Friday, April 13, 2012

Elwood Noyes Osborne

William Noyes Osborne's only son Elwood (nicknamed Eno) grew up in the Osborne Homestead, and was also a student at school taught by his aunt Clara (nicknamed "Caddie").  Eno always said that Caddie was more strict with him than with other students.  He went to University of Maine Orono for college, and ultimately settled in Pittsburgh area for 25 years.  He married Crafton, PA native Sarah Frances Hoskinson, and they had two daughters.  They lived for a time in Shaler, PA, where they had a maid named Cecelia Marsden from "Etna".

Eno moved his family back to the Fairfield Homestead in 1951.  Sarah died few years later in 1954.  In 1957, Eno remarried to Estherann Rollins of Auburn, and they had a boy and a girl.  In 1952 and in 1972, he ran for State Legislature.  He won in 1952, but I'm not sure if he won again in 1972.

Eno died just after his 99th birthday, and had spent his entire life at the Osborn Homestead in Fairfield (with the exception of his time in Pittsburgh) and was very active in town, city and state politics. His grandson owns the Homestead as of October 2011, and is looking to sell.  The land and house have been in the family since 1805.

Pictures and obituary of Eno Osborne:

The below obituary incorrectly references the date in which his great grandfather Isaac Osborne settled in Fairfield.  While the Osbornes indeed moved to Maine in 1786, they moved to Winslow.  It wasn't until 1805 that they settled across the river in Fairfield:

Gravesites of Eno and his two wives:

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Letters from Ruth Osborn-Munnoch

We've established that Olivia Noyes-Haskell-Osborn was a fan of letter writing. It appears that her son, William Noyes Osborne was quite the letter writer as well.   William's daughter Ruth, however, appeared to have the most animated writing style in the family, enjoy the world as Ruth saw it, many of these letters were to her brother Elwood.

Written by Ruth Irene Osborne Munnoch from Miami Florida - August 18, 1947

Dear Elwood:

Say! That salt gets me more than you know yet. Sometimes something is so salt I can’t eat it and I get hungry. It gives me a nauseated feeling and really does me harm. I began to feel quite sick day after day and my ankles got puffy in March. I started home and by the time I got here my ankles were swollen badly. I went to a doctor and he said it was inflammation of the bladder and showed me how a dent from my finger would stay for quite a time in the swelling, which distinguishes it from other swellings.

Now this is to add to your medical lore. And you must have heard ma tell how her fingerprints would remain on her swollen ankles (but she would not stop eating salt). But worse yet she salts everything too much and poor pa tells her it is too salt, but she is only offended and he eats the stuff. Now, if I offer to cook something I sometimes am turned down very definitely and sometimes the lady acts as if she were being very gracious and humoring me for one. When she gets to the table she samples what I cooked very gingerly, or doesn’t eat any at all, while pa gives me a wink. Of course if she has plenty of cake she feels the situation is well in hand. I should think she would remember she used to remark about her father-in-law having done likewise about cake.

Also, I do not relish towels ever so clean, where anyone has a sore that does not heal. Did I tell you I said to Rachel (Hobbs) once, “What do you think of that place on mother’s face?” “Well, frankly I don’t like the looks of it (who would) what does the doctor say?” I said, “Dr. Gousse said it is nothing to worry about,” and Rachel said, “Oh, he wouldn’t know anyway.”  I thought maybe that noise of loose denture was upsetting my stomach, so (after hearing what a good fit Vida Dickey got in Waterville) I told pa I would take $50 of my own and get him some teeth to fit. He said he would not have any others even if the dentist offered to give them to him. I think even a dentist would offer if they had to be around a little.

Then many times every day she made a few little remarks about what I had done to her recipes. I said, “Let me see them”, there they were in little rolls tied with string the way she fixes anything. How anyone can use a recipe, a dress pattern, or even read a poem all curled up has long puzzled me. I said, “You know I always bring my recipe book with me.” Well! It kept on until even I was exasperated and I said - so she could surely hear, “Damn it, I don’t remember touching your recipes/” Pa said she told him that night she was not going to have anyone there swearing and hollering at her.

Shortly before school closed pa wrote that she had fallen 3 times that day and if there was any way I could come home to stay he would make me an offer. I replied that Sara had a good job and wants to stay in Florida and that Henry would have to stay here with her as we don’t want to leave her here alone, but that after school closed I would come. I added, “What is the offer? Are you going to offer to pay my fare?” Mother wrote that they would not pay my fare but my father would be glad if I could come. I kept thinking of the time I was sent for and after 2 weeks I was told, “If you have a home I should think you would stay there and take care of it.” I had just spent my paycheck for new tires, overhauling the cluth, glasses for Henry, etc. and I thought, “If I cash a bond to pay my fare who will appreciate it?”

Now this all is like the childhood expression of “chewing cabbage twice” and it stinks and you knew it all before. But here am I.  I can’t take a job because I may get a phone call anytime. Yet they think they don’t inconvenience their children, they are just sadly neglected. I have got so I don’t just anyone for anything. No one knows all the details of the situation except the one concerned and obviously everyone will do the thing that seems best under the circumstances, and like me they don’t know what to do sometimes. They may be weak but this may go on for ten years.

Your darling sister.


Written from Fairfield November 30, 1947 to Ruth from Bertha

Dear Ruth,

Your welcome letter received. We are not feeling very well. Your Dad says he will put in a line, he is not very well but works quite a lot choring around that has to be done. I am very lame and quite likely it will last. Mrs. Cole had to go to the hospital again for a while but is home now. She is not aware what the trouble is I think. (Mrs. Cole had cancer.) I hope you can come home as you said for the first of January is near. I hope but I tell you I hope your Dad and I will be here.

Well Thanksgiving is gone. We ate alone. Had a chicken baked, Rachel (Hobbs) sent us a pumpkin pie, Mrs. (Clydee) Crous brought us a fruit pie and nice rolls, Mrs. Currie brought us two kinds of lovely cake. I had some nice things already cooked. It is great to be old and lame.

Your Aunt Clara has been quite sick but is some better today. You quite likely know she is boarding now with Marguerite Lord, married Guy Wentworth. Likes well. Caddie isn’t able to write just now but soon. The coldest weather here 8 above last night.

Have I told you the Angle girls not teaching now. Ruth when you come home I hope you can do some errands for me. I haven’t been shopping since you went away. Just imagine it. Your Dad sits here. I guess he won’t write this time. I have lots to tell you later. Maybe you can read some of this. Love to all,



Written from Miami, Florida December 3, 1947 from Ruth to Elwood & including the letter above

Dear Elwood:

Yours of the 1st came today. It was just as well we both sent cards with that many maybe there will be some she can tolerate. I sent two boxes, a different variety in each box, 2 or 3 each. I bought them as much to help out the girl selling them as anything.

I haven’t heard directly from Elva for a couple of months. Sarah forwarded a letter from Elva and she said in that letter you called. I figured about Nov. 7th. She said you looked better than last year. Well, what are the tidings of my child? Give me your version.

I have bought a sweater, which I will send either to Ma or Aunt Clara. I thought I would send one to each of them. This one is gray and I fear neither of them will think gray is pretty. However after some more looking I can’t find a brown, black, dark blue or burgundy. I will have to get another gray, there is a good supply of those. I surely cannot get a shirt with a detachable collar for Pa, and kindly suggest what else. The other thing I have in mind is not allowed in the mail. He must be low on wool socks for he didn’t seem offended at some of Henry’s I took out of my belongings there in March. If you can find the separate under shirts and under pants like he wears. He was wearing some well patched. He didn’t want to buy any he would not live to wear out. I shall probably put in a box of stationery for Ma. Let me know what you decide to do. Also any bright ideas I could use.

I will enclose one I got from Ma. Sounds as if I should pull up stakes right away. I wish they would hire someone to wash bottles and tote wood and take their dill-dock and let me finish this month. I guess that “as you said” underlined, indicates a fear I may renege. I wonder if she ever suspects I am making a sacrifice at all. I have every intention of arriving in Fairfield during the month of January. R.I. M.


