Genealogical and Family History
STATE OF MAINE
Compiled under the editorial supervision of George Thomas Little, A. M., Litt. D.
LEWIS HISTORICAL PUBLISHING COMPANY
[Please see Index page for full citation.]
[Transcribed by Coralynn Brown]
[Many families included in these genealogical records had their beginnings in Massachusetts.]
Edward Colborne, immigrant ancestor, came to New England in 1635, in the ship "Defense," at the age of seventeen. He settled in Ipswich and remained there for more than thirty years. In this town he married Hannah ____, and there all his children were born. In 1668 he purchased from John Evered, alias Webb, sixteen hundred acres of land in "Draycott upon the Mirrimack," and removed with his family to Dracut. In 1671 he purchased more land in the same town. He and Samuel Varnum, who had been neighbors in Ipswich, were the earliest settlers of Dracut, and as Varnum lived until 1676 on the Chelmsford side of the river, Edward Coburn is believed to have been the first permanent settler in the town of Dracut. There has never been a time since when representatives of these two families, Coburn and Varnum, have not occupied lands handed down from father to son from the earliest settlers. Edward Coburn's six sons built themselves houses on the portions of land allotted to them, and there removed their young families. As they occupied an outpost of the frontier the father built a garrison house for the common defense against the savages.
Edward Coburn died in Dracut, Feb. 17, 1700, having deeded his lands to his son while living.
1. Edward, born 1642, killed at Brookfield, Aug. 2, 1675.
2. John, born 1644, died Jan. 31, 1695; married March 16, 1671, Susannah Read of Salem; married (second) Elizabeth Richardson, who died Jan. 3, 1740.
3. Robert, born 1647, died in Concord June 7, 1701; married March 16, 1671, Mary Bishop.
4. Thomas, born 1648; married Aug. 6, 1672, Hannah Rouf, of Chelmsford; married (second) Nov. 17, 1681, Mary Richardson, daughter of Captain Josiah Richardson, of Chelmsford.
5. Daniel, born 1654, died in Dracut, Aug. 1, 1712, lived in Dracut and Concord; married in Concord June 18, 1685, Sarah Blood, daughter of Robert, who was b. Aug. 1, 1658, and died in Dracut June 1, 1741.
6. Ezra, born March 16, 1658, died June, 1739; married Nov. 22, 1681, Hannah, daughter of Samuel Varnum, b. May 22, 1661.
7. Joseph, born June 12, 1661, mentioned below.
8. Hannah, born 1664; married Sept. 28, 1682, Thomas Richardson; married (second) John Wright.
9. Lydia, born Aug. 20, 1666.
(II) Deacon Joseph, son of Edward Coburn, was born in Ipswich June 12, 1661, and died at Dracut Nov. 13, 1733. He removed with his father to the Dracut purchase, and July 8th, after his twenty-first birthday, received from his father the title to one-eighth of the Evered-Webb land. Nov. 7, 1699, his father gave him a deed to the homestead and garrison house. He filled several public offices, being selectman of Dracut 1712-16, 1721.
He married (first) Hannah ____, who died Sept. 22, 1722; (second) intention recorded Dec. 8, 1722, Deborah Wright, widow of Joseph Wright, daughter of John Stevens, of Chelmsford.
Children, all by 1st wife, b. in Dracut:
1. Hannah, Sept. 9, 1684.
2. Mary, Oct. 22, 1688; married in Concord May 6, 1714, Ezekiel Richardson, son of Thomas and Hannah (Coburn) Richardson.
3. Sarah, b. Oct. 18, 1690.
4. Lydia, b. Jan. 18, 1692.
5. Joseph, born April 4, 1695; married in Concord Jan. 26, 1709, Hannah Harwood, died Sept. 21, 1758; she died Nov. 14, 1760.
6. Edward, born July 9, 1697.
7. Aaron, born May 27, 1700, mentioned below.
8. Moses, born Jan. 1, 1703, married July 7, 1730, Deborah Wright, daughter of Joseph and Deborah (Stevens) Wright, the latter being his stepmother. He died June 5, 1742, and she married (second) Deacon Edward Coburn.
(III) Aaron, son of Joseph Coburn, was born at Dracut May 27, 1700, and died in the same town Feb. 24, 1745. He married (published Dec. 9, 1722) Mercy Varnum, daughter of Thomas and Joanna (Jewett) Varnum, of Dracut, b. April 17, 1702, died 1785. Thomas Varnum, father of Mercy, was b. in Ipswich Nov. 19, 1662, died in Dracut Sept. 7, 1739; marired Nov. 10, 1697, Joanna, daughter of Nehemiah and Exercise (Pierce) Jewett, of Ipswich, who was born May 8, 1677, and died April 6, 1753. Thomas was son of Samuel Varnum, who came to New England about 1635 with his parents, George and Hannah Varnum, settled in Ipswich, and married Sarah Langton. In 1664 he purchased a tract of land on the Merrimac river and removed to Chelmsford and later came to Dracut, becoming one of the first two settlers of the latter town, the other being Edward Coburn. Two of his sons were killed by the Indians while crossing the Merrimac river in a boat, Nov. 18, 1676. The two families, Coburn and Varnum, were always intimately associated, and were much intermarried during the earlier generations.
Children of Aaron and Mercy (Varnum) Coburn:
1. Hannah, born March 22, 1724, married (published Sept. 12, 1744) William Foster, of Chelmsford.
2. Deborah, born Sept. 24, 1727, died July 21, 1824; married (published Nov. 29, 1753) Daniel Coburn, b. Jan. 23, 1724, d. May 12, 1755. She married (second) (published Aug. 24, 1767) Timothy Coburn, who died June 15, 1781.
3. Aaron, born March 6, 1731; married Nov. 6, 1755, Phebe Harris, of Hollis, New Hampshire.
4. Eleazer, born March 4, 1735, mentioned below.
(IV) Eleazer, son of Aaron Coburn, was born at Dracut March 4, 1735. He married (intention dated at Dracut Nov. 1, 1760) Bridget Hildreth, daughter of Robert Hildreth, of Dracut, and granddaughter of Major Ephraim Hildreth, a prominent citizen of that town. She was born at Dracut May 16, 1737. They lived in that part of Dunstable which was afterwards set off as Tyngsboro, where their children were born.
He served in the revolution, being a private in Captain Butterfield's company, Colonel David Green's regiment, that marched on the Lexington alarm, April 19, 1775; also in Captain John Ford's company in 1776, marching from Chelmsford July 25, 1776, discharged at Albany, New York, Jan. 1, 1777.
In 1790, after the death of his oldest son and the marriage of three of his daughters, he moved with his remaining family to Lewiston, Maine, where his wife's brother, Paul Hildreth, had settled. In 1792 they came to Canaan, Maine, where the second daughter, Deborah, wife of John Emery, lived. She and her husband received them in their home, and John Emery, who was one of the early settlers of Canaan, gave his father-in-law fifty acres of the grant he himself had received from the Kennebec Company. Eleazer Coburn soon built a log house near the Emerys, where the family lived till Eleazer (2), at the time of his marriage, built the first frame house on the same spot.
