Tuesday, October 1, 2019

HER STORY: Helen Stearns Merrifield (1900-1970)


Helen Stearns was born August 6, 1900 in South Hiram, Maine, the daughter of Frank E. and Bessie M. Stearns.  She attended local schools and graduated from Porter High School in 1919. She taught school at Baldwin and later was employed as a clerk at the Ridlon Drug Store in Kezar Falls.  In 1922 she married Harry Merrifield and they made their home on School Street, Porter. They had one child – Elizabeth Ann. 

In 1956 she was named correspond-dent for the “Portland Press Herald”, “Evening Express” and “Sunday Telegram” covering the Kezar Falls area.  In 1961 she was awarded the Gold Press Card for the best small town coverage.  Besides working for the Portland papers, Mrs. Merrifield also had been a community correspondent for the “Sanford Tribune” and the “Carroll County Independent” of Ossipee, NH. 

Helen was also very active in civic and charitable organizations.  She had been treasurer of the Town of Porter, was often a ballot clerk, and active in the Republican Town Committee. During WW II Helen was secretary of the local branch of the American Red Cross and successfully managed its fundraising campaigns and blood donor activities.  

She was a participating member in the Methodist Church and several women’s clubs, the Kezar Falls Library Association, the Parsonsfield-Porter Historical Society and Porter High Alumni Association.   

Her life was dedicated to loving care of her family and of service to her church, her community and her country which she deeply loved.  She liked people and touched the lives of many. Helen Merrifield passed away November 22, 1970. 
Helen’s reporting kept local residents informed about what was happening in our towns for many years.  The news from this area has been sadly neglected ever since.

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