MAINE GENEALOGY EXPRESS

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York County, Maine

Biographies

 


A
HISTORY
OF THE
FIRST Century
OF THE TOWN OF
PARSONSFIELD, MAINE


INCORPORATED AUG. 29 1785
AND
CELEBRATED WITH IMPRESSIVE CEREMONIES,
NORTH PARSONSFIELD,
AUGUST 29, 1885.
PORTLAND, ME.
BROWN THURSTON & COMPANY
1888.

ELISHA PIPER
Pgs. 264-266

Was one of the early settlers of Parsonsfield. He was born in Stratham, New Hampshire, June 17, 1746. At an early age he married Sarah Barker, and after living in Stratham a few years, he purchased a farm in \.Wakefield, New Hampshire, not far from Province Pond, and moved there with his family about 1772. He lived there between eight and nine years, but the farm proving frosty, he resolved to sell, and purchase in some other locality. He directed his course to the new town of Parsonsfield, or Parsonstown, as it was then called. A short time was occupied in prospecting for a farm in the fan season of 1778, and during that time, he amused himself about a week in hunting with George Kezar, a famous hunter, who then resided in the north part of the town. A farm was soon selected, and he first purchased lot No. 25, ill the second range, of Benjamin Hilton, of Parsonstown, for one hundred and twenty-five pounds, the deed being dated November 5, 1778, and on this lot he settled. He subsequently purchased four other lots-lot No. 171, in the tenth range, of Alpheus Spring, of Kittery, for five pounds, deed dated November 28, 1785; lot No. 51, in the third range, of John Brown, of Parsonsfield, for five hundred dollars, deed dated May 13, 1790; lot No. 13, in the first range, which was a tax sale, for six shillings and two pence, deed dated June 27, 1791; lot No. 88, in the fifth range, of Chase Wiggin of Stratham, New Hampshire, for forty-five pounds (A pound was worth at that time about three dollars, thirty-three and one-third cents), deed dated February 15, 1793.

In June, 1779, the next year after his first purchase, he came over from Wakefield to Parsonsfield, built him a log camp, covered with hemlock bark, and felled several acres of trees. He then returned to his family in Wakefield, and in March of the next year, 1780, went back to Parsonsfield. As there were no roads passable for teams at that season of the year, he hauled his camp furniture, consisting of a bed and a few cooking-utensils, on a hand-sled over Ricker's Mountain on the crust. Before the season arrived for burning the trees felled the previous season, he was employed in preparing materials for building a log-house for his family. In May he burned the felled trees, and planted the ground with corn and such other crops as he would need for the support of his family the next winter. His planting was all completed before the nineteenth of May, and on that day, which was the famous Dark Day * of 1780, he was helping his neighbor, Mr. George Bickford, finish planting his corn. After his crops were harvested, and his log-house completed, he returned to Wakefield again to move his family, consisting of his wife and six small children. He moved with an ox-team on the snow, late in the year 1780, probably in December, as the day is represented as having been extremely cold the coldest of that winter.

He was now in the prime of life, being thirty-two years of age when he made his first purchase in 1778, and with his wife, who was two years younger, and his children around him, was fairly settled down to the business of farming, which he pursued successfully and scientifically, although he had never received any instruction in scientific farming. His whole mind was absorbed in his business. His land was fertile and his crops abundant. The log-house was succeeded in a few years by a neat one-story frame-house, and finally, in about 1812, a story was added to this, and the whole neatly finished and painted. It is now standing, and occupied by his descendant Samuel F. Piper. The lower story is nearly, if not quite, a hundred years old.
To each of two of his sons he gave a farm, and assisted the others in purchasing theirs. To each of his daughters he gave the usual sum of one hundred dollars, as her marriage portion. He always kept money by him, usually not less than one hundred dollars, and I have known him to have five hundred in his desk at a time, obtained from the sale of stock and products of the farm. He did not permit any of his neighbors to be in advance of him in any of their farm work, or surpass him in their farm products.

His farm stock was of good breed and carefully selected; and having good pasturage, and being fed in winter on hay cured in the best manner and oŁ the best quality, it was unsurpassed in size and beauty by any in town. It, therefore, sold for the highest market prices. He kept one hired man through the year, and in the haying season one additional and sometimes two, if needed to secure the crop at the best time for cutting it; so that his haying was always finished in season, generally about the end of July, and the hay was of the choicest kind.
In person, he was of middle size, quick and active, and of the Anglo-Saxon type. He was a religious man and never omitted to ask a blessing at the table. He died March 10, 1836, 011 the homestead, at the age of about ninety years.

