Maine. A History - Centennial Edition. Biographical [(2)]

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death of Hon. Merrill N. Drew, attorney, business

man, financier and man

of affairs, at his



the city of Portland, Maine, September 25, 1917,

deprived this city of one of its leading figures, both in the business world and that of politics. Mr. Drew, who was a son of Jesse and Clarissa

(Wellington) Drew, came of good old Maine stock. His father, a native of Turner, Maine, in 1858 decided to settle in Aroostook county at Fort Fairfield, where he became active and prominent in the life of the community. Here, on May 17, 1862, his son, Morrill Newman, was born, and here Merrill's childhood and early youth were passed. He attended, as a lad, the schools of his native town. After some time spent at the high school there, his father sent him to the Little Blue School at Farmington. Later he attended the

Nichols Latin School at Lewiston, from which he graduated in the year 1879. He then pursued the regular classical course at Bates College, from which he was graduated in the class of 1883 with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. Meanwhile he had determined to make the law his career in life. It was with this end in view that he entered the law depart-


of Boston University. Here, after establishing for himself an enviable record as an in-

dustrious and intelligent student, he was graduated with the class of 1885, and received his

He legal degree. the law offices of


continued his studies in

Governor Powers at Houlton, Maine. The following year he took and passed his

bar examinations, being admitted to practice in the Maine courts, and at once began his profesHow quickly he sional career in Fort Fairfield. rose into the confidence of his colleagues and the community at large, may be seen from the fact that in 1886, only one year after he had comhis practice, the people elected him to the They responsible position of county attorney.


him the following year. It was this ofwhich first introduced him to public life, and from that time on until his death, he was a very re-elected


conspicuous figure in the political affairs of county and State. In the years 1890 and 1892 he was elected to the Maine House of RepresentaIn the year 1893 he tives from Fort Fairfield. changed his residence from that place to the city

of Portland.




as Mr.

was natural that such an ambi-

Drew should come

to that point

State, where the greatest opportunities, not only for the practice of his profession, but also for active participation in public affairs, in



awaited him.


once established a law of-

the city and was soon well leader of his profession. fice



as a

Mr. Drew was one of those men whose mind seems equally capable of leadership in whatever department of activity they take up, and this is nowhere more obvious than in the fact that while actively engaged in professional practice and in serving the community in his several public ofces, he was also making himself a conspicuous

banking circle of the State. As early 1888 he conceived the idea of organizing a national bank in Fort Fairfield. This ambition was soon realized and he was elected its first presifigure in the


dent. ability



left his

native town, his banking for this bank had

was well established

prospered greatly under his careful direction. This reputation he increased upon coming to Portland, for in 1005 he organized the United States Trust Company. This important institution had an immediate success and has steadily

and prosperity up to the present year before Mr. Drew's death, it was removed to larger and more commodious quarters at the corner of Middle and Exchange streets,

grown time.

in size


As vice-president and treasurer of this company, Mr. Drew maintained the keenest interest in its welfare from the time of its foundPortland.

ing until his death. In the year 1902 the people of Portland chose him to represent them in the State Legislature, where he had already served two terms from Fort In 1905, when the Fairfield, and again in 1904. house organized, he was chosen its speaker, where he served with great distinction in this 3ifficult position. He had a complete and thorough knowledge of parliamentary order. His keen sense of justice and non-partisanship made him deeply beloved by his fellow legislators, and gave him a quite unusual influence with both sides of the house. He was a staunch Republican in politics, and al-

ways acted long as he

for the best interests of his party so felt that these did not conflict with

HISTORY OF MAINE Indeed, he became one of the public welfare. leaders of his party in the State, and in the year the Re1912 was chosen a delegate-at-large to

Mr. publican National Convention at Chicago. Drew, who was the chairman of the delegation from Maine, went to the convention thoroughly in sympathy with the cause of Mr. Roosevelt. Mr. Drew's remarkable ability as an organizer and leader brought him immediately into a conspicuous place in the convention, where he became one of the group of men who directed its affairs. Colonel Roosevelt, who was not slow to perceive


able a lieutenant he had in Mr.




decided to confide to him his plans. It is a well admitted fact to those who came into close contact with the procedure of that convention, that had Mr. Drew's suggestions as to the course to

be pursued been followed by Colonel Roosevelt's supporters, a very different outcome might have resulted.