The children of Eleazer and Bridget married and settled round them, and they passed their old age in the home of their son Eleazer. Eleazer Coburn died May 7, 1810. His wife survived him twenty-six years, and died in her one hundredth year, Sept. 18, 1836. She is remembered as an old lady, lovely in face and character, deeply pious, and very affectionate towards her numerous grandchildren, by whom she was adored. In her last years she was blind, but was always alert in mind and quick in sympathy. Her room was the first place sought by the grandsons returning from the woods or from college, and they received from her unstinted sympathy with all their interests. When she died she was mourned as if she had been a young mother.
Children of Eleazer & Bridget (Hildreth) Coburn, b. Tyngsboro, Mass.:
1. Bridget, b. March 12, 1762; married Dr. Shattuck, and settled in Vermont; died April 18, 1824.
2. Deborah, b. Dec. 23, 1763; died June 23, 1853; married Jan. 9, 1786, John Emery, son of John and Mary (Monroe) Emery; he was born in Acton, Mass. Nov. 20, 1753, and died Feb. 26, 1848.
3. Esther, b. Nov. 1, 1765, died Jan. 9, 1846; married 1796, Ephraim Bigelow, son of James and Mary (Sawyer) Bigelow, b. March 23, 1772, d. Jan. 10, 1848.
4. Sally, born Oct. 7, 1767, married John Pierce, and moved to Starkboro, Vermont; married (second) ____ Potter. She was living in 1845.
5. Aaron, b.Sept. 10, 1769; killed by a fall from a tree Jan. 13, 1790.
6. Prudence, b. Jan. 16, 1772; married May 10, 1794, Robinson Lander, son of Freeman and Thankful (Hinckley) Lander; lived in Lewiston and Skowhegan, died in Skowhegan, Sept. 20, 1851.
7. Rachel, b. Nov. 8, 1774; died April 12, 1822; married Samson Parker, who was born April 2, 1768, died Aug. 25, 1851.
8. Eleazer, b. Feb. 24, 1777, mentioned below.
9. Robert, b. July 29, 1780; married Mary Parker, sister of Samson, in 1805, died March 8, 1862. She was b. Dec., 1785, and d. Sept. 17, 1856. He was a Baptist minister, and lived in Newport, Maine.
10. Betsey, b. May 15, 1785; married John Whittier, lived in Cornville, d. Nov. 5, 1855. He was born Feb. 13, 1784, and died Nov. 2, 1861.
(V) Eleazer (2), son of Eleazer (1) Coburn, was born in Tyngsboro, Mass., Feb. 24, 1777, and when fifteen years old came with his father's family to that part of Canaan, Maine, which was afterwards Bloomfield, and is now included in Skowhegan. He went to work for Samuel Weston, afterwards his father-in-law, at that time the principal surveyor of the region, and a leading man in the community. He learned of him the surveying business, and became one of the most prominent land sruveyors of his day. The virgin forests of the state were just beginning to find a market, and as a preliminary to sale, needed to be "run out." For this service he had exceptional qualifications, and was in the front rank of his profession. He was an expert as to the relative value of the various sections he was employed to explore and survey and was enabled to make choice purchases at the low figures then charged by the State. In 1830, in partnership with his sons, Abner and Philander, he began lumbering on the Kennebec river, and the firm under the name of E. Coburn & Sons conducted a prosperious business. The business was continued after the father's death under the name of A. & P. Coburn.
Eleazer Coburn, or Squire Coburn, as he was generally called, was for forty years one of the most prominent men of his section, a position which he owed to his strong common sense, his business sagacity, and his unusual force of character. With scanty early education, he made the best use of his opportunities, and was counted among the best informed men of his day. He studied the legal books in the library of his father-in-law, which fell to him at the death of the latter, and became well versed in the principles of the law. He was appointed justice of the peace when a young man, and at a period when it was not customary to call on ministers for that service, he performed many marriages. He was selectman of Canaan 1800, 1802-9, and first selectman 1811 and 1813. He was first selectman of Bloomfield the year it was incorporated, 1814, and also in 1815 and 1816. For many years he served the town on its most important committees. He represented his district in the general court of Mass. in 1812, 1813 and 1814. When Maine became a state in 1820 he was a member of the constitutional convention at Portland, and was sent to the Maine house of representatives 1820-21-26-19-31. He was connected with the Federalist and Whig parties in politics. He was on the board of trustees of Bloomfield Academy, and was trustee of Waterville College from 1836 to his death.
Eleazer Coburn was a man of great natural ability, and of remarkable personality. He was an active and exemplary member of the Baptist church, and one of its chief pillars. He was one of the foremost in organizing a temperance society in Bloomfield, and was its president for several years. He was president of the County Temperance Society, and said he considered it the most honorable office he ever held. He was the first president of the first agricultural society in the county. In his later years he was an ardent Abolitionist, and at one time went with a friend to make abolotionist speeches in neighboring towns. It is said that he was a more ready and effective speaker than any of his sons. He possessed a shrewd wit, and was a hearty laugher, as were all the family. As a father he did not practice the stern discipline usual in his generation, but was gentle with his younger children, and like an older brother with his grown-up sons, advising with them on terms of equality as they came into manhood. He was kind hearted and liberal, and many stories are told of his sometimes quixotic generosity. He had the faculty of attaching his friends to him, so that many years after his death he was spoken of by aged men in terms of tender affection.
He died at the age of sixty-eight, Jan. 9, 1845.
He married, Jan. 18, 1801, Mary Weston, daughter of Samuel and Mary (White) Weston, and granddaughter of Joseph Weston, one of the first two settlers of Canaan. (An account of the Weston family is given elsewhere). She was a strenuous worker, as she had need to be to conduct her household. Besides her fourteen children, thirteen of whom lived to maturity, several boys were brough up in the family. A sister of her husband, with two sons, found a home there, as well as the grandmother. The tailoress was in the home nearly the year round, and the shoemaker spent several weeks there each fall. The family was seldom less than twenty, and there was always room for another. The mother, like her neighbors, spun and wove her own blankets, sheets and towels, made her own butter, cheese, candles, soap, &c., and knit her family's hosiery. No wonder she learned to use every moment, and in her old age was never seen without work in her hands. With all her labors she found time to go to church regularly and to minister to the needy of the community. She died in the home of her sons A. & P., Dec. 21, 1860.
