence. Twice a year and sometimes more often the
State Militia drilled there. It was a holiday observed by all. Men, women,
and children gathered, the first to take an active part. The rest to look
on. One Dubbie Church is remembered as always arriving at the muster ground
first. Homemade molasses candy and popcorn were sold and an all-day reunion
enjoyed by all.
- The building of the Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Railroad, the station
expecially, are now located on the site of a grove where Fourth of July
celebrations and political meetings were held. The grove extended from the
fence by the Russell Field to the Hilton House and the McKenzie Store one
way and to the cemetery the other. It was a large maple grove owned by
William Toothaker who lived in the house now owned by Mrs. Eva Toothaker.
Each spring he tapped these trees, but the sap was generally involuntarily
shared with the boys.
- James G Blaine once spoke in this grove. In the Phonograph of Saturday,
August 14, 1880, we read, "Senator James G Blaine, on our recent visit
informed us that he should surely addresses the citizens of Franklin County
at Phillips during the presnet campaign. In the issue of the same paper for
September 4, 1880, we read, "Last Saturday was indeed a big day for
Phillips. The sky was clear despite storm predictions. The first train
arrived at 11 o’clock with 200 people on board. Three other trains arrived
during the day. Senator Blaine and Gov. Davis accompanied by Hon. C G
Williams of Wisc. Mr. Blaine’s three sons and secretary and others arrived
at 1:30 and took dinner at the Elmwood. The grove was well filled before the
speakers at the stand and in due season the music of the Farmington Band
announced the escort of Sen. Blaine who was received with ringing cheers as
he was introduced to the audience. Gov. Davis arrived later and was likewise
received. There were at least 3000 people upon the depot grounds and
probably more. In the evening a procession was formed by the two bands and
Garfield Guards of Farmington, 50 strong, with torches and the procession
started just as a heavy accompanied by wind forced them to see shelter. The
shower continued until after the cars left at 9:30. The giant railroad
succeeded in getting the crowd to Farmington safely despite the fact that
the trains after noon ran on verbal orders. Every car of the road was put
into use even to the boxcars and seven or eight round trips were made."
- The "Mile Square" road is so-called because it is a road which
lead to a district laid out one mile square. A group of men laid out this
district one mile square with the original purpose that it be a school
district. Therefore the road leading to this district was called the
"Mile Square" road.
- Tory Hill was so-called because some of the residents on this side of the
hill especially were English sympathizers or Tories. The True and Worthley
families were Tories and their four votes were the only Phillips votes for
Caleb Strong the Federalist candidate for Governor of Massachusetts in 1813.
It is interesting to note that while New England as a whole was Federalist,
Phillips was intensely Anti-Federalist. It is on account of the few Tories
who comprised a faithful minority that the name Tory Hill survives. Those on
the other side of the hill were Whigs.
- In 1794 the general court of Massachusetts sold to Jacob Abbott of
Farmington and Weld, a tract of land including the present site of the
village. Later he was given a 4,000 acre grant on condition that he build a
road from Weld. This grant is located between the four tiers of lots taken
from Berlin and the Weld road. (Berlin is now known as No. 6) This grant is
lumber land and because of its area referred to as the "Four Thousand
- The Dodge Road is so-called on account of its original purpose. At one
time in Phillips, when the two villages were first settled, there existed
some contention between the two. When people had business in the upper
village they were reluctant to go through the lower village and nature
presented a very applicable solution. There was a short-cut made around the
village. This was for years merely a path, not kept open in winter, but
later it became a town road and called the "Dodge Road" because it
did dodge around the lower village.
- The Phillips Village Corporation was created April 13, 1888. The Charter
passed the legislature in 1887 and was voted on at the town meeting the next
spring. The first officers of the corporation were, clerk- W.A.D. Cragin,
Treasurer – F. E. Timberlake, two assessors – First, P. A. Sawyer,
second M. S. Kelley; Firewardens – first J.B. Noble, second M.W. Harden,
and third, W. H. McKeen
- The area of Phillips is 47.09 square miles, or 30,037.6 acres. Phillips
is, unlike most towns, irregular in shape, being six miles by twelve miles
and additional sections five miles long. The original area was 22,490 acres,
but the Berlin Annex and a section of the northeastern corner set off from
Salem in 1823 changed these figures.
- Beal Block was commenced in 1872 and completed in 1873.
- All those who made financial contributions toward the construction of the
block bid, and the highest bidder had the honor of having the block named
for him. Nathaniel B Beal, father of F. M. Beal made the highest bid, $50
and the clock was named for him.
- Tyler of Lambert also owned a share in the block and put in his bid for
the name of the block, but as mentioned above was outbidden by Mr. Beal. Mr.
Lambert bid $25 and therefore the hall was named for him. Mr. Lambert built
and lived in the residence owned by Mrs. Elma Dill. A Mr Fuller made a bid
of $15 and Odd Fellows Hall was for some time known as Fuller Hall, which
fact is substantiated by the following except from a letter printed in the
Phonograph of August 25, 1884 "The Odd Fellows have rented Fuller Hall
for ten years paying $700".
- The principal hotel in the upper village seventy years ago was the Haines
Hotel, now called the Willows. A little later the King Block was erected on
the site of Main Street Garage and used as a hotel.
