Tuesday, September 15, 2020

The Lougees’ Story Continues

 Note:  Unless other noted, all inserts are from Madge Baker’s book, Woven Together in York County, Maine – 1865-1990.

 Circumstances on the Lougee farm were changing.  In 1897 Myra, as Almira Fogg Lougee was known to everyone, divorced David Gilman Lougee.  She moved with their second son, Arthur Fogg Lougee (age 8), to her home town of Limerick leaving their firstborn, David Gilman Lougee Jr. (age 9) with his father.  Fortunately Myra’s farmer father had been successful enough to leave her a legacy when he died in 1885 which she used to purchase a small house where she made a home with her son, Arthur, her mother and intermittently her other son David Jr.

Arthur graduated high school in Limerick in 1906 and though he had dreams of going to college and of being a professional baseball player, like so many young men before him, he assumed the role of head of the household and went to work at the Limerick Mill.       

In Parsonsfield  Big Dave, his father Gilman, his son David Jr., and Florence Tarbox, a local woman hired to do the housekeeping and nursing were on the farm together in 1900.  After Gilman died in 1902, Big Dave and Florence married.  The household expanded by one when their daughter, Hazel, was born in 1904.

We are told that:

Although Little Dave loved his life, it was to be a short one.  In 1909, after spending more than a month in Portland in the hospital, he died from an intestinal blockage.  He was only 21 when he was sadly laid to rest beside his antecedents in the farm cemetery.

In 1911 Arthur F. married a Limerick classmate, Berniece Townsend, and moved in with her and her widowed mother in the living quarters above the E.F. Townsend & Co. store which they owned and ran.  To their family they added a son, Arthur Townsend (born 1913) and a daughter, Alice Jane (born 1925).   

After their son, Arthur T., went away to school at Phillips Andover Academy in Andover, Massachusetts Madge Baker’s book tells us that he said “he knew he had no interest in being either a farmer living on the edge of survival, or a small town shopkeeper.  So there was nothing to go home for.”  He never returned again to reside in Limerick.  He studied at the Museum of Fine Arts School in Boston where he met Laura Barr whom he married in 1937.  From time to time they would visit his parents in Limerick but only on holidays and weekends.

This photo of David Gilman “Big Dave” Lougee is undated.

After Big Dave’s death there was no one to tend the farming enterprise which previous generations had built.  Florence began selling off the farm in pieces.  When her and Dave’s only child, Hazel, died in childbirth in 1933 she sold all but one bit and moved away. 

1933 was a significant year in the life of Big Dave’s son, Arthur Fogg Lougee, as well.  After working at the Limerick Mill since high school Arthur was out of job together with all the other employees when the mill went into receivership after the national banking crisis early in 1933.  It was time for a career change.  When the new Casco Bank and Trust Company opened a bank in Limerick he was elected one of the founding directors, becoming branch manager in 1935.

The photograph shows Arthur Fogg Lougee with his mother, Myra, and his daughter, Alice Jane at age 11.  The occasion was the celebration of the 300th anniversary of York County, Maine.  Myra had donned her wedding dress for the occasion and the others had on family heirlooms.

But the Lougee story in Parsonsfield was not yet over.  Madge Baker tells us that, after serving in the navy during World War II,  Arthur Townsend Lougee looked for a place to settle and support his family but did not consider either Parsonsfield or Limerick as options.   He was hired by the Ford Motor Co. as Art Director of Ford Publications and the family moved to Detriot, Michigan.  Her book goes on to tell us:

Berniece died shortly thereafter but Arthur F. continued the search for potential sellers of the Gilman Lougee farm property.  When he saw the opportunity to purchase the old stone house which had been built by Gilman’s stone mason brother Albion K. P. Lougee, he negotiated the sale for his son in 1949.  Once they had the stone house, the Detroit-based family started returning to the farm every summer and Arthur T.’s father continued to assist his son in reacquiring Gilman’s farm until his death in 1960.  Madge Baker’s book tells us:

In 1997 Laura Barr Lougee died, joined in death by her husband Arthur T. Lougee eight years later in 2005. Their youngest son Arthur James “Jim” Lougee, who had made his home in Parsonsfield as well, died in 2017.   Their final resting place is with those Lougees who had gone before.  For now the farmstead first established in Parsonsfield, later lost and regained, remains in the Lougee family held in trust by Arthur T. and Laura’s surviving son and daughter.   

Photos from Find a Grave.