Fairfield, ME, August 21, 1948 from Ruth to Elwood

Dear Elwood,

Excuse pencil, it is all I have up here in the privacy of my boudoir.

Your letter arrived from Miami. I thought the folks told you I was here and there was nothing strictly new so I hadn’t written.  However things are developing (like those bits from the edge of postage stamps) now.  Mother fell with some dishes yesterday while I was in Waterville getting a permanent. She got a good black and blue spot on her upper arm & on her knees. She got up this morning and wondered why her blue spots had appears. But shortly it did occur to her that she fell yesterday. She cherishes those spots like the one on her wrist, which she called my attention to two or three times
daily, until alas! These last few days it faded nearly away.

Father did not feel so well yesterday. He’d been afraid his physic would not move, so took more yesterday morning and soon had the trots. Then mother’s fall upset him some; also and more so what he heard about Clara.

He also worries because Henry does not come, and we have had no word from him. I left him in Harrisburg. Henry was to drive to Bradford and I came to Maine from Harrisburg, PA by bus.

I wonder could you phone to Bradford and ask if he got there & if he has started. Just say that W. N. was worrying himself sick & would be all right just to know he is all right. Then you let me know. My dear family do not wish to write.

Henry was not going to write Elva he was coming. He didn’t want to. I did send her a note by airmail, because she had requested him to tell her when he decided to come. But I could not expect as much from her. I only lost around a thousand dollars by staying and taking her sass until they gave my job to someone, my sub failed them in Miami. Please don’t give them the notion it was my idea for you to phone just on your own.

You do not seem to have well adjusted relatives, do you?

Mother says she can’t wait on your family & I told her I should certainly expect them to wait on themselves. I thought it was very unpretty to see a woman 84 doing things for younger people. She said, "Well, I should try to run my own house a while longer."

You could tell her but it will be another episode.

Are Lessard’s cabins, in Skowhegan, suitable for you folks to stay in, if the going gets too rugged?

It is making Pa sick thinking he may not see you. He may not even rally from this if you do not appear on the scene. This has upset him greatly, as you must suspect.

I am going to Waterville this P.M. with Martha.

With candor, Ruth


Written in Lake Worth, Florida from Ruth to Estherann:

We are so glad to hear you are over the hump. Elwood will think I am on my way over the hill when he sees this card with no innuendoes or something.

Another Lydia Osborne used to live in that house. She was born April 29, 1845. She was born down at the Dickey residence and they raised either the main part or else the ell (at Rocky Hill) the day she was born. There was another house before the one you live in. One night I dreamed of being in an old house and I could see the arrangement of the rooms, and it sat back of your house just about where the woodpile used to be. This dream was after I was married, and I was up there at the farm without the rest of the Munnochs. In the morning I described the place to my father and mother and they exclaimed, “Why there was just such a house sat there, the original house here on the farm. We used it for a chicken house and it was town down when you were about two years old.” Henry said that is not so remarkable. He recalled the keys in his mother’s pocket. Elva’s Tony comes out with strange remarks for his age. When we were at Allegheny State Park I heard him say, “I have a strange feeling that I have been here before, so you, Mary?”

By the way if Elwood can’t give you all the interesting details, his grandfather Timothy (after Timothy’s brother Jacob died in 1831) married Jacob’s widow Lydia Burrill Osborne in 1835. I guess Burrills lived on the Dickey farm then, so that is how come she went there when little Lydia was born. And when little Lydia married Charles fuller in 1859, she went to live in Waterville, then later they “went out west”.

In the letter from Alfredda, she said she would tell me a true story. “A man in St. Albans was asked to serve on a committee and he said he would, but if anything happened to prevent his going, he would send a prostitute.”

Just in case I could wax wackier, I better call this enough. Love Ruth


March 7, 1966

Dear Elwood, Yours of Feb 20, at hand. To get back to ancient history, do you recall the letter from Isaac (son of Isaac) and brother of Timothy that you found, written March 1, 1824. You sent me a copy of it in 1958-I think. It began “Worthey Parants” and was signed “Isaac Orsborn and Mille Orsborn.” (Tim, if you run across that letter I would be interested in having a copy. Charlotte) I found Alfredda’s notes but not so many as I had thought; maybe I had discarded part of them. She mentioned Eliza Hilton, an aunt, who had lived in Canaan. I think I recall Aunt Clara mentioning Aunt Eliza. You might ask Gladys Bigelow about Aunt Eliza. Alfredda mentioned some ancestor who lived up on the mountain, three miles above the village of St. Albans, who used to go to Bangor with a yoke of oxen, every fall, with dried apples and other produce of the farm, the trip too three days.

You may recall that Fairville Crocker made us a brief call occasionally, she came from Gardiner or some place that-a-way. She was a sister to Peter and Long John. The family didn’t seem to quite approve of Fairville’s husband because he drove a taxi. You know how Aunt Clara would always take the side of the off-ox. So one day Clara arrived while Fairville and husband were there, also unknown to Clara, Mrs. Ramsey and Rome Rand were there at the farm. Clara was going to give Fairville’s husband a proper welcome, she had not met him, so when she came face to face with Rome in the dining room, she rushed up to him and gushed and we thought would give him a cousinly kiss. You can imagine how mother enjoyed that situation. It made the day worthwhile. …Love, Ruth


April 24, 1968

Dear Elwood: …Aunt Lydia (grandmother of Harold Fuller) is buried at Emery Hill and it mentioned Edith on her stone, but at the time Edith was buried our father had forgotten that Lydia planned to have Edith buried near her. I don’t know where as the place is full up. Edith was living in a third floor rented room in Skowhegan when she died. She had a bad cold and got measles besides and being old it took her off. At that time Harold Fuller (the one who wrote to you) came to take care of her funeral, burial, etc. He called at “the farm” the evening after the funeral and said it was getting late and wondered if they could put him up for the night. Mother said, “No!”, there was an argument between W. N. and Bertha and Harold said he would drive on, so W. N. gave him a ten dollar bill and advised him to go to the Elmwood for the night. This incident could account for Holly’s coolness when you met her. The sins of the mother’s being descended on the children. Mother said she’d never seen Harold before & she didn’t know if he was Arthur’s son, or what kind of a person he was, even if he was Arthur’s son. I don’t know if he got in off the porch. …. Love, Ruth

Letters from William Noyes Osborne

We've established that Olivia Noyes-Haskell-Osborn was a fan of letter writing. It appears that her son, William Noyes Osborne, took after his mother quite a bit. Below are transcribed letter from William to his family over the years.

There are many interesting letter transcriptions from his daughter Ruth which can be found here, but here is what William had to say.

Fairfield, October 11, 1885

My Dear Sister

Will try and pen you a few lines this evening. Have just got home from Silvia’s. The folks are all well there as well as here, or they are as well here as usual. Am glad they like the horse so well. I miss her very much and I guess Silvia does to for she has not had a ride since you went away with me.

Last night as the Flying Yankee went through Clinton it run into the team of Horace Goodwin of Clinton killing him and his wife and horse instantly. They leave six small children.

Got along at the fair quite well. Had a good boarding place. Mary and she that was Ada Rideout are going to be here sometime this week. And we are going to have the thrashers this week so I guess Mother will have enough to do.

Eva is getting along about the same with her school.

Have got fifty one bbls. Of apples gathered and more to come yet. It has been quite a job to hand pick so many this fall, guess there will be six or eight bbls. More.

I guess that most of all the folks on this road think that I am going to be married this fall.

You had a letter the other day from Mrs. Keeler and Mother opened it and is going to answer the same for you. Don’t you think she is kind? She thought she could tell them about the folks better than you could.

Have got Ansel thrashing tomorrow. He is not going very fast.

Minnie Dean is to be married next Wednesday to a Barnham fellow.

Silvia sends her love to you.

Mother says she will write soon.

