Franklin County, Maine


Hermit Dies

Hermit William Shields, who for the past 23 years resided on the slope
of Mt. Bigelow in the very rudest kind of a hut was found dead tuesday
afternoon, having frozen to death Monday night. No one knows where Shields
came from, but when he has consented to converse with people, he has talked
more of Pennsylvania than any other state, which has led folks to believe he
came from there. He came to the mountain in the fall of 1879 and carried a
few slabs which make his hut on his back, from the mill, a distance of 15 miles.
It is believed he was a veteran of the Civil War, as he frequently conversed
on the subject with apparent knowledge of what he was talking about.
He earned a good sum of money during the winter months by making snowshoes and
moccasins out of skins he had taken in season. These articles he sold to
woodsmen and sporting people. His age was about 75 years.

Ref: Maine Woodsman of January 30, 1903

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Copyright 1997, 1998 by George A. Thompson, All rights reserved.