In addition to his professional, banking

part in



Drew was ever ready to take any movement which he believed would

tical activities,


be to the advancement of the welfare of the community. He was asked to fill a great number of public positions, aside from those connected with politics, and in a large majority of cases he acIn 1907 the Legislature passed a resolve providing for the appointment of a tax commiscepted. sion.


duties of this

commission were to be

the investigation of the tax laws of Maine and other states, and a report to the Legislature of 1909 recommending such changes in the existing

When Governor Cobb semembers of the commission, Mr. Drew was named as its chairman. The report which

laws as seemed wise. lected the

the commission

returned to the Legislature of 1009, written by Mr. Drew, who had made a very


investigation of the entire




work seemed to interest him especially, was one of the most complete and instructive documents ever presented before the Legislature of the State of Maine. The theories and systems were clearly

and accurately set forth the recommendations of


such a manner that


commission were

extremely valuable to the State. In fact, the report attracted wide attention both in and outside of the State.


a result of this report, the


mission of Public Utilities was formed. This organization was to be of a permanent nature, and Mr. Drew was asked to serve as its chairman. This position he was obliged to refuse as it would have necessitated a change of residence from Portland to Augusta. The United States Census of 1910 was taken under the supervision of two

Mr. Drew was appointed as supervisor By his energy and splendid executive ability he accomplished the difficult task in the brief time allotted and received the high commendation of the Census Bureau for his work. During the last few years of directors.

for the western part of the State.

life, many prominent men of his party, urged Mr. Drew many times to accept the nomination of governor of the State. These offers he always



Mr. Drew was elected to the board of the Maine Eye and Ear Infirmary in 1903, and in 1915 was made its president. He also served as chairman of its executive committee from 1914 until his death. He was most interested in the cause of this as he realized that the misfortunes prevented were indeed great. He was a Universalist, and at one time served as president He was of the Maine Universalist Convention. also interested in many other philanthropic and educational movements. Among others he served as trustee and treasurer of Westbrook Seminary, institution



president of the Maine Institution for the Blind, and trustee of the Maine Home for Friendless


He was a member of the Society of Colonial Wars, the Maine Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, the Portland Athletic Club, the Portland Country Club and of several fraternal orders. Chief among these was the Masonic order, in which he had taken the thirty-second degree, and in which he was affiliated with Eastern Frontier Lodge, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons; the Garfield Chapter, Royal Arch Masons; the Blue Lodge and Council, Royal and Select Masters; the Portland Commandery, Knights Templar; and Kora Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. He was also a member of the Portland Lodge, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. Mr. Drew was united in marriage, December 20, 1892, with Louise S. Davis, a daughter of the Hon. Jesse and Mary A. (Woodberry) Davis, old and highly respected residents of Lisbon, Maine. To Mr. and Mrs. Drew, in 1896, a son was born, Jesse Albert, who, at the time of his father's death, was a junior in Williams College. He and his mother survive Mr. Drew. be appropriate to close this sketch with remarks which formed a chorus of praise and regret at the time of his death, and which were voiced by his associates, by the institutions with which he was connected and by the It will



of the


upon him

The Press of Portland, commenting

editorially, said in part, as follows:

BIOGRAPHICAL Portland loses a good citizen in the death of Morrill Willie In' enjoyed good health. It was charof him to take a great interest In everything periainiiiT to the city and the State, and there wns no man in Portland who was better Informed than was Mr. Drew upon all questions which came before the people for consideration. He enjoyed the confidence of people to a remarkable degree. Ills friends were not confined to any one class or any one nec'io-i of the city, and for that matter he numbered them by scores In every part of the State. From them he absorbed opinions and Ideas as to how the public every question, and when it came to forecasting '.tit drift of sentiment, there was no man in the State mure certain of coming to a correct conclusion than Mr. Drew. lie had a liking for men of all sorts and times and he did not regard the time as wasted when he had secured some man's opinions upon any question, whether It was one of national consequence or of pureN. Drew.


ly local Interest.


But there was another side to Morrill N. Drew besides thnt which the public could see. His loyalty to his friends was one of his finest qualities. No sacrifice w:is too great for him to make If he could help a friend, und it Hindu little difference to him whether the man he tried to help was from the humble wal!:s of life or was numbered among the more prominent nnd fortunate. He was frank even to bluntness. No man ever his word which, once given, was held by him as a sacred obligation. He was courageous in the expression of his views nml stood loyally liy his principles whether they met with popular approval or not. Tiy instinct he was progressive, his him to nsslst in the support of foresight rimiiy Idens which, at the time he first advocated them, were looked upon :is radical but which later came to be accepted by the majority. He rendered great service to the State and to the He was modest, unassuming. Denial and always city. courteous, a most agn cable companion and the kin I of a man to win and hold friends through thick ri'i'l Morrill X. Drew's effort In life was to help thin. others rather than to help himself. He had a hr-art big enough to throb with sympathy for the sorand misfortunes of others. Knvy and jealousy were foreign to fiis nature, and he found his greatest plc.isuro in life in contributing to the happiness of all about him. Mr. Drew will he greatly missed by many po. pie, Vi'iien in good health he delighted to mingle with his fellows, nnd the recollection of his pleasant smile and I








made him welcome


long be treasured by



knew him.

