Text Box: The Bethel Journals
Part I: January - March
Posted: November 23, 2008







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January 1892 - Warm rain, river freshet and little snow started year that impeded regular logging activity.


January 5, 1892 (Democrat)


Bethel:  Benjamin R. Bryant has contracted to haul 100,000 feet of pine to Kilborn’s mill in the village. Charles A. Lucas is now running the Elms Hotel. Mrs. Gerrish left last week for Brockton, Mass.  J.M. Philbrook loaded a car with cows and calves for Brighton last week.  Mr. Frank Mason is at home from Harvard Law School.  G.R. Wiley is sick at home. John and Isaiah Coburn are to haul 100,000 feet of oak lumber from Albany for the Bethel Chair Co. Messrs. Chaney & Sawyer have begun upon their contract to paint Cole Block. The block is nearly completed. L.L. Mason is at home from Andover and his lumbering operations due to scarcity of snow for his business.


Locke's Mills: Our stage driver, C.G. Folsom, crossed the Androscoggin River at Hanover with a pair of horses on the ice, on the morning of Dec. 30th, and when he arrived at the river at night it was all open. Second time this has happened in December. C.P. Kimball has gone to Bethel to work for the American Bobbin, Spool & Shuttle Co.


East Bethel:  A warm rain on the 28th has carried off snow and broken up the ice in the river. Sleighing is a pleasure of the past. Z.W. Bartlett and H.O. Blake with their teams have gone to Patch Mountain to work. Helen Bartlett has returned home from Hanover and Rumford where she has been dressmaking.


January 12, 1892 (Democrat)


Bethel:  The well known firm of Woodbury & Purington was dissolved last week. Judge Woodbury retires and Mr. Purington will carry on the business. Judge Woodbury leaves active business thus at the age of 74 years. For twenty years he has been in trade, and has always been numbered among the staunchest business men in the vicinity. The firm has done and Mr. Purington will continue to do, a large business in flour, grain and feed, besides keeping a full general stock.  Mr. Woodbury has always taken a leading part in all progressive movements, is prominent in church affairs, has filled a number of public positions, and withal can now retire from business well satisfied with his past life. He will go this winter to Pennsylvania, where he will remain some time with his son Wesley, a prominent attorney.


J. F. Laighton, of the Hartford Life; Mr. West, of the Massachusetts Benefit; and Mr. Morrison, were all here last week in the interest of their several insurance companies.  The firm of C.E. Benson & Co., doing business on upper Main Street, has been dissolved. Mr. Benson will continue the business. Union meetings were held during last week at the Congregational church. E. Richardson & Son have closed their mill in the village. The Bethel Chair Co. is to buy some 450 cords of birch besides the usual supply of hard woods. A new popular allegory, "The Tournament of Idylcourt" will be presented at Ideal Hall as the fourth entertainment of the U.L.S.


All the carpenters except one or two who are putting on the finishing touches are through work on Cole Block, and the painters are well along with the inside work.  The chair factory is running again after a few days of holiday shut-down for employee’s time off.  There is a movement a foot to form a farmers' institute here in the future. A.T. Kelliher of Bethel is in Alabama setting up a line of his patent lumber carrier. A stock company has been formed in Chicago the business of which will be to develop the patent. Mr. Charles N. Thomas of Boston will give his very interesting and instructive lecture on “Heroes and Battlefields of the Civil War" at Gould Academy. The academy has a flourishing lyceum, which has joined the Lyceum League of America. The lyceum will hold a public meeting on Jan. 20th and all are invited to come and hear the exercises and debate.


East Bethel: Ice freshet on January 3rd. Androscoggin River clear of ice and full banks, rising four feet in one night. This is the third time this winter the ice has broken up and gone out of the river.  Fred Bean has gone up Sunday River to work in the woods. E.S. Bartlett; has gone to Patch Mountain tending sleds. Mr. and Mrs. Crooker and C. Swan now ride out in handsome new sleighs.


Wilson's Mills: John Olson had one of his horses badly hurt recently.  F.A. Flint and his son Arthur are both out of the woods sick with the grip. Their cook is sick and Cliff Wiggins is now cooking at the camp.


Gilead: T.G. Lary has over 300,000 feet of spruce yarded and not a stick on the river. The Wild River Lumber Co. cars ran off the track the other day and nearly demolished two of them. The old boxes in the post office have been replaced by new ones which look neat and pretty.  A.M. Whitman has moved back from Gorham and will act as day operator at the depot. He has been day operator at Gorham for a few weeks.


Locke’s Mills: W.H. Crockett, formerly a clerk for the American Bobbin, Spool and Shuttle Co., has bought out the store and entered on his own account, Jan. 1st. Hank White, Jr., gave two entertainments at Mt. Abram Hall.