- Some proprietors of the Haines Hotel were Charles Gile, George Toothaker,
Merchant Philbrick, Mark Kenniston, and Moses Sherbourne Hinkley. Daniel
Leavitt was the owner and proprietor of King Block.
- Sherburne Chapter O.E.S. is named for Moses Sherburne, a charter member
and first master of Blue Mountain Lodge of Masons. The first meeting of the
lodge was held in his office in Moses Harden’s shop. Mr. Sherburne later
moved to Minnesota, where he was appointed a judge of the supreme court by
- Daniel Hodges, a noted composes and singing school master passed his last
days on a farm situated in West Phillips near the rail road crossing just
beyond the Rufus Beedy place on the road leading pas the home of Wesley
Kempton. Mr. Hodges taught school in the Reed district in 1863-64 and a
singing school in Lambert Hall in the winter of 1865-66. In 1880 Prof.
Hodges had a convention in South Norridgewock and his books "The Graded
Singing School" and "Graded Anthems" were used. Mr. Hodges
lived in Hallowell before he came to Phillips, where was a successful farmer
aside from the fact that he was a musician. He was always interested in and
well informed on political matters. Mr. Hodges was a capable writer and
wrote for papers, signing his name DeFaitch.
- Some of his musical compositions are Gyp Junior, Boundless Love, Living
Waters, Graded Singing School, Rebeccah, Shining Strand, Dear Little Hands,
Little Bird on the Wall, Alone in the night, Cast They Bread Upon the
Waters, and Hodges’ Anthems. His son, Walter Hodges, has until the present
year received royalties on his father’s compositions.
- The following elevations in Phillips are all above sea level. Phillips
Village, 571 feet; Goff Hill 1196 feet; Tory Hill 1600 feet; Pleasant Street
at the RR crossing 568 feet; Main Street at crossing 570 feet; Blake Hill
810 feet; Blethen School 1052 feet: Prescott Schol 800; Adley Pond 983; Weld
turn 978; Top Cottle Brook Hill 986; Bang’s Residence 869.8; Harry
Bachelder’s 801; and Letter E Hine 1264.
- Mt. Blue, due south six miles is 3187 feet high; Mt. Saddleback, northwest
eight miles is 4217 feet high; Mt. Abram due north ten miles is 4049 feet
high at the town; Sugarloaf is 4237 feet high and Mt. Bigelow is 3350 feet
- Although Sandy River Pond is generally considered the source of the Sandy
River, the headwaters of the Sandy River is really a small pond generally
known as Mud Pond, owned by Howard Herrick of Rangeley and situated a short
distance west of Sandy River Pond into which it runs.
- The principal streams in town, besides the Sandy River, and it’s
tributaries are Dead Stream and Rowe Brook, East Brook and a small stream in
the southeastern part of the town. The tributaries of the Sandy River are
Cottle Brook, Perham Stream, Hardy Stream, Conant Stream, Orbeton Stream and
Black Brook, also South Branch in West Phillips.
- Not all the land in Phillips is drained by the Sandy River and its
tributaries. Some water from Bray Hill flows into Dead Brook, into the
Carrabassett River at Salem and so on to the Kennebec. Water from East Brook
flows into Weld Pond and water from Rowe Stream which also flows into the
- The Sandy River flows into the Kennebec River in the town of Starks near
- The water from the source of Sandy River must flow approximately one
hundred and ten miles before it empties into the ocean.
- The latitude of Phillips is 44 degrees 49 minutes and the longitude is 70
degrees 21 minutes from the center of the town.
- About 1800 Deacon Francis Tufts, a mill man of Farmington, built a mill in
Phillips. The upper part was a saw mill while a grist mill was located
downstairs. Two days of the week only were known as mill days in which grist
could be ground, the other days were for sawing. The mill owner took his pay
in wheat. Mr. Tufts later sold his mill to his sons Benjamin and Josiah; the
former built the house where Harry Dunham lives, and Josiah, that where M T
- Deacon Tufts’ mill was located on the spot where the "old grist
mill" now stands. The building is at the right hand side of the farther
end of the bridge in the owner village. It was later used as the electric
power plan being run by water power.
- The industries of Phillips are agriculture, lumbering and manufacturing.
- The products manufactured in Phillips today are clothes pins, wood
novelties, long lumber and woolen goods.
- The estimate of the average value of products manufactured in Phillips is
$145,000. It is composed of McLain Wood Products, $30,000; Berst Forster-Dixfield
Company, $100,000; Witham’s Lumber Mill, $5,000; Woolen Mill, $10,000. The
above evaluations are but estimates and in round figures, but they represent
an idea of the volume of manufactures.
- In 1822 Dr. J. L. Blake came into town to settle and began practice as a
physician and soon secured a very extensive practice. He lived on the side
of the present home of Raymond C Ross near the foot of the hill named for
the doctor as Blake Hill. He was the first permanent doctor in town.
Travelling physicians had stopped for a few days, but up to this time
medical aid was generally called from Farmington.
- Moses Sherburne was the first lawyer in Phillips. More data about him was
given in question 73.
- The first bank in Phillips was the Savings Bank established in 1871 with
Joseph C Holman treasurer. The union National Bank of Phillips was organized
in 1874 with cahsier, J. E. Thompson, and directors N. B. Beal, W. F. Fuller
and N. U. Hinkley.