Your Obedient Brother, W. N. Osborne


Fairfield, January 5th, 1886

Dear Sister Clara

Will try and write you a few lines this evening. It has been one awful rainy day. I might say with lying but little that we have not had any cold weather yet. We haven’t been but three days of good sleighing and now the mud is deeper than the snow has been any one time yet.

Mother got a letter from Eva today. Expect she has written to you before this. We haven’t heard anything about the fire yet only what Eva said and she only said that there had been a fire. Expect Eva told you that I was going to buy the Emery farm and how I was to pay for it. Had the writings done a week ago today $500 to each of you at five percent annually. Is that satisfactory to you or not?

Lydia is at Norridgewock to meeting and Edith is here. She is a much better girl than when she was here the last time.

I have got a pen of White Plymouth Rocks now seven of them and they are quite pretty.

Mother had a letter from Mrs. Keeler a while ago asking all about her folks. Mrs. Hawley sent quite a lot of things to Edith and told her that she could not live but a little while for she had a cancer that the Drs. Say she can’t live long with.

Silvia’s was not sick but two or three days she got a very bad cold and came near having a fever.

How should you like to have one of my wedding cards sent you about the first of next month? If it would make you made I won’t send you any. Some day in the first week of next month you can add another sister to your list. I don’t want to you to tell anyone for we are not going to tell anyone but our own folks, and you are the first one I have told yet.

Guess I will let Mother finish this letter as she wants to. Expect you saw Portas marriage in the journal.

From your loving Brother


Fairfield, January 18th, 1886

Dear Sister Caddie

I will try and write a few lines this evening

Well expect you will want to know first how the folks are. Well Mother has had the tooth and head ache for comfort today and your new sister is not feeling very well tonight so has gone to bed. I think she got cold yesterday when we were out to ride for it blew up quite cold before we got back. We were married, Saturday night, at her home, by Rev. N. D. Curtis. We were the first couple he had married since he came to Fairfield and really he acts as though he was quite proud to think he had the chance to marry so fine a couple. He told Mrs. Plummer that Silvia was as sweet a little girl as he had seen for a long time, and told Mother that he thought she had a fine daughter.

Now Caddie I think you are wrong when you think that I won’t like my sisters as well as before I was married. For I know that I shall, and I know that there are but a few brothers that have more love for their sisters than I do for mine and I don Have had five letters from Baltimore asking me to come out there on a wedding trip. Had one from Bess and Edna last night. Bessie wanted me to take Silvia’s Grandpas and Grandmas and Mary Gifford along with me. Silvia sends her love and says she will write soon. She will send you a piece of her dress I guess. I have sent to Charlie for some cards.

Mother wants to write some as will close. Will try and do better.

Brother Will


Fairfield, Maine December 21, 1930

Dear Elwood, Sarah and Eleanor Ann

Thought I would try and write you a few lines tonight although there is not much to write about but am glad to say that we arequite well just now. I am quite lame at times, mostly in the right knee and the left shoulder but moves about from place to place,but is not very bad when I can keep still.

We have had a fine winter this far. Fine autoing all the time. It has only been below zero once here at Osbornes. I dug a hole down near where you had the camp at the gully today for a calf that I lost and did not find any frost under twoinches of snow. It has been a fine day but we have stayed at home and watched the traffic. Charlie goes away in his twenty-dollar ford Saturday nights and we don’t see him again until Monday morning. That makes Sunday a very busy day for me.

The box came Friday and is in very good shape on the outside at least, but the restrictions as to opening does not give us any idea as to how it looks inside. Many thanks for it just the same. I have been in to most of the drugstores here but have not found that shaving cream that you spoke of, and they say that is one on them. Where did you find it, at Coburn Mountain, but will try again soon. There must be others just as good. Another year past and I could not get a chance to go hunting. The same old saying, next year I am going. Edmond Phillips brought me a good junk of meat though.

A niece of Mr. Cloe that will weight some 300 is visiting there and I went up Friday eve for a game of 63. She was very active and a very good player. We found out that Maurice Emery had been married some time to Angie Bickford and not many knew that anything of the kind was looked for. And probably they will raise just as many blackberries.

Llewellyn Howe has passed to the better land. Funeral tomorrow. We had a letter from Ruth saying that they were all gettingover their colds and the children were feeling fine. Elva said Daddie I want to go to Toyland and Sarah said Daddie I want to goto Fairfield so they asked her what for. She said to see grandfarder and drammie, Aunt Eva and Aunt Caddie, so you see she knows where her folks live. And I wish I could drop in at Mainsgate Street tonight and see you folks. Hoping that you are all
feeling find and will have a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year. Very sincerely, Dad

Elwood, I wish you would send Mac P a card, Western Ave., Fairfield.


Fairfield, Maine March 20, 1934 Addressed to Mrs. E. N. Osborne, 29 Maplewood Ave., Pittsburgh, PA

Dear Sarah:

I wrote to Elwood yesterday that I thought perhaps I had sent the package to the wrong place. So I am sending you the care I received this morning as you might forward this letter to him. Am sorry I have made so much bother. Well dear girl I would like to hear from you in your own hand writing. Hope you and the younger girls are fine now that the most of this hard old winter has gone. We have had a tough one here this winter but a fine day to be out today. That is all the good news I have. Sincerely yours.

W. N. O.



Two members of the Masonic order, having reached their 50th year as Masons were honored last night by Siloam lodge of Fairfield. William N. Osborne and Horace G. Parkman were given fifty year Maine Masonic Veterans medals.

Osborne has been a member of Siloam lodge for the full half century. Parkman received his degrees in Atlantic lodge of Portland and transferred his membership to the Fairfield lodge several years ago. Eighty Masons enjoyed a turkey supper served at 6:15 by the ladies of the Merrymeeting chapter, Order of the Eastern Star. It was also past masters night and former occupants of the presiding officer's chair performed the work in the Master Mason degree on two candidates. The past masters conducting the work were; Connell Y. Lawry, senior warden; William E. Burgess, junior warden;
Harry L. Holmes, treasurer; Walter C. Woodman, secretary; Harold A. Thyng, chaplain; Philip H. Merchant, marshall; Carl P. Fogg, senior deacon; Lester W. Gerald, junior deacon; Clarence R. Plummer, senior steward; Arnal S. Bragg, junior steward; B. Wentworth Greenleaf, organist; Willis M. Keene, tyler. Other past masters having parts in the work were; Charles H. Gibson, Herbert O. Brown, James F. Atkins, Carl C. Piper, Frederick L. Gould. Guests were present from Waterville, Skowhegan and many lodges in nearby places.


Letterhead - ALBERT JEWELL & SON (Ralph A. Jewell), Manufacturers of Sewing

Machine and Baby Carriage Crates, Box Cleats, etc., Fairfield, Maine

September 13, 1945

To a Good Neighbor;

As I understand, on September 13th in 1860, there was born one male child which was given the Christian name of William. I have had the pleasure of knowing this man for the past forty-five or fifty years. I have lived where I have had to pass his home, and I have lived in the adjacent village below his home during these years. In this span of time I have always found, and have always been told and have had the pleasure of seeing by experience, that Mr. William N. Osborn is a neighbor, a friend and a good adviser to anyone who ever came into his contact.

Mr. Osborne, you have lived a life that has been an honor to yourself and to the community. I know of no man who had tried harder in life to live, what you call, a good true Christian life as you have lead, and on this day I hope you may have a very pleasant day. Memories of your past, I am sure will bring great joy and comfort to you.

I hope I may have the pleasure of enjoying your friendship for many years to come. signed R. A. Jewell (Neighbor Jewell)


Fairfield, ME July 24, 1946

Dear Elwood:

Your letter received yesterday. Was glad to hear from you folks. Don't wonder why we haven't written before. Just guess at it.