West Bethel:  A beautiful display of northern lights covered the skies Tuesday evening.  The late rain followed by colder weather has formed mammoth sheets of ice over the perpendicular walls of Pine Mountain looking like immense bridal veils. A.S. Bean and J. Hastings Bean have loaded a car of potatoes at this station paying 35 cents. A.W. Grover is getting out the second carload of cedar for Aston of Shelburne. C.L. Abbott is getting out ash and oak for the chair company at Bethel. Edward S. Smith’s flock of 200 Plymouth Rock hens is giving him from 79 to 80 eggs daily.


A.S. Bean is running a dancing school in his hall this winter. Pleasant Valley Grange had installation of officers and an oyster supper at their hall last Tuesday evening.


Albany: Miss Brooks of Norway closed a successful term of school at the Corner New Year ’s Day. In the evening about 100 attended a program of entertainment and exhibitions by the school and others in the vestry of the Congregational church. Over eight dollars were raised toward a new carpet for the church. Rev. Thomas M. Beadenkoff of Baltimore, Maryland, made a short visit among his friends and former parishioners at North Waterford and Albany. Sunday he preached at Albany.


The Coburn brothers have a sizable job to accomplish as they haul a hundred thousand feet of oak nine or ten miles to the Bethel chair factory over a road that requires considerable snow. But, as this is written we are having a ‘northeaster’.



January 29, 1892: (Democrat)


Maine Railroads: The Maine railroads have saved considerable expense in not being obliged to use snow plows thus far this winter.


Oxford County: County Commissioners: John Barker, West Bethel, Chairman; William Woodsum, West Peru; W.W. Whitmarsh, Norway.  Albert S. Austin, Paris, Clerk Supreme Judicial Court; Edward Walker, Lovell, County Attorney; John F. Stanley, Paris, Register of Deeds; Annie R. Osgood, Fryeburg, Register of Deeds (Western District); George A. Wilson, South Paris, Judge of Probate; Herrick C. Davis, Paris, Register of Probate; George M. Atwood, Paris, County Treasurer; James L. Parker, Norway, Sheriff; Deputy Sheriffs: Cyrus M. Wormell, Bethel.


Bethel: The Lincoln Club held a public lyceum at the Academy and discussed the “Tariff Question”. Fifteen young ladies successfully presented “Tournament of Idylecourt” under the direction of Mrs. E. C. Rowe. Elmer Cole is in from Washington for a few days to look over the large block which has just been completed for his brother and himself at Bethel Hill village. Mary A. Livermore will speak at the Congregational church this week on “A Dream of Tomorrow”.


Newry: The grippe is abating on Bear River but Sunday River has a good many sick ones and Thurston’s mill in Ketchum has shut down on account of the grippe. School at Newry Corner had stopped on account of the grippe but opened again Monday. Howard Thurston has moved from the Branch to the Corner.


Albany: Charles Grover is hauling “millwood” with his horses to the depot for D.A. Cummings. Millwood used to be waste but is now quite valuable. The grange hosted an evening of entertainment at their hall and raised $8 for their library.  Rev. Samuel L. Gould has passed away. He was pastor of the Congregational church in Albany for 14 years, leaving here in September, 1870 due to poor health.


East Bethel: J.S. Hutchins closed his school term here on Jan. 22d. Parents visited the school to see the scholars’ work. Miss Emma Brown has closed her school in South Bethel; she will attend the spring term at Bridgton Academy.


Mason: Snow enough for business on main roads but hardly enough in the woods. S.O. Grover and D.E. Mills are drawing poplar to West Bethel and C.F. Brown is drawing birch.


West Bethel: Charles L. Abbott has been drawn juror for the February term of court.  The Androscoggin has closed for the fourth time this winter. Will Mason of Mason has gone to work with his team of sorrels at Wild River. Haselton was at A.S. Bean’s store recently with his phonograph.


A.S. Bean has started his mill on birch and is to put in his machine soon for sawing long lumber.  Mr. Bean has just sent away two cars of potatoes.  Pleasant River Lodge, I.O.G. T. elected delegates to the District Lodge to be held in West Paris on Feb. 10. Pack peddlers are nearly as common here at the crows.



February 1892 – Honest voting, the Australian ballot introduction began and widespread “La grippe” illness.



Feb 2, 1892 (Democrat)


Bethel: J.P. Skillings of Winchester, Mass., spent a few days here last week on business. There was a sociable and entertainment at the academy last Tuesday. A movement is on foot to start a butter factory here. Over $2,000 has already been pledged and the full amount required will be easily obtained. It is much to be hoped that the move will be successful. Mary A. Livermore whose fame as a public speaker is well known spoke to a goodly audience at the Congregational church Thursday evening.  Young people are talking up a sleigh ride from here to Dixfield next week.


A large number belonging to the Universalist Circle met last week at the home of Col. C. S. Edwards. The Lincoln Club of Gould Academy has joined the Lyceum League of America. Their first debate was on “Protection vs. Tariff for Revenue”. Arrangements have been made with the Weather Bureau so that the academy receives the daily weather report and chart and is to have the telegraphic reports and display weather signals as soon a the new flagstaff is erected.


