The Bethel Journals

Names in the News-Bethel Maine History




FRANK A. BROWN (1870-1953)

Mr. Frank A. Brown was born in Waterford, Maine, April 3, 1870, the son of Josiah A. and Maria (Holt) Brown. His education was received in the schools of Norway and Peabody, Mass. He was married April 2, 1891, to Alice A. Angier and they have eight children: Mildred (Mrs. Arthur Chap­man), Adelmar, Edward, Harrie C., Katherine (Mrs. Byron Abbott), Philip, Warren, and Virginia.


Mr. Brown was in the grocery and provision business in Peabody from 1890 to 1893, He came to Bethel and engaged in farming 'until 1915 and, then he discontinued agriculture and entered politics, serving the town as first selectman and road commissioner for 12 consecutive years.

Mr. Brown is a dyed-in-the-wool Republican and has represented the Bethel district in the State Legislature in 1925 and 1927.

He was re-elected road commission­er and first selectman of the town in 1931 and this position he fills with his usual energy and thoroughness.

That the good of his community is his first consideration is proven by the fact that during the legislature of 1927, Mr. Brown was directly respon­sible for the enactment of a bill giving Bethel ten thousand dollars (Bethel's share) toward the construction of the steel bridge over the Androscoggin River.

He is a member of the Congrega­tional Church, a trustee of Bethel Sav­ings Bank, member of Bethel Lodge, P. & A. M., Mt Abram Lodge, I. O. O. F., Knights of Pythias, Sons of Veterans, and is a Granger.

With his family he occupies the J. A. Brown* homestead on the north­west side of the river, and to their many friends and relatives their 'latch string is always out’.

*1895 news reported that he bought the Prof. Wight farm in northwest Bethel.




HENRY W. BOYKER (1878-1961)


Mr. Boyker was born in Casco, Me., September 7, 1878, the son of William P. and Immogene Boyker. He was educated in the schools of Saco and graduated from Thornton Academy.

Mr. Boyker married Miss Gertrude Bailey and they have three daughters, Mrs. Raymond Holt, Mrs. Phillip Faudi and Miss Marilyn Boyker.

Mr. Boyker played on the All Maine Interscholastic football teams in 1895-6-7, and was a volunteer in the Span­ish-American War in 1898.  For sev­eral years he was employed in hospi­tal work and this experience renders him a valuable aid oftentimes in emergency illness among his friends and neighbors.

He came to Bethel in 1912 and has been employed in various capacities. He worked in the stores of Irving L. Carver and L.W. Ramsdell. From 1922 to 1926 he was in the Bethel National Bank. For four years he was chairman of the Board of Se­lectman of Bethel, and gave of his best in the service of the town.

He served the district two terms as representative to the Legislature and two terms as state senator. He was an unsuccessful candidate for governor in 1952.

Mr. Boyker became well known for his successful attempt to start the investigation of the Carroll-Dwyer murder case and his objections to Carroll’s release from prison. In legislature he was a supporter of “pay as we go” policies and an active opponent of the sales tax.

For 25 years, since 1936, he and Mrs. Boyker have owned and operated Bethaven Inn. He was a member of the Masonic lodge, plus the Grange, fish and game association, and a charter member of the Bethel Lions Club.

In 1945 when the Bethel men interested in developing an airport formed the Bethel Airport Corporation, Henry Boyker and Fred L. Edwards together donated the 225 acres of land needed for the runway and service area.


Postscript:  In December 1960, I was in Cleveland after being in Germany for the previous three Christmases.  My mother had been laid up with arthritis much of that winter.  My father made arrangements with Gertrude Boyker to roast a turkey plus put together a platter of traditional Christmas dinner vegetables for us. I drove to Bethel and we had a wonderful feast together.  In March Henry Boyker died and in July my father passed away. It turned out that we had had our last Christmas together








JP_butts.gifMr. John P. Butts was born in New Portland, May 23, 1874, the son of John F. and Adeline (Savage) Butts. He received his education in the schools of New Portland and Gray's Business College.

He married Miss Elizabeth McNeil in 1901 and they have two daughters, Mrs. Arthur Cutler of Bethel and Mrs. O. G. King of Norridgewock.

Mr. Butts was in the general mer­chandise and undertaking business at New Portland 17 years and later in the garage business at Farmington.

In 1926 he bought the hardware busi­ness of G. L. Thurston and has since conducted a successful store, with a complete line of hardware, dishes, elec­trical appliances, paints and varnishes.

Mr. Butts is a member of the Odd Fellows, Rebekahs, and Encampment; the Masons, Eastern Star, Chapter, Council, Kora Temple, and is a 32nd degree Mason.

Mr. and Mrs. Butts live in the com­modious apartment above their store on Main Street.





GUY L. THURSTON (1865-1952)


Guy L Thurston.jpg

Guy L. Thurston was born in Errol, N. H., in 1865. However, Mr. Thurston has lived the greater part of his life in Bethel and has served his town in many ways.


He was engaged in the lumbering business for 32 years. For four years he was road com­missioner and for eight years post master in the town of Bethel.


Mr. Thurston was a member of the Bethel Lions Club, Bethel Lodge, F. & A. M., Strathglass Commandery, and Kora Temple.

He is generous and public spirited.