The Munnoch family arrived here July 13th in find shape. With the load that I wouldn't think any car could have hauled over some of the hills. We have had a severe drouth up to day before yesterday and a plenty of rain since. I sold my hay to G. E. Do., but he hasn't been able to cut any of it yet on account of lack of help and too many strings to pull. Am glad you folks are as near starting for Maine. Then we will tell you all the news. The Munnochs are living in the camp most of the time so we won't be crowded. Hoping to see you on schedule time. Sincerely, Dad


Fairfield, ME Jan 31, 1947

Dear Elwood and family:

Yours of Jan 26 arrived in due time. You said you owed us both a letter so would make yours a combination and I will make mine a family letter. We are living yet that tells it all. Wish we could have someone appointed to our planning needs. Although we have only one thing to plan on now. We have had a very comfortable winter in some respect. No more zero weather than usual for this section. All stormes ending with mist or rain to hold the snow but we have need for creepers or skates most of the time. Have had use for all of the coal ashes in the yard this winter. I haven't been out much only been to the village twice with the car this month but would have been more if I could have started the old thing. I was down Wednesday to see the Dr. and as my courage was low got Geo. to take me down. That is the first time I have seen him since last May I think. The only trouble with me now am getting very weak old age call it. Can eat and sleep fairly well. Yes, got the dr's. bill the first of this month it was only $33.00 for the four years of service. I am satisfied with the bill also the service. The Dr. hasn't been in his office for over two weeks. Let me come to house the other day. Thinks he will be out soon now. Dr. Walters is very sick I hear. There are two new Drs. in town now a Dr. Savage that is spoken very well of and Dr. Greenlaw from town. Both were in the service.

I haven't been over to see Clara this month but hear from her most every day on the telephone. She is doing well. Leslie Ames and housekeeper have married and the neighbors are giving them a house warming this evening down to Harold and Martha Teagues. They offered to come after the Osbornes and get them home but we would be far better off at home I think.  The glasses I was to have I haven't got yet. For a number of reasons. One I haven't felt able to look after it. Two the ones she got for me was just no good. She offered to try until I was satisfied and I am satisfied now that she can't do any better and will let it drop for now. There are many things I could write about but think this will do for this time. Best wishes to all. Oh. the pictures arrived O.K. Sincerely, Dad


Fairfield, ME May 18, 1947

Dear Elwood:

Thought I would try and write you a few lines. Just to let you know that we are yet living but not thawed out yet. Not many mornings in May that it hasn't been below freezing. May 14th 26, May 15th 28 and so on. Cloudy and rain most every day.

Yesterday fair and warm enough so anyone could go out with an overcoat on. No farming done yet. Allan did harrow the garden yesterday. 11 A.M. and just starting raining agin. We have had a lot of dandelions but too cold for people to want to come and dig them. About four bushels have been dug yet. Mullen came up last week and took off the double windows and removed the banking and ahses and put in the rest of the time around the spring house cutting bushes and piling to burn. He promised to come yesterday to mow the lawn but I didn't see him. B. says don't let things go. I notice that shecan worry but don't let things go. I was down yesterday and had another check up with the Dr. He found everything but old age doing well an that was on the gain. Haven't been able to get that pile of wood sawed yet, that is in the bakc yard. I haven't got to worry about that big ash log that was in the past ure any more. My neighbor next door above took it out without saying anything. He asked George some time ago if he knew who cut the tree on the line. George said yes and that I had a right to cut it as it wa son my side of the fence but he took it just the same but after I got done talking to him the other day he decided he had no right to it and wanted to pay . I had paid out $6.00 for work on it four years before they ever owned the farm and also had permission from the Coles to cut it. I told him I would try and forget it but didn't like being used in such a way by anyone.

I was over yesterday to see Clara. She was feeling fine. Had a paper bag gathering moths. Mrs. L. was out calling. I think Mrs. L. had just as lives make a change but I hope it won't come to that for I am down and out.

As far as talk goes. I have let George have the farm on the same terms as last year. His courage is better than mine. He seems to have the usual hard luck. Lost a cow a short time ago had cost him $125 and if I can see right he isn't making good on all of his deals. I am enclosing a clipping that hits me hard at Skowhegan again but these things have got to come.

I have thought it over much about help here for us but all I think and asking doesn't get us anywhere. I wrote to Ruth asking whas she and Henry would come and stay with us one year for and I don't see that they are in shape to do that as I don't think they should leave Sara alone yet. There will come a time worry will be over. I even worry about the cold rain we are getting today.

Hope you won't mind what I have written. Will try and do better next time. Hope you can read this. Best wishes to al. Sincerely,



Fairfield, Maine - August 22, 1947 from WNO to Ruth

Dear Ruth:

Your letter received this morning. We were glad to hear from you folks. I got this paper out to write you one hour ago and Vida came in and it is now just nine P.M. I didn neglect of your own family. I thought Sara had a fine job, but she may find something she likes better, but should not be left alone just yet in the little city of Miami. We do wish you folks could be nearer to us. I am feeling better than I did when you left her last spring and will probably live through another winter, want to or not.

We have better wood to burn this winter and the promise of coal, which I think we will get. Do the best you can for us after your own family are looked after. We are getting along all right just now. My medicine has been gone for two months and just emptied the bottle you got for me. But E. brought me one that I haven’t tried yet. George finished haying on this farm today but has the upper farm to cut yet. August has been fine for haying.

Mrs. Cole has got home. I went to see her yesterday. She is coming along fine now, looks fine, but has fallen away quite a bit.

We drove up to Hinckley this morning for a ride and a little business. Your Ma hasn’t been out much. She said this morning she felt so bad she had got to go back to bed. I said, “You better go to Hinckley with me.” so she did. Elwood and family left a week ago this morning at ten A.M. and arrived home Sunday afternoon, with good luck and a long ride. They were on the road much of the time. While in Maine two days at China Lake, one at Abbot fishing, one day at Bangor, and one day they took Clara up to see Annie Hobart, and also to see the Haskell’s girls at Lakewood.

Hope we will see you at the proper time and when will that be? Thanks for the stamps. I will use one for this letter.

Best wishes to all. Sincerely, Dad


Fairfield, Maine October 5, 1947

Dear Elwood:

For the last two weeks I have been trying to get my courage up to write to you and I haven't the courage yet but will try and see what I can do. The weather here has been about the same here as you said in your letter that it had been at Pittsburgh. I got cukes & tomatoes in the garden yesterday that were hidden in George's weeds that were O.K. to use. The leaves on all trees are as green as ever yet. Not enough frost to start them yet. Very warm today. My man Mullen has not been with me the last three Saturdays on account of being called back to the mill and yesterday on account of a bad lameness from a fall.

The coal has been loaded in the celler at last and paid for $120.00 for 6 ton. Paid taxes the same day $207.60 that is more than I have taken for water for a week. Haven't got the wood all in yet but near it. I had a boy after school for a few days but it didn't pay. I hope Mr. Mullen will be able to help me bank the house and put the double windows on. It's just another worry. I had many Birthday cards and gifts which I thank you folks much for your part of them. Didn't find the one in the closet until I got your letter just the right day.

We are not feeling well at all and something may have to be worked out before spring but I don't know how to do it. But it doesn't pay to worry. That coal and wood looks as though it was more than I could do to handle it over this winter. I worried about getting the coal & wood and now worrying about handling it.

This is my limit - writing this time but will try again soon.

Monday morning temperature 49o & clear.

Best wishes to all. Sincerely, Dad

P.S. Would like to tell you a lot of things that would not look well in black but what can I do.


Fairfield, Maine August 18, 1948

Dear Elwood:

I am going to try to write a few lines. I do want you and family to see sometime before winter. Sooner the better. That is all I can say. Ruth has been with us for a week now and we expect Henry soon. He is in Bradford now for a visit with Elva. The Skowhegan Fair is on this week with 64,400 attending today was reported. There is in the front room two figurines on the mantle that was given to us when your mother and I was married that a prty at Skowhegan want very much now to have very much and has offered $25.00 for them and I told them I would ask you if they were for sale. They would fall from the mantle very easily. Bertha said she would like to sell her part of them and I think it best for me too. What do you think. Clara has got to move again. She is going out to Mrs. Tilson's on the Nowell Farm next week. This is as much as I can dow ith a pen this time. Please let me hear from you soon. Sincerely, Dad


Fairfield, Maine October 4, 1948

Dear Elwood:

I am going to start a letter to you, but don't know when I can send it, but as soon as I can. But wish most I could talk to you.