Children of Eleazer & Mary (Weston) Coburn, b. in Bloomfield (now Skowhegan):
1. Nahum, born Oct. 8, 1801, died Oct. 28, 1822.
2. Abner, born March 22, 1803, mentioned below.
3. Fidelia, born Feb. 2, 1805; married at Waterloo, Canada West, Oct. 6, 1847, Rev. John S. Brooks, died at York, Sierra Leone, Africa, Jan. 11, 1850. She was educated at Winthrop Academy, and was for a number of years a successful teacher in her home town. She was for seven years, 1842-49, a missionary among the fugitive slaves in Queen's Bush, Canada. In 1849 she went with her husband as a missionary to Mendi in West Africa, but died of fever before reaching her station. She was a woman of strong character, vigorous in mind and body, devotedly religious and self-sacrificing to the limit of endurance.
4. Philander, born Feb. 19, 1807, mentioned below.
5. Eliza, born Feb. 6, 1809; married May 7, 1829, Isaiah Marston, son of Kenelom and Lucy (Bates) Marston, lived in West Waterville and Skowhegan, died in Skowhegan, March 12, 1874. She had children, born in W. Waterville: i. Erastus Wheeler, March 14, 1830, married May 7, 1861, Mary S. Fiske, (second) Addie Page Snothen. ii. Alonzo Coburn, b. Jan. 6, 1832, married Nov. 14, 1877, Della G. Keelor. iii. Fidelia Coburn, b. May 14, 1834, married May, 1862, Calvin R. Hubbard, died March 5, 1867. iv. Elvira Coburn, b. May 26, 1837, d. Feb. 18, 1876. v. Mary Coburn, b. May 4, 1839, married Albert H. Weston, Dec. 25, 1878. vi. Julia Ann, b. Jan. 9, 1841, married Jan. 14, 1867, Willam H. Long, died July 7, 1887. vii. Helen Eliza, b. May 2, 1844, d. May 31, 1865. viii. Charles Albert, b. May 26, 1851, married Oct. 4, 1876, Sarah P. Steward, d. Dec. 3, 1905.
6. Elvira, born Feb. 5, 1811, died July 17, 1867.
7. Alonzo, born Dec. 6, 1812, married Jan. 30, 1877, Vine W. Osgood, daughter of John Coffin Osgood, of Eaton, New Hampshire, died Nov. 19, 1882. She died in Skowhegan, June 29, 1800. He prepared for college in Waterville and China academies, graduated from Waterville College 1841, and from Harvard Law School in 1845, formed a law partnership with his brother Stephen under the name of A. & S. Coburn, with an office in their native town, but soon left the practice of law and settled upon a farm. He was exemplary in his llife, honorable and charitable, always ready to extend a helping hand to the needy.
8. Samuel Weston, born July 14, 1815, mentioned below.
9. Stephen, born Nov. 11, 1817, mentioned below.
10. Eleazer, born Feb. 9, 1820, married April 15, 1845, Eleanor Leighton Emery, daughter of Levi and Lydia (Leighton) (Flagg) Emery. He was a lumberman and farmer, and settled on the home farm, where he died March 10, 1850. His wife, b. Sept. 16, 1820, married (second) Charles K. Turner, April 16, 1854, died Sept. 25, 1892.
11. Charles, born March 5, 1822; fitted for college at Waterville Academy, graduated from Waterville College in 1844 with a brilliant record; was principal of Bloomfield Academy the fall term of 1844, died Oct. 30, 1844.
12. Mary Weston, born Sept. 30, 1824, died April 21, 1874. She was preceptress of Bloomfield Academy for several years, while her brothers, Stephen and Charles, were principals. After the death of her father she lived with her brothers Abner and Philander, keeping the home for them.
13. Sylvanus Pitts, born March 5, 1827; went to California in 1849, was engaged in mining and other occupations till 1854, when he bought a ranch at Santa Clara, and went into the thoroughbred Durham cattle business. In 1864 he removed to a ranch on Pomponia Creek, and in 1868 came to Pescardero, and went into company with his nephew, E. W. Marston, in the stage coach and livery business.
He died unmarried at Pescadero, California, Jan. 18, 1874. He was a man of integrity and a loyal friend.
14. Sarah Pitts, (twin), born March 5, 1827, died Aug. 28, 1827.
(VI) Governor Abner Coburn, second son of Eleazer (2) Coburn, was born in that part of Canaan now embraced in Skowhegan, March 22, 1803, and resided during the whole of his busy and eventful life within a few miles of his birthplace. From his Puritan ancestors he inherited a robust constitution, sound practical sense, and mental powers of a high order, and he was taught from childhood the distinctively Puritan virtues of integrity and industry. In his young days every man was expected to live by the labor of his hands. Agriculture was the almost universal occupatoin, and in the interior of Maine the clearing of land, the making of new farms, and the building of new homes called for a life of unceasing toil by all. As soon as Abner Coburn was old enough he began to make himself useful in the miscellaneous labor of the farm, and he continued throughout his life to be an exceedingly industrious man. For education, he had what the district school could give him, supplemented by a few of the first terms of Bloomfield Academy. Before he was twenty he was doing a man's work on the farm, and teaching school in the winter at $10 per month, and "boarding round." He learned surveying of his father, and when he was twenty-two years old began to work on his own account as a surveyor.
In 1830 Eleazer Coburn and his sons Abner and Philander began lumbering operations on the Kennebec river, their first purhase of timer lands being made at that date. The business was continued under the name of E. Coburn & Sons until 1845, when the father died, and the firm was reorganized as A. & P. Coburn. Few business firms in Maine were so widely known as this one, or did so large a business. It may be safely said that no firm was more successful, or won a more enviable reputation for sagacity and business integrity. For a generation the Coburn Brothers were known as leading business men from the source to the mouth of the Kennebec. Many men in Northern Somerset, who began to work for them as boys, grew grey in their employment. These hardy, intelligent lubmermen gave to their cliefs a loyal service such as few employers have received, and no employers have been more worthy of such service. Some who began as boys in their employ became men of property, and independent operators. They gave a start in business to a large number of men who became successful, and kept others from failure and ruin by helping them over hard places and setting them on their feet again, thus saving them to the business interests of the community. The firm of A. & P. Coburn did not obtain prosperity by sharp practices, or unworthy competition with others or wild speculation, but by sane and legitimate business methods, through industry and forethought. The secret of their success in the land and lumber business lay in their rare judgment in buying, and their tenacity in holding when times of disaster came. They pursued the policy of buying lands whenever they could to advantage, and holding them, regardless of the ups and downs of the market. They foresaw the growth of New England under the stimulating influence of railway development, and they knew that Maine timber lands would have an increasing value as years went by. Thus they came to be the largest landowners in the state, possessing at one time seven hundred square miles. They also acquired land in the West, in Michigan, Wisconsin, Dakota and Washington.
