News of Events and People in Bethel, Maine and Surrounding Towns for 1896

of J.F. Coolidge and will move  back at once.



In the May 5 Democrat this news came in for the week:  H.B. Chapman will move his family to Bethel Hill soon.  The Jonathan Tyler family has moved back to their old home on the bank of the river. Some person or persons with more muscle than brains removed gates and strewed wood promiscuously one night recently.


The May 5 Democrat reported these items from Rumford for the week:  The (Androscoggin) river has fallen back into its natural channel and the people feel safe for a while.  What is the cause of all this trouble we have had with high water in the past year? I have lived beside this river for fifty years and never saw anything like it until and since the dam was built at the Falls.  George Elliott had to abandon his farm. He was afraid of being drowned. And others may be obliged to leave their homes for places of safety.  The Rumford Falls Times says the town ought to raise the grade of the highway in places where the water shuts off all travel several times a year.


Rumford Falls jewelers sell Mount Mica tourmalines set in Byron gold – and Oxford County combination.

WEST BETHEL          

Reported in the Democrat of February 18, A.S. Bean was having his grist mill repaired. It had been almost impossible recently to get meal from the mill when it was wanted.

The Pleasant Valley Grange met in their hall for a regular meeting to install officers:  Master- Charles Dunham; Secretary-E.M. Mason and Lecturer – E.G. Wheeler.  One of our octogenarians told me this week that he did not remember a year when we had so little sleighing the middle of January as we have had the present winter.

In the March 10 Democrat, West Bethel’s correspondent wrote that the early March flood was one of the most destructive on record. In more than fifty years that I have lived on this road I have never known four days in succession in which no team has passed as was the case from Sunday to Wednesday inclusive and now the road to near-by Mason is impassable due to high water. Bethel town meeting has not been heard from in this section.

On March 24, news reported that heavily loaded teams have been crossing the Androscoggin River on the ice during the past week.  Nathan G. Mills of Mason is often seen on the road looking for calves to raise for veal.  Last ear he sold 116, and keeps about ten cows for that purpose.  Sewall Walker and Hazen Lowell are hauling birch for Fred Edwards of Bethel from near Albany line to this village, a distance of about four miles.  L.D. Grover is getting out spruce to sell to Burgess Sulphite Company,  Berlin, NH, and intends to load two cars with bolts two feet in length.

April 7 news from the Democrat notes that Charles Dunham, who had been ill for some time, is very much improved in health.  Vera Merrill is attending Gould Academy.  Leon Tyler has been hauling logs to Bethel and having them sawed into boards to roof his barn. He intends to shingle it with short shingles.  L. B. Brackett is home on vacation from Bates for a few days.

April 28 news from West Bethel brought up how the assessors are engaged in assessing a highway tax, a piece of folly which staid old towns like ours sometimes fall into for some reason,

real or fancied.  I think that one key point in its favor this year is that last summer the roads were very dusty.  The road machine came in for quite a little condemnation at the annual meeting and it will probably be laid by about the time that mowing machines and horse rakes are, but enough until next March meeting.  Eddie Smith picks up 150 eggs per day from 275 hens.

The Democrat’s West Bethel news for May 5 included these items:  Leon Tyler has shingled the north side of his barn roof. A.W. Grover was in this place to deliver fruit trees.  George A. Grover has tapped his frozen aqueduct south of the road and has succeeded in obtaining water.  John Barker is putting an addition on his barn. H.W. Verrill has prepared and housed his year’s stock of wood.  G.B. Lowell has sowed rye and early peas.

Writing for the June 16 Democrat, West Bethel’s reporter says  A.S. Bean’s store is a busy place. He employs two male clerks while his wife and her sister attend to the calls of lady customers. More stores are needed in this village.


The bridge at John Olson’s has gone out twice during the last fortnight and replaced both times on account of the supply teams – showing the great necessity of a good bridge at that point.

News dated March 31, John Olson has finished logging.

From the Democrat in April 1896: Emery Haley and Clark Hill of Rangeley were in town Monday enroute to Camp Caribou and outlying camps on an inspection tour as to making repairs and furnishings for the coming season.  Mr. Haley is now the manager for the Parmachenee Club, as the old manager, John S. Danforth has resigned, built a house and settled in Errol, NH.

On the  23rd of June the Democrat reported that F.W. Estabrook and Master Winthrop Estabrook  were in town Saturday enroute to  Parmachenee Lake. John Olson and R.A. Storey are his guides.


April 22, 1896 Bethel News





















June 17, 1896 Bethel News

Leonard Leavitt has gone to Magalloway.  O.P. Littlehale is building a new barn.  Jotham Chapman (Mayville) is painting C.B. Foster’s new barn.  Mr. Fred Atherton and wife of Portland, arrived in town last Friday.  Mrs. Mary  Bean and Fred Bean were visiting at C. D. Bean recently.  Nathan Frost has purchased and moved to the farm recently owned by J. F. Coolidge. Richard M. Williamson went to North Newry, last week to assist in making the money tax.  Mr. and Mrs. Charles Ames and little daughter visited their father James F. Eames last Sunday.  T. F. Hastings was in this section last week in the interest of the Buckeye Mowing Machine.  Greenleaf Emery, Mrs. Sarah Jackson and Richard M. Williamson have each purchased a Home Comfort Range.

The Democrat for June 30th reported that O.P. Littlehale has had his old barn pulled down. His new barn will have a cellar under the whole building.  The split stone foundation is already in place.  Mrs. C.A. Baker  of Methuen, Mass., is at her old home, James Eames.   She has her little daughter Helen.

Advertisement for windmills from the April 7 1896 Oxford Democrat. Dealer:
 R.G. Stephens, Buckfield, Maine. (Courtesy of Bethel Historical Society– microfilm copy of

The Bethel Journals

January 23, 2010


The Bethel Journals

Donald G Bennett

PO Box 763

Bethel, Maine 04217

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South Bethel 1896

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