- The banks in Phillips are the Phillips Savings Bank and the Phillips
National Bank. The officials of the Savings Bark are: President, C. F.
Chandler; Treasurer, N. P. Noble; Trustees, C. F. Chandler, G. B. Sedgley,
N. P. Noble, F. S. Haley and W. D. Toothaker. The officicials for the
National Bank are President, D. F. Field; Cashier, H. H. Field; Directors,
D. F. Field, J. B. Morrison, and C. E. Parker.
- Phillips has three churches, namely Congregational, Methodist and Baptist.
Rev. Willard Curtis is the minister of the Congregational Church; Rev. Frank
Williamson of the Methodist Church; and Rev. Myron Packard the minister of
the Baptist Church.
- Phillips has six schools. The village schools are graded to make High
School, Grammar, Intermediate, Primary and Sub-Primary Schools. There are
five rural districts: namely, Butterfield, Reed, Prescott, Blethen, and
- Newell P Noble was born in the town of Oxford, Oxford County in 1855 –
he lived on a farm and attended the common schools until he was 17 years of
age. He graduated from Hebron Academy in 1873 and from Bates College in
1877. He taught the Phillips High School in 1877 and 1878. After reading law
in the office of the late Elias Field for a year, Mr. Noble entered the
business of general merchandise with the late Abner Toothaker. In 1881 he
went into the dry and fancy goods business in Phillips, remaining in the
same until 1898. He then resumed the study of law and was admitted to the
bar in Franklin County at the February Term of 1899. Mr. Noble during his
residence in Phillips served many years as a member of the school board and
was superintendent of schools from 1894-1898, and for several years between
1900-1915. He inaugurated the itemized form of school report in 1912 and
under this supervision, the schools of Phillips ranked second in the state.
Mr. Noble is a past master of Blue Mountain Ledge, F & A.M. at Phillips
and Past Eminent Commander of the Pilgrim Commandry at Farmington. He is now
Treasurer of the Savings Bank and much interested in the schools, gladly and
efficiently helping with dramas and oratorical contests.
- Dr. E. B. Currier was also at the head of the school department. Mr.
born in 1866 in Wilton. He graduated from Wilton Academy and Westbrook
Seminary. In 1893 moved to Phillips where he built up an extensive
served as a member of the school board for many years and is still serving
capacity. Dr. & Mrs. Currier pass the winter in Florida and the summer
The school census of Phillips as given in the State report of 1832 is 298.
- The school enrollment as given by the above-mentioned report is 310, but
the actual enrollment is 293 and distributed as follows: High School 60,
Grammar 54, Intermediate 44, Primary 37, Sub-primary 33, Reed District 12,
Prescott 10, Blethen 19, Butterfield 9, and Cushman 15.
- The first boy to attend college from Phillips was Nathan Cook Brackett who
attended Dartmouth College after a preparatory course at Lewiston Seminary
in 1857-58. After the Civil War was completed. Mr. Brackett went to Harper’s
Ferry, West Virginia, where he established Storer College that the Negro
might avail himself of his hard-earned rights.
The first girl to go to college from Phillips was Miss Lura Dennison who
attended Wellesley College about 1875. Other Phillips girls had gone to
Lewiston Seminary before this time, but that was not a college then. At the
time Miss Dennison went to college, the comment was made "How foolish Dan
Dennison was to spent that $1000", but years later that comment was
changed to "That was the most wisely invested money Dan Dennison ever
spent." Miss Dennison cared for her family for many years, teaching in
rural schools and later in the High School where she was a very efficient and
much esteemed teacher.
were five from Phillips in college this; Dorothy Hoyt (Bates), Winston Hoyt
(U. Of Maine), Dorothy Field (Wellesley), Donald Field (Harvard Law), and Alice
Parker (Columbia University). There are three in business and "prep"
Elden Shute, Jr. at Hebron Academy, Norman Field at Exeter, and Henry Richardson
attending Bliss Business College.
There are six from Phillips in Normal School; Winnifred Bunnell, Dorothy Smith,
Maude Sedgley, Beatrice Hardy, Mildred Bangs and Leola Kempton.
following teachers were born in Phillips; Mrs. Nell Vining, Phyllis Harnden,
Russell, Marguerite Leavitt, Elaine Lufkin, Roxie Davenport, Wilhemina
Scholfield Servie, Evelyn Jacobs Smith, Lelia Ross, Evelyn Pillsbury, Lucille
Toothaker, Ralph Mc Leary, Florence Heath, Melvina and Laura Belle Hutchins,
Philip Stanley and Ellen Everett.
oldest man in Phillips is Charles Plaisted who lived with his son, Herman,
place above the Eastman Ross place above the Woolen Mill. Mr. Plaisted was
in Phillips January 22, 1845, and has lived in Phillips all his life except
years during which he lived in Salem. He is the hold of the gold-headed cane.
- J. Blaine Morrison was born in Phillips on August 10, 1884 and has resided
here practically all his life. He is the son of the late Judge Morrison and
Louisa Chick Morrison. He graduated from Phillips High School in the class
of 1903 and about two years later commenced the study of law in his father’s
office, completing his studies in the office of Frank W Butler in
Farmington. In 1908 he was admitted to practice law in the State Courts and
in 1915 in the United States Courts. For nearly twenty-seven years he has
been actively engaged in the practice of his profession in town. Mr.