The family cemetery is listed in the Cemetery Records, Parsonsfield, Maine reproduced by Ancient Landmarks Society of Parsonsfield, 1991 as the Lougee-Foss-Mudgett Cemetery.  The book states that it “is on the north side of North Road 2.4 miles northwest of East Parsonsfield at the Cornish line and just east of the stone house shown in the background.  It is surrounded by a stone and iron fence with an inscription on the stone under the iron gate:  Deacon G. Lougee killed by this stone September 1788’ ”.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

PRESENT AT STATEHOOD Parsonsfield – Part 3 The Lougees

 The 1820 Federal Census for Parsonsfield enumerates the following for Gilman Lougee (listed second on the page):

Actually Gilman Lougee Jr, he was the son of Gilman and Joanna Smith Lougee who settled in Parsonsfield from Gilmanton, NH as early as 1779 along with Gilman’s two brothers, John and Samuel – before Parsonsfield was even incorporated as a town.  In her book, Woven Together in York County, Maine – A History 1865 – 1990, Madge Baker writes of the Lougee’s move,

Unfortunately, Gilman Sr. did not live long enough to enjoy the fruits of his labors.  The History of Parsonsfield written in 1888 relates the story that Gilman was killed by a falling stone while at work in a clay pit on September 29, 1788 at the age of 35, leaving his widow with four young children to raise alone.

Susanna, born 1781; Gilman, born 1783;                                                                      Hugh Bartis, born 1785; and Joanna, born 1788.

As the eldest son Gilman Jr, age 5, became the “man of the house”.  It cannot have been easy.  

In 1808 Gilman Jr. built the house (photo below taken about 1885) to which he would bring a bride two years later when he married Mary Buzzell in 1810.

 The map below shows the location of the homestead (marked in red) on the north side of what is now known as North Road (Route 160) just before the intersection with what is now called Elm Street.

By the time of the 1820 Census Gilman Jr. and Mary had four children and the census counted the family as below.   The information shown in blue has been added as only the head of household’s name was given in the census itself.

Free White Persons – Males – Under 10:  1   Gillman III, born 1817

Free White Persons – Males – 26 thru 44: 1   Gilman Jr, age 37, head of household

Free White Persons – Females Under 10:  3 Ann, born 1815; Joanna, born 1813, and Mary, born 1811

 Free White Persons – Females – 26 thru 44: 1   Mary, age 30, wife

 Total All Persons – White, Slaves, Colored, Other:   6

To their family they would add four more children:                                                          Susan, born 1821;  Julia, born 1823;                                                                         Albion K., born 1827; and Clarinda, born 1829

Then history repeated itself when Gilman Jr. died in 1832.  He was but 49 leaving his widow and the next generation in the hands of his eldest son, Gilman the 3rd, who was 15 years old.   

Madge Baker relates the following in Woven Together in York County:

Built about 1857 the house is located at the end of Elm Street where it joins North Road.  Albion lived there from 1859 to 1864 when he sold it to his brother’s daughter and her husband to pay off accumulated debts.

Tall Gil married Almira Richardson and they had 7 children, another generation replete with females.  From The History of Parsonsfield we get this picture and information:

And from Woven Together in York County, Maine we learn…

…and later,

In 1886 David Gilman “Big Dave” married Myra Fogg and she moved onto the farm helping to care for her mother-in-law who was failing in health.  She bore two sons, David Gilman Jr. (born 1888) and Arthur Fogg (born 1889). 

In 1896 Almira died, then in 1902 Hugh Bartes fell, injured his spine and broke his arm badly.  Gilman feared that Hugh would not be able to care for his family as an invalid and urged them to return to Parsonsfield where others in the family could help out.  But Bartes died in March and Gilman died later that year, leaving his share of the farm to his neighbor's daughter, Louisa “Lide”.  He had lived a long, industrious life and the farm was intact and productive.  

That is for now. 

To Be Continued…


Saturday, August 15, 2020

PRESENT AT STATEHOOD - 1820 Porter, Part 2

 A Tale of a Settler and a House

The History of Porter written by William Teg in 1957 has the following entry in its “First Settlers” chapter:

Having bought the land in 1794 John and his wife, Sally, moved to Porter from Farmington, New Hampshire in 1796 with their infant son, Benjamin. After the move they would add seven more children to their family. 

The French homestead was located on what is now called the Gilman Road as shown on the 1858 map of Porter, indicated by the red arrow below.

