Sunday, June 16, 2019

HER STORY: Erma Giles (1913- 1976)

 Erma Giles was born in Porter, March 4, 1913 to Edgar and Alice (Brooks) Giles.  She was the youngest of 3 children. She attended local schools, graduated from Porter High School in 1930 and attended Nasson Institute in Springvale.

At age 24 Erma opened a clothing shop on the ground floor of the Malvern Hotel on River St. (owned by her father) and was there for 10 years.  When he sold the hotel in 1947 she moved her shop across the river to the Stanley Block building.  “Erma’s Apparel Shop” served the local community from that location until her father died.  In 1958 she bought the building next to the Kezar Falls Market on Bridge St.   She and her mother lived above the store.   There she continued her shop until her death February 16, 1976,

Erma sold clothing of fine quality, was a respected business woman and was active in the community.  She lived at home to care for her elderly parents and never married.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Welcome to our
Saturday, June 1, 2019,   1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Parsonsfield-Porter Historical Society
Opens a New Exhibit

Remembering the Suffragettes who, in 1919,
finally won the right to vote for women in Maine
and honoring some of the other remarkable women 
of our towns
and the State of Maine
by telling a few of their stories.

The Stanley Sisters: Florence, Ina and Evelyn

Come tour the house and view all the exhibits.
History House
92 Main Street in
Kezar Falls Village (Rt. 160)

FMI call 625-7019

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

One Woman, One Vote

You are invited to attend the
Parsonsfield-Porter Historical Society
meeting and free program.

To set the stage for our new exhibit “HER-STORY”, which will open June 1st, we are presenting a documentary film, 

that focuses on the early Suffrage Movement

It has been 100 years since women in Maine won 
their right to vote in 1919.

Saturday, May 18, 2019
Meeting - 2 p.m.       Program 2:30 p.m.

At History House
92 Main Street in Kezar Falls Village (Rt. 160)
FMI phone 625-7019

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Spotlight On: Frank Pierce Goodwin, Jr.

         Frank Pierce Goodwin, Jr. was born in the New Settlement District of South Hiram on May 26, 1892 to Frank P. and Eliza (Bradeen ) Goodwin.  He was the youngest of three children. When his father died in 1905 Eliza moved with Frank, Jr.  to Kezar Falls and lived in an apartment over what was then the Ridlon Brother’s Store (now the Village Laundry). 

Frank worked at the Kezar Falls Woolen Mill and the Kezar Falls Bobbin Mill. Being a real Yankee business man with faith in his abilities, he eventually struck out for himself. His first venture was to open a roadside stand, install a gas pump and build three small overnight cabins at what became known as Indian Glen, which he later sold. At one time he operated a grocery store in Kezar Falls in the bank building. After the fire there he ran another grocery store in Cornish, later to become Coolbroth’s market. At about 1915 he purchased the John Quint Bakery on Bridge Street, Porter (Kezar Falls Village). He operated it as a bakery for a time but eventually enlarged it and established the general store - “Goodwin’s”, selling a wide range of merchandise but eventually settling on groceries. This establishment continued to operate as an important local small store under different management at times in recent years, but still owned by the family until 2018 when his grandson closed the business for good and put it up for sale.          

          In 1934 Mr. Goodwin purchased the Lakecroft Inn at North Sebago, changing it to Goodwin’s North Sebago Lodge and Cabins which did an extensive business catering to the general and traveling public.  It is still owned  by the family today.

          Frank Goodwin started from scratch and by hard work and self sacrifice combined with rare business judgment, became owner of thriving businesses.  In his daily life, he was a businessman first and last, sincere and honest, and as such he commanded the respect of all with whom he dealt.   Yet he was of a generous nature, interested in the affairs of the town and always ready to contribute more than his share to any worthy cause.

          He married Ethel Gilpatrick in Oct. 10, 1920 and built a home on Summer Street where they spent many happy years, blessed by the birth of a daughter, Patricia in July 20, 1921.  They suffered the loss of one daughter, Isabelle C. at the age of six in Dec 19, 1934.

