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.]


(For preceding generations see Henry Prentiss (Prentice) I.)

(VI) Henry, son of Rev. Caleb Prentiss, was born Dec. 10, 1779, died Nov. 2, 1843. He settled in Paris, Maine, where he resided for many years. He was a prominent Whig, a witty, sharp political writer. In 1822-23 he was state representative, justice of the peace, etc.
He married Feb. 13, 1804, Mary, born Feb. 13, 1779, died of palsy, daughter of Dr. John Hart, of Reading, Mass.
1. Mary, born Oct. 17, 1804, died Feb. 12, 1805.
2. Mary Hart, born Jan. 26, 1807.
3. Henry Epaminondas, born Feb. 12, 1809, mentioned below.
4. Emily, born Dec. 27, 1810, died July 1, 1812.
5. Lucinda, born July 7, 1812, married Sept., 1834, Henry Howes.
6. Pamela, born 1813, died Feb., 1817.
7. Emily, born 1814.
8. Julia, born March 13, 1815, married Elbrige Forbes.
9. Sarah Jane, born Nov. 29, 1823, died Oct. 21 1877, unmarried; nurse in the civil war.

(VII) Hon. Henry E., son of Henry Prentiss, was born Feb. 12, 1809, died suddenly of heart disease July 1, 1873. He was educated at West Point, graduating in 1831, ranking fourth in his class. He was assistant teacher of mathematics there two years, and then received a commission in the U. S. army and was sent with the troops to Fort Morgan, Alabama. In 1835 he resigned to study law. He read law with Kent & Cutting in Bangor, and settled in Old Town, Maine. In 1836 he was a law partner with Israel Washburn, afterward governor of Maine, in Orono, Maine. In 1839 he was captain of engineers to settle the northeastern boundary in the Aroostook war. He returned to Bangor in 1839 and practised law several years until he became interested in the lumber business. He was his own surveyor and explorer, traveling in the wilds of Maine with a pack on his back, climbing tall trees to get a better survey of the timber lands, often by himself.
At the age of eighteen he joined a temperance association and always was faithful to its principles. He was frugal and liberal, and fond of books. He gave three public libraries to towns where he owned land, and one to his native place, and in his will a handsome donation to the principal library in Bangor, and his own library to his wife.
From 1857 to 1859 he was a member of the state legislature, and in 1870-71 was mayor of Bangor, and in both cases was elected on account of his stand on the temperance question. Hon. A. G. Wakefield, of the Penobscot bar and of the supreme judicial court at Bangor, said of him: "By his cheerful temper, courteous manner and genial companionship, he had endeared himself not only to his brethren in the profession, but to all in the circle of his acquaintance, and won a high and honorable position at the bar as a good lawyer. In early life of adverse circumstances, he cheerfully and manfully practised strict economy, and when wealth had crowned a life of industry he used it to minister to refined and cultivated taste and in liberally and cheerfully dispensing his charities and hospitalities for the happiness of others; possessing untiring industry and perseverance, unspotted integrity, loyalty to every duty in all things, and strictly honest . . . .that we feel ourselves honored in tendering to his memory this tribute of our sincerest respect."
Mr. Prentiss was very liberal in the education of his children, sisters and friends, and left legacies to each of his nieces.
He married, Sept. 30, 1836, Abigail Adams, born Feb. 5, 1811, at Paris, Maine, died about 1908, daughter of Capt. Samuel and Polly (Freeland) Rawson, and a direct descendant of Edward Rawson, colonial secretary of Massachusetts, who came of an ancient and honorable English house, one of his forbears having the rare distinction of being interred within the royal preceints of Windsor Castle.
1. John Hart, born Nov. 26, 1837, died July 3, 1859; educated at Union College, New York; studied medicine at Brunswick, Maine, and at the Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia; assistant physician in the hospital for the insane at Augusta, Maine, where he died of typhoid fever contracted there.
2. Henry Mellen, born July 20, 1840, mentioned below.
3. Abbie Rawson, born June 25, 1842, married March 19, 1868, George Frederick Godfrey, a lumber merchant of Bangor; childrenL i. Henry Prentiss Godfrey, b. Nov. 8, 1869; ii. Angela Godfrey, b. Jan. 21, 1876; iii. George Herbert Godfrey, b. Jan. 21, 1876; iv. Edward Rawson Godfrey, b. Dec. 27, 1877.
4. Mary Freedland, Sept. 1, 1846, in Bangor, married Oct. 15, 1879, James Murray Kay, of Glasgow, Scotland; children: i. Winifred Prentice Kay, b. Aug. 21, 1880; ii. Jean Katherine Murray Kay, b. Aug. 8, 1882.
5. Samuel Rawson, born Aug. 26, 1849, graduated at Harvard Law School; partner of his brother, Henry M. Prentiss, at Bangor, and was in the land and lumber business also at Oakland, California; married Nov. 3, 1874, Maria Louisa Wing, daughter of Aaron H. Wing, of Bangor, and had John Wing, born Aug. 15, 1875.