Speaking of the remarkable credit enjoyed by this firm, a Boston business man said: "I never saw anything like it. I knew the Coburns when I was selling goods in the Kennebec Valley in the Forties. There was hardly any money in the region, but it seemed to me that nearly every local storekeeper and well-to-do farmer had a piece of paper, signed A. & P. Coburn, which they held to be as good as money, and which had been given for produce for the lumber camps. Indeed, I think they were used as currency. Everybody had confidence in them." These notes were all paid. It is said that when Abner Coburn was governor he on more than one occasion affixed A. & P. Coburn to a bill which the legislature had enacted, so accustomed was he to signing the firm name.
The Coburns became interested in railroad enterprises in 1854, when they led a subscription for Somerset and Kennebec Railroad Company for the purpose of building a line to Skowhegan. From the first, one or the other of the brothers was a director of this road, and for several years prior to its perpetual lease to the Portland & Kennebec, Abner Coburn was its president, becoming afterwards a director of the consolidated line. After several years of conflict with the Maine Central Company, the Portland & Kennebec was consolidated with it under the name of Maine Central, and Abner Coburn became one of the directors of the new company. In 1875 he was made president of the Maine Central Railroad Company and managed the road in the interests of the stockholders, regardless of those who wished to make it subservient to other purposes, notably that of bolstering up the almost bankrupt Eastern Railroad. His management of the Maine Central was a model of economy and efficiency. In 1878, after serving three years, he signed the presidency.
The great service which Governor Coburn, as he was generally called, rendered Maine in the development of its railroad system cannot be overstressed. For more than a quarter of a century he devoted time and money to it, when the general opinion was that it was a misfortune to be a stockholder in any of the four corporations east of Portland which now make up the great system known as the Maine Central. In the darkest hours of the enterprise he more than once attested his faith by pledging his private fortune to meet its obligations. One incident of this kind is narrated as follows:
Soon after one of the consolidations by which the present Maine Central was built up, there came a period of hard times. Business fell off, and the company had a large floating debt, the holders of which were importunate for payment. In their perplexity and distress it occurred to one of the members of the Board to apply to Governor Coburn. Several of them went to see him, saying that they saw no way but for him to endorse the paper of the Maine Central for $200,000 at once, and for $500,000 later if necessary. The governor said not a word nor asked a question until the spokesman had finished, and then he simply asked them for the note, which he signed. The confidence which he inspired quieted the anxiety of the creditors, and the crisis was over. The manager of one Savings Bank holding a large amount of the corporation paper, who had been urging payment with great persistencey, said; "Give me Governor Corburn's endorsement and you can have the mney as long as you wish." It was given, and the manager was satisfied.
In connection with their land enterprises and otherwise, the Coburns were interested in several western railroads, among them the Northern Pacific.
At the incorporation of the Skowhegan Bank, the first bank in town, in 1833, Mr. Coburn was one of the directors, and he subsequently became its president. When it was reorganized in 1863 under the National Banking Act as the First National Bank, he was made president, which position he held throughout his life. He was also president of the Skowhegan Savings Bank from its organization in 1869. A large amount of his time and thought were given to these institutions, and they profited greatly by his financial wisdom and experience.
Mr. Coburn took a deep interest in political affairs. His family connection was with the Federalist party, and he cast his first vote for President for John Quincy Adams in 1824. Later he became a Whig. He served three terms in the Maine house, 1838, 1840 and 1844, being a member of the following committees: Finance, North-eastern boundary, banks and banking, state lands and state valuation. In 1852 when General Scott was the Whig candidate for the presidency, Mr. Coburn was on the electoral ticket. When the Whig party was broken up, he became a Republican, being among the founders of that party in the state. In 1855 he was a member of Governor A. P. Morrill's council, and in 1857 of the council of Governors Hamlin and Williams. He headed the electoral ticket when Abraham Lincoln was elected President in 1860. In 1862 he was the Republican candidate for Governor, and was elected, receiving 42,774 votes to 32, 108 for Bion Bradbury, Democrat, and 6,764 for General Jameson, War Democrat.
Governor Coburn filled the office during the trying years of 1863. He was one of the loyal was Governors, who held up the hands of Lincoln in those trublous times. He was governor in fact as well as in name, and there was no power behind the throne. The business of the State was conducted on strict business principles, with the same integrity which characterized the man in all the relations of life. Although this course gave dissatisfaction to some and made some enemies among politicians, he adhered rigidly to it, and in after years even those who had differed from him at the time, admitted that the State never had a more efficient administration than Governor Coburn's.
He did not always act according to custom, but followed his own judgment, based on his ideas of right and justice. The following incident illustrates his independent methods. The First Maine Cavlry had lost several of its field officers, and was in such a condition that promotion in the regular order did not appear to him to be expedient. He listened to the arguments of the different parties concerned, and after a few days announced the nomination of two young officers not the oldest in rank to the first places in the regiment. "I have carefully looked the matter over," wa his reply to all protests. "I know these men; their appointment is the best thing for the regiment." The sequel proved that he had acted wisely, and the regiment under its new leadership brough honor to the State.
Governor Coburn's message to the legislature was practical, and showed careful thought concerning the needs of the State, and appreciation of the awful issues of war that were hanging in the balance. He said: "The toal quota of troops demanded of Maine up to this time by the War Department, amounts to something less than the number we have actually furnished. The pariotism of our state has even surpassed the demands which the national exigency has made upon it. We have not only sent all the men asked of us, but have sent good men and brave men. In a contest where all the loyal States have responded so nobly, it would be invidious and indeed positively offensive for any one to arrogate peculiar and superior merit. We only claim with others to have done our part, and we recur with undisguished pride to the fact that on every battlefield where Maine troops have been called to participate, they have acquitted themselves with valor and with honor, making a record of patriotism heroism which it will be alike the pride and duty of the State to cherish and perpetuate. In addition to the men that Maine had furnished to the army of volunteers, we have contributed to the naval and marine service more largely in proportion to our population than any other state. The habits and occupation of a considerable number of our people fit them pre-eminently for this service, and it is gratifying to know that our shipping ports and coast towns have sent forth swarms of hardy and well trained seamen to maintain the honor of our flag upon the ocean."
His attitude for the public finances is set forth in the following;
"I have already alluded to the fact that within the past year the sum of $30,000 of the state debt was paid. During the present year $50,000 more will mature, and I earnestly recommend that it be paid, instead of being renewed, as has too frequently been our custom in the past. The policy of liquidation, in my judgment, is the true, safe and wisely economical one for the State to adopt. Whatever may be the theory or the truth in regard to the advantages of a national debt, I do not think that a state debt should remian unpaid a day longer than the time when the people can discharge it without specially or unduly burdening themselves with taxation."
On the subject of education he said: "The educational intersts of the state are fully and ably set forth in the report of the superintendent of schools. It is one of our chief glories that we provide, at the public expense, for the education of all the children of the State. Our fathers wisely imposed it as a constitutional duty, and we are reaping the rich advantages of their foresight and their wisdom. While we may not be in a conditon to make any extraordinary expenditures for educational purposes, it will be one of our highest duties to see that our schools are maintained in full vigor and usefulness, and that while other intersts may suffer from the inevitable effects of war, the culture of the young shall in no wise be neglected or abated."