Your mother isn't any better but much worse in a way. And I am down and out, in my mind and you will believe it and not wonder when you hear the story which I have not strength to write all at one time. I will enclose a little birthday present though it will be late. You can cash it with the names that are on it now. I should say, if the one means anything. I will take another try.

Another try 7 P.m. wish I didn't have to try to write. Let me tell you part of the story. That will be all you will want this time. Ruth & H. are all ready to start for Florida all packed and loaded for the journey, some time soon I will try and tell the whole but I am not strong enough just now. Wish I could talk with you but it is no use to try to make a go of it. R. would be all right is she was alone I have said too much now. Am not going to let B. read this. I thought R knew B. condition but it is a conundrum. I wish I could do better but have had too many birthdays. Read it if you can. A lot I should write but have got to stop for the good of all. Will try again soon.

Best wishes to all the family. Sincerely, Dad


Fairfield, ME October 29, 1948

Dear Elwood:

Will try and write a few lines and you can't gues what I have tried to write. I only wish I could talk to you face to face. Ruth and H. have gone out this evening and are out most of the time. They don't like the way B. talks and no wonder as I don't either.

I don't know how any of us know what to do. I could write a lot but have gone far enough this guess. The weather is fine of one kind, but not much rain yet to help yet. George has to haul all but cistron water and not much of that to be had. Out where Clara is there are three lovely wells as Mrs. Tilson said when Clara went there but all dry now. R. & H. are trying to keep her supplied.

The Kennebec Log Driving Company took 215 carboys of water from September 16th to October 23. That helped me out as they did all the work and their bill was $53.75.

Not going to puzzle you this time with any more. But if I could see would try. Let me hear from you all that will do me a lot of good as I can get B. to read to me if she feels like it.

Best wishes to all. Sincerely yours, Dad

Something to laugh about But B. is much worse shape than Clara or than you can imagine.


Fairfield, ME Nov 21, 1948

Dear Elwood:

You were quite near me last evening. Was glad to hear your voice. Came near not hearing you as we were in bed and if you can read this you will do well. I am sure it has been quite a warm November and at last we have got rain enough to help wonderfully.

It doesn't worry me as it did a while ago. I have as bad a spell of worry, thinking the time is short for me then what will B. do for help come 12 -30 or 1 a.m. as I usually have times about then that anyone could worry. I am losing fast and losing often now. We should have had R. this winter for I know of no one that could take her place. Not even H with half of the family at least.

Have lots to talk about but don't think it would look fine in such writing as this.

Friends tell us to call them day or night and they will be on the spot but it would puzzle B. day or night to call anyone.

Gone my limit but will try to add more tomorrow.

Monday morning not much good to try to write. Had a hard night about all I have to add is that we should have someone with us and who shall it be. Wish wish someone could come persuade Ruth to return but alone. It is a hardship for all. Wish we were where we should be that would fix things right for all. Guess at what I should write not what I have written. See us when you can.

I can't do anything alone. Have out lived that.

Best wishes to all. Sincerely, Dad


Fairfield, Maine November 28, 1948

Dear Elwood:

Will start a letter to you and finish when I can. Am not feeling young at all. Not any freezing weather yet but expect tonight may get it. We are getting along quite well at home but should be having Hospital care. George has been up and taken out the ashes, but the furnace I rather look after as long as I can get to it. It has been easy for me so far to look after it. The old furnace is doing better than expected so far. Have heard from Ruth three times. They would things O.K. on arrival. We need her very much but guess ti can't be done. Several have offered to be ready for a call day or night that helps me out much. Have been looking for to have to call for some time. Don't know what B. will do when it comes. Let me tell you she is bad shape. Though it may be me for she says it is and knows it the things I could tell you are rediculous. Too bad to tell or to put up with. Hope I will be able to hold out.

Monday Eve. expected rain or snow last night but didn't get either and temp. only 26o. Don't know what I wrote last night and can't see to read it now. There is no one in sight for help and I am no good to help hunt anyone up. Would like very much to have Ruth but B. Won't listen to that and I don't think she would to anyone.

Let me stop here. It is no use for me to try any longer. I asked Ruth if I hadn't done as I agreed in every way with tehm and she said yes, as far as she knew in every way. What I got H. mad about should not have been said by him. Then there would be no call for me to say what I did. Will try not to write anything that I can't read myself. Hope to see you some day. Just don't worry about us. There are many things I would like to tell you. You can see by this letter I am getting. Called Clara she thinks she is failing fast. Please be the only one to see this letter. Best wishes to all. Sincerely yours, Dad.


Letter written by William Noyes Osborne to his daughter Ruth: Fairfield, ME June 22, 1949

Dear Ruth:

I am going to try and see what I can do the hot weather was too mutch. Now that the drouth as broken think I can do better, but it is a task, to start with. I am far being as well as when you left for Florida and B. (Bertha) head is far from being down and out. to redulas. I must not tell you things I would like to but it would be a longer letter than I should try to write. I believe I am near the end. Will Keen was well last week but is gone now. B. has got a hired ma or Elwood. Yet uses me as well as she can.

Haven't been able to find anyone for help yet. Wish the Munnoch family would name a price. Wish I could talk with you and Elwood.

Don't know what I have written for it is all guess work. Eyes still on the go. Load the trailer and head north then it don't seem as though I could last much longer. Call this a letter and burn as soon as you try to read.

The wrapper came all right but is in pieces now. Will tell you about it if I ever see you and Ido hope to see you soon. Gone my limit. Best wishes to all, Dad


Fairfield, Maine August 17, 1949 (Written by the Housekeeper Elwood hired to take care of his parents)

Dear Mr. Osborne:

You must be home long before this. Your Dad looked for a letter today. I hope he gets one tomorrow Friday - Your letter came this morning. As you know your Dad felt pretty bad when you left but I talked with him and he put his best foot front. He has been better today. Had a Taxi come after him went to Fairfield to the Barbars to get a shave. By me being here and taking over a lot of his cares and etc. He let go of himself and has been very feeble. Had the Dr. one day he needed medicine anyway and felt so all in I thought he should have the Dr. I think he will feel better now as he has given up since he has me to look to. He is a peach. He eats well and gets out on the porch when it is warm enough. Dr. told him to stay out in fresh air quite a lot.

Your mother is juas tas she has been. Poor soul can't help the way she is and I feel so sorry for her altho she does not realize her condition. Nothing worries her even tho she talks about some things a lot. She is a great care and it certainly does require a lot of patience to be with her all the time.

If I had known when I came she had harening of arteries I should have understood then why her mind is as it is. I shant be able to go away to stay all night. It would worry your Dad a lot if I did and I don't think it is right to leave him as he is and as he feels about it. He knows if anything happened to him in the night your mother would be helpless and Lord only knows what she might take a notion to do. The only time I have left the house wa slast Tuesday my daughter & family came from Vermont and I went out with them for a while and over to Dickey's for some potatoes. I told you where people say "There isn't much to do." You can always think there is plenty to do. That is true.

Well, anyway, I guess he likes me pretty well and your Dad thinks I'm pretty good so that part is alright.

I'm going to try and go to town tomorrow to get her a new dress.

I'm glad you had a nice trip home and you can rest assured I shall do the best I can for them.

Sincerely yours, Lula Sinclair


Fairfield, ME January 16, 1949

Dear Elwood:

I will try an answer the letter I think received last Monday and laid up to answer that ever but haven't been able to find since.

Think we received all of the presents you mentioned. The shirt came in play all right and is O.K.

Our open winter lasted until January 12th with snow or ice, but two zero mornings since then and about 3 inches of snow and two cold days with promise of rain and warmer tomorrow.