West Bethel: The blizzard of Tuesday and Wednesday stopped all teaming in this vicinity. Strongest wind we have had this winter.  A government pension agent was in this place looking up claims.  Greer Morrill lost his job in Boston when the business was sold.


Mason: No new cases of scarlet fever; all who have had it are doing well.  There is much sickness in town.


Albany:  Mr. Qualey is hauling birch to Libby’s mill for A.G. Bean; Wallace E. Cummings is hauling his poplar to the river.  Amos L. Bean is at Bridgton Academy again. H.G. Wilbur is hauling his birch to Fernald & Flint’s mill along with the owners putting much of their own lumber into the mill.  Austin Hutchinson has put in his stock of ice.  A fair number of cases of sickness are reported around town.


Gilead:  We now have about a foot of snow. T.G. Lary has ten horse teams drawing yarded lumber for him to the river.  William Chapman is cutting some spruce and pine which he leaves on the river. John Wight is cutting birch and drawing to his mill for the spring sawing.  The river has closed up for the fourth time this winter, something very uncommon. Quite a number of our people are sick with the grippe.


East Bethel: C.M. Kimball has been appointed sub-registrar for East Bethel. Farmers are selling their potatoes at thirty cents per bushel. Mrs. Z.C. Esters of Boston recently visited her old home in this place. Mrs. Mary Estes returned to Boston with her. A number of residents in this village are sick with the grippe.


Newry: C.A. Baker came home from the logging camp in Parkertown due to his sickness from the grippe. He reports fifteen men sick in camp and others falling ill every day.  Bear River is now frozen over.  Winter is here with its first real old fashioned blow.  A number in this town are sick.



February 9, 1892


Oxford County Grand Jury:  Two area men were appointed grand jury members for the February 1982 term, S.A. Eames, Newry; Horatio N. Upton, Bethel. Traverse jurors included: Charles L. Abbott, Bethel; and S. Irving French, Bethel.


Bethel: Jasper Wyman of the firm of J. & E.A. Wyman was here on business connected with their corn canning business. Mr. A.T. Kelliher is home from Alabama where he has just finished setting up three-fourths of a mile line of his patent lumber carrier. He left it operating successfully. Chickering’s Railway Studio has been here for the past week. A photographic studio in a palace car is somewhat novel.


The necessary amount of money for a butter factory has been pledged and now all that remains to make this industry a success is the pledge from the farmers that they will keep the number of cows sufficient to furnish cream.  A large quantity of ice has been cut and stored by the people of the village during the past two weeks.  A leap year party is to be given at the Bethel House next Thursday.  Right now the sledding in Bethel could not be better. Streets are full of teams hauling wood, bark, pulp wood, spool stock and long lumber.


The lumber teams in Riley, Andover and around the lakes, which take their supplies from Bethel, are doing a good business in hauling from the “yards” to the river and lakes. Generally sick people in the village are improving. George K. Ring is again at this livery stable.


Middle Interval: The local correspondent has been away for about three months which accounts for no news items from this part of town. E. G. Annas has bought the George Farwell place and is living there now. Twelve or more in this area are suffering from the grippe epidemic.


West Bethel:  A.S. Bean loaded about twenty cars per week at the West Bethel station with good pulp wood and spool stock.  Other parties have loaded several cars every week. A. W. Grover has loaded another car with cedar posts and poles to go to Shelburne, N.H., for W. K. Aston of New York. 


The Good Templars elected officers last Wednesday evening, electing Miss Cora Mason, C.T. Next week they will install officers and enjoy an oyster supper.

Messrs. Wyman & Carter are canvassing for acreage of sweet corn for the corn ship0. They promise the farmers more than they paid last year (three and one-fourth cents per can).


Newry: Thurston’s steam mill at Riley started up last Monday but they are still bothered to keep a crew on account the grippe. Alonzo Fifield, an old resident of Riley died Tuesday of grippe. E.B. Knapp, our blacksmith, has an order for a dozen bear traps, which he is at work on.  Mason Bartlett, son of C. R. Bartlett, our hotel keeper, is contemplating going to Southern California, for his health.


Northwest Bethel:  William Chapman has had his ice house filled. Seth Mason and his wife have returned from Buckfield. Mrs. Eva Chapman was up from Portland recently and took her little girl back with her. The fine colt, “Josephene” at the (Chapman) Homestead is being educated in the way to go, by one of the workmen. “They say” those Luckston (Luxton) boys know how to handle the ribbons to perfection.


Albany: J.J. and Willis McAllister are hauling the last of their poplar from the Roberts lot; John Flint is driving a team for them at $70. a month and board himself. Elmer Saunders is stopping a while with his brother Ora at the old homestead. Mr. Willis has the misfortune to break all the teeth of his board saw and had to send it to New York for repairs.