          He was a member of the Greenleaf Masonic Lodge in Cornish, Charter Oak Grange or South Hiram, a member of the Kezar Falls Knights of Pythias, the Order of Redmen and the Kezar Falls Kiwanis Club.

          In 1953 suffered a paraliytic stroke losing his mobility and ability to talk.  His nephews, Robert, Clarence and Norman Edgecomb managed the store, but still mentally alert  he continued to direct activities at the store through written word or sign language for several years.  He passed away on Sept. 8, 1965.  His wife followed on Dec. 29, 1968. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

The Parsonsfield Porter Historical Society wishes you all a Happy Easter and Happy Spring

Parsonsfield – Porter Historical Society


Will be held at History House on April 27 – 2:00 pm.

Election of Officers will be held – (a quorum is needed.)

Discussion of this year’s programs and activities.

We invite you to participate in the program.

Each person is asked to bring a “Mystery” object, picture or article

to be identified by the group.

Do you have something to bring that will stump us?

(If you don’t, please come anyway.)


Monday, April 1, 2019

Spotlight On: Preston Stanley

Preston John Stanley (named for his grandfather) was born in Parsonsfield February 20, 1904 to Sidney B. and Blanche (Page) Stanley, one of six children.  He was educated at Parsonsfield schools, graduated from Porter High School in 1921, attended the University of Maine, and graduated from New England College of Science in Boston in 1940.

On June 23, 1928 he married Evelyn Watson and they had two children: Barbara Ann born December 25, 1929, who died in 1941 and Preston John Stanley, Jr. born August 1, 1935.  They resided on Summer Street in Porter (Kezar Falls Village).

 He and his two brothers owned and ran the family trucking business – Stanley Express.  He also owned half of the Stanley Funeral Home with his brother Orion whom he bought out in 1945 and continued to operate it until 1975.

“Pres” was known for his community spirit.  He had a great love for the town where he grew up and served it well all his life.  He served as a Porter selectman for nine years and served one term as state legislator in 1949.

He served on numerous boards, including the Maine State Grange for 50 years; the Ossipee Valley Health Center of Kezar Falls; the Ossipee Valley Fair of Hiram (a founding member); Kezar Falls National Bank; trustee of the Riverside United Methodist Church, Porter Meals on Wheels and past president of the Kezar Falls Burial Grounds. 

He was also a member of the Kezar Falls & Cornish Kiwanis Club, Porter Grange, Knights of Pythias, Porter Civil Defense, Maine Draft and Ox Associations, Maine Funeral Directors Association, and a charter member of the Parsonsfield Porter Historical Society. 

“Pres” played a huge role in founding the Porter Industrial Development Program and donated the land for the Vulcan Electric building so that more jobs could be brought to town.  

He started the Methodist Men’s Breakfast Club and with his wife started the Riverside United Methodist Church Food Pantry that grew to include the towns of Cornish, and West Baldwin. 

Pres” had a great love of animals and kept cattle and oxen at the former family farm in Parsonsfield.  When he wasn’t working on a civic project, he could be found working with his team of two-and-a-half-ton oxen in the mornings until the age of 89.  At one point he had one of the largest pairs of oxen in Maine and was well-known from Kittery to Fort Kent.  At the age of 85 he won the international pull at Cumberland Fair and competed in Nova Scotia.

He also loved to hunt and fish and with a group of friends called the “Colcord Bears” met for 22 years, one weekend for ice fishing and a weekend for hunting, at his camp on Colcord Pond.

Preston passed away at the age of 94 on September 19, 1998.  His widow, Evelyn passed away on March 13, 2002.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Spotlight On: Robert Fulton Wormwood

From 1883 to 1887 Kezar Falls had the good fortune to have a newspaper published in the village which documented that period of remarkable growth and development of the local area and Kezar Falls in particular. Mr. Robert Fulton Wormwood, its publisher and editor, wrote detailed and interesting accounts of what was happening and his editorials championed many causes for the betterment of the residents.  His interest in Kezar Falls continued long after he moved away.