*I have often heard him speak of the Dark Day " being a very wonderful phenomenon. The darkness began about ten o'clock in the forenoon, and Was so great that candles had to be lighted, common print could not be read. fowls retired to their roost. and cattle returned to the barn. It continued about fourteen hours. Its cause has never been satisfactorily explained. It was not an eclipse. Meteorologists think that it was caused by 0. very dense vapor, charged, perhaps, with foreign matter, which shut out the light of the sun; but how the vapor' was produced is unknown. See an interesting account of it in a work entitled Our First Century, from which the preceding has been taken.
(Contributed by Nancy Piper)

 

JONATHAN PIPER
Pages 266 - 267

Was born in Parsonsfield; December 30, 1788, and for many years was a prominent citizen of the town and county in which he resided. He received a good common-school and academical education, the latter of which he completed at Fryeburg Academy, under the instruction of Daniel 'Webster, who had charge of the institution at that time and afterward became so distinguished as a lawyer, orator and statesman. He often spoke of Mr. Webster, and of the high estimation in which he was then held for his abilities, by the Trustees of the Academy.

He married Mary Burbank, of Parsonsfield, daughter of Silas Burbank, Captain in the Army of the, Revolution, and had a family of three sons and one daughter. He settled in Parsonsfield, on the South road, opposite the residence of his father, where he lived many years, and where all his children were born. He subsequently, in 1837, moved to the North road. He adopted the business of farming and teaching for a livelihood. He was engaged in teaching a part of the time for about thirty years, and attained a high reputation as a good disciplinarian and thorough instructor. He was not, however, born for a farmer, and never took a deep interest in the business like his father; yet he made it a success, having begun with a farm worth a thousand dollars, and ending with a farm and other landed property worth at least six times that sum. He had a natural love for books and reading, and would often sit up till twelve o'clock at night, after the severe labors of the day on the farm, reading history, travels and poetry, so that he became well acquainted with the history and literature of his own and other countries. He had also some taste for music, could read it readily, and sung in the church choir for many years. On the tenor drum he was a first-class player, and major drummer of his regiment.

In politics he was a Whig and subsequently a republican, but not a partisan; and although he was unreserved in expressing his opinions, he never lost the confidence of his political opponents in his integrity. Notwithstanding the democratic party was largely in the majority, he was elected nine years in succession a selectman of the town, and most" of the time was chairman of the board. He was a member of the superintending school committee for twelve years, a Justice of the Peace, and for many years was extensively engaged in land-surveying. He was also one of the surveyors appointed to determine the boundary line between Maine and New Hampshire, and County Commissioner for York County.

In person, he was a little below the middle size, decided in action, and quick in all he did. He was of high integrity and moral character, and gained the confidence and respect of those with whom heo associated. He died in Parsonsfield, July 11, 1873, at his residence near Parsonsfield Seminary, where he had lived after leaving the South road. He was eighty-four years of age at the time of his death.
(Contributed by Nancy Piper)

Captain Tristram Redman

Captain Tristram Redman, late of Parsonsfield, son of David Redman, was born in Scarboro, Massachusetts, 1770. His grandparents from England were early settlers in New Hampton, Massachusetts. At the age of eighteen, Captain Redman shipped as a common sailor on board a vessel, which sailed from Bath, Maine. In three years he became master of the same vessel,-studied navigation while performing the duties of his subordinate position; he soon rose into note as a man of strict integrity and a successful shipmaster. At the age of thirty, he married Miss Hannah Burbank, and located in Saco, Maine. During the French embargo, while on a voyage from Liverpool, his vessel was captured by a French privateer. With the assistance of his mate and small cabin boy, he retook the vessel, delivered his prisoners to the English Admiral, at Bristol, and brought his vessel safely into New York harbor

Being engaged in navigation during the war with England, in 1812, Captain Redman met with heavy losses.
In 1815, he moved with his family to Parsonsfield, and engaged in farming and merchandising. He was a close observer of men.[end of our available data]
 

 

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