February 16, 1892 (Democrat)


Oxford County:  For the coming September 1892 elections, the Australian ballot system will go into effect.  The Oxford Democrat newspaper’s front page on February 16 carried a large illustration of the typical election area set up that would be a county and state standard for this new system to be implemented.


























Illustration printed by the Oxford County Democrat on February 16, 1982 for the purpose of informing readers of the forthcoming change in voting procedures – used for county, state and national elections.



Newry: A continuation of illness from the grippe is the main news in this town. Report that our minister at Newry attended five funerals in eight days; and since then has attended one more. C. A. Baker has recovered but the first selectman and the tax collector are both laid up and March town meeting is coming right along.


   About all the news from this place is to report the sick ones: Charles F Brown’s family, Milford Brown’s family and Daniel Mills’ family, N.G. Mills and Charles Dunham’s families.  Will Mason was home from Wild River Sunday. He is at work for Rob Hastings drawing spruce timber.


Our people are all interested in the proposed creamery which seems to be a sure thing now. It will be located at Bethel Hill.


West Bethel: Milton Holt and his wife are improving. Holt’s customers are anxiously waiting for the snow to be shoveled from his door and hitching posts. E.B. Shaw and A. W. Grover are loading a car of potatoes of their own raising. Many of the farmers have these for sale yet.


Bethel: Hon. E. W. Woodbury has started for Pennsylvania; he will be away for some time – staying with his son.  Mr. Clyde Bean left for his home in Iowa. Mr. Bean, very well liked by customers, has been in the store of G.P. Bean in our village for some eight years but he does not intend to return. School at the academy closed last week for a two weeks vacation.


A meeting of the signers of the articles of association executed for the purposes of organizing a corporation for carrying on a dairying business at Bethel will be held at the lock-up in Bethel Hill village Saturday, Feb. 27th – they will adopt an association name and by-laws.


Mrs. Fanny M. Merrill has received acknowledgement from Kidder, Peabody & Co. bankers of Boston for receipt of $28 collected (in dimes and dollars) for the suffering Russians relief fund.


The leap year supper given at the Bethel House under the auspices of the Ladies’ Social Union of the Congregational church, and for the benefit of the Garland Memorial Chapel attracted fifty couples despite a severe storm.


February 23, 1892 (Democrat)


Mason: Plenty of snow and business lively. The sick ones are all better except for two. S.O. Grover is drawing birch from the land of N.G. and D.E. Mills. L. H. Tyler, H. Hutchinson and others are putting in a supply of ice from the mill pond of F. I. Bean. A. S. Bean of West Bethel has started the birch mill here with Milford Brown in charge.


Newry:  The coldest snap of the season. The selectmen have settled with the treasurer and are making up their report for March meeting. The continued illness of Mr. Widber, the chairman, leaves the business in the hand of the two remaining members of the board; our tax collector remains too ill to tend to business. The Sunday River family of L. J. Sargent is all down with the grippe.


Albany:  Many of our people are still sick but slowly improving. Mr. Wilbur is selling and delivering hay. High wind gusts tipped over two loads which he was able to recover without having to re-load the hay. Charles Grover and his son are hauling poplar for O.M. Phelps.  The Ladies Circle met with Mrs. Charlotte S. Cummings.  Men who are sick and lame are speaking well of the Odd Fellows fraternity. Theron Cummings has filled his ice house.  Mr. Jewett of the Waterford creamery was heard to say that he had paid Austin Hutchinson $60 for the cream of ten cows for one month. Mr. Hutchinson takes good care of his cows. 


East Bethel: A number are still suffering from the effects of la grippe.  An old fashioned snow storm reminded us of winter and the road breakers were out for the first time. We had a magnificent display of northern lights on February 13th.  A number of scholars from here are preparing to attend Gould Academy.


Bethel: O’Neil W. R. Hastings, son of Maj. G.A. Hastings, died Tuesday morning at the age of 32. He had suffered for a long time with consumption of the bowels (colon cancer?) despite expert medical care.  He had been postmaster in our village for some years having been appointed during the Cleveland administration.  He had been a school board member for a long time.  His funeral was held at the Hastings home on Broad Street with Rev. F. E. Barton officiating. Music was touchingly rendered by Mrs. Florence K and Miss Jennie Gibson and Miss Alice Billings.


 Rev. A. C. Herrick will lecture at the academy on “Rome, Pompeii, Partum”.  The Universalist parish of Bethel is contemplating an addition to their present church to be used as a vestry.


West Bethel:  Twenty inches of snow cover the ground. The storm a week ago produced enough drifting to require breaking out with teams. Milton Holt is still confined and his store has been closed for three weeks. His wife is slowly recovering. Other sick ones are improving.  Lumbermen are all busy.



March 1892 – Town meeting month; canvassing of farmers to support a Bethel butter factory underway.


March 1, 1892 (Democrat)


Newry: S.B. Widber died at his residence on February 24th after a long illness with liver and lung troubles brought on from an attack of la grippe.


