The Civil History of Hallowell, Maine

Category: Kennebec County Published: Sunday, 09 February 2014 Written by Carol Eddleman Print Email
Civil History:.—The Sel[e]ctmen of the town of Hallowell, the first year, and the number of years each has served, have been: 1771, Pease Clark, 2, James Howard, Jonathan Davenport, 3; 1772, Peter Hopkins, Daniel Savage, 11, Samuel Bodcock; 1773, Ezekiel Page, James Cock’s, 8; 1774, Benjamin White, 2, Samuel Bullen, 2; 1775, Nathaniel Floyd, 2; 1776, Josiah French, 2; 1778, David Thomas, 2; 1779, Levi Robinson; 1780, William Howard, 3, Amos Pollard; 1782, Benjamin Pettengill, Isaac Clark, 2, Samuel Dutton;’ 1784, Ephraim Ballard, 4; 1786, Daniel Cony, 2, Henry Sewall, 6; 1787, James Carr, 6, Brown Emerson; 1788, James Page; 1789, Joseph North; 1790, Lazarus Goodwin; 1791, William Brooks, 3; 1793, Elias Craig, 3; 1794, Nathaniel Dummer, 3, Matthew Hayward, 2; 1795, Joseph Smith, 7; 1796, Seth Williams, Beriah Ingraham; 1797, Robert Randall, 2, Peter Grant, 4; 1799, Thomas Fillebrown, 5; 1800, Benjamin Poor; 1801, John Sewall, 12, Dr. James Parker; 1803, Isaac Pillsbury, Edmund Dana, 3; 1804, William Springer, 2; 1807, Samuel Moody, 13; 1810, Nathan Bachelder, 3; 1813, John Agry, 2, Levi Morgan, 5, William H. Page, 2; 1815, Jacob Abbott, jun., 3, Nathaniel Cheever, 3; 1818, James Clark, 2, William G. Warren, 8; 1819, Samuel G. Ladd, 3, Benjamin Wales, 4; 1822, John Merrick. 3, William Clark, 9, John Dunn; 1825, Samuel K. Gilman, 11; 1829, Nathaniel Stevens, William W. Fuller, 2; 1831, John D. Lord, William Winslow, 3; 1832, James Clark; 1833, James Atkins, 7; 1834, Aaron H. Davis, 3; 1836, Samuel Locke, 5; 1838, Thomas M. Andrews, 6; 1839, Benjamin F. Melvin, 11; 1841, Ebenezer Freeman; 1844, Joseph D. Lord; 1845, George Carr, 4.  For 1850 and 1851 there is no record.
The Town Clerks were: Jonathan Davenport, elected in 1771; Daniel Savage, 1773; Daniel Cony, 1785; Joseph North, 1789; Henry Sewall, 1790; Moses Sewall, 1797; Benjamin Poor, 1798; John Sewall, 1802; Samuel G. Ladd, 1818; John Sewall, 1819; Samuel Locke, 1821; John Brown, 1832; Silvanus W. Robinson, 1838; Justin E. Smith, 1840; and Thomas Hovey, from 1845, until the city was incorporated in 1821.
The Mayors, with the year of election of each, have been: Rufus K. Page, 1852; A. H. Howard, 1855; Jesse Aiken, 1857; Henry Cooper, 1859; Moses B. Lakeman, 1860; Simon Page, 1866; James Atkins, jun., 1869; John H. Lowell, 1873; Peter F. Sanborn, 1874; John H. Lowell, 1875; John W. Clark, 1876; George S. Fuller, 1878; Joseph R. Bodwell, 1880; James H. Leigh, 1881; James J. Jones, 1883; Joseph R. Bodwell, 1884; Augustine Lord, 1885; J. Warren Fuller, 1887; B. F. Warner, 1889; Eliphalet Rowell, 1890; Fred E. Beane, in 1891; and William A. Winter in 1892.
City Clerks: Justin E. Smith, 1852; Thomas Hovey, 1855; J. Q. A. Hawes, 1872; A. H. Davis, 1874; J. Edwin Nye, 1879; D. K. Jewell, 1888; George A. Safford, 1890, and C. F. Kilbreth in 1892.
Treasurers: Peter Atherton, 1852; Ezra S. Smith, 1867; Hiram Fuller, 1869; James H. Leigh, 1876; John Graves, 1880; W. H. Norcross, 1882; G. A. Bullen, 1884, and Charles K. Tilden in 1886.
The Presidents of the Common Council have been: Andrew Masters from 1852; E. K. Butler, 1855; E. Rowell, 1857; D. D. Lakeman, 1859; Austin D. Knight, 1862; D. D. Lakeman, 1864; Mark Johnson, 1865; J. Q. A. Hawes, 1866; James H. Leigh, 1867; I. F. Thompson, 1869; H. A. Brooks, 1870; J. J. Jones, 1872; A. P. Macomber, 1873; Justin E. Smith, 1874; Charles B. Johnson, 1875; J. W. Fuller, 1876; A. D. Niles, 1877; Samuel B. Glazier, 1878; A. D. Niles, 1879; J. J. Jones, 1880; J. B. Thomas, 1881; I. F. McClench, 1883; Ai C. Harrington, 1884; C. H. Kilbreth, 1885; M. W. Boyd, 1886; L. H. Grindell, 1887; D. E. Shea, 1889; L. H. Grindell, 1890; J. R. Gould, 1891, and J. F. Bodwell in 1892.