Morrison has served on the Board of Selectmen for several years. In 1913,
1914 1917 1918 1919 and 1902 he was County Attorney of Franklin County and
in 1923 and 24 he served in the Legislature as a Representative from his
Class District and for the following six years was Senator from Franklin
County. His last term in the Senate he was elected and served as President
of that body. In the Masonic Bodies he is Past Worshipful Master of the Blue
Mountain Lodge No. 67 F & AM, Past High Priest of Franklin Chapter R.A.M,
Eminent Commander of Pilgrim Commandery K.T., Past District Deputy Master of
the 15th Masonic District of Maine, Past Senior Grand Warden of
the Grand Lodge and is a member of the Past Officers’ Association of
He was also Judge of Probate Court for 16 years.
Daniel F. Field of this town was born July 7 1872, the son of the late
Elias and Mary Hamlin Field. Educated in the common schools of Phillips,
graduated from Bates College and then attended Boston Latin School. He was
first a member of the Republican State Committee during Carl Milliken’s
administration as governor and has since been a member, being Chairman of the
Committee since 1926. He is at present President and a Trustee of the Phillips
National Bank and is in the lumber business.
Harry B. Austin started life sixty-six years ago at Farmington, Maine. In
1887 he graduated from Bowdoin College in the class with Clarence Burleigh,
son of Ex-Senator Burleigh. Spools were his ambition on leaving college.
Accordingly he established a mill in Weld which he operated until 1896 when he
came to Phillips where he erected another mill which he sold to the
International Mfg. Co. In 1904, he was employed by this company as general
superintendent for several years. Always interested in politics, Mr. Austin
was long known as one of Franklin County’s Republican leaders. He was sent
to district and state conventions and in 1908 presided very efficiently over
the second district convention in Lewiston. In 1911 and 1913 he was a member
of the House of Representatives from Phillips. Both years he was on the
committee on inland fish and game. In 1913 he was chairman of that committee
on the part of the House. He was a great sports man having hunted buffalo and
killed eight of them. His position as chairman of Fish & Game Commission
was from August 1913 – January 1918.
Hon. N. P. Noble mentioned above served as a member of the State Senate
James W. Brackett the editor and owner of Maine Woods for many years was
born in Alden Moores’ farm but lived at Harpers Ferry until his father
bought the Phonograph and moved here. In 1905 Mr. Brackett was appointed as a
member of the Fish and Game Commission to take the place of H. O. Stanley. In
1909 he was appointed chairman of the commission in which capacity he served
nearly two years, or until his death
Leroy T Carlton, a Phillips lawyer, was also Chairman of the Fish and Game
Elliott Dill of Phillips was Adjutant-General of the State of Maine in
On Tory Hill was born Mrs. Edna Worthley Underwood, the daughter of Albert
& Alive Worthley in 1873. She is a descendant of Lady Mary Worthley and
also of John Alden of the Mayflower. She was educated under private teachers
at Phillips High School, at Garfield University, Wichita, Kansas, and at the
University of Michigan. She graduated from PHS in 1901, and later from
Farmington Normal School. She also studied in the New England Conservatory of
Music. She reads eleven modern languages and one ancient language, and speaks
six languages. For a long time Russian translation was a passion with her and
she was one of the first Americans to translate stories from Russian. Some of
her famous works are: The Tates of Honey, Tu Fu, Wanderer and Minstre of
Cathay, The Penitent and the Whirlwind, a novel of the life of Catherine the
Great. She is a Fellow of the Royal Arts Society of London, a life member of
the Archaeological Institute of America and a member of the Modern writers
Guild and the Bookfellows Club of Chicago.
Dr. Augustus Stinchfield who was also born on Tory Hill was for many years
chief consulting surgeon at the Mayo Hospitals of Rochester, Minnesota (see
following wild flowers not bearing edible fruits are found in Phillips:
narrow leaved cat-tail, Great Bur Reed, Branching Bur Reed, Arrow head
Jack-in-the-Pulpit, water Arum, Skunk Cabbage, Golden Club, Job’s
Pickerel Weed, Bellwort, Wild Oats, Day Lily, Wood Lily, Turk’s Cap Lily,
Lily, Dog Tooth Violet, Clintonia, Wild Spikenard, False Solomon’s Seal,
of the Valley, Purple Trillium, Large Flowered Trillium, Nodding trillium,
trillium, Star of Bethlehem, Yellow Star Grass, Fleur-de-lis, Blue-eyed
Yellow Lady’s Slipper, Moccasin Flower, Orchis, Nodding Pogonia,
Plantain, Wild Ginger, Knotgrass, Common Chickweed, Evening
Wild Pink, spring Beauty, Yellow Pond Lilly, Water Lily, Water Plantain,
Meadow Rue, Wind Flower, Bloodroot, Wild Columbine, Gold threat,
Tresses, Smartweed, Common Mustard, Threat-leaved Sundew, Grass of
Meadow-sweet, Hardhack, Pasture Rose, Eglatine, Blue Lupine, Wild
Stone Clover, Red Clover, White Clover, Swamp Rose, Alsatian Clover,
Vetch, Yellow Sweet Clover, Yellow Sorrel, High Mallow, Common St.