The 1820 Census below enumerates the French household, 3 of whom it was reported were engaged in agriculture:

1 Male 10-15 years – John Jr., age 14

1 Male 16-18 years – Aaron, age 18

1 Male 18-25 years – Jacob, age 22 (Benjamin, age 24,married in 1818)

1 Male 45 years and over – John, age 45

1 Female under 10 years – Lucy, age 9

1 Female 10-15 years – Kezia, age 11

2 Females 16-25 years – Sally, age 20, and Mary, age 16

1 Female 45 and over – Sally, age 46

1 Male 10-15 years – John Jr., age 14                           


John died in 1836 and Sally survived him by 20 years before her death in 1856.  They are buried in what is now called the French-Gilman cemetery located near their homestead farm where their old stones have been lovingly replaced by the one below.

The 1875 map of Porter shows that the farm passed to their youngest daughter, Lucy, who had married Jesse Bickford in 1849.  Jesse and Lucy had one daughter, Veldima, born in 1852. 

Lucy died in January 1878 at the age of 66.  Their daughter, Veldima,  married W. Frank Gilman in 1882 and the couple set up household with her father, Jesse.  To their union seven children were born, three of whom died in infancy:                    

Lucy E. – died September 1886 at 6 months

Cora M. – died December 1888 at 2 months; and

George W. – died April 1888 at 10 months 

The 1900 Census enumerates the other four children along with their parents, Frank and Veldima, and their grandfather, Jesse.  They were Arthur (born 1882), Viola (born 1883), Jesse (born 1886) and Herman (born 1890).

The photo below, dated July 1909, shows the Jesse Bickford farm.  The original part of the house built in 1804 by John French was a log cabin. 

Jesse Bickford died in 1910, joining his wife in the French-Gilman cemetery.

Frank and Veldima Bickford Gilman remained on the farm joined in 1918 by the beginnings of another generation when their son, Arthur, married Olive Gray as shown on the 1920 census.

Frank died in 1940 and Veldima died in 1944, when they also joined family members in the French-Gilman cemetery – the last generation to do so. 

Arthur and Olive Gray Gilman had one child, a daughter, named Dorothy Janet born in 1921.  Dorothy “Dottie” married Clayton Locke (born 1917) in 1946 after she had completed her college degree and he had completed his time of service overseas in World War II.  They, like other generations before, set up household as a married couple sharing her childhood home with her parents.  They had two children, Paul (born 1949 and died 2010) and Patricia (born 1953).  This photo taken in 1959 shows the homestead looking much the same as it does today.

Clayton and Dottie became involved in the newly formed Parsonsfield-Porter Historical Society and served as officers of the Society for many years, Clayton as its President and Dottie as its Treasurer.  In their dotage, again like generations before, their daughter Patty and her husband Dennis Parker, came to live with them on the homestead farm until their deaths – he in 2013 and she in 2016.  They are interred in the Kezar Falls Burial Ground.  Patty and Dennis continue to live on what was the original John French homestead – present not just at statehood but still standing 200 years later.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

PRESENT AT STATEHOOD - 1820 Parsonsfield, Part 2 – Rufus McIntire

Rufus McIntire, our next featured resident of Parsonsfield at the time of statehood, was born the third son of Micum and Rhoda (Allen) McIntire on December 19, 1784 in York, Maine.  A relatively newcomer to Parsonsfield in 1820 he would play an important role not only in the town but in the state. 

In a piece by his eldest daughter, Miss Mary Rolfe McIntire, appearing in the History of Parsonsfield written in 1888, she writes this of her father:

In the publication The War of 1812 in Person: Fifteen Accounts by  United States Army Regulars, Volunteers and Militiamen edited by John C. Fredriksen, letters from Captain McIntire (written to John Holmes with whom he had studied law in Alfred) relate his experiences during the war from July 1813 – March 1815 at Sackets Harbor, New York.  In the last published letter dated March 4, 1815 he writes…

"The army will probably in a month or two be disposed of when I  shall be at liberty to look out for a stand and at my age you know it will be necessary to do it immediately, but the great question is, where?  I have it in contemplation to visit the western country as far as the Indiana or Illinois territories and satisfy myself of the prospects there before I return to Maine… Is the prospect in the District of Maine sufficiently encouraging as ought to destroy all thoughts in me of immigrating into the western woods? ...I have an idea that, at present, law business in Maine must be small and lawyers plenty in general, tho’ perhaps some particular openings may offer where a beginner might with advantage commence.  Do you know of any such?”

 Continuing his daughter’s account:

Perhaps timing was everything.  In the year of McIntire’s arrival in Parsonsfield, 1817, Reverend Benjamin Rolfe (1st settled minister for the Congregational Church) died, his widow, Mary, returned to Massachusetts, and the parsonage was purchased by newly arrived Rufus.