In further discussion of the war, he said: "We are well advanced in the second year of a war involving issues of the gravest moment to all of us. The contest was precipitated by those, who, no longer able to rule, were determined to ruin the government of the United States. The ostensible reason for secession was one which, if admitted to have any force, would forthwith destroy every element of Democratic Republicanism which exists in our institutions - for if a constitutional majority of the people cannot have the right to elect the President of their choice, our form of government is at an end, and its attempted perpetuation is a farce. From the day the Southern conspirators made open war on the United States by assaulting Fort Sumter, the question passed to the arbitrament of the sword, and not to have accepted the issue would have been to basely surrender the life of the nation. Thus far we have, with patriotic unamimity sustained the President in all his efforts to subdue the rebellion. The people of the loyal states have poured out their treasure and their blood in unstinted measure, and in their devotion to country men have forgotten the prejudices of party."
In reference to the newly adopted policy of emancipation, he said: "The rebels are entitled at our hands during the war to nothing more and nothing less than the treatment prescribed by the laws of war, and we can and ought and will sieze every legitimate weapon to conquer their military power and reduce them to obedience to the Constitution of the United States. It is on this ground that loyal men can rally with enthusiasm to the support of the President. And it will not abate the force of the new policy that its results is to give freedom to a race long oppressed, and to abolish an institution which has been the source of evil dissension at home, and the cause of shame and reproach to us abroad. It will be clearly within the dispensation of God's justice that a system of oppression which violates the natural rights of man, which has always stirred up strife and contention, and which was the direct cause of our present troubles, should wither and perish in the wrathful storm which in its rage it dared to provoke." The message closed as follows: "We enter upon public duty, gentlemen, at a time of unusual responsibility, when human wisdom alone may well be distrusted. By relying upon the guidance of that Gracious Being who hath so bountifully blessed us as a nation, and who chastiseth but in mercy, let us, in humility and yet in confidence, address ourselves to the conscientious discharge of the trusts committed to us by the people of our beloved State."
Later in the year, in response to fresh calls for troops by the national government, Governor Coburn addressed the people of the State with earnest appeals for patriotic action. From two of these state papers the following extracts are taken:
"Our people, with almost entire unanimity, have determined that the present rebellion shall be suppressed, and that the Union which it was designed to destroy, shall be maintained. For this purpose they entered upon the contest, and to this end they will persevere until the object be accomplished, and until the world shall be satisfied that free men can endure more, and persevere longer, for the preservation of free government, than can the most desperate and determined traitors for its destruction. The length of the conflict is not to be measured by years, but by events. Treason is to be put down, and to that end should all the measures of the government be subservient." Thus far in our great civil contest Maine has borne a proud part. Her sons have upheld the national banner on the fiercest battlefields, and have earned a fame which we cannot too proudly cherish, and which we should strive to emulate. Let us, in the brief season allowed us, prove that our patriotism is as sincer, our enthusiasm as warm, and our faith in the national cause as firm as at any hour since the contest began. Whoever else shall falter or fail, let the men of Maine prove themselves fully equal to the demands now made on their heroism and their love of country."
In spite of the extent and multiplicity of Governor Coburn's business interests, he found time for many duties such as a public spirited man owes to the community and the state, and for a wide philanthropy. He was very practically interested in the cause of education, and few men in Maine have done more for the support of our higher educational institutions. He was for forty years a trustee of Colby College, taking his father's place in 1845, and serving until his death, and was President of the Board of Trustees of the State College of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts, now the University of Maine, for twelve years, 1867 - 1879. To both these institutions he gave a large amout of attention, and large contributions, and in each of them one of the college buildings bears his name. Waterville Classical Institute at Waterville, which was renamed for him Coburn Classical Institute, received from him a fine school building, erected as a memorial to his deceased brother, Stephen Coburn, and his nephew, Charles Miller Coburn, and he also provided it with an endowment of $50,000. Somerset County was indebted to him for a commodious court house, and the town of Skowhegan was largely indebted to him for a fine public hall which was called by his name, and which served the people of the community until it was destroyed by fire in 1904.
Although not a member, Governor Coburn was a constant attendant of the Baptist Church, to which he was much attached. He doubtless contributed more money for the building of churches and missionary and educational work of that denomination than any other man in the state. His private charities were almost numberless, and were dispersed so unostentatiously that probably but a small part of them were ever known. His habits and manner of living were simple, even to frugality. Neither Abner Coburn nor his brother Philander were ever married, and they made their home together.
A brief extract from a memorial address delivered by a personal friend of Governor Coburn, Colonel Z. A. Smith, at the Colby Commencement following his death, will give an idea of his personal habits and character. "In his private life and in his personal relations, Governor Coburn was the same upright and conscientious man that he was in business and public affairs. He was so conspicuously free from the appearance of vice of every nature, that even the idlest village gossip never had the semblance of pretext to trifly with his name. All his life, he was not only a total abstainer from intoxicating liquors, but in all things, lived an abstemius and frugal life. Although his earlier life was spent much in contact with men of rough habits, he was in his intercourse with all, refined in speech and deferential in act. Impure or profane words never passed his lips. Just to all men, he was, at the same time and in the best ways, kind, helpful and sympathetic. Few men had more occasion to know the wickedness and ingratitude of other men, yet he was in speech and act the most charitable of men towards the failings and sins of others. Integrity so permeated every fibre of his moral and intellectual being, that he often seemed unable to realize that a man could be a rascal."
Governor Coburn was an intersting and instructive talker. He kept himself acquainted with all current subjects of importance, and his opinions on the tariff, the currency and business questions generally were valuable and interesting. On one occasion he gave his views on the cause of industrial depression a follows;
"Business will revive just as soon as there is anything like free employment for the people who depend on wages for a living. There is over-production only because the people who depend on wages cannot earn them and becaues, when close times come, those who can employ labor and buy the products of labor make haste to reduce their expenditures. Give the labor the country employment and good wages, and you will hear no more of over-production. That people will enjoy the greatest degree of prosperity which spen freely within their means. A community which hoards, and spends the least possible, will never be one of business enterprise. What we want now is a market for labor at a fair compensation to restore prosperity."
His recollections of his early life were vivid. He could speak in the most entertaining way of the struggles of the early part of the nineteenth century, of the manner of living, and of the peculiarities of the people of that time. He knew the foremost men of Maine for half a century, and from him one could get a better idea of their characteristics than from any other source. He was charitable in his judgement, and rarely spoke in condemnation of any one. He once said of an adriot man, "If you want to track him sure, go in the opposite direction from that in which his toes point."