Early Blue Violet, Frostweed, Mayflower, Star-flower, Fringer Gentian,
Dogbane, Common Vervain, Heal-all ground Ivy, Catnip, Motherwort,
Mullein, Rod Bluets, Bellflowers, Thoroughwort, Joe Pye Weed, Early
ticks, White Daisy, Yarrow, Pansy, Burdock, Bull Thistle, Hawkweed,
- The following are native wild animals: Bear, Deer, skunk, weasel, rabbit,
loupcervier, moose, raccoon, mink, muskrat, porcupine, woodchuck, squirrel
(stripped, grey, flying and red), beaver, otter, red fox, black fox, sampson
fox, fisher, sable, mole, mouse, rat and bobcat.
- The fish caught in the river and streams of Phillips are: Square tail
brook trout, Brown trout, salmon, eels, chub, silverside, white perch and
Alanson Parker 5th Regiment Inf
Webster Badger 8th " "
Gardner Baker 8th
Charles Eveleth 8th
Luther Russell 8th
George Smith 8th
George Plummer 8th
Calvin Stevens 8th
Josiah C Beal 9th
Lafayette Bray 9th
Van Bray 9th
Lorenzo Butler 9th
Thomas L Carlton 9th
Jonas C Chandler 9th
Willard H Chandler 9th
Newman French 9th
Samuel Hamden 9th
Daniel Marston 9th
Andrew Oberton 9th
James H Oberton 9th
Edwin H Prescott 9th
William Stickney 9th
Augustus Tufts 9th
Royal Whitney 9th
Moses C Wells 9th
William Coffin 11th
Moses Lufkin 11th
Edward Kenniston 12th
Harrison Heath 13th
Nelson Howard 13th
James Peavey 13th
Jonathan Orbeton 14th
Nelson Ross 14th
Charles O Gordon 1st Calvalry
James McKeen 16th Regiment
Loring Lufkin 16th
Harson W McKenney 16th
Leonard Plaisted 17th
Warren Kennedy 17th
Andrew Wormell 17th
George Kennedy 17th
Davis Goodwin 8th
John H Stevens 3rd
James Wills 28th
Enos Pratt 28th
Samuel Pratt 28th
Daniel Carlton 28th
James T Doyen 28th
Hosea B Dunham 28th
George Eveleth 28th
Joseph Fairbanks 28th
Charles Fairbanks 28th
Benj Goldsmith 28th
Demons Kempton 28th
Charles Libby 28th
David Lunt 28th
William McKenno 28th
Charles Plaisted 28th
Charles Pratt 28th
Levi Robbins 28th
Charles Small 28th
Charles Smith 28th
Ruel Soule 28th
John O Soule 28th
Daniel H Toothaker 28th
Nathaniel Willard 28th
Simon Parlin 28th
Phillips Bunnell 28th
Hollis Worthley 28th
Lorenzo Corbett 28th
Lyman Harmon 11th
James Phillips 7th
Thomas Russell 8th
John Tibbetts 8th
Winthrop Rowe 16th
Enoch L Winship 16th
Charles Church 16th
James Ramsdell 16th
John Stickney 16th
Samuel Blanchard 16th
Cyrus Foster 16th
Joel Moulton 16th
Daniel Quimby 16th
Ebenezer Tyler 16th
Eaton Heath 17th
Benjamin Whitney 17th
Andrew Plaisted 17th
William Rowe 16th
Lafayette Plaisted 17th
James Harnden 2nd Battery
Daniel Carlton 2nd Battery
Leroy Carlton 32nd Infantry
Frederick Bright 4th Battery
James Brackett 5th Battery
Elias Field 5th Battery
Walter Keene 5th "
Lyman Keene 5th "
Ethan Maxwell 5th "
George Prescott 5th "
Charles Reed 5th
Charles Smith 5th
Hiram Staples 5th
Ephraim Dodge 2nd Battery
James Thomas 2nd
Nathaniel Wells 2nd
Frank Whitney 7th Regiment
John Abbott 2nd Cavalry
Solomon Abbott 2nd "
Asa Brackett 2nd "
Ansel Brackett 2nd "
Charles Bubier 2nd
Benjamin Corser 2nd
George Howland 2nd
Frederick Hussey 2nd
Alpheus Kelley 2nd
James Morrison Jr 2nd
Gilbert Stetson 2nd
Leroy Smith 2nd
Ervin Wright 2nd
Harris Wilber 2nd
Francis Lufkin 5th Battery
Frederic Page US Vol.
John Sullivan US Vol
James Stevens US Vol
Charles Brown US Vol
John Bright US Vol
Charles Cimon US Vol
Hugh McGrael US Vol
John Smith US Vol
Charles Cushman US Vol
George Staples US Vol
Austin Foster 14th Inf
William Murray 12th Inf
Benjamin Shepard 30th Inf
Asa Prescott Mass. Reg
Harris Prescott Mass Reg
Abner Badger Mass Reg
William Badger Mass Reg
- In 1806 the first day-school was taught in the west end of Moses Greeley’s
barn on what is not the Atwood estate
- A carriage factory is said to have operated at Bragg Corner shortly after
the Escape of Runaway Pond. A Mr. & Mrs. Chandler lived at Bragg Corner
when the pond broke loose. Mrs. Chandler was at that time mixing a batch of
biscuits. The water took all of her material and the village people saw Mrs.