At the first meeting after the separation from Augusta in 1797, the following names were placed in the jury box, indicating who were the leading men in Hallowell after the separation: John Beeman, Andrew Goodwin, Elisha Nye, James Cocks, Jason Livermore, David Sewall, Joseph Smith, Thomas Fillebrown, Chandler Robins, Edmund Greenleaf, Edmund Dana, Alfred Martin, Peter Grant, Lemuel Tobey, Martin Brewster, James Hinckley, Isaac Pilsbury, James Springer, John O. Page, William Springer, John Stratton, Shubael Hinckley, Eliphalet Gilman, Benjamin Guild, Samuel Norcross, Benjamin Stickney, Joseph White, Enoch Greely, John Couch, Moses Springer, Philip Norcross, Abner Lowell, Benjamin Prescott, Levi Morgan, Josiah Buswell, Harlow Harris, Henry Smith, Moses Palmer, Joseph Glidden, Gershom Cocks, Rowland Smith, Eben Church, Samuel Bullen, William Dorr, Electious Hoyt, Ebenezer Phelps, Thomas Hinckley, Nathaniel Shaw, William Morse, Nathaniel Rollins, Benjamin Allen, Stephen Osgood, Joshua Wingate, jun., Samuel E. Dutton, Daniel Carr, James Lothrop, Hugh Cocks, Samuel Carr, Nathaniel Colcord, Joseph Dummer, David Day, James Partridge, George Gardner, James Gow, Daniel Herd, Nathaniel Kent, Ephraim Lord, Tristram Locke, Samuel Manning, Shubael West, James Atkins, Nathaniel Tilton, Nathaniel Folsom, Gideon Gilman, Moses Carr.
There was ever a rivalry between the people at the Fort settlement (Augusta) and those at the Hook (Hallowell), and for many years Hallowell took the lead. To show the difference in the business of the two places in 1821, the next year after Maine became a state, the following figures are given: Dwelling houses in the village at Hallowell, 187; in Augusta, 84; population of Hallowell village, 1,942; of Augusta, 1,000; printing offices, Hallowell, 2; Augusta, none; bookstores, Hallowell, 3; Augusta, 1; newspapers, Hallowell, 2; Augusta none; tons shipping, Hallowell, 3,906; Augusta, 105; stock in trade, Hallowell, $47, 965, Augusta, $10,842; valuation of estates, Hallowell, $315,000; Augusta, $194,000.
The following is a recapitulation of the names of localities: Hallowell was called by the Indians Medumcook, by the early settlers Bombahook, and subsequently, the Hook.  The brook now called Vaughan’s brook was early known as Bombahook brook, and for short, Bombrook.  The plain above the cemetery was known as Hinckley’s plain, and the point where Doctor Wilder’s oilcloth factory is was known as Hinckley’s point.  Sheppard’s point, at the lower end of the village, was so called from John Sheppard, an Englishman, who once owned it.  Joppa was the name given to the lower part of the village.  Loudon hill is on the Gardiner road and Bowman’s point was in the present town of Farmingdale. 
In the early part of this century there was no place in Maine that, from a business standpoint, stood higher than Hallowell, and socially and intellectually it had few, if any equals.  The Vaughans, the Merricks, the Moodys, the Sewalls, the Dummers and many others, whose names are omitted for the sake of brevity, were men and women of education and refinement, and imparted to Hallowell society a character and tone which gave it a wide celebrity.  Business prosperity enabled them to erect beautiful homes and to elegantly furnish them.  Some of these old mansion houses are still standing, but from most of them the glory of other days has departed.  Circumstances over which the people could have no control have diverted the once large business of Hallowell into other channels and left the city but the shadow of her former self.  This statement is made only in comparison, for Hallowell still has many prosperous business establishments and many able and energetic business men.  The people, also, from an educational, moral and religious standpoint, are in no respect inferior to the people in the neighboring towns and cities.  But Hallowell in the early part of the century was the most thriving town on the Kennebec, and now she is obliged to take a position much lower down in the scale.  The cities of Gardiner and Augusta have prospered, but not at the expense of Hallowell.  In later years they have had the advantage of more capital, to say nothing of superior natural advantages of situation and water power.
Hallowell has ever been a loyal and patriotic town.  A number of the early settlers left their rude homes and half cleared farms to participate in the war for independence.  In the second war with Great Britain, which nearly ruined the commerce of Hallowell, her citizens enlisted freely to serve on land and sea.  Her numerous sailors made excellent material for the navy, and quite a number who enlisted in this arm of the service never lived to return.  In the late war some of her best citizens joined the army for the preservation of the Union, and all the quotas assigned her were promptly and cheerfully filled. Her record in all respects as a town and city is free from blot or stain.
The extension of the railroad to Augusta in 1851 may be said to mark the decadence of Hallowell as a commercial city, and from that time the thoughtful people were looking toward manufacturing enterprises as the foundation of its future importance.  Local capitalists, in 1886, united to secure a shoe manufactory in the city.  At this time Johnson Brothers (practical shoe men), of Lynn, Mass., were seeking a new location and additional capital, and were induced to locate here.  The city made generous provisions for tax exemptions.  Governor Bodwell, Emory A. Sanborn, Colonel Livermore, Samuel Currier, Jun., B. F. Warner, J. W. Fuller and others were among the promoters.  A building was erected in 1887 and business began in October of that year.  In 1888 the interests were incorporated, with Emory A. Sanborn, president; William C. Johnson, general manager and salesman, and Richardson M. Johnson, secretary and treasurer.  The business now furnishes employment for seventy-five people, producing 600 pairs per day of ladies’, misses’, and children’s medium fine wear.
(Source: Illustrated History of Kennebec County, Maine: eds.: Kingsbury, Deyo, H. W. Blake & Co., 1892: Chapter 19, Hallowell, Me., pp. 488b-516.)
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