Robert Fulton Wormwood was born June 15, 1858, son of Darius and Abbie Ellen (Wales) Wormwood and attended Porter schools.  His family had a farm in the Porterfield area, but by 1858 they owned the house on Bridge Street that later became Goodwin’s Store and then Kezar Falls Market (closed in 2018).

Robert had a long and successful career in the field of journalism starting at the age of 14 when he apprenticed himself to a German printer in Boston to learn the trade.   After working several years at newspaper offices in the Boston area he returned to Maine and in 1884 married his first wife, Miss Anne M. Stacy, daughter of Jordan and Lydia Stacy of Porter.  They had two children, Mrs. Bertha M. (Wormwood) Doe of Kezar Falls and Mrs. Florence (Wormwood) Garland of No. Parsonsfield.  Annie died in 1893.  He married his second wife, Mrs. Anna Bullock of Biddeford in 1904.

After publishing the “Oxford County Record” in Kezar Falls for five years, he moved the newspaper to Fryeburg where it continued until 1892.  Then, because of ill health, he sold the business to the “Norway Advertiser”.

In 1892 Mr. Wormwood joined the editorial staff of the “Portland Evening Express”.  After eight years he worked for a short time on the staff of the “Lewiston Evening Courier”.  He returned to Portland as editor of the “Sunday Times” continuing until March 1901.  He then became the editor of the “Biddeford Journal”, a position he held until retirement, May 10, 1941.

Robert Fulton Wormwood died at the age of 83 on January 30, 1942 at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Daniel Garland in North Parsonsfield.  He was well known in the newspaper field of New England for 59 years – sometimes known as “Fult” but also as “Deak” by his newspaper friends.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Spotlight On: Harry Lord

Harry Donald Lord was born in the Porter section of Kezar Falls in March 8, 1882 to John F. and Mary (MacDonald) Lord.   He acquired his education at the schools of Kezar Falls, graduated from Bridgton Academy, and attended Bates College.  He married Hazel Corinne Hannaford of Cape Elizabeth in 1905.  They had a son Harry Donald, Jr and a daughter, Connie. 

George French was a friend who knew him well and wrote at length about him in Dr. Teg’s “History of Porter”.  He wrote that Harry was a baseball man instinctively.  He was a typical “bred-in-the-bone” baseball player – fast, heady, scrappy, fearless, and a good hitter.  He was well known throughout the professional baseball world from 1905 until he retired in the 1920’s.” 

Harry got his start playing baseball at the age of 14 here in Kezar Falls in 1896.  From then on for some 20 years Harry went up and up on the climb to baseball fame making a name for himself starting at Bridgton Academy and at Bates College. He broke into organized baseball at age 24 in 1906 with Worcester in the New England League and the next year moved up to Providence in the Eastern League.  On September 25, 1907 he began playing professionally for the Boston Americans (Boston Red Sox) continuing until 1910.  After breaking his finger, Lord was traded to the Chicago White Sox (1910 – 1914).  When he unsuccessfully squared off against the White Sox owner, Charles Comiskey, in hope of a salary raise he quickly found himself off the team.  In 1915 he signed on with the “outlaw” third major league - Federal League/Buffalo Blues that existed only 2 years.  With the demise of that league, Lord found himself blacklisted by both the American and National leagues, effectively ending his professional playing career.  He played his last major league baseball game on September 27, 1915.  He came home to New England and managed several minor league teams, ending his baseball career in 1925 at age 43.   His major league statistics were:  972 games, .278 batting average, with 1,024 hits, 506 runs, 107 doubles, 70 triples, 14 homers and 294 RBI’s.
After giving up big league baseball, he settled in So. Portland, raised his family, ran a grocery store, coached and played ball locally, participated in politics, and for several years before his death conducted a coal business in Portland.  He was also an ardent hunter.  He bought the old Simeon Day place near Colcord Pond in Porter, remodeled it, and spent much time there, hunting and entertaining old friends. 