Built in 1795 the house was located on Middle Road at the intersection of Merrill Hill Road and, according to the Congregational Church records, was “40 feet long, 30 feet wide, 2 stories high with clapboards and shingles”.  This picture was taken in 1917, then the Weeman homestead.  According to the 1856 map below, Mr. McIntire had a store nearby.  The house and store no longer exist.

In 1819 he married Nancy Hannaford of Parsonsfield.  At the time of the 1820 census his household consisted of:

               1 male 10-15 years of age

               1 male 16-44 years of age

               1 female under 10 years of age

               1 female 16-25 years of age 

               1 female 26-44 years of age

Rufus (age 35 or 36), his wife Nancy (age 24) and their first child, Mary Rolfe McIntire (born September 1819) account for 3 of the above 5 enumerated.  Who the other 2 are is unknown except that the census listed one person in the household as “Foreigner, Not Naturalized” which we would assume is the older female, perhaps domestic help.  

We learn, in the History of Parsonsfield, that on April 3, 1820 the town was called “to choose a Representative to the First Legislature of Maine to convene at Portland on the last Monday of May.”  Reverend John Buzzell received the most votes, but declined the honor, and a second town meeting was called on the 20th of the same month for the same purpose.  The honor this time went to none other than Rufus McIntire. 

In all Rufus and Nancy would have 8 children before her death in 1830 at the age of 34:

               Mary Rolfe, born 1819

               Annette, born 1821

               James Otis, born 1822

               Alonzo, born 1822 and died 1823

               Eveline, born 1825

               Malcolm, born 1826 and died 1829

               Rufus Jr, born 1828

               Malcolm, born 1829 or 30 and died in infancy 

In 1832 Rufus married his late wife’s younger sister, Mary.  She bore him two more children before her death in 1838 at the age of 30.  They were Malcolm, born 1835, and Nancy Hannaford McIntire, born before 1838. 

It is at this point in his life that Rufus McIntire would become involved in a little known conflict which resulted in the Maine we know today.   In her book, State O’ Maine, by Louise Dickinson Rich she writes, 

“Early in her statehood, Maine was faced with an emergency rising out of the highly ambiguous Treaty  of Versailles of 1783.  This was the Aroostook War.  Very few histories mention this little war at all, and yet it was a real and serious matter that nearly plunged the United States and Great Britain into full-scale conflict.  The bone of contention was the boundary line between what were at the time of the treaty Nova Scotia and Massachusetts, but what became New Brunswick and Maine….It was perhaps only a question of definition, but over twelve thousand square miles of the richest stands of yellow pine in the world were involved, a treasure that neither country would willingly sacrifice.” 

The following account of the Aroostook War is from a CD entitled, Maine: An Encyclopedia, Research and Education Edition by Jim Henderson as part of the 150th celebration of Maine Statehood in 1970.  Rufus had just recently been appointed State Land Agent in 1839 when hostilities heightened. 

“The nation's only war declared by a state and the nation's only bloodless war. It began in 1837 when New Brunswick officials arrested a Maine state land surveyor who was conducting a census in the northeastern regions of the state which were also claimed by New Brunswick.

Maine citizens were outraged. Because the federal government took no action, the Maine legislature authorized $10,000 for the defense of the disputed territories.  A military road was authorized to aid in the movement of troops from Bangor to Houlton.  Another, later to be known as the Airline, was authorized to link Bangor with Calais, but was never completed. 

An expedition of 200 men led by state land agent Rufus McIntire arrested several Canadians, including the New Brunswick warden of the disputed territories, James McLaughlin.  New Brunswick officials were now upset and arrested several of the Maine volunteers including McIntire.

In 1839 the Maine legislature, furious over the arrest of McIntire, then appropriated $800,000 and raised a militia of 10,000 men to defend the northern territories. Patriotism and flag waving swept the entire state, and other states were promising support. No longer able to ignore the dispute, Congress authorized $10 million and raised a 50,000-man militia to defend Maine's land claims.

The only fighting of this war occurred in a Houlton barroom where both British and American troops were drinking.  When someone offered a toast to Maine's success, a brawl broke out that resulted in several black eyes and bloody noses.

Battle was avoided when Daniel Webster negotiated a peaceful withdrawal and new boundary with Alexander Baring, Lord Ashburton.  The treaty became known as the Webster-Ashburton Treaty and established Maine's current northeastern boundary in 1842. "

The four daughters of Rufus, all unmarried, remained in the home caring for their father until his death on April 28, 1866.  He is interred in the Middle Road Cemetery along with his two wives.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Present At Statehood - Porter, Maine

At the time Maine gained statehood, two of the three original settlers were counted in the 1820 census, brothers Meshach and Stephen Libby, along with their families.  Their father John and his wife had died previously, both in 1804.