Chandler’s cakeboard and mixing bowl go over the dam.
- The first cemetery in town was Riverside Cemetery which is located in back
of the Methodist Church. In December 1839, Obed W Russell procured land for
a cemetery. At that time the only cemetery was a burying-ground which
contained seventeen graves back of the Parish House. In the summer of 1840,
the bodies were moved to the present cemetery which was then a field owned
by Joel Whitney who lived where Fred Hough now lives.
- A natural curiosity of the town is Mammouth or Daggett Rock. It is
situated on what was once Dagget farm on Wheeler Hill. The rock is an
immense boulder variously estimated from 35-50 feet high, 100 feet through
and 200-300 feet around the base. It is thought that this boulder was
brought here by a glacier. Famous geologists have examined the rock and
pronounced it to be of granite unequalled in quality around here.
- William Whitney was the first blacksmith of Phillips and had his shop not
far from W. S. Lovejoy’s shop. Mr. Whitney built the house now owned by
- 1816 was the year without a summer. Frost caused a crop failure as a
result of which some of the residents collected their belongings and started
West. Phillips at this time made a substantial contribution to the West in
money and men. Twenty-nine persons started for Ohio in prarie schooners,
carrying with them $23,000 worth of property. Nineteen years later a large
number departed for the West taking property to the value of $111,000, which
made a total of $134,000. Among those going were Moses, Henry and Daniel
Greely, John and Peter Dudley, Benjamin and Josiah Tufts, Joseph and Thomas
- The water supply which is adequate for any fire emergency is brought from
Mt. Blue Pond, five miles from the Village. The system was completed in the
fall of 1898.
- About 125 years ago Charles Church settled near what is known as Salmon
Hole. He carried his grain to be milled on his shoulder or hauled it on a
handsled through the primeval forest to Winthrop, a distance of 50 miles. In
1835 he and his wife rode to Boston and back in a chaise.
(my copy omitted 9-16)
- Phillips was not known to the outside world for some time after its
settlement. An article in the Phonograph of Satuday, September 11, 1880
read: Phillips has at last been advertised and made known to the outer world
in a letter to the Boston Herald. The letter opens thus: "There is a
place called Phillips. It is in Maine and the people who know of its
existence are comparatively few. This you will see at a glance is a
particularly happy illustration of cause and effect. Phillips possesses a
postmaster, a telegraph operator, a coroner, an editor and a perpetual and
perennial cold in the head. The first three items mentioned are combined in
the person of one individual, the fourth is monopolized by a single and
unalloyed party and the fifth is participated in by the entire
- The old brick church mentioned above was later used as a birth mill by the
Russell Brothers of Farmington. The bricks were square, roughly made, yet
very durable. The edifice was later sold to Harry Bell, who used the brick
to pave the sidewalk from Mrs. Louisa Berry’s house to Guerney’s barber
- The Sandy River Telegraph Company was permanently organized March 25,
1874, at a meeting held in the office of J B Morrison Jr. The meeting was
called to order by P H Stubs and the act of incorporation ready by Samuel
Farmer and the charter accepted. The line was completed and business
commenced July 4, 1875. The expense was little under $1650.
- Phillips has had several boarding houses and hotels. In the days when this
was a famous sporting center, the Elmwood Hotel played an important part and
had as guests many famous people. Its owner, Theodore L Page was a veteran
hotel man, being proprietor of a large cafeteria in Washington in winters.
The Elmwood Hotel was destroyed by fire in 1902. It stood where Chester
Fairbanks’ house stands. Another hotel for sports was the Barden House
managed by Samuel Farmer who was also proprietor of the state line to points
north. The Barden House was centrally located being within two minutes walk
of the depot, second door from Post Office, and in the very heart of the
village, thus affording far greater conveniences than any other hotel in
town. The Mount Blue House at the foot of Mt.Blue afforded extraordinary
opportunities to fisherman and hunter and was kept attractive by its
proprietor, R L Hillgrove.
The Hilton House on Russell Street accommodated tourists until the last
eight years, but is now unoccupied. The Raymond House at the Upper Village by
Mrs. Emma Raymond has been over into an apartment dwelling comparatively
- On September 14, 1878, the Phillips Phonograph was established by O M
Moore and at that time of its establishment was the only paper in the
county. The paper and the accompanying rights were later sold to Nathan
Brackett of Harper’s Ferry and later it was published by his son James
Brackett under the name of Maine Woods, a sportsman’s paper. The paper was
discontinued in Oct 1919.
- About one hundred years ago much trade was done by barter. Teachers were
paid in wheat. In 1821 a school of 50 or 60 scholars was taught by a man
teacher who received $11 a month and was paid in wheat at the standard price
of $1 per bushel. The owner of the grist mill took his pay in wheat. The
price of corn at this time was 4 shillings per bushel.
- The first record of a deed found for water privilege is on the river 40 or
50 rods above the woolen mill.
- Elizabeth Dyer’s father was one of the Minute Men of Lexington.
