County, Maine was incorporated March
4, 1805. Oxford County was formerly
the northerly parts of York and Cumberland counties.
The formation of Franklin County
took a large part of its territory
and Androscoggin County
took two towns.
Oxford County contains
35 towns and three plantations.
Its area is 1981 square miles.
county seat is Paris.
History of Rumford, Oxford County, Maine
From its First Settlement in 1779 to the Present Time
by William B. Lapham
When Johnathan Keyes came to New Pennacook
[Rumford] to select him a lot for a homestead, the
wilderness of western Maine had been invaded at many
points. General Joseph Frye begun the settlement of
Fryeburg in 1762. Like Rumford, most of the first
settlers were from Concord, New Hampshire. Capt.
Henry Young Brown of Haverhill [MA], settled
Brownfield a year later [settled 1765]. Lovell was
settled in 1779 , Hiram in 1774, Porter in 1781
, Waterford in 1775. These were Saco River
towns. On the Androscoggin, Turner was settled about
1772 , Livermore a little later ; Bethel
in 1774, and Norway in 1781. Ezekiel Merrill, the
first Andover settler, came from Andover,
Massachusetts, in 1786 [notes] and was the sole
occupant of that region, save straggling Indians, for
over two years. Paris was settled in 1781 ,
Buckfield in 1777 , and Jay about the same time
as Paris . Sumner and Hartford, the territory
of which was originally called Butterfield, were
settled soon after 1780 [both in 1783]. The small
party of first settlers in Rumford, therefore, had
neighbors not very far distant, but there were no
roads connecting the different colonies, and no
communication was feasible, except on foot, through
the rough paths of the forest. Spotted trees guided
the traveller between the different settlements, but
when journeying outside he was obliged to depend
partly on his own sagacity and partly on the course of
the sun and the position of the mountains.
A census of the District of Maine was taken in
1790, but New Pennacook was not then incorporated and
made no report. In 1800, the town was incorporated and
its population was then two hundred and sixty-two.
There were then between fifty and sixty families in
the town. Rumford was in the County of Cumberland
until 1805, when the County of Oxford was created,
made up of towns which had previously been in the
counties of Cumberland and York. The act erecting
these towns into a county, was as follows:
That the counties of York and Cumberland shall be
divided by a line beginning at a place called the
Crooked Ripples on the Androscoggin river, at the
southeast corner of the town of Turner, from thence to
run westerly on the dividing line between the towns of
Turner and Minot, to the most northeasterly corner of
the said town of Minot; from thence south- westerly on
the lines between the towns of Minot and Hebron;
thence northwesterly on the line between Hebron and
Otisfield, to the town of Norway; thence westerly and
northerly on the line between the towns of Otisfield
and Norway, to the southeasterly corner of the town of
Waterford; thence westerly on the line between said
Waterford and Otisfield to the northeasterly corner of
the town of Bridgton; thence westerly on the northerly
line of said Bridgton to the northeast corner thereof;
thence southerly on the westerly side of said Bridgton
to the southeast corner thereof; thence westerly on
the north line of the town of Baldwin and Prescott's
Grant, to Saco river; thence down the middle of said
Saco river to the mouth of said Saco river to the
mouth of the river called the Great Ossippe; thence
westerly by a line drawn on the middle of the river
last mentioned, to the line of New Hampshire, and the
county of York and Cumberland aforesaid: That all
that part and parcel of the counties of York and
Cumberland situated on the northerly side of the line
before described, and extending northerly and westerly
so as to comprehend all the territory lying between
the State of New Hampshire and the County of Kennebec,
and on the northerly side of the line aforesaid,
excepting the towns of Wilton, Temple, Avon, and
township number three on Sandy river, northerly of
Avon, which towns shall be considered as be- longing
to the County of Kennebec, shall be and the same is
erected into an entire and distinct county by the name
The subjoined list embraces the original towns in
Oxford County, the date of their incorporation, and
the name of their first Representative to the Great
and General Court:
January 11, 1777
July 7, 1786
March 6, 1792
William C. Whitney.
March 16, 1793
June 20, 1793
February 26, 1795
James Starr, Jr.
February 28, 1795
June 10, 1796
March 2, 1797
March 9, 1797
June 13, 1798
June 13, 1798
Simeon Barrett, Jr.
February 21, 1800
November 15, 1800
Philip C. Johnson.
February 20, 1802
June 20, 1803
June 21, 1803
June 23, 1804
Edward L. Poor.
June 23, 1804
Eliphaz Champman, Jr.
June 15, 1805
Franklin County was erected in 1838, and
took from Oxford County the towns of Jay, Carthage,
and Weld. Androscoggin County was erected in 1854,
and took the towns of Livermore and Turner.
NOTES: A Brief History of Oxford County, Maine*
Source: History of Rumford, Oxford County, Maine From
its First Settlement in 1779 to the Present Time, by
William B. Lapham (Augusta: Press of the Maine Farmer,
1890), pp. 53-55. *Corrections made 07 February, 2000
using The Length and Breadth of Maine, by Stanley B.
Attwood (Augusta, Maine: Kennebec Journal Print Shop,
Notes on Andover. According to Andover: The First 175
Years (1979), the town of Andover was not settled