Mason: The writer has just received a statement of county finances for 1891 which appear to be well managed. 


A.S. Bean’s birch mill traffic is lower than normal for this season.  C.F. Brown is drawing birch to Bean’s mill however. And S. O. Grover is loading poplar for Bethel parties. F.I. Bean has a carload of poplar for sale. D.E. & N.G. Mills have several carloads nearly ready to ship.


Dr. John Tyler seems to be quite popular with some of our people and is seen in town quite often.


West Bethel: Ed Elliott was shot and died instantly a his home in Albany. He had been a machinist for A.S. Bean for about five years. He allegedly borrowed a pistol from a fellow worker for shooting a dog that had previously torn his sleigh robe.


The Good Templars enjoyed an oyster supper thanks to Brother A.S. Bean who furnished the supper.  County Deputy Tracy of Norway visited this grange at a special meeting and found it in flourishing condition.


Bethel: Judge Foster is holding court in Aroostook County and his family is with him.


Ceylon Rowe has just painted the inside of his store making a great improvement in looks.  Good weather has been taken advantage of by the men working on the Methodist Church. C.H. Adams has the work contract and so far has done most of the work alone.


The spring term at Gould Academy opened Tuesday with good attendance. Professor Hall is the principal.


Friday coroner E. B. Goddard held an inquest over the body of Ed Elliott of Albany who was killed by the discharge of a revolver. The jury found a verdict of death by accidental discharge of a revolver in his own hands.


The Young People’s Christian Endeavor held a social at the home of Mrs. J.U. Purington. The group enjoyed a box supper.  The Universalist Society have made arrangements to redecorate Pattee’s Hall for their use. They have purchased a large lot of dishes which will remain at the Hall where there is a stove and all conveniences. They are prepared to let it for suppers.  At their last meeting 60 attended and took supper while young people enjoyed games.


Photographer C.S. York has engaged D.H. Forsyth as an assistant. W.S. Parker will be on the road as a salesman for the Bethel Chair Company. Previously he was in the company’s employ but has been in Manchester, N.N., for some time.


The screen for the top of the counter in the Bethel Savings Bank is in place. It is a handsome quartered oak frame set with plate glass and runs the entire length of the banking room. 


Letter from Judge Woodbury:  He was traveling to Pottsville, Pennsylvania. We had traveled from Bethel to Milford, Mass., and when applying for a ticket at the Milford Station we were surprised to find M. Donahue, Jr., at the ticket office, who was formerly assistant ticket agent at Bethel. Leaving for New York on the 8:30 a.m. train over the N.Y. and N.E. Road we arrived in New Haven without incident where we changed cars for New York by the N.Y. and N.H. Road and left all traces of snow and ice.  Arriving at the New York Central Station transfer coaches were in readiness to take us to the Pennsylvania Central Station. We took the Lehigh Valley cars for Pottsville, PA., at 5 p.m. arriving in Pottsville at 9:15 p.m. making 166 miles in 4 hours and 15 minutes (nearly 40 M.P.H.). Pottsville is the shire of Schuylkill County, the railroad center for that region, the Reading, and the Lehigh Valley and the Pennsylvania having stations here. (Pottsville is located in the eastern half of Pennsylvania between Scranton and Harrisburg.)



March 8, 1892 (Democrat)


Bethel: Attorney R.A. Frye attended a meeting of the Democratic State Committee at Augusta. Quite a large number from Bethel went to Portland to hear Paderewski (1860-1941 Polish born pianist). The I.O.G.C. gave a leap year supper and entertainment at Pattee’s Hall. The West Paris drama club presented the drama entitled “Strife” at Ideal Hall.


Miss Maud Kimball has opened a kindergarten in rooms over Miss E.E. Burnham’s store and has some twenty pupils.


The social event of the season was a leap year party given by Misses Alice Purington and Abbie Adams at the house of Miss Purington. Written invitations were given to young ladies with strict injunction that each young lady should bring with her a gentleman. Evening entertainment consisted of games, music and refreshments.


The signers of the articles of association for the purpose of establishing a butter factory here met February 27th and organized the association, chose officers and adopted by-laws. The next step will be to see what number of cows will be pledged to support the enterprise.
















The Bethel Lock-Up on High Street was used for business meetings and court trials.  Built in 1889, its use showed a small income from annual rentals. In 1891 H.C. Barker was paid $9.00 for its upkeep and $2.00 was spent for a cot. Income from 27 courts and one auction amounted to $28.50 for a net income of $17.50. At times, however, correspondents disparaged the town selectmen for not using the lock-up for selectmen’s meetings.