The Tflcuram of cerning Mr. Drew:

Portland, had this to say con-

The death to the State.

of Hon. Morrill N. Drew is a distinct )OK social and business life of Portland and Ihe

Few men were



throughout Maim- than Mr. Drew, of his passing

more friends whom the news

or had to

away came as

In polia great shock. tics he posseted to a superlative degree the courage of his convictions and the moral strength to execute bis purposes. His counsel was frequently sought by no man possessed a wider or more. politician-: and Intimate knowledge of affairs of the state. In public office he displayed the same remarkable ability nnd sound judgment that won for him such signal success In business. Those who knew Mr. Drew intimately trusted him Implicitly as In all their dealings with

him they required nothing more than

was never known


break that.

fidence of the people in


vord and he

He enjoyed

the con-

and of e\ory In political contests bis opponents political faith. always regarded him as a formidable antagonist but all

walks of


and fair lighter who wouM or questionable tactics to gain an He was above board In all bis dealings, advantage. whether In politics or In commercial life. He will lie mourned not as the lawyer or banker, but as Morrill not stoop to


N. Drew, the man.



citizen of Lisbon,


was better known or more highly respected than the Hon. Jesse Davis, who for many years was one of the most conspicuous figures in the business and public life of this region, and whose death, February 16, 1897, was felt as a severe loss by the entire community. Mr. Davis came of old New England stock, and was a direct descendant of Gresham Davis, who came to this country during the sixteenth century and settled in Massachusetts. One of his descendants, Dr. Jonathan Davis, of Roxbury, Massachusetts, had been granted a large tract of land during Colonial days in the section that was then known as Burnt Meadow, now called Webster, Maine. Dr. Jonathan gave his claim of this land to his brother, Jesse, under the condition that he would personally

develop and improve


Jesse Davis, a soldier in the War of the Revolution, and grandfather of the Jesse of this sketch,

Roxbury, Massachusetts, and came to Burnt Meadow, or Webster, in 1780, where he founded a settlement and developed a water power which the land contained. As the region became more thickly inhabited, the land left his native place,

appreciated in value, and the Davis tract, increasing accordingly, soon placed the family as among the "forehanded" people of that section. Jesse Davis died at the early age of thirty-five years, from wounds contracted in the Revolutionary War, leaving two children, a son and daughter. The son named Jonathan married Rebecca Larrabce, of Brunswick, Maine, and to them were born six children. Of these, the second son, Jesse, was born in the old homestead, July 21, 1814.

Jesse Davis, Jr., developed at an early age a remarkable aptitude for the management of affairs, and soon became his father's "right hand" man in carrying on the work of the farm. This left him little time for study; but, being an ambitious and industrious youth, he used to read and study what few books came within his reach during the long winter evenings. Later in his life, Mr. Davis would laughingly recall the times when he puzzled away at his arithmetic by the light of an open fire after the others had retired. As he used to say "Education came hard in those days, and we did not get much of it, but what we did

HISTORY OF MAINE So well did he ground himself that he began teaching

we remembered." in




In this occu-

school at the age of twenty-two.

and only gave it up because his attention was needed on the farm and in the development of real estate in which his father had become largely interested. At the time of his marriage, in 1845, he built a house directly across from the old homestead, which he occupation he

was very


pied until the death of his father,

when he moved

to Lisbon.

Mr. Davis, from early youth, was interested in public affairs, and when still a young man was elected one of the selectmen of the town of

Webster, a position which he held to the satisfaction of all parties for more than fourteen years, He was also first in Webster, later in Lisbon. sent as representative from Webster to the State Legislature during the Civil War. In 1867, after the death of his father, he moved to Lisbon,

where he built the large and handsome residence which he continued to occupy until the date of his death. In 1872 he was honored by election to the State Senate from Androscoggin county. He was also appointed one of the county commissioners, where he served for six years, and for twelve years as town treasurer of Lisbon, also serving as justice of the peace and officer in the State mi-

He was


one of the founders of the Manu-

Bank of Lewiston, Maine, and served as one of its directors until his death. In 1874 Mr. Davis had the misfortune to be

facturers' National

agement and shrewd investments added to it year by year. He was largely interested in real estate in Lewiston, Lisbon, Bangor and other places.

Jesse Davis was united in marriage, March 6, with Alary Ann Woodberry, of Litchficld, Maine, a daughter of Hugh and Elizabeth Wood1845,

berry, old

and highly respected residents of that

To Mr. and Mrs. Davis four children were born: Albert, who died at the age of twentyfour; Adda Elisabeth, who died at the age of sixteen years; Emily Jane, who became the wife of F. W. Dana, of Brookline, Massachusetts; and Sarah Louise, who became the wife of Merrill N. place.

Drew, of Portland, Maine. Mr. Davis was a man of great personality and good judgment, and during his lifetime enjoyed the confidence of the people of his vicinity and perhaps more than any man of his time. His advice was sought by both rich and poor alike