Wish I could see to write what I would like to but it is all guess work. We are in awful shape and don't know what to do. I thought it would be over by this time but I am still living. Had Dr. Gousse up to see me Monday. I am better in some ways I can see. B. doesn't know what condition she is but has been telling how she was going to write you that day but don't get at it.

Monday morning Temp 28 looks like rain. Will try and get this out to the mail box. 8:30 and B. has just got out. I have gone my limit so will send this. Guess at this and I will do the same. There is a lot I wanted to write.

Sincerely, Dad

Charles & Lydia Fuller

Charles Samuel Fuller (1835-1878), my 2nd great grandfather, was born in Benton, Maine in November of 1835, son to railroad worker Samuel Bean Fuller and his wife Sarah Ann Osborn.

Lydia Osborn (1845-1918), daughter to Timothy Osborn and Lydia Burrill, was born in 1845 and was Charles' 2nd cousin.  She grew up in the Osborn Homestead in Fairfield.  Her father and Charles' father were involved in a few real estate transactions, in addition to Samuel being married to Timothy's first cousin.

Charles married Lydia in Fairfield on the eve of 1860 new year, when Lydia was just 14.  They lived in Waterville at the Fuller property on Front Street.

When his parents set out for Ottumwa, Iowa during the Civil War to set up a dry goods business, Charles stayed behind in Waterville, from whence he was drafted in June of 1863 in Captain A.P. Davis' Regiment.  On his draft papers, he was listed as working as an Engineer.

Draft Listing for Waterville, ME
Maine Farmer
July 23, 1863

According to Harold M. Fuller, Charles' grandson, his father Arthur told him about his childhood trip to Iowa. The year was 1873 and Charles and his wife, Lydia, made the decision  to leave Maine to join his parents and siblings in Iowa where they had migrated several years before. Charles left his job as a railroad engineer in Fairfield and the family headed west. At first, it's likely they rode the railroad; then in Illinois they joined a wagon train to go on to Ottumwa, Iowa.  Arthur remembered his father being ill along the way. He also remembered friendly Indians and a frame house on the edge of the prairie; Arthur was about 7 years old at the time.

After Charles' death in 1878, his wife Lydia had to wait until Charles' will was settled. The lawyer had lost the documents in a storm and it was necessary to get depositions from the original witnesses who were still in Maine. It took 2 years to do this.  Then she and her children returned. Lydia's father Timothy Osborn sent her the money to come home as she was penniless after waiting so long in Iowa with her children.

He and Lydia's children were as follows:

1.  Ida Lydia Fuller (1862 – 1947) never married.  Like her brother Arthur, Ida also was a published author.  In the early 1900's she published a book of poems called "Driftwood", while serving as a live-in maid to a wealthy Bangor family, until she eventually went blind in her old age, and lived at the Bangor Home for the Aged Women on State Street.  She is buried at Mount Hope Cemetery in Bangor:

2.  Charles T Fuller (1864 – 1865) died as a baby

3.  Anna Florence Fuller (1865 –1951) (also known as Florence) made the journey to Ottumwa as a young girl.  She lived briefly in Ottumwa as a child, but went back home with her mother after Charles' death.  She lived in Hartland and Skowhegan, Maine, and married Mark Hobart.  No children.  When her husband Mark died in 1939, Florence went to live in a small home in Norridgewock with a couple other widowed elders.  She died in Skowhegan of chronic nephritis, and was also blind.  She is buried at the Skowhegan Southside Cemetery in a solo plot, while her husband is buried with his first wife.

4.  Arthur William Fuller (1867 – 1940) was my great grandfather.  He lived briefly in Ottumwa, but came back with his mother, and married Lorena Murch (many years younger than her) and settled in Bangor, and later Portland where he died.  Arthur's descendants represent the only living descendants of Charles and Lydia.

5.  Timothy O. Fuller (1870 – 1873) died at 3 years of age, during the journey to Ottumwa.  He was the first family burial at Ottumwa Cemetery.

6.  Frederick W. Fuller (1874 – 1880) was born in Ottumwa, Iowa, yet died in Maine at 5 years of age, not long after the journey back to Maine.

7.  Edith Martha Fuller (1877 – 1946) was born in Iowa City, Iowa, but her father Charles died when she was an infant. She and the family moved back to Fairfield, Maine, and she likely never had any memories of Iowa or the trip back east.  She later lived in Hartland, Athens, and Bangor.  She was working as a servant to widow Ida Milliken in Bangor for the 1940 Census.  Like her elder sister Ida, she also tried her hand at poetry.

(ca. 1917)

Family legend has it that Charles was very ill with heart troubles the entire journey to Iowa.  Their son Timothy died during the journey, at the tender age of 3.  Charles died in 1878, less than five years after arriving, at the very young age of 42, and was buried next to Timothy.

Lydia wasn't prepared to settle his estate, and she had to send for family friends from Maine to testify in Iowa during the probate hearings.  Once the ordeal was finished in 1880, Lydia moved back to Maine with the five remaining children:  Ida, Anna, Arthur, Frederick, and Edith.  Little Frederick died soon after the return trip, at the age of 6.  Lydia's father set up the Emery House (which was now in his ownership), which had been the headquarters of General Benedict Arnold in his October 1775 Quebec Expedition.


Lydia lived here until 1884, when she married William Henry Moody, and moved to Athens, Maine in Somerset County, and lived the remainder of her life there.

In 1909, Lydia's daughters, spinsters Ida and Edith, worked with their new stepfather William on building of a new bungalow style home on the site of the former Herman Tuttle home:

Skowhegan Independent Reporter
Dec 9, 1909

Lydia is remembered fondly by survivors' accounts.  She was a great peacemaker between her children, grandchildren, and her 2nd husband.

Below is an excerpt from one descendant's account of what happened after Charles' death:
Wrote to her father, Timothy Osborn, and told him she was a widow, destitute with children. He bought the log cabin that had been boarded over (House where Benedict Arnold stayed) and was located adjacent to Emery Hill Brook, where I-95 now crosses the Kennebec River. It was the first house built in Fairfield back in the 1700 generation. Timothy then sent Lydia money for her return from out west and she lived in this house until she re-married to William Henry Moody.   Benedict Arnold had stayed in this cabin for three days, dead drunk. A letter to this was found in the cabin by George Lewis who lived there from 1930 - 1970. The house has now been torn down. This letter has been sent to the National Archives in Washington, D.C. After Lydia died her house in Athens and all its contents burned.
The above refers to "Emery House" which at one time was the oldest house in Fairfield, and was located near Emery Hill Cemetery (where Lydia was buried).  This house has indeed achieved notoriety for its link to Benedict Arnold.

Below is a quote from Lydia's nephew, Elwood Noyes Osborne, retelling an amusing story of his time in 1915 visiting his aunt on the Moody Farm when he was young:

When I was about twelve years old, Dad got word that Henry Moody's only driving horse had died and he could ill afford another.   It was spring time and Dad had a horse that was a good "roader", independent, and refused to work with other horses so he talked it over with Mother and they decided to give the horse, "Harry", to Aunt Lydia and Henry so they would not have to walk to town.  Over my Mother's protests Dad suggested I could ride the horse bare-back except for a small blanket to deliver it and then stay a few days to visit until he would come for me. It was spring vacation time and I was enthusiastic. It was a trip of about 24 miles with short cuts and after the first ten my rear became increasingly ill at ease but I did not dare dismount enroute as Harry had a mind of his own and probably did not like the load on his back, so I stuck with it until I got there. That trip made a very lasting impression on me, especially below the waist, but also for another reason.
The second day I was there I was out watching Uncle Henry clean out the cows. His method intrigued me. Henry had the first litter carrier I had ever seen. The barn was located on a knoll and he had built a trestle out from the barn with a timber track and a cart that traveled the wooden rails secured by a rope over a pulley in the barn with a weight on the top end in the barn and when the load on the cart slightly exceeded the counterweight Henry would stop on a little platform in the rear and ride down to the end of the trestle, release the hinged door on the far end, dump the load, and then the counterweight would descent to the basement as it pulled the cart and Henry back into the barn. The cart track had a stop at the bottom to compliment the arrangement. Winter's accumulation was at the end of the ramp trestle and wet from the spring thaw. Henry had a long flowing beard and as I watched in amazement as he descended with the second load and his beard flying in the breeze, the rope parted and the cart and Henry made the remaining distance to the stop in nothing flat. The cart automatically dumped as Henry flew over the cart fact first down the very damp side of the winter accumulation. When he got to his feet I could only see his eyes above the accumulated beard, and I laughed. Henry started for me in a rage. He stopped to get a cudgel and that gave me enough lead-time to get into the thick pine woods behind the barn and house. I climbed a thick tree and clung near the top like a squirrel and very quiet.
Henry hunted me and called to no avail and finally headed back to the barn muttering like a mad bull. I waited a bit and then descended the tree and deployed through the woods to the back of the house. I could see Aunt Lydia working in the kitchen so I scampered up to the window and tapped on it. She asked me what I wanted and being assured Henry was not in the house I went around front and in the door. I had just finished telling Aunt Lydia about the incident and she was laughing until he tears came when Henry burst through the door and said, "So, there you are you little brat." Aunt Lydia stopped laughing and her eyes were ablaze as she picked up a cast iron frying pan and said, "Henry, if you lay a hand on this boy I will flatten you." He took one look at her expression, backed out the door and went out to the horse trough to take a bath. He was as nice as could be to me the rest of my visit.

Property Records of William Henry Moody, Sr. and Jr.:

  • 1897 - Moody, Sr. transfers the Tuttle Farm in Athens to his stepson, Arthur Fuller
  • 1900 Census - Moody, Sr. & Lydia lived in Hartland
  • 1901 - Arthur Fuller deeds the Tuttle Farm in Athens to Moody's son, William H. Moody, Jr.
  • 1903 - Moody, Sr. and Moody, Jr. purchase a lot in Cornville, bordering Barker Pond (this deed included the right for use of flowage from pond during cranberry season).  This would be on Route 43 as well, and very close to the borders of Athens (to the west) and Hartland (to the east).
  • 1910 Census - Moody, Sr. & Lydia lived in Hartland
  • 1918 - Lydia dies in Hartland
  • 1920 Census - Moody, Sr. lived in Hartland, with stepdaughters Ida and Edith.  Moody died later that year
Below is an old photo of the Moody House and farm on Route 43, Athens Maine.  I don't know if this is actually the Tuttle Farm in Athens, or if perhaps it's where they lived in what was then known as Hartland.  The borders are very close, so anything is possible.

Current (2012) Google Street View image of what I believe may be the same property, buildings upon which appear to be a smaller replica of the above (the original property had burned):



Sunday, April 8, 2012

Leonards of Portland, Maine

As discussed in other blog posts, the surname "Leonard" is of English origin, but was also used for Anglicizing the German surname "Leonhardt", and the Irish surname "Lennan", which was rooted in the Gaelic "O'Leannain"...among other uses.

There have been Leonard families living in Portland Maine (most of them around the corner from each other in the Irish West End) since the migration during the Great Famine, yet there were a very few Leonards that appear in earlier records.  In addition to my own Irish Leonard family, I will seek to trace and number the larger Leonard families of Portland in order to eventually determine whether or not any of them may be linked to mine or to each other, perhaps enlisting the help of some of this blog's readers.  Families for which I've established a blood connection I've numbered similarly.

1A.  The Thomas D. Leonard Family of Dublin

Thomas D. Leonard (1828-1912) was my 2nd great grand uncle, who came from Portraine, Dublin, Ireland in 1850, during the Famine's height, and managed to set himself up quite well as a florist and private gardener, buying up a large block of Portland's West End (Briggs Street).  These properties stayed in the Leonard family for 80 years, having been rented, sold and/or bequeathed to his extended family who came over from Portraine, and their own families.  In the 1920s, these properties gradually began being rented and sold off to Polish immigrant families (many of whom were friends to the Leonards).  Thomas married twice, had five children, four grandchildren, and one great grandchild.  He has no living descendants, the last to die being Thomas Leonard Graney in 1972.  More can be read about this family here.

1B.  The Mathew John Leonard Family of Dublin


Mathew John Leonard (1854-1939) was my 2nd great grandfather, who came from Portraine, Dublin, Ireland in 1881, along with his siblings Patrick, Francis, Elizabeth and Ellen, to live near his uncle Thomas in Portland's West End (see above paragraph).  Mathew worked on the railroad and made his own beer at home (useful during the Prohibition era) in the back of his house on Briggs Street.  He married once, had three children, four grandchildren, five great grandchildren, at least 13 great great grandchildren, and two more generations after that.  With this respectable number of descendants, Mathew only has five living male heirs, including myself, none of whom are going to have additional male heirs.  More can be read about this family here.

2.  The Owen Leonard Family of Cork

Owen Leonard (1827-1903) was from County Cork, Ireland, born to Patrick & Dorothy Leonard.  He arrived in 1848, another Famine refugee.  He also lived in Portland's West End, among my Leonards (I wonder if the question was ever raised about potential relations).  Owen married Ellen Coughlin, and had at least seven children (John A. "Chubby" Leonard, Eugene W. Leonard, Mary E. Leonard-Coyne, Johanna F. Leonard-Owens, Nellie, Kate, Maggie), at least six grandchildren (John A. Leonard, Jr., Joseph B. Coyne, Ella A. Coyne, Catherine Coyne, Ellen Owens, and Eva Owens-Savage), and multiple successive generations.  

Chubby got into quite a bit of trouble, with break-ins and robberies:

Portland Daily Press
Sept 16, 1867

Portland Daily Press
Apr 21, 1875
Portland Daily Press
May 17, 1876

Portland Daily Press
Jan. 13, 1888

Chubby's son, John A. Leonard Jr., is of particular interest to me, because he had two daughters (Mary and Elizabeth, pictured below), and Mary bears a very striking resemblance to my Leonard family.

Possible Cousin?


These (and many other) pictures, with names thoughtfully written on the back, had been found in a shoebox of an elderly lady who had passed away in Portland.  Due to my interest in this surname, I was forwarded these pictures in 2011 by a granddaughter of hers, who happens to be my distant cousin from a separate line, and a fellow researcher.  Since these girls' ancestor came from County Cork, and my ancestor came from County Dublin, I'm tempted to pass off their resemblance to my family as mere coincidence.  However, I've separately researched an Irish Thomas Leonard born in Gibraltar, Spain, 1779, who supposedly had ties to County Cork and County Dublin, and was a Colour Sergeant of the York Chasseurs who eventually settled in Perth, Canada.  According to family tree drawings collected in Dublin during a WWI visit there from my great grand uncle, Mathew John Leonard, Jr., that our furthest back ancestor was Thomas Leonard, from Spain...but all documentation I've read on the York Chasseurs doesn't indicate if Thomas had any Dublin children.  Further, in my correspondence with Nicole, a purported descendant of Thomas' Cork children, she wasn't able to verify if this famous Thomas had any children in County Dublin.  She also couldn't verify that an Owen Leonard of Cork was part of this family.  It would certainly be interesting to believe that this Thomas was father to all of them, and I'd like to find out for certain in my lifetime.

3A.  Samuel Stephen Leonard

Samuel Stephen Leonard, born in Portland in 1803, worked as a blacksmith, and enlisted in the Army in September of 1824, but deserted in 1826.  Samuel moved to Schuyler County, Illinois at some point before 1850.  He died of pneumonia in Wayland, IL, at 72 years of age, leaving a wife and seven children (he also had a previous marriage which bore him an additional seven children).  He was proprietor of what was known as the old Skidmore Hotel, on the northeast corner of the square in Brooklyn Township, IL. He was the supervisor of Brooklyn Township at one point, and was a leading and influential citizen of the community where he resided.  His brothers, Abraham and Albert Gallatin Leonard, lived in Windham, Maine, as did his uncles Samuel and Charles.