The organizational meeting held here on February 27, 1892 for the Bethel Dairy Association proved to be a successful step for Bethel area dairy farmers. The association was still in existence in 1914, when this announcement appeared in The Oxford County Bethel Citizen: “NOTICE to the Milk Consumers of Bethel. Beginning September 1, 1914, the price of milk will be raised from 6 to 7 cents per quart and cream will be sold 50 cents per quart for thick and 40 cents for thin. The change is necessary on account of increased costs for grain, labor and cows.   BETHEL DAIRY ASSOCIATION”



Mr. A.T. Kelliher left for Pottsville, Pa., (where Judge Woodbury is staying for the winter) where parties wish to examine workings of his patent lumber carrier and may contract to have a line constructed. Mr. Kelliher also has received notes of interest from parties in Indiana.


Middle Interval: Several here are getting a supply of ice for summer use. The sick are nearly all on the gain. Several from this place are attending school at the academy.


West Bethel: Stock seems to be wintering well and hay is plentiful with the mild weather. Milton Holt is gaining slowly though yet feeble and his store is still closed.  A.S. Bean is custom sawing shingles and long lumber. Some of his teams have had narrow escapes from injury while hauling birch from the mountains in Fryeburg Academy Grant. Some places have required four and even six horses to haul empty sleds to the top.


The Good Templars will discuss the following question at their next meeting: Resolved, that the city offers greater advantages toward a prosperous and happy life than the country.


Newry: Funeral services for S.B. Widber, our recently deceased first selectman, were held last Sunday under the auspices of the Masons.


A report circulating here says that the Poplar Hotel is sold to parties in Berlin, N.H.


Albany: John O. Severy and son of Stratford, N.H., have purchased of H.O. Wilbur the farm formerly owned by Stephen Cummings.


The Albany correspondent reports that as he has been shut in for several weeks he “mustered” enough courage to ride to Bethel on Wednesday.  He called on Col C. S. Edwards, Samuel Philbrook and Mr. K. B. Goddard, the undertaker and furniture store owner. On the road he had met five two horse teams hauling oak from the Warren Lots to the chair factory. So he visited the company’s finishing rooms on Main Street where he found so many young ladies and no one to introduce him that he decided to withdraw.


March 15, 1892 (Democrat)


Town Meeting Elections:


Bethel: Moderator: A.W. Grover

Clerk: L.T. Barker

Selectmen: E.S. Kilborn, Henry Farwell, H.N. Upton

Treasurer:  J.U. Purington

Collector and Constable: T.H. Chapman

Supervisor (Schools): N. F. Brown


Newry: Moderator: N.S. Baker

Clerk and Treasurer: J.A. Thurston

Selectmen: J.S. Brown, M.L. Thurston, W. L. Wight

Town Agent: J.S. Brown

Collector and Constable: T.S. Littlehale

Supervisor of Schools: Mary Powers


Gilead: Moderator:  D.L. Austin

Clerk: J. W. Kimball

Selectmen: Albert Bennett, S.A. Coffin, S. W. Potter

Treasurer: T.G. Lary

Collector: Seth Bemis

Constable: Phelman Harriman

Supervisor: S.W. Potter



Bethel: At the town meeting the usual officers were elected and the appropriations seem to be about $2,000 less than last year. Everything passed off quietly until the article for appropriating money for the academy was called. Then there was considerable wrangling, some speechmaking, etc., but after two or three votes it was voted by a small majority “that the town authorize and instruct its supervisor to contract with and pay the trustees of Gould Academy for tuition of its scholars in accordance with chapter 167, Public Laws of 1889.” $800 was appropriated for this purpose.


Mr. and Mrs. A.E. Herrick left on a trip to visit New York, Philadelphia, Washington and Baltimore. J.F. Young, who has had the management of C. Bisbee’s lower store since it was opened, goes on the road soon for a prominent Boston boot and shoe house.


The ladies of the Universalist Society furnished dinner to all who desired at the hall town meeting day. 


E.E. Whitney & Co., marble workers of this place, has just received a car load of fine marble from Portland.


Mr. J. W. Holden gave a unique lecture at the academy. He attempted to prove that the earth is flat, this it does not turn on its own axis nor revolve around the sun. We have not yet heard of any converts to his theory.


A nice time was enjoyed at the Universalist Circle at Pattee’s Hall. Mrs. E.C. Rowe, Miss Maud Kimball and Mrs. E. C. Park entertained.


Butter factory: Parties are now canvassing the Bethel area for cows for the butter factory. Quite a number of cows have been pledged.  The factory is to have the capacity to handle the cream of 1,000 cows and 500 must be pledged before the company will proceed. The contract with the patrons contains a clause to the effect that whenever the subscribers shall organize into an association for conducting the business and will guarantee a certain per cent annually invested, then the company shall turn to such association, etc. leaving it all in the hands of the farmers.


Elmer D. Cole is here from Washington, D.C., and will see to the furnishing of the hall and the completing of the work on Cole Block, of which he is one of the owners.


East Bethel: Sleighing is disappearing; it seems like spring weather. Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Holt of Washington have returned to their farm and will spend the summer in Bethel.


