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.]
Adam Leighton, son of Peter and Rachel (Winslow) Leighton, was born Dec. 30, 1811, died March 6, 1866. He owned a farm in West Falmouth, which he cultivated until 1861, when he removed to Portland and opened a grocery-store in a building on the site of the present (1908) auditorium. After carrying on this business four years, he died.
He was a man of excellent character, had a wide circle of friends, and was much respected. He possessed moral courage in a high degree, and lived up to what his conscience accepted as right. For a time he was with a single exception the only Republican in West Falmouth, but he never concealed his political views, and lived to see many of his former political opponents follow him into the Republican party.
He married in 1836, Julia Ann, born in North Falmouth, Feb. 26, 1816, died Dec. 21, 1898, daughter of Silas and Abigail (Roberts) Leighton.
1. Byron, married Mary Stone, and resides in Osage, Iowa.
2. Wendell, married Annie Holdsworth, and lives in Portland.
3. Wilbur, married Fannie Barber, and is a resident of Portland.
4. Adam P., mentioned below.
5. Ambrose P., married Harriet Norton, and lives in Portland.
(II) Hon. Adam Philips, fourth son of Adam (1) and Julia Ann (Leighton) Leighton, was born in West Falmouth, April 6, 1851, and spent the first decade of his life on his father's farm and attended the country schools. He then went to Portland with his parents, and at fourteen years of age lost his father by death. He worked his way through school, attending Westbrook Seminary several terms, the last being in the fall of 1867. Nov. 19, 1867, he entered the employ of Chisholm Brothers, who were then carrying on a book-store on Congress street. He began at $5 a week, and in later years he once remarked to a business friend with whom he was talking over old days, he "was mighty glad to get the job at that figure." A year later he was sent down to the Grand Trunk station, to take charge of the newsboys at the Chisholm railroad office. His sphere of action increased until 1872, when he was made manager of the company, a position he now holds.
The Chisholms, with whose business Mr. Leighton has been so long connected and had a part in enlarging, started their book and news business on the Grand Trunk railroad. Theyh now control business on a dozen roads, and were pioneers in introducing a great many of the best-selling publicatoins. For years they furnished newsdealers and jobbers from the Atlantic to the Pacific with view-books. During the World's Fair, in Chicago, in 1893, the firm sold more than 400,000 of these lithographic books, representing buildings and scenes of the great fair. Later the half-tone photographs succeeded the lithographs, and then came the post-cards in 1888. In the post-card business, as in the publication of book-views, the Chisholm firm had the pioneer trade. In 1888 that firm published the first picture post-card. The High C. Leighton Company, of which Mr. Leighton's son is president and manager, was founded in 1904, and is recognized as one of the largest and leading post-card manufacturing houses in the United States, its weekly product being from 1,000,000 to 1,500,000 cards. In 1898, in company with S. B. Adams, Mr. Leighton bought the plant of Curtis & Son Company, the pioneer manufacturers of chewing-gum of the world, which furnishes an output of three and one-half tons of gum every twenty-four hours. These two houses pay from thirty to forty per cent of the entire customs duties collected on imports at the port of Portland. The combined duties paid by these two firms, gum and post-card manufacuterers, amount to from $40,000 to $50,000 a year. A few years ago Mr. Leighton was the controlling influence in the reorginization and retention of the Lakeside Press, one of the largest lithographic and printing houses in New England. Four Portland industries with which he is financially and officially connected distribute through their weekly pay-rolls an aggregate of fully $100,000 annually.
Mr. Leighton's other business connections are as follows:
Vice-president of the Chapman National Bank; vice-president of the Cumberland Loan and Building Association, and director of the Mercantile Trust Company. Mr. Leighton's financial interests, his success in the management of his own business and that of others, his high moral character and genial manner, attracted the attention of his fellow citizens, and for years he has been prominent in the public affairs of the city of Portland.
Raised by a father who was an Abolitionist and a Republican, Adam P. Leighton kept the faith of his father, and has always been a stalwart adherent to the teachings of Lincoln and the founders of the party. In the nineties his political career began. He was elected to the common council, representing ward seven for three successive years, 1891-92-93. At the expiration of his term in the council, he was chosen by Mayor Baxter as the Republican member of the newly authorized street commission, a non-partisan body composed of one Republican, one Democrat, and the city engineer as chairman. In 1896 Mr. Leighton was elected alderman from ward seven, and again returned to that body in 1897. In his labors in the city government he was attentive to his duties and recognized as a power for wise action and good government. In the years between his retirement and 1907 he was busy with his many business interests, but not unmindful of the affairs of the city, keeping well informed of all that was going on in municipal affairs. In 1907 he was solicited to become the candidate of his party for mayor, and acceded to the desire of his friends in that matter. At the following election, Dec., 1907, he was elected by a handsome majority, and in the conduct of the city's affairs since his inauguration, Dec. 9, 1907, he has made an enviable record.
He is a member and has served as president of the Portland Club; is a member of Atlantic Lodge, No. 81, Free and Accepted Masons; Greenleaf Royal Arch Chapter, No. 13; Portland Council, No. 1, Royal and Select Masters; and Portland Commandery, No. 2, Knights Templar. He is also a member of Bramhall Lodge, No. 3, Knights of Pythias, and is a charter member of the Pythian League. He worships at the State Street Congregational Church.
Adam P. Leighton married, in Portland, June 30, 1873, Isadore M., born Aug. 9, 1852, daughter of Alonzo and Mary (Dodge) Butler, of Portland.
1. Nettie May, married Dec. 27, 1900, Dr. T. W. Luce, of Portsmouth, N. H.; two children: Isadore and Emily.
2. - 4. Carlton B., Hugh C. and Adam P. Jr.