Harry was a member of the Masonic Lodge in South Portland and the Portland Commandery and a former member of the Portland Rotary Club. 

 He died August 9, 1948 in a Westbrook hospital after several years of ill health.  His wife died in 1974.  He and his family are buried at the Kezar Falls Burial Grounds.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Spotlight On: Sewell H. MacDaniel

Sewell H. MacDaniel was born March 20, 1891 in North Shapleigh to Samuel and Mary Emma (Tripp) MacDaniel.  At the age of eight he went to live with his grandparents, Mr. & Mrs. George Tripp in the old Kezar neighborhood of Parsonsfield where he grew up and attended school.

Florence and Sewell MacDaniel
          He worked in the Kezar Falls Woolen Mill and served as a York County deputy sheriff from 1934 to 1938 and as selectman in Parsonsfield from 1937 to 1938.  

In July 1, 1939 Sewell became the 15th post master of the Kezar Falls Post Office where he served for 21 years.  During his term the post office was expanded from a third class to a second class office.   He retired March 31, 1961 at the age of 70. 

Mr.MacDaniel was honored by the Kezar Falls-Cornish Kiwanis Club at their February 20th meeting at Norton Hall.  A letter was read from U.S. Senator Edmund S. Muskie congratulating him upon his years of faithful service. He was presented with a plaque inscribed “The Civic Clubs honor Sewell H. MacDaniel for his twenty-one years as postmaster.” and a sum of money given by the Kiwanis Club, 21 Club, Ladies Magazine Reading Club and Keswick Club.

Mr. MacDaniel was a member of the York County Chapter of the National Association of Postmasters and served as president and director of the state organization of National Association of Postmasters.  He was a member of the Drummond Masonic Lodge in North Parsonsfield. He was also a charter member of the Parsonsfield-Porter Historical Society and very active in fundraising for their benefit.
Post Office in Kezar Falls
 Sewell married his first wife, Myrtle Taylor who soon died.  In November 11, 1925 he married Florence Davey of Prince Edward Island.  She died August 18, 1960.  He had one stepdaughter, Mrs. Gertrude Paasch who was caring for him at her home in Waltham, MA when he died April 26, 1962.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Friday, February 1, 2019

Spotlight On: Frank D. Fenderson


Frank Fenderson was a colleague of J. Merrill Lord and Harvey Granville, the two biographies presented last month. He was born in Parsonsfield, June 15, 1878, son of Nathan and Abbie (Brackett) Fenderson He graduated from Limerick Academy in 1896 and was a member of the first class to graduate from the University of Maine Law School and was admitted to the bar in September 1899. He had a law office in Limerick, Maine until 1904 when he was employed by New England Telephone & Telegraph Company. In 1908 he became a partner in the law firm of J. Merrill Lord and Fenderson in Limerick until 1912 when Mr. Fenderson became clerk of courts of York County where he served for 33 years. He was Judge of the York County Probate Court for two years prior to his death. Mr. Fenderson was also secretary and treasurer of the York County Bar Association and member of the American Bar Association and Maine State Bar Association. 
 Although Mr. Fenderson was a life-long resident of Parsonsfield, he sometimes lived during the winter months in Portland, Limerick or Sanford and was active in public affairs. He was a member of the Parsonsfield School Board, served in the Maine State Legislature in 1911 and during WW I he was a member of the original draft board.
He was also Interested in several business enterprises – was a co-founder and treasurer of the Sokokis Lumber Company in Kezar Falls, a director of the Limerick National Bank and president of Limerick Mills, to name a few.  Mr. Fenderson was a member of the masonic lodge in Limerick and a member of the Maine Chapter of Sons of the American Revolution, the Sanford Lodge of Elks, the Alfred Grange, the Portland Club, the Sanford Town Club and the Maine Historical Society.
He married Laura A. Jose of Newport, Maine in July 1905 and they had one son, Jose Webster Fenderson, born March 30, 1914. Frank Fenderson passed away January 10, 1949. His wife died in November 10, 1970 and son Jose on January 20, 2013. All are buried in the Cornish Cemetery.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Spotlight on: Harvey E. Granville