Porter Farwell has purchased a shingle machine and intends to put up a mill on Willow Brook near C.C. Kimball’s.  E.G. Young has sold his farm to Judson Bartlett.


Mason: Town meeting passed off very quietly with nearly the same officers as last year. Snow is fast disappearing leaving lots of timber in the woods.


D.E. Mills got his poplar all out and is now drawing birch leaving it on the road to be drawn to West Bethel on wheels. George Bennett, C. F. Brown and Charles Merrill are all rushing to get out timber before the snow is gone.


A.S. Bean has almost 300 cords of spruce bolts for pulp which he intends to drive down Pleasant River the coming spring.  Since this will be his first drive attempt across the meadows he is feeling anxious about the outcome. He really wants six weeks of sledding in March.


Albany:  The town voted to purchase a road machine and that the highway tax is to be paid in money and be expended by the selectmen.


J.J. McAlister shifted his team’s work from poplar to hauling birch to his new mill in Stoneham. Sickness is still upsetting the lives of some families here.


West Bethel:  S.B. Twitchell is canvassing this part of town in the interest of the prospective butter factory. He doubts success in securing enough cows.


West Bethel’s correspondent is glad to see the interest in educational matters expressed at the Bethel town meeting. Good Templars will present entertainment at Bean’s Hall.


Eben E. Chapman started for Haverhill, Mass., with a car load of potatoes he has raised. The profit of raising and marketing potatoes this year comes on the wrong side of the ledger.  A.W. Grover is loading a half car of cedar for Aston of Shelburne, N.H.


Newry: J.F. Eames fractured several ribs when he fell from his load of ice. The school term has closed at Newry Corner. The town appropriated $20 for the Brown Post G.A.R. of Bethel. 


March 22, 1892 (Democrat)


Tipping in New York:  A New York Tribune correspondent has declared that a decent meal cannot be obtained in New York unless the waiter is “tipped” before his customer is served. He adds: “The waiter will not trust you. You must not only pay dearly for what you eat, but landlords allow you to be subjected to the insults of unpaid waiters. There are hotels and restaurants in New York which are shunned by many people because they will not voluntarily subject themselves to such abuses. And this feeling of opposition to the extortions of waiters is rapidly growing, and will continue to grow. The hotel and restaurant that will adopt the stand taken by many similar places in Europe, and put up signs reading, ‘It is requested that no fees be given to waiters,’ will forthwith see their daily receipt increase. There is no reason why the public should be compelled to make up salaries paid by stingy proprietors.




Poplar Hotel: Irving Stearns and family of Berlin Fall, N.H., have been visiting friends in town lately. Mr. Stearns, according to reports, has lately traded with C. R. Bartlett for the Poplar Hotel in this town.


The cold snap of this week was a god-send to the loggers, as it gives them a chance to complete their operations in the woods and clear yards of logs.


The winter school at Newry Corner has been taught by the pastor, Rev. A. K. Bryant. Although a twelve weeks term, owing to sickness and deaths it was prolonged to  fifteen weeks. When school closed, an exhibition was given at the church.


Bethel:  On March 14, the Bethel Village Corp., held its annual meeting. Officers elected were: Moderator, R.A. Frye, Esq.; Clerk, G.R. Wiley; Assessors: Charles Mason, E.S. Kilborn and H.A. Andrews; Treasurer, E.C. Rowe; Collector, N.F. Brown; Engineers: J.C. Billings, G.R. Wiley; and N.F. Brown. Appropriations were made for hydrant service, etc., $200 was appropriated for repairing and lighting street lamps for the next six months. A committee of J.H. Barrows, Ceylon Rowe and C.S. Edwards was chosen to investigate changing street lights from kerosene to electricity. We are to have another town meeting to reconsider the vote that appropriated $800 for paying Gould Academy tuition.


Between 300 and 400 cows have been pledged so far for the Bethel Dairy Association. Farmers who at first had not pledged have now done so and the goal of 500 cows pledged is expected to be reached soon.


Rev. F.E. Barton of the Universalist Church read his resignation in church last Sunday as he has accepted a call to Mechanic Falls. He has done much to strengthen the church here.


Middle Intervale:  Fine weather. Sick ones are getting better. John Swan and son are getting wood from the Cummings lot. Ned Carter is attending the academy.


Mason: Good weather for business. A.S. Bean has extra teams at work to get out his wood.


Albany:  We hope la grippe is over here; only one new case and that was Elmer Saunders, 26, but it was fatal. He was a member of the Masons, Odd Fellows and Knights of Pythias. In he latter he was in the “Relief” and assigned $1,500 to his youngest sister. Many attended his funeral where Rev. Barton of Bethel officiated.


The Grangers had a festival and box supper at their hall.


Herbert I. Bean and Lucian Andrews will be re-employed this summer by the same parties in Andover, Mass., that they worked for last summer.