- An article in the Phonograph of August 25, 1884 reads, "Schools have
recently been divided into Primary, Intermediate, and Grammar, having three
terms a year. Mr. H T Hatch of Lewiston, a Bates College graduate has charge
of the Grammar School, Miss Minnie Stinchfield of Strong of the Intermediate
School, and Miss Lilla Beal of Phillips the Primatey school, both of whom
received a common school education. Another article in the same paper reads
"Bates’s new block is nearly finished and is a great improvement to
our village. Geo. A French has leased the corner store in the block and the
last of September will surprise North Franklin with his extensive line of
dry and fancy goods." And another: "Our postmaster, Capt. Robinson
is soon to make quite an addition to our already neat and convenient post
office by installing some 70 new boxes making about 300 in all."
- The Phillips Cornet band which plays once a year, namely Memorial Day, was
organized in April 1885 with ten members and a membership fee of $10.
- An article from the Farmington Chronicle of March 13, 1886 reads as
follows: "Phillips English and Classical Institute will open in less
than two weeks. Our citizens are most fortunate to secure as principal Miss
J. W. Hoyt, AM, one of the best teachers in our State, who they gladly
welcome back to Phillips, her native home. This institute was held in the
- A woolen mill was once operated at Bragg Corner by a Mr. Shaw.
- A great celebration was held on November 21, 1894 to celebrate the
Democratic victory of Cleveland. N. B. Beal, chairman and W. A. D. Cragin,
secretary of committee on arrangements, promised to paint the town red.
Lewiston artillery came by train and a large gun was placed on the hill back
of Colby Whittemore’s, 100 salutes being fired. An extra train was run and
200 people arrived for the evening parade. Chinese lanterns, torches,
candles, flags and other patriotic insignia were displayed and the
procession led by the band was a very colorful affair, and the procession
took in every street, most of the houses being lighted up brightly but some
Republican dwellings were dark as a tomb." After the procession
terminated hot coffee and refreshments were served.
- The telegraph office was removed to A. M. Greenwood’s jewelry store and
he was operator in 1881.
- The Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Railroad, the longest two-foot gauge
road in America was started in 1877 when George E. Mansfield sponsor of the
Bedford and Billerica narrow gauge line in Massachusetts was invited to
address the merchants and farmers of Strong. They wanted a railroad and
raised $119,000 from stocks and bonds, some of which was paid in the form of
corded wood. The original shares of stock, par value, $50, had to be sold at
$10 before the road proved its worth. They finally soared to $75.
In June 1879 ground was broken at Farmington and eighteen miles of track
laid between Farmington and Phillips. The town had voted $14,000 in stock
provided a train ran into Phillips on or before November 20. On the nineteenth
the stores closed while the merchants, professional men and farmers together
with all the laborers available turned out to lay the last half mile of track.
At 10:30 that night the first train made up of an engine and a flat car pulled
in and the town’s financial support was assured. Soon other towns began to
clamor for similar facilities until the road was extended to Kingfield in 1884
and later to Bigelow.
In 1890 Massachusetts men, owners of a township of virgin spruce timber
organized the Phillips and Rangeley Railroad, a line running 29 miles from
Phillips to Rangeley. A saw mill was built at Reddington and in June 1891 the
road was opened for passengers, not freight. The route to Rangeley was very
popular and commodius, the trackage increased to 104 miles. In 1908 these
railroads merged into the one – Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Railroad.
Most of the business was lumber and freight although for years many tourists
and travelers availed themselves of the accommodation.
1919 was the year of the most business. 70,000 cords of pulpwood were
loaded at the sidings and 6000 standard gauge carloads transferred to the
Maine Central at Farmington. The freight revenue totaled $350,000. In 1923 it
had dropped to $189,000 and in 1931 to less than $100,000. Trucks and
automobiles had exiled this servant of the public. Freight service ended
Monday July 5 1932. The court order indefinitely suspended operation on July
8, after 52 years of service.
- In 1902 Fletcher Pope, manager of the Phillips and Rangeley Railroad
Sawmill on the north side of the railroad bridge and sawed long lumber that
winter. Later he installed machinery to make parcel handles, pail handles,
sawed shingles and lathes and ran a cider press. He petitioned the town to
extend the road from the Major Dill house to the railroad but it was not
granted as the town was in debt and the expense involved as $1,000. At about
the same time, the old stone roundhouse was built and accommodated eight
In 1909 the Custer Manufacturing Co. Erected a clothespin mill on the Dodge
on the site of McLain Wood Products Co. The smokestack was 95 ft. high and
on a foundation 6 ft. high. Lumber was hauled from Number Six on the
unloaded into the pond.
- On the morning of October 4 1869, there was not a bridge across the Sandy
and its tributaries except the wire bridge at Strong. Five dams above
carried out and except for a few treetops above the water, Davenport Flat
smooth lake. Hoses, cattle and buildings were washed away and the streets
flooded so that the inhabitants used boats for navigation. The property
amounted to one hundred thousand dollars, but, strange to say only one life
The water ran through the house owned by Dr. Currier, then through Russell
and so on. The cemetery back of the Methodist Church was washed out by this
disastrous consequence of the two days rain.
- Robert Lawrence of this town is attending Bates College.
- Phillips first had electric lights in 1892 when the present company came
here. The power house on the sit of the old grist mill on the bank of the
river near the northern approach to the highway bridge. It was equipped with
a 600-light dynamo and there were twenty street lights.