In an address given by John’s great, great grandson on the fourth of July, 1910 and reprinted in the 7/14/1910 issue of the Ossipee Valley Weekly, Levi Cook gave the locations of the settlers’ original settlements as follows,

In 1792 Meshach sold his original settlement to another early settler, David Moulton, and bought the home of his brother, Stephen, shown as T.C. Libby on the 1875 map of Porter below.  After having disposed of his farm, Stephen bought several tracts of land adjacent to his original lot and established himself on the northern slope of Libby Hill where he and his family resided for many years.  None of these homes exist today.

The census of 1820 recorded only two people in the Meshach Libby household:  One male over 45 (Meshach, aged 70) and one female over 45 (Meshach’s second wife, Hannah Cram Elkins).  Meshach and his first wife, Deborah Ely who died in 1795,  had 6 children, 4 of whom were born before the move to Porter (daughters Sarah, Mary, and Elsy who came with them to Porter and a son, Meshach Jr. who came to Porterfield in 1793 but did not settle permanently).  Two more children were added to the family after their move to Porter, daughters Elizabeth and Eunice.  Elizabeth was the first female child of European descent born within Porter sometime between 1781 and 1786.  She died in childhood and was buried upon the border of her father’s farm.  Meshach died in March 1829 and is interred in a family plot located on what is now known as the Mason Road (the north to south road noted by red arrow above).  Within the cemetery are markers of quarried stone with no inscriptions for Meshach and 10 of his family members, presumably including his wives and some of his children.


          Brother Stephen was much more prolific when it came to populating the growing Town of Porter, fathering 19 children in all, 16 of whom grew up to marry and make their own contributions to the census.  Single when he initially came to Porter and built his cabin, Stephen returned to Pittsfield soon thereafter and married Mary Knowles.  Their first child, James, was born in Pittsfield on June 5, 1784.  By April 1786 they had settled in Porter where their second son, Daniel, was the first male child of European descent born in Porter.  Nine more children were born to Stephen and Mary before her death in October of 1816.  They were:

Josiah, born and died 1788;

Mary, born 1789;

Jemima, born 1791;

Stephen Jr, born 1793;

Sally, born 1795;

John, born 1797;

David, born 1799;

Aphia, born 1800; and

Olive, born 1802


          In January 1817 Stephen took as his second wife Nancy Mathews who was 25 years his junior.  This union produced a daughter, Lydia, born in 1817.  Nancy died soon thereafter in January of 1818 at age 30.   Two months later Stephen married her sister, Sally, age 25.  Together they had 7 children:

          A son who died in infancy;

         Daniel, born 1821 and named to honor Stephen’s earlier born son, Daniel,  who died in 1818;

          Albion, born 1823;


          William T., born 1827;

          Thomas, born 1827 and died 1828; and

          Gideon, born 1830.


          When the 1820 census was conducted Stephen’s family consisted of 3 males (one 10-15 years old, one 16-25 years old and one 45+ years old) and 4 females (one less than 10, two 16-25 years old and one 26-44 years old).  No doubt the two oldest people are Stephen and Sally and the girls are probably Lydia, Olive and Aphia, but the identity of the two younger males are harder to determine.

 There is no doubt that Stephen was a very industrious man.  He built one of the first mills in the town on the brook about half a mile above the upper Spectacle Pond in 1805 which did a thriving business for many years.  He owned large tracts of timber and took an active part in the construction of the Old Porter Meetinghouse which was, according to the History of Porter by William Teg,  dedicated in 1820, the year of Maine statehood, though not completed until 1824.  Note the location of the “townhouse” relative to the Libby dwellings marked by the black arrow on the 1875 map above.  The west to east road from the townhouse to the residences is now known as Town Pound Road and is only maintained on either end. 

          In his book, Teg relates an “eyewitness” account of Elias Gould (1815-1910) as passed down through the ages to Levi Libby Cook (1866-1939), great great grandson of Stephen, from whom Teg got this story.  

Old Porter Meeting House - photograph by George French, 1953

61 years of age Stephen Libby may have been but he was still in the prime of his life – he had a much younger wife and would still father four more children though already a grandfather.  He would, in fact, live to the age of 92.   He is interred in what is known as the French-Gilman Cemetery located on the Gilman Road (marked with a green arrow on the map above) along with his third wife, Sally Mathews Libby, who died 1866.  Stephen’s first two wives are buried in the Moulton Cemetery on Libby Hill (off Mason Road noted by the yellow arrow on the map above).  The old stone on the left is broken and lies against the rock wall having been replaced by a new stone on the right.