March 29, 1982


Country Life on Abandoned Farms


Taken from a front page article in The Oxford County Democrat:


Some of those who have obtained the catalogs of “abandoned farms,” which have been issue by Massachusetts and some other states, find many of the farms cheap enough, but they object to them because of the distance from schools and other educational facilities, as churches, libraries, lecture-rooms, etc., for their children or themselves and because of the sparsity of population make a small school and perhaps a short term necessary from lack of funds. Yet upon those same farms, or others near them or like them, have been reared some of the smartest men and women of the present day, in more than one of the walks of life.


There are always two sides to a question.  The long walk to and from school has furnished the exercise needed to get up a healthy development of muscles, and the “sound mind in the sound body” is better fitted to succeed in life than the overworked brain supported by a body dwarfed in its muscular development, and supplied with super-sensitive nerves that are every ready to bread down at the least departure from a certain monotonous routine or to break because the routine keeps them always strained to the highest point or as a musician  would say, “ always up to concert pitch,” where no good instrument can be safely kept long.


If the library is not easily reached, there may be less of promiscuous reading and more careful perusal of a few good standard works which it is not difficult or expensive to provide.


(In 1916, my grandparents bought what would be considered an abandoned farm located in the Sunday River valley for a vacation and retirement home.  Their walking was not to school or to libraries but in the mountains surrounding them. Note by the author.)


Newry: Loggers as a general thing have done well so far; if those who have the driving to do should succeed as well it will be a prosperous season for all parties. M.L. Thurston and brother have finished their logging job in Dunn’s Notch and are about to break camp. C.A. Baker has returned from his logging job in Magalloway.


Wilson’s Mills: J.M. Philbrook and Eli Stearns were in town from Bethel last week. Dr. George Hazelton and Dr. Walker, veterinary surgeon of Norway Lake were at Flint’s Hotel over Sunday. Furniture and furnishing for indoors and out are going up each week for the Parmachenee Club’s camp above here.  Bearce & Wilson were in town Saturday (preliminary to spring drives.)


Leap Year Ball at Bethel: Last Thursday evening witnessed one of the most successful and prettiest affairs of its kind seen in Bethel for a long time - Leap Year Ball at Ideal Hall. Organizers were: Misses Alice Billings, Jennie Gibson and Maude Kimball.  Mrs. J.F. Young was floor manager.  The Opera House was handsomely decorated (first mention of ‘Opera House’). The party was large and the galleries filled. Twenty two ladies are listed and their gowns were described. At eight o’clock the grand march formed; it was led by Dr. Hill and Miss Alice Billings.  Refreshments of ice cream, cake and coffee were served at intermission.


Magalloway Plantation Officers: 

Moderator: W.W. Linnell

Clerk: W. W. Fickett

Assessors: H.W. Fickett, Lewis Leavitt, W.L. Fickett

Treasurer:  D.M. Sturtevant

Collector and Constable:  J.G. Wilson

Supervisor: A. W. Linnell


March 31, 1892:


Bethel:  Special town meeting on this date. Warrant: 1. To choose a moderator; 2. to see if the town will voted to rescind a vote made at the annual meeting to raise and appropriate $800 to be expended in a contract with Gould’s Academy trustees for the tuition of scholars in the town of Bethel; 3. to see if the town will authorize the selectmen to take a lease of Cole’s Hall and one of the offices to be used for town purposes for the term of 10 years at a yearly rental not to exceed ($) five dollars per annum.; 4 to see if the town will authorize the selectmen to purchase a safe to be kept in the office of the selectmen and town clerk; 5. to see if the town will raise and appropriate an additional sum of money to defray miscellaneous expenses of the town; 6. to transact any other legal business brought before the meeting.

       R.A. Frye was chosen moderator.  On art 2, it was voted to rescind the previous vote about contracting with the trustees of Gould’s Academy.  The meeting voted to ‘pass over’ articles 3, 4, and 5.


Gould Academy:  About twenty-five per cent of our teachers have come from other towns. I think having a few teachers from other towns creates an interest and we get an insight into different methods of teaching, but the preference should be given to teachers from our own town. These are mostly educated at Gould’s Academy. Mr. Hall, the principal takes great interest in town schools, and has a class for those intending to teach, and endeavors to have them well fitted for their work, and I notice that the teachers from our Academy compare favorable with those from other Institutions in the State. Extract from the 1892 Bethel Schools Report by school Supervisor N.F. Brown













On March 26, 1892


Editor Democrat:


            Fulfilling a promise I made to your readers, last week, I will give you extracts from a letter received from Dr. G. J. Gehring of Bethel since his arrival in Berlin. The doctor needs no introduction from me, yet it may be interesting to your readers to know that Dr. Gehring is of German parentage, a highly educated physician, a professor in a medical hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio. His health being much broken, he came to Bethel some years ago, and became acquainted with Mrs. Susie Marion Farnsworth, daughter of Dr. N. T. True, and two congenial souls were united in marriage. He says: Click here to read the letter from Dr. Gehring.


Click here to continue reading the 1892 Journals


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