- On Sept 22, 1872, in the evening about 8 o’clock was given a fire alarm.
It came from the store of R. W. Soule which was used by him for a grocery
and confectionery store. It appears that Mr. Soule’s clerk, Mr. Henry
Bartlett started to go down cellar to get something for a customer and
seeing that his lamp needed filling, attempted to pour some oil into the
lamp while it was burning. The gas communicated with the flame and he
dropped the lamp near the kerosene barrel which in a few minutes was all in
flame. Several men were in the store at the time, but all efforts to
extinguish the fire was to no avail. It was with great difficulty that Mrs.
Soule and children were rescued from upstairs so rapid was the spread of the
flames. Mr. Soule had a large stock of goods and lost all his property with
no insurance. The store was owned by I. T. Lambert and insured for $600. The
fire rapidly spread to the adjoining buildings, the next being the drug
store of Mr. Lambert, which property was insured in the Aetna for $1500. His
house and stable next followed, similarly insured. Meanwhile the fire was
fast operating toward the hotel of Adams and Robinson. The next to take the
flames was the hardware store of M F Fuller. Mr. Fuller’s loss was large.
Insured in the Aetna for $1000. The fire then reached the dwelling house and
stable of J. F. Gleason, insured for $600, then the flames destroyed the
boot and shoe shop of Chas. Adams where the conflagration ceased. Had there
been a strong wind the entire village must have been swept away. As it was,
the loss included five stores, two dwellings, and two stables and several
small out buildings. About one-third of the business section was destroyed.
- Addenda to Question 108: Miss Cornelia T. Crosby was born in the brick
house owned by Frank Haley, November 10, 1852, and has lived in St. Anthony’s
cottage next to the brick house for fifty years. For the past generation
Miss Crosby has been known and is still famous as Fly Rod. Fly Rod was the
first publicity agent the Maine Central Railroad had on its salary list. She
worked in a bank for some time, but on account of health had to be out of
doors. Fly Rod wrote regularly for New York, Boston, Chicago, and
Philadelphia papers; for Shooting and Fishing; Forest and Stream, and
countless other publications. For years she wrote for the Maine Woods in
articles called Fly Rod’s Notebook. She took the Maine Exhibit at the
National Sportsmen’s Show in New York and arranged for the first boys’
camp in Maine. She was the first woman to receive a Maine Registered Guide’s
license; first woman to shoot a caribou in Maine and shot the last one seen
here prior to the herd migration to Canada in 1898. Fly Rod was the first
woman to fish regularly and systematically with a light fly rod and
artificial bait of flies. She now lives in St. Anthony’s Cottage and
although she has log the sight of one eye and has to use a crutch, she has a
very optimistic outlook on the situation and is very interesting to visit.
Mr. Theodore F. Josselyn was born in Phillips, married Lorania Rand of this
town and attended Maine Wesleyan Seminary. He was a prominent lawyer in
Portland, having moved there in 1869. He was a prominent city councilman two
years, 1890-91, alderman in 1892-93 and was a member of the State Legislature
F. E. Timberland of Phillips was State Bank Commissioner in 1895. P. A.
Sawyer of Phillips also served in that capacity.
Major Seward Dill of this town built and lived in the large brick house at
the end of Amble Street. He married Suah Hammond. He raised Company Gl,
Seventeenth Maine Regiment which was mustered into service in 1862. Major Dill
started the setting out the trees along Maine and Pleasant Streets and was for
years town coroner. He had a store on the corner in Bates Block and always
kept "new rum". It was a custom on town-meeting days especially to
buy a glass of this beverage. A No-Nothing Temperance Union was formed and its
members would buy a glass of new rum, take a sip and throw the remainder on
- At the time when the Elmwood was having a large business, colored help was
employed, white swans floated around in the river, rustic bridges led to
bowers and the hotel was one of the best in the State.
- The Methodist Church was built in 1867 and Mrs. Theodore Marston gave $500
toward its erection.
The Congregational Church was organized in 1822 with a membership of nine.
Phillip Bunnell was the first pastor and settled here in 1830. Thomas Worthley
founded the Church here.
- An article from the Phonograph of July 3 1880 reads: "What has every
being a valuable deposit of graphite or plumbago has recently been
discovered in the
town of Phillips near the Madrid line on land owned by Isaiah Chick. A
been sunk and 20 tons of ore removed. The vein has every characteristic of
very renumerative as the samples were of a quality much in demand and a
- Evelyn Wilbur turned the first sod for the Railroad Station.
- For years Phillips had a liquor agency managed by John Everett, but there
was much discussion about abolishing it in 1903 and the object of the
discussion was soon after accomplished.
- The father of Isaac Davenport, an early settler, led Burgoyne’s
expedition at Crown Point.
- Marshall Davenport of this town is related to every one of the first seven
settlers who came here in 1791.
- Colonel Theodore Marston mentioned in question 15 was born in 1791 and
came to Phillips at the age of 19 years when he bought five hundred acres of
forest land upon which he settled and in course of time converted into a
fine productive farm upon which he built a neat residence and three barns.
Besides farming he dealt in produce. For years he was colonel of the
militia. He was the father of Daniel Marston.
- The first Negro in town was Old Caesar, a slave brought here in 1800 by
Francis Tufts. The last Negro was George Powell, a freed man.