Of a Maine officer during the war he said, "He wrote so many letters urging his own promotion that he couldn't have done any fighting." When the green-back craze swept over Maine, some one told him that a certain man had become an advocate of fiat money. "That is proper," he replied, "that man always maintained that he had paid a debt when he gave his note for it." He liked direct men. "John B. Brown, of Portland," he said, "is a man who says what he means, so that you can understand him." "Payson Tucker," he said, "is a man of wonderful tact in getting along with people. He is the best railroad man I ever met." "Josiah Drummond is a man you can always believe." Such were his judgments of men with whom he was associated.
Governor Coburn was a sufferer from dyspepsia during the last years of his life, and for several months before his death showed signs of a breaking up of his vigorous constitution. In the early part of December, 1884, he went to Augusta as a member of the Electoral College, to cast his vote for James G. Blaine for President, and while there was taken seriously ill. He returned to his home, and after a few weeks of illness, during which he was able part of the time to attend to business, he passsed away Jan. 4, 1885. By his will he left nearly a million dollars for religious, educational and philanthropic work.
His public bequests were as follows:
To the Maine Insane Hospital at Augusta, "$50,000; to the Maine General Hospital at Portland, "$100,000; to the Maine State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, $100,000; to Colby University, $200,000; to the American Baptist Home Missionary Society, $200,000; the income of one-half to be applied in aid of Freedman's schools; to Wayland Seminary at Washington, $50,000; to the American Baptist Missionary Union, $100,000; to the Maine Baptist Missionary Convention, $100,000; to Houlton Academy, $5,000; to the Maine Industrial School for Girls, $5,000; to the Baptist Church in Skowhegan $18,000; to Bloomfield Academy, $7,000; for a free public library in Skowhegan, $30,000; to the town of Skowhegan, for its worthy and unfortunate poor, $20,000; to the town of Skowhegan, land for a public park.
In his message to Maine the legislature Governor Robie said of Mr. Coburn: "Another man upon whom the people have wisely conferred their hightest honors has passed away. Hon. Abner Coburn, the repersentative man of the best characteristics of New England simplicity, integrity and economy, is no more. His life is a monument of great usefulness, of high public spirit and patriotism . . . . Called to the office of governor during the most trying period of the late war, he displayed firness, sagacity and patriotism, of the highest order. His life, character and achievements are an honor to Maine, and proud is the State that can claim the birth and citizenship of such a man."
The following extract from a letter from Hon. James G. Blaine, written a few days after Governor Coburn's death, may here be given as a worthy tribute to his memory, and may serve as a fitting summing up of his character:
"Governor Coburn was altogether a remarkable man. With only rudimentary training in early life, he has proved our most liberal and discriminating patron of classical education. With no gift for public speaking, he has constantly exerted a wise and beneficient influence on public opinion. He was, if humanity ever attain perfection, an absolutely just man in all his dealings. And beyond the severe demands of justice, he was always kind and even generous to his fellow man. Singularly quiet and unobtrusive, the world around him had little knowledge of the constant flow of his charity, of the numberless good deeds which adorned his daily life. He was altogether modest and disliked everything which savord of pretention or show. His life was, indeed, a model of simplicity. The large fortune which is industry and sagacity had enabled him to accumulate was in his own view a "trust fund," which he held for the benefit of mankind, and the disposition of which was with him a matter of conscience. He never had a dollar to waste, but he always had thousands for a worthy cause."
"In thirty years of personal intimacy with Governor Coburn, I never saw anything in his life and conversation that was not praise-worthy. He was never impatient nor fault-finding nor revengeful. His only form of censure was silence and his friends came to know how much that meant on certain occasions, respecting certain persons. To those whom he called friends, he was devotedly true. But he never made professions of attachment and was never effusive. In his crisp and pointed correspondence, no matter what the degree of intimacy with the person to whom he wrote, he always began his letters with the stiff "Dr. Sir" of olden times and signed himself "Resp'y" or "truly yours." But with this undemonstrative and formal manner, there was as kindly a heart as ever beat in human breast, and with it hand as helpful as ever came to a friend's relief."
(VI) Philander Coburn, third son of Eleazer (2) Coburn, was born in Canaan, Maine (now Skowhegan), Feb. 19, 1807. Brought up on his father's farm, he developed by active farm work his unusually fine physique. His educaiton was obtained at the district school and at Bloomfield Academy, and he taught several terms in the district schools of the town. He was early taught the surveying business by his father, and became a skillful surveyor.
The story of his business life, as a member of the lumbering firm of E. Coburn and Sons, which was established when he was twenty-three years old, and which after his father's death became A. & P. Coburn, has already been told in the sketch of his brother Abner. While in their younger days both brothers went into the woods, in later life Philander took the practical end of the business, and supervised the lubmering operations of the firm. For this work he was specially qualified by his great powers of endurance, his energy and daring, and his spirit of enthusiasm in whatever he undertook. When Abner went "down river," Philander went "up river." He was an expert woodsman, and used to say he could tell a fir tree from a spruce tree three miles away. He was tall and powerfully built, and capable of traelling nights and working days, which he often did. He used frequently to start from his home near nightfall, with his big horse Railroad, famous up and down the river, in the sleigh, travel forty or fifty miles before morning, and be ready to cruise the woods all day. His return trips were sometimes made at night in the same way. He would drop the reins in the front of the sleigh, and fold his arms, and if he happened to fall asleep, Railroad would bring him safely home. In the woods there were few men who could keep up with him, for he seemed to require neither food or sleep. His disregard of himself led im into more perils and hardships than fell to the lot of his associates.
Philander Coburn was a man of keen intellect, and contributed fully his share to the success of the firm in all its departments of activity. He was often the aggressive partner, while Abner was the conservative one. Boldness and caution were alike characteristics of his mind. His knowledge of human nature and skill in handling men were large facotrs in his business success. He treated his workmen with perfect fairness, shared with them the hardships and privations incident to their labor and gave them sympathy and aid in times of misfortune. Thus he never had disagreements or misunderstandings with them, but always held their respect, and in many cases won their unwavering and lifelong attachment. His associates in business were not treated by him as rivals to be overthrown, but instead by wise counsel and substantial aid. He was genial and companionable, a most entertaining talker, and a good story teller, possessing an inexhaustable fund of varied experiences to draw upon. Yet in his real nature he was reserved, and he was shy of publicity. The only public office he ever held was when he represented his district in the Maine Senate in 1853. He was, however, deeply interested in political matters, belonging to the Whig party in early life, and becoming an enthusiastic member of the Republican party at the organization of the latter.
He was never married. but resided with his brother Abner in the "Coburn House." His private life was without reproach, and his personal habits were like those of his brother, characterized by the greatest simplicity. The two brothers had a common bank account, and a common purse, and most of their gifts during the life of the younger brother came from "A. & P." Philander himself practiced much unostentatious charity, and assisted generously many philanthropic and religious enterprises. Though not a member, he was a constant attendant and supporter of the Baptist church, and an active participant in its business meetings. He was strongly interested in the temperance cause, being himself, as was his brother, a total abstainer from both liquor and tobacco.
