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.


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