(VIII) Henry Mellen, son of Hon. Henry E. Prentiss, was born in Bangor, Maine, July 20, 1840. He was graduated from Harvard University in 1864, and on completion of his studies became the manager of his father's extensive estate, directing operations on the vast tracts of timber lands owned by the elder Prentiss in Maine and Pennsylvania and exhibiting a business ability and shrewd judgment far beyond his years. It was his practice to spend his forenoons in the office, looking after the important interests under his charge, and to devote the afternoons to those outdoor sports peculiar to his native state, in which often strenuous pastimes he became an expert and an acknowledged leader. He continued actively engaged in the management of timber lands until as late as 1902, and during the thirty-odd years that he was identified with the industry, he acquired a knowledge of the business that was conceded to be authoritative. There was nothing relating to the timber lands of Maine that he could not discuss with accuracy, his broad range of knowledge on this subject being based on practicl experience. While an untiring worker in his own field and an enthusiastic sportsman, Mr. Prentiss still found time for intellectual diversions. He remained a persevering scholar all his life and was known as a deep reader of the best English and French literature and also as a writer of ability. He gave a portion of his time to authorship and acquired no mean reputation as a writer on scientific subjects. He was especially interested in the matter of Arctic explorations, and his studies of that subject were such as to gain for him world-wide reputation as an authority. Many papers from his pen on this question were published in the Westminster Review, the Nineteenth Century magazine, the New York Herald, and other leading periodicals, and his book, "The Great Polar Current," attracted much attention and favorable comment in the scientific world and received the approbation of such distinguished authorities upon the subject as Admirals Makaroff, Markham and Melville, Commanders Perry, Nansen and Prince Kropotkin. He was a prominent member of the National Geographic Society, of Washington, D.C., and the Royal Geographical Society of London, England, and he belonged to the Somerset Club of Boston and the Tarratine Club of Bangor.
He was a Unitarian in his religious views, and was an independent Republican in his political thought and action, holding the general good above mere partisam considerations. It has been justly said of him that in his business relations, his reputation was that of an absolutely fair and honest man. His courtesy and kindness toward all were unfailing, his hospitality was unbounded, and he won the warm esteem of all with whom he came in contact by reason of qualities that could not fail to attract and command regard.
He married (first) Nov. 30, 1865, Julia, daughter of Calvin Dwinel, of Bangor.
1. Henry, married Leslie Boynton, of Boston.
2. Elsie, married Nathaniel Lord, owner of the Veazie Bank, of Bangor.
He married (second) 1901, Mrs. Marian Howard Smith, daughter of D. M. Howard, of Bangor, by whom he was survived. Shortly after his second marriage, he removed from Bangor to Wiscasset, where he and his wife spent the greater part of the time, having a winter residence in New York City, and it was at his latter home that Mr. Prentiss died of heart failure, succeeding an attack of bronchitis, March 4, 1906. Besides his widow and two children, he was outlived by a brother, Samuel R. Prentiss, of Bangor, and by two sisters, Mrs. J. Murray Kay, of Brookline, Mass., and Mrs. G. F. Godfrey, of Bangor.

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