Some better documented accounts point Samuel's parentage to a William Leonard, a blacksmith, of Portland, but this has been disproven by descendants of Samuel, and the running theory is that Samuel's father was an Abraham Hayden Leonard of Windham (more on him below).

SOURCE: History of Monmouth and Wales, Volume Two by Harry H Cochrane, published 1894. (Albert G Leonard died in Monmouth, ME in 1880.), page 390.

3B.  Abraham Hayden Leonard of Windham and Portland

Abraham Hayden Leonard of Windham married a Nancy Stevens in 1801 in Portland.  Nancy died in Portland in 1807, and then Abraham remarried to a Susannah Dyer in 1808 (also of Portland).  Some descendants of Samuel Stephen Leonard above believe Abraham to be Samuel's father.

Abraham was a descendant of the noted Leonard family of Taunton Massachusetts (as were potentially many others in this writing), descending from John Leonard (1615-1675) who immigrated in 1639 from Pontypool, Monmouthshire, Wales to Springfield, Mass.

A genealogical history of Robert Adams, of Newbury, Mass: and his descendants, 1635-1900, by Andrew Napolean Adams, 1 Jan 1900, Google Books; Online
Genealogical and Family History of the State of Connecticut (, 1911), University of Connecticut Libraries, Vol 1, Pgs 232-233.
Descendants of William Scott of Hatfield, Mass., 1668-1906 by Orrin Peer Allen, 1906.
Massachusetts, Springfield Vital Records, 1638-1887,
North America, Family Histories, 1500-2000,

4.  The Thomas Leonard Family of Meath

Thomas Leonard (1807-1873) and his wife Mary (1814-1869) migrated from County Meath, Ireland to Deering/Westbrook, Maine just prior to 1840.  They had at least five children (Patrick, James H. Leonard, Margarete, Merrill & Mary E.), the first four of which were born in Ireland.  Thomas naturalized in 1855.  Their children moved to Portland and lived in the West End among my ancestors and other Leonards in the late 1800s.  Thomas and Mary are both buried in Evergreen Cemetery.  Thomas died of heart disease and Mary died of consumption.  It appears that Mary lived in the poor house in Portland for the 1850 and 1860 Census, and was listed as 'insane'.  They also apparently got into some trouble for drunkenness, per the below.

Portland Daily Press
Jan 4, 1871

5. The Patrick Leonard Family of Ireland

Patrick Leonard (1827-1892) was a laborer who migrated to Portland in the 1840s.  He was born in Ireland to John Leonard and Ellen McGowan.  Patrick lived in a boarding house owned by Mary Preble in 1850, and then married a woman named Catharine soon thereafter.  Their son Thomas died at age two, and their daughter Ann (1858-?) married John Dow.  They lived on Federal Street and Patrick was listed as unable to read or write.  He and his wife Kate got into trouble for intoxication a few times during 1873, per the below newspaper clippings (and Patrick appears in several listings from 1870-1872 for public drunkenness and nuisance).  

Portland Daily Press
July 10, 1873

Portland Daily Press
Aug 14, 1873
Portland Daily Press
Sep. 19, 1873

In November of 1885, after a night of drunkenness and debauchery, Patrick wound up in jail for the night, and Catharine was found dead the next day.

Portland Daily Press
Nov. 9, 1885

Patrick himself died in 1892 of phthisis.

6.  William Leonard Family of Randolph Massachusetts

William Clarence Leonard (1856-after 1920) was born in Randolph Massachusetts, son to John Warren Leonard of Randolph and Susan Thornton of Appleton, Maine.  Somewhere just prior to 1880, after his father died, William, his mother, and his wife Martha Dyer lived in Portland, Maine, and had a daughter, Stella Leonard-Elliott.  William's brother, Ernest W. Leonard, also moved to Portland at that time (after living in Appleton for a stint).  Ernest married Charity Coffin, and had one baby, Alice, who died at four months, then had four other children in Portland (William, Edna, Ernest Jr., and Leroy).  At some point between 1890 and 1900, Ernest moved his family to Cambridge, Mass.  No Leonards remained in Portland from this group.  William Clarence's great grandfather was Seth Leonard, born 1782 in Plymouth.  Seth was a descendant of the Taunton Leonards from Wales, which I'm separately related to.

7.  Beverly Leonard Family of Canada

Beverly Leonard (male) and his wife Emma migrated from Canada in 1926 with their son Gardner, and lived on Ellsworth Street in Portland's West End.  These are English Leonards, and therefore no relation that I can tell.

8.  Edward Leonard Family of England

Edward Leonard of England lived on Coyne Street with his son Edward, Jr., for the 1930 Census.

9A.  Leo Leonard Family of Albion Maine

Leo Melvin Leonard (1876-1971) was born and raised in Albion, Kennebec County, Maine, son to farmer George P. Leonard, a third generation Leonard farmer from Albion.  The furthest back this research appears to go is to John Leonard, born in Maine 1750, who was a Rev. War veteran who moved to Albion after the war, to farm and start his family.  It's unclear if this John was of Irish or English heritage.  It's most likely that he was English, because in 1750 there weren't as many Irish immigrants as English with that name.  Leo spent some time working as an attendant at the Danvers Massachusetts Mental Hospital (1900 Census), and came back to Albion, and married Margaret Flynn, where he there worked as a mail clerk.  He and Margaret moved to Portland and had three children who survived to adulthood (Leo Blair Leonard, Hazel E. Leonard, and Joseph Henry Leonard).  This family lived on Roberts Street, over near St. John's Street.  Leo also worked at the nearby Union Station Terminal as a railroad clerk.

9B.  Merton Leonard of Albion Maine

Merton Leonard (1884-1952) was younger brother to Leo Melvin Leonard above.  He and his wife, Edith McKinney, migrated south from Albion to Portland, Maine (9 Whitney Avenue) between 1900 and 1910.  He worked as a locomotive engineer at Maine Central Railroad and also as a fireman.  They moved back to Albion between 1933 and 1940.  No children.  Merton was described on his WWI draft card as being 6'3" with blue eyes and black hair.

10.  Levi A. Leonard Family of Massachusetts

Levi (1828-1887) migrated from Mass. in the 1850s, worked as a boatman at the Portland Customs House, and later served in the last year of the Civil War Navy.  He was married three times, and had at least five children, none of whom appear to have survived to adulthood.  For the 1870 and 1880 censuses they were living at 19 Vine Street.  He died of consumption.  Levi's parents were also from MA, so it's likely this was an English family, since the Irish generally didn't emigrate to the USA until after the 1840s.

11.  James Leonard Family of Canada

James W. Leonard and his wife Celina were French Canadians who migrated to Portland in 1881.

12.  Bernard Leonard

A Bernard Leonard (??-1963) lived on Congress Place in Portland, but also lived in South Portland and Freeport.

13.  Jeremiah Leonard Family of England and Ireland

Jeremiah P. Leonard (1839-1915) was a coachman and hostler born in England.  He lived briefly in Ireland where he likely met his wife, Ellen Foy.  Their first child, John, was born in Ireland in 1860.  In 1867 Jeremiah and family moved to 243 Danforth Street, in Portland, Maine, where they then had Joseph Leonard, followed by Fenwick T. Leonard (1868-1929) and Christopher W. Leonard (1872-1939), who both worked as motormen.  Jeremiah died of arteriosclerosis.  His death record states that he lived in Canada at one time.  It doesn't appear that any of his four children bore him any grandchildren.

14.  William Leonard of 1874

A William Leonard married a Catherine A. Henry in Portland in 1874.  No further information found as yet.

15.  Charles W. Leonard (1889-1969)

Charles was originally from Milo, Maine, but moved to Portland and married his wife Marjorie in the 1910s.  He enlisted in WWI, and eventually moved to Cape Elizabeth by 1930, where he had five children.

16.  Jacob Leonard (1780-1843)

Jacob was African American barber who lived at Hancock Alley, and is buried at Eastern Cemetery.  No additional records available for Jacob.