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.]
A tombstone in the old churchyard in New Gloucester bears the following insciption: "Sacred to the memory of John Magquier. Died Dec. 27, 1825, aged 92. He was one of the proprietors and first settlers of New Gloucester, and was one of those who felled trees on the spot where his remains are now deposited. A partiotic citizen and an honest man."
(I) In the summer of 1748 the John Megquier referred to in this epitaph, then fifteen years old, went with a number of men from North Yarmouth to New Gloucester, for the purpose of cutting grass in the Great Meadow, but finding it was still submerged, they went home to wait for the water to drain off, leaving young Macquier to care for the oxen which they had brought with them, and await their return. With rifle in hand for instant use, the youthful pioneer kept his lonely vigil for seven days, ready to defend himself and the oxen against a sudden attack by hostile Indians, who were known to be lurking in the vicinity. The courage and determination displayed by John Magquier when a mere lad always proved predominating features in his character, and was transmitted to his descendants.
Settling in New Gloucester as one of the original proprietors, he cleared a tract of wild land which he improved into a good farm, and, as already stated, he lived to an advanced age. The parents or ancestry of this pioneer are not mentioned in the town histories of Cumberland county.
(II) William, son of John Megquier, resided in New Gloucester. He was the father of two sons:
1. John L., born in New Gloucester Sept. 9, 1794, graduated from Bowdoin College in 1819, was admitted to the Cumberland county bar in 1825, served in the Maine senate, and at the time of his death, which occurred in 1840, was register of probate for Cumberland county.
2. Thomas L., see forward.
(III) Thomas Lewis, son of William Megquier, was born in New Gloucester, Maine, 1795, died in Winthrop in 1855. He was given a degree in medicine by Bowdoin College in 1827.
In 1831 he married Mary Jane Cole, of Turner, Maine, and in 1835 removed from Turner to Winthrop, Maine, where he practiced medicine until 1848. At that time a friend of the family, who was U. S. consul to Honolulu, came to America upon business. Among other commissions, he was instructed to secure the services of a good physician. He induced Dr. Megquier to close out his practice and return with him to Hawaii. The children were place in school and, accompanied by his wife, he started for the Pacific by way of the Isthmus of Panama. Mrs. Megquier is believed to be the first American white woman to cross the Isthmus of Panama. Mrs. Fremont in her book claims that honor, but, as a matter of fact, Mrs. Megquier had been at Panama several months awaiting a steamer when Mrs. Fremond arrived. Mrs. Megquier had the honor of entertaining Mrs. Fremont in her tent, and they finally came on by the same steamer. Upon arriving at San Francisco there was no vessel to convey them to their destination. Gold had been discovered in California, and as soon as a vessel dropped anchor in San Francisco the crew deserted. Thus there was the before-mentioned delay.
Dr. Megquier, becoming interested in the new country, changed his plans, remaining in San Francisco instead of going to Honolulu. He immediately sent back east for a good-sized frame building, one of the first, if not the first, in San Francisco. It was located at what is now the corner of Montgomery and Sacramento streets. The ground floor was used as a drug-store and the second story for a hospital. It was destroyed in the first great fire. This proved a phenominally profitable investment, and the family returned to Winthrop the following year, leaving the proceeds of the work of the year invested in San Francisco. A year later they again went west, but on account of the failing health of Dr. Megquier they returned to Winthrop, where his death occurred.
1. Angie L., born March 26, 1832, married March 11, 1852, Charles Augustus Gilson, of Portland.
2. John Otis.
4. Arthur Selwyn, see forward.
(IV) Arthur Selwyn, youngest child of Dr. Thomas L. and Mary Jane (Cole) Megquier, was born in Winthrop, Maine, April 19, 1840. He was educated in the public schools and at Little Blue, a well-known preparatory school in Farmington, Maine. He began his business training as a clerk in a mercantile establishment in Portland, and relinquishing his positoin in order to enlist for service in the civil war, he became attached to General Fremont's bodyguard. After his discharge from the army he located in New York City, first entering the employ of E. A. Morrison in the wholesale commission business, and later becoming connected with the firm of J. B. & J. M. Cornell, dealers in structural iron work. In 1880 he became a member of the firm of Lindsey, Graff & Megquier, which continued in business five years and was dissolved by mutual consent.
Removing to Portland, Maine, in 1885, he established the firm of Megquier & Jones, dealers in brass castings, finishings and structural iron work, and built up a profitable business. Mr. Megquier continued at the head of that conern until his death, which occurred Nov. 29, 1891.
In musical circles, both in New York and Portland, he was widely and favorably known, having devoted much time to the study of music and the cultivation of his voice. At one time he was director of one of the leading church choirs of Brooklyn, and he became recognized as one of the best tenor singers there. In politics he acted with the Republican party. His religious affiliations were with the Universalists.
Mr. Megquier married Sept. 9, 1868, Adelaide Hall, of Brooklyn, only child of Willard and Sarah (Sampson) Hall, and granddaughter (on the paternal side) of Eben and Susan (Ross) Hall, and (on the maternal side) of Captain Daniel and Jane (Schenck) Sampson, the former of whom served in the revolutionary war. She survies her husband.
1. Edith, wife of Herbert W. Barnard, parents of one daughter, Cornelia.
2. Cornelia, married Clayton T. Whipple.