His years of hardship and carelessness of himself finally broke down his superb constitution. His keen vision became impaired and though his sight was restored by a successful operation for cataract, he was never afterwards able to do servere work. He died from a slow disease of the brain, March 8, 1876.
[trans note: this then says "For ancestry see preceding sketch."]
(VI) Samuel Weston Coburn, fifth son of Eleazer and Mary (Weston) Coburn, was born in Skowhegan, Maine, July 14, 1815, and died July 30, 1873. His early life was passed on the paternal farm, and he was educated primarily in the common schools. He attended Bloomfield Academy, and prepared for college at the China (Maine) Academy. He entered Waterville (now Colby) College, from which he was graduated in 1841. While a student in academy and college he taught school during his vacations, and after graduation from the latter accepted a position as teacher in the academy at Saco. Maine. After being thus occupied for one term, he went to Canada, in company with his brother Alonzo, their purpose being to acquire a more thorough knowledge of the French language, to which they had already given much attention. After some time thus spent, and after making a tour of the states bordering upon Canada, Samuel W. Coburn returned to Skowhegan and engaged in the mercantile business, which he conducted successfully for about ten years, also conducting the farm, and he devoted himself altogether to the latter after relinquishing his store. In his agricultural pursuits he made a specialty of breeding Durham cattle, and at that early date accomplished much toward raising the standard of live stock not only in his neighborhood, ut in the country at large. In 1859 he took a cargo of blooded cattle to his brother's ranch in California, sailing by way of the Isthmus of Panama. After remaining in California for two and a half years he returned home in 1852, and thereafter lived a quiet life upon his farm, in Bloomfield. He was a man of enterprise and public spirit, and from time to time was called to various positions of honor and trust.
He was a member of the Baptist church, and for many years taught a large Bible class in the Sunday school, composed of adults, both male and female, and the largeness of the class and the interest taken by its members bore witness to his deep knowledge and capability in imparting instruction. He was a strong anti-slavery man, and became an original member of the Republican party on its organization in 1856. During the civil war he was loyally devoted to the Union, and labored efficiently in the promotion of enlistments in the army and in providing for the families of the brave men who went to the front. He was a tireless worker in the cause of temperance.
Mr. Coburn married, Dec. 6, 1842, Sarah Bigelow, daughter of Lewis Bigelow. She was born Jan. 3, 1818, and at the present writing (1908), at the venerable age of ninety years, retains her mental and physical vigor in remarkable degree.
1. Sarah Frances, b. Sept. 15, 1843, married April 5, 1866, John Flavel Turner; children, i. Harry C. Turner, b. Sept. 17, 1873, married Marie Burnett and have Burnett Coburn and Lucia Frances.; ii. Charles F. Turner, b. Dec. 22, 1881, married, June 30, 1903, Ethel Totman, and have one child, Louise Bigelow.
2. Charles Samuel, born Nov. 28, 1845, died March 23, 1862.
3. Julia Lowell, born April 23, 1849.
4. Ella Mary, born Oct. 7, 1851; married Dec. 24, 1870, Manly T. Pooler; children: i. Fred Coburn, b. March 28, 1872; ii. Florence, b. May 17, 1880. iii. Mabel J., b. July 30, 1882.
(VI) Stephen Coburn, sixth son of Eleazer (2) Coburn, was born in Bloomfield, now Skowhegan, Nov. 11, 1817. Like his brothers he worked as a boy on his father's farm, and attended the district school. He prepared for college at Waterville and China Academies, and entered Waterville (now Colby) College in the sophomore year, graduating in 1839, second in his class. After graduation he went South, and taught for a year in a private family in Tarboro, North Carolina, conducting what was called a plantation school, to which several planters sent their children. Returning to Maine, he became principal of Bloomfield Academy, and held this position for four years, 1840-1844. He was an accomplished teacher and prepared a number of students for college. After leaving the profession of teaching he retained his interst in educational matters, and a number of times privately fitted young men for college or for admission to the bar.
He was a member of the Maine Board of Education, 1848-1850, in which position his experience and professional knowledge enabled him to do valuable service. In later years, as a member of the Board of Bloomfield Academy, he was largely instrumental in bringing about the consolidation of the Academy with the Skowhegan High School, a step which proved of lasting benefit to the community. He kept up his interst also in higher education, and in forty-three years after graduation never missed attending his college commencement, excepting the one year he was in the South.
Desiring to enter into active business life, he began the stufy of the law in the office of Bronson and Woart at Augusta. He also attended lectures at Harvard Law School, but did not complete the course. Admitted to the bar of Somerset county in 1845, he opened a law office in Skowhegan, in company with his brother Alonzo, under the name of A. & S. Coburn. This partnership did not last long. Mr. Coburn then associated himself with Henry A. Wyman, and in company with him conducted a large practice under the firm name of Coburn & Wyman until the death of the junior partner in 1867. After this time Mr. Coburn gradually withdrew from active practice, the large business interests of his brothers, A. & P. requiring much of his professional assistance, and his own private studies engrossing more of his time. He acted as attorney for the Maine Central Railroad Company during the years in which his brother Abner was president of the raad.
Stephen Coburn was intensely interested in political affairs, having been a Whig in early life, and joining the Republican party at its organization. He did not, however, care for public position, and the only one that he held came to him unsought. In 1860 he was elected a Representative to the Thirty-sixth Congress to fill out the unexpired term of Israel Washburn, who was made governor of Maine. He was in Washington during the critical winter of 1860-61, and stood near Abraham Lincoln when he took his first oath of office.
He was postmaster of Skowhegan 1868-1877. Amid the pressure of business Mr. Coburn found time for extensive reading and study, especially in the fields of philosophy, logic and philology. He was an unwearied student, and found his happiness among his books, and in his family. He was naturally diffident in temperament, and preferred retirement to publicity, and yet was always ready to do his duty as he conceived it, however unpleasant.
He was a member and faithful supporter of the Baptist church, and always its trusted adviser. He was a strong temperance man and a public spirited citizen. He was warm hearted, generous of time and money to all who needed help, and a lover of peace. In all the relations of his life he bore the part of peacemaker, and exercised his fine tact, his trained judgment, and his large influence to restore harmony or to prevent discord. As a lawyer he was noted for bringing about friendly settlements of cases whenever it was possible, and his advice was much sought by women, who felt that they could safely trust him.
He died at Skowhegan, July 4, 1882.
His college classmate and lifelong friend, Rev. Joseph Ricker, wrote of him: "Stephen Coburn was one of those choice spirits that are met with only here and there in life's journey. He was honest in purpose, clear-eyed in judgment, firm in conviction, and frank in expression. What wonder then is it that he was loved and trusted as few men ever are? Without disparagement to others, I may say that his was the most unselfish life that has ever fallen under my notice. Charmingly unconscious of his own worth, it was a pleasure to him rather than a task, to serve others."
