Sunday, April 18, 2010

Arthur & Lorena Fuller


Arthur William Fuller (1867-1940) of Bangor was a railroad engineer.  Arthur belonged to the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and the Odd Fellows out of Bangor.  A son of the marriage of second cousins, Arthur's lineage was riddled with many such instances of cousins marrying, as well as being the descendant of multiple established royal English, French, German, Ukranian/Swedish, and Scottish lines, including links to the Mayflower.  Arthur never entered high school, and entered the workforce in Fairfield, Maine, in 1885.


Arthur's father, Charles Samuel Fuller, died in Iowa when Arthur was only 11. It's unlikely that he had many memories of his father, as Arthur never went to Iowa.

He began working at the railroad from a very young age.  In 1897, Arthur's stepfather William Henry Moody (recently married to Lydia Osborn-Fuller, Arthur's mother) conveyed to Arthur the "Tuttle Farm" property in Athens.  Arthur deeded it back to Moody in 1901.  I'm not certain why.  A bit of research tells me that there were dozens of Tuttles living in Athens at the turn of the century, so which farm this refers to is a mystery, but below is the 1901 deed:

In 1908, Arthur wrote and published a handbook entitled Fuller's Manual of Railroad Rules and Train Rights.  He sold this for $1.00 (about $24.00 in 2010 currency).

In 1909, at age 42, he married Lorena Holland Murch ("Gram"), born "Louisa", according to her birth record.


When they married, Gram was a 16 year old high school student and music teacher, 26 years younger than Arthur. Gram also had colonial, Salem roots, Mayflower, as well as noble English, Scottish, and German ancestry. She even spoke of a link from her family to Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone, but that is something I've yet to verify.

(ca. 1910)

Such a marriage had to be consented to, and it was partially an arranged affair, as Gram's parents, Charles and Rosa Bell, who were Christian Scientists, felt that it would be good to marry her into an established family like the Fullers, and that Arthur had good stock, and a great career ahead of him. Unfortunately, things didn't pan out so well with that plan, as he ultimately died penniless, with no life insurance, and no pension, leaving Gram nothing.  Gram was working as a hotel maid at the time of Arthur's death, and living on 102 Forest Avenue in Portland, at which time their daughter Lorena was also living with them with her three children, having been abandoned by her husband, Tom Leonard.

According to my cousin Joel Fuller, Lorena and Arthur, at some point while they were living in Portland, (1917-1940) they ran a "way station" on US RTE 1 Scarborough, Maine, which was at the junction of Cascade Road, across from the Danish Village.  He recalls seeing what was left of the structure with an old crank up fuel pump. There is nothing left now but bamboo. He had tried to find a picture or writing of this through the Historical Soc to no avail. This term was a holdover from the days of stagecoach travel before they became gas stations.

While manning the way station, Lorena packed a .22 derringer!  The gun is still held in the family today. 

While in Bangor, they had three children:

1.  Charles Arthur Fuller (1912-1916) was born in Woodland, Maine (Washington County) in 1912.  I'm not certain why they were all the way back east at this time.  Little Charlie died in Lorena's arms of endocarditis just shy of age 4.


Arthur's sister Ida, who wrote many poems in her day, wrote a poem in 1917 about little Charles' death:

2.  Harold Murch Fuller (1914-1990) was born in Bangor.  He was a bus driver, and married four times, having six kids and 17 grandkids total.

3.  Lorena Bell Fuller (my Nana) (1917-1994) was also born in Bangor.  She worked many years at Hannaford's in Portland, and was briefly married to Thomas Edward Leonard of Portland.

(ca. 1920)

Soon after the birth of Lorena, the family moved from Bangor to Portland, where Arthur had secured a new job as an engineer at the Bank of Commerce Building (below).

They lived at 560 Washington Avenue during the 1920 Census, and by the 1930 Census, they were living at 97 Forest Avenue:

In the 1940 Census, they lived across the street at 102 Forest Avenue:

Arthur Fuller died in 1940, just after Nana had filed divorce proceedings against her husband Tom Leonard. Her brother Harold was then married to his second wife (of 4) in Portland. Gram was devastated, having to find a way to get by without her husband, and pay for all the funeral expenses. My dad mentions that he remembers being 4 years old, and one of his earliest memories was of his grandfather being carted off in a pine box. Gram eventually moved in with her daughter in Gray.

Gram was a wonderful piano player, and also an avid collector of genealogical information. She had a bible of family records about 6 inches thick. The bible was destroyed in a big fire at Honey's house...long before I could get my hands on it. Gram also had held onto lots of ancient china and a tea set that had been in the Murch family for generations.

Lorena "Gram" Fuller died in a nursing facility in Yarmouth in 1990, at age 96, after a five day battle with pneumonia.  Her daughter Lorena Leonard, my Nana, died four years later at a nursing home in Portland at age 76, also of pneumonia.  Both of them were also battling dementia at the time of their deaths.

Below is the grave of Gram, in the Gray Cemetery.

Below are the pedigree charts of Arthur & Lorena.

Gram was 12.5% German (through her Great Grandfather, Daniel Hollien), 12.5% Scottish (accumulated royal blood through ancestors John Bell and Robert Jameson), and the remainder 75% was English colonial.  Her ancestor Elijah Cooke was a descendant of Mayflower passengers Francis Cooke, Stephen Hopkins and Elizabeth Fisher.  Also, her ancestor Robert Jameson descended from the renowned Jameson Clan of Scotland, who fought in the Revolution and were among the first settlers of the early Maine towns of Cape Elizabeth, Rockland and Friendship.

Arthur was about 3% Scottish (royal blood through his ancestor Rev. War ancestor David Bean), less than 6% French (through his great grandmother, Margaret Sibley) and the remainder 91% was English colonial. His ancestor Bela Burrill was a descendant of Mayflower passengers John Alden, Rebecca Mullins, William Mullins & Alice Atwood. His ancestor Samuel Fuller was a descendant of Mayflower passenger Edward Fuller. 

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