Genealogical and Family History
of the

Compiled under the editorial supervision of George Thomas Little, A. M., Litt. D.

New York

[Please see Index page for full citation.]

[Transcribed by Coralynn Brown]

[Many families included in these genealogical records had their beginnings in Massachusetts.]


The records of the first century of New England contain no mention of this name, but early in the eighteenth century mention of the name of Bolster is found in the records of the town of Uxbridge and Worcester county, Mass., where the family first resided. They are said to have come from England. A dozen enlistments of Bolsters are found in the Mass. Revolutionary War rolls, and nearly all are credited to towns in Worcester county.

(I) Isaac Bolster appears, from the meagre records of the time, to have been the immigrant ancestor of the family of this sketch. He, with his wife, Abigail, was in Uxbridge in 1732. He died April 8, 1753. After the death of his first wife he married (second) Hepsibah, who died July 20, 1742.
Children of 1st wife:
John and Mary.
Children of 2d wife:
William, Isaac and Betty.

(II) Captain Isaac (2), second son of Isaac (1) and Hepsibah Bolster, was born in Uxbridge, April 28, 1737. He and his brother William were able-bodied young men, full of military spirit, and served as privates in the French and Indian war at varous times between 1755 and 1761. In 1775 they were ardent patriots, and entered the army at the beginning of the revolution as seasoned soldiers. Isaac was one of the men who marched to Concord April 19, 1775, serving as lieutenant in Captain John Putnam's company and Col. Ebenezer Learned's regiment; later he was commissioned captain. The Massachusetts Revolutionary Rolls state that Isaac Bolster, of Sutton, was a lieutenant in Capt. Andrew Eliot's company, Col. Learned's regiment, which marched on the alarm of April 19, 1775; service eight days; reported enlisted into the army; also captain Col. Ebenezer Learned's (Worcester county) regiment; list of officers: commissioned May (year not given); also, list of officers in camp at Roxbury, dated May 19, 1775; also< returns of officers for rations dated June 5, ___, July 29, 1775; also muster-roll dated Aug. 1, 1775; enlisted April 27, 1775; service three months, twelve days; also, company return dated Roxbury, Oct. 7, 1775.
He was among the early settlers of Hebron, Maine, and in May, 1784, moved to Paris, where he afterwards resided. The old farm he occupied in the southern part of town has since been divided and is now the property of various owners.
He died April 27, 1825, aged just eighty-eight years. He was a leading citizen, was frequently appointed on public committees and was a useful citizen. He is mentioned as "Gentleman."
He married, July 24, 1761, Mary Dwinnell, or Dwinall, who died Aug. 4, 1814.
Hepsibah, Abraham, Isaac, David and Solomon.

(III) Captain Isaac (3), son of Capt. Isaac (2) and Mary (Dwinell) Bolster, born Sutton, May 12, 1769, died July 8, 1835. He settled on a farm which he occupied throughout his life, and was afterward occupied by his son, Gideon. Mr. Bolster, from whom the present village of "Bolster's Mills" took its name, purchased property of the Gilsons on Crooked river, and built a dam and sawmill in 1819 and a gristmill in 1820. The business was carried on mainly by his sons.
He married, March 9, 1754, Hannah, daughter of Gideon and Ruth (Shaw) Cushman. She was born April 16, 1777.
Alvan, Isaac, Gideon, Otis C., William, Hannah, Lyman, Louisa, Levi and Ruth.

(IV) Otis Cushman, fourth son of Capt. Isaac (3) and Hannah (Cushman) Bolster, born Paris, Maine, Sept. 25, 1801, died Nov. 9, 1871. When a lad of fifteen years of age he left home and went to work for his uncle, Francis Cushman, at Rumford. His outfit consisted of a shirt and a pair of stockings. He remained with him until he was twenty-one years old, and soon after went into business for himself. By accident, his store was blown up by an explosion of gunpowder Nov. 1, 1836, and his eldest child, a boy of eight years, was killed. He and another boy, probably attempting to light some grains of gunpowder on the powder-keg, in the absence of Mr. Bolster, Oct. 23, 1852, his buildings were set on fire and destroyed. He moved to South Paris in 1855, and purchased the old brick store, and went into trade, in which he continued till his decease. He was esteemed for his genial traist of character and strict integrity.
He married, Oct. 28, 1807, Dolly B. Keyes, born Rumford, Nov. 10, 1806, died Aug. 15, 1840, daughter of Francis and Molly (Bean) Keyes, of Rumford.
Horatio A., Henrietta L., Mellen E., Freeland K.
Mr. Bolster married (second), May 14, 1841, Maria C. L Virgin, of Rumford, b. April 13, 1814, died 1840, daughter of Peter C. Virgin, of Rumford. [trans note: now just a minute here. His first wife died in 1840, and it says here the second one does as well. Somebody made a booboo].
Children of 2d wife:
William Henry, Dolly M., Norris Dayton, Sarah V. and Marietta.

(V) Mellen Eugene, third child and second son of Otis C. and Dolly B. (Keyes) Bolster, was born at Rumford Point, Sept. 10, 1847. He received his education in the public schools and at Norway Academy, and then became the proprietor of the business, which he carried on until 1865. He then removed to Portland, and was clerk for Twitchell Brothers & Champlin. His stay with this firm continued until 1869, and then he became a member of the firm of Locke, Meserve & Company, dealers in dry goods. In 1871 this firm was changed and became Locke, Twitchell & Company. From 1880 to 1884 he was a member of the firm of Storer Brothers & Company. In the latter year Mr. Bolster, Charles Sargent, E. P. Staples, N. D. Smith and F. W. Roberts formed the firm of Bolster, Sargent & Company, and engaged in the wholesale dry-goods and gentlemen's furnishing business. In 1887 Mr. Sargent retired, and was succeeded by Lucien Snow, and the firm name was changed to Bolster, Snow & Company. This concern was in business twenty years, till June 15, 1907, when it sold out to the Parker & Thomas Company, and Mr. Bolster withdrew from active business, and now lives retired, in the enjoyment of a well-earned competency.
Mr. Bolster is a member of no club or fraternal society. In politics he has been a Republican since that party was formed. He worships with the Congregationalists.
He married (first) Nov. 22, 1859, Ann Sophia Roberts, daughter of Dr. Thomas and Harriet (Wilkins) Roberts, of Rumford Point, born Aug. 19, 1836, died May 26, 1868. Married (second), at Hanover, Maine, Oct. 5, 1870, Mary S. Smith, born June 9, 1846, daughter of George E. and Julia (Bartlett) Smith, of Hanover, Maine.
Children of 1st wife:
1. Eva I., born Aug. 2, 1862, married Harry D. Hastings; one child, Margaret, b. Sept. 19, 1884.
2. Harriet W., born Dec. 4, 1865, married Arthur W. Pierce, of Providence, Rhode Island; one child, William B., b. Aug. 19, 1887.
Children of 2d wife:
3. Frelon E., born March 30, 1873, married June 24, 1902, May L. Pierce, of New Haven. Connecticut; resides in Portland.
4. Julia A., born Oct. 29, 1879, married F. A. Ferris, Jr.; resides in New York City.

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