Stephen Coburn married, in Skowhegan, June 29, 1853, Helen Sophia Miller, daughter of Rev. Charles and Susan Drew (Thompson) Miller, who was born in Turner, Maine, March 25, 1832.
Children, b. in Skowhegan:
1. Louise Helen Coburn, b. Sept. 1, 1856, graduated from Coburn Classical Institute 1873, and from Colby College 1877.
2. Charles Miller Coburn, b. June 17, 1860, graduated from Skowhegan High School 1877, Colby College 1881; studied law in his father's office. He was a young man of sterling character and of great promise, the last male representative in his generation of a family which had numbered nine brothers. He died at Skowhegan, July 4, 1882.
3. Susan Mary Coburn, b. Oct. 19, 1863, died Aug. 17, 1865.
4. Frances Elizabeth Coburn, b. June 16, 1867, graduated Coburn Classical Institute 1887; married July 16, 1889, Charles Hovey Pepper, son of Dr. George Dana Boardman and Annie (Grassie) Pepper. Mr. Pepper was born in Waterville, Maine, Aug. 27, 1864, grad. Coburn Cl. Inst. 1884, Colby College 1889, and studied art in New York and Paris. He is an artist in water colors and oils, and has exhibited extensively both in Europe and in the U.S. They lived in Paris, France, from 1893 to 1898, and now reside in Concord, Mass. Children: i. Stephen Coburn Pepper, b. in Newark, N. J. April 29, 1891. ii. Eunice Gordon Pepper, b. in Concord, Jan. 28, 1906.
5. Grace Maud Coburn, born Sept. 10, 1871; graduated Skowhegan High School 1889, Colby College 1893, A. M. George Washington University 1900; married Nov. 18, 1896, George Otis Smith, a sketch of whom is given elsewhere.
A sketch of the family of Mrs. Stephen (MILLER) Coburn follows:
Rev. Charles MILLER was born in Auchenbowie, near Stirling, Scotland, Oct. 1, 1794, and was the son of David and Ellen (Muir) Miller. He was educated at Stirling and in 1819 sailed from Leith and came to Miramichi, New Brunswick. He was ordained to the Baptist ministry in Sackville in 1820, and did pioneer missionary work in the Miramichi region for four years, which were followed by a three years' pastorate in St. John. Coming to Maine in 1826, he became the first pastor of the Baptist church in South Berwick. He had subsequent pastorates in Turner, Maine; Wenham, Mass.; Boston, Cambridge; Livermore, Maine; Bloomfield, Farmington and Livermore Falls. In 1851 Skowhegan became his home for the remainder of his life, and after this time he was for many years a missionary preacher in the rural settlements of Somerset county. He died at Skowhegan, Nov. 21, 1887. He was a devout and faithful minister, and filled with missionary spirit. He married Feb. 4, 1828, Susan Drew Thompson, daughter of Ira and Sophia (Drew) Thompson, of Livermore, and granddaughter of Lieut. William Thompson of Middleboro, Mass., who served under Washington during the siege of Boston. Her grandfather on her mother's side was Job DREW, of Kingston, Mass., who was a minuteman in 1775. She was of Pilgrim stock, having Mayflower ancestry in four lines. She was born in Livermore, Sept. 25, 1805, and died in Skowhegan, June 30, 1893.
1. Abby Seaver Miller, born in South Berwick, Feb. 21, 1829; married in Farmington, Jan. 21, 1851, Benjamin White Norris, son of James and Mary (White) Norris. He was born at Monmouth, Jan. 22, 1819, prepared for college at Monmouth Academy, graduated from Waterville (now Colby) College 1843, taught one term in Kent's Hill Seminary, then went into business in Skowhegan. In 1849 he went to California, and remained a year, after which he studied law with David Kidder, of Skowhegan, and practised in company with him for a time. From 1852 to 1864 he was in the oilcloth manufacuring business in Skowhegan; 1860-1863 was land agent for the State of Maine; 1865 went South to Montgomery, Albama, and served in the Freedman's Bureau under General O. O. Howard, with commission as major. He served as representative from Alabama to the fortieth congress 1867-69. He died at Montgomery, Jan. 26, 1873.
He was a genial man who had many friends, and was highly esteemed for honorable and Christian character. His widow resided in Skowhegan, where she died Nov. 13, 1901. They had two daughters born in Skowhegan: Helen Amelia, b. Nov. 1, 1851, married June 1, 1882, Edwin Frost Fairbrother, merchant, of Skowhegan, d. Skowhegan Dec. 1, 1888; and Mary Abby, b. March 26, 1854.
2. Helen Sophia Miller, born March 25, 1832, married Stephen Coburn, above noticed.
3. Charles Andrew Miller, born in Wenham, Mass., Aug. 13, 1834; prepared for college at Farmington Academy, and at Bloomfield Academy, graduated Waterville (now Colby) College, 1856, studied law with his brother-in-law, Stephen Coburn; was admitted to the bar 1858, and began the practice of law in Rockland in 1859 in partnership with William S. Heath, in which he continued till 1863. He was assistant clerk in the Maine House of Representatives during the sessions of 1858 and 1859, and clerk in 1860-61-62-63. In 1863 he joined the army as major in the Second Maine Cavalry, serving till the end of the war in the Dept. of the Gulf. After the war he settled in Montgomery, Albama, having charge of a plantation belonging to A. & P. Coburn, and taking active part in the politics of the state. He was Secretary of State for Alabama in 1869 and 1870. Afterwards he became connected with the Alabama and Chattanooga Railroad as treasurer and director, and resided part of the time in Chattanooga. He was chosen a delegate in 1876 to the National Republican Convention in Cincinnati, but on account of ill health was represented by a substitute. He died, unmarried, in his father's home in Skowhegan May 7, 1877. He was a man of generous spirit and attractive personality, who made many friends, by whom he was loved and respected.
4. Elizabeth Dodge Miller, born in West Cambridge, Mass., Dec. 19, 1836. She was educated at Bloomfield Academy, was preceptress of Bloomfield Academy four years, 1860-1864; was a member of the Skowhegan school committee, 1882-1888; and was active in church and benevolent work. She died at Skowhegan March 18, 1890.
5. Ann Eliza Miller, born Livermore, March 7, 1840, died there March 21, 1842.
6. Caleb David Miller, born in Livermore May 28, 1843; married March 14, 1871, Arazina R. (Pratt) Steward, born May 19, 1842, at Newport, daughter of Jacob and Mary (Burrill) Pratt. He was postmaster of Skowhegan, 1877-1888, since when he has been engaged in business and agricultural pursuits. He is a prominent member of the Grange, and was president of the Somerset Agricultural Society 1906-1910. He resides in the homestead in Skowhegan.