First Principal of Porter High School and co-founder of Sokokis Lumber Company

Harvey E. Granville was born in Parsonsfield January 7, 1874  to Rufus M. and Carolyn (Pentz) Granville.  He attended local schools and graduated from Parsonsfield Seminary in 1892 and taught school for 15 years. Mr. Granville was the first principal of Porter High School and later principal of Bean Memorial High School in Brownfield.  He also served as superintendent of Porter and Parsonsfield schools.

Mr. Granville served his community in many ways.  He was on the Par Sem Board of Trustees starting in 1915 and was vice president and chairman of the executive board for 20 years.

In 1908 he, with J. Merrill Lord and Frank Fenderson, founded the Sokokis Lumber Company on the Ossipee River in Kezar Falls where he served as treasurer and then president for many years.  At that time he was a Director of the Limerick National Bank.

Mr. Granville served for several years in both houses of the Maine State Legislature during which time he sponsored the bill creating 3rd class roads and led the battle for the first gas tax measure.  He was keenly interested in farming and road building.  He was also active in the local fraternal organizations: Drummond Masonic Lodge in Parsonsfield and the Knights of Pythias in Kezar Falls.

Harvey Granville married Allice E. Fogg on January 1, 1903 and they had two children – Harry F. Granville born in 1903 and Francis Granville born in 1904.  They resided on Elm Street in Kezar Falls Village, Parsonsfield.  Mr. Granville died Aug. 18, 1948 at the age of 74.  His wife died April 14, 1982.  They are buried in the Kezar Falls Burial Grounds Cemetery.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Spotlight on: J. Merill Lord


  J. Merrill Lord was a man of wide interests.  By profession he was a lawyer specializing in real estate law and law related to the developent of hydroelectric power.   He was a pioneer in the development of the telephone system in Maine, founded an insurance company and owned and managed a large apple orchard farm and a lumber mill.  Business did not absorb all of his energy, for he was a member of the State House of Representatives in 1906 and served in the State Senate in 1917 and 1919. He was a member of several local fraternal organizations and took an active part in all phases of community life. 

  John Merrill Lord was born in Parsonsfield, Maine on March 29, 1866, the son of Daniel and Josephine (Merrill) Lord. He attended Parsonsfield public schools and graduated from Parsonsfield Seminary.  In 1891 he graduated from Boston Univisity Law School and taught law there for two years.   He then returned to Parsonsfield because of the ill health of his parents and commenced his law practice, later to be known as Lord & Fenderson, which he continued until his death.  Upon the death of his mother he became owner of  the 235 acre farm which he devoted entirely to apple orchards. He retained interest in this farm run by his sons under the firm name of J. Merrill Lord & Sons.  
  About this time he built the first telephone in Parsonsfield, a single wire connection between two private homes, and was instrumental in the formation of the Ossipee Valley Telephone Company, which he later sold to the New England Telephone Company.            In 1899, in partnership with Frank D. Fenderson, he founded an insurance company known as Lord and Fenderson which continued until  1901 when Mr. Lord took over the entire control of the company which he directed until the time of his death.  He sons continued to carry on the business.  

  In 1908 he founded the Sokokis Lumber Company in Kezar Falls in association with Harvey D. Granville and his law partner, Frank Fenderson.  This company continued for many years long after his death.  He married Sarah May Churchill, and they became the parents of five children: Theresa, Frank W., Myron O., Daniel B., and Phyllis Evelyn Lord.      Mr. Lord passed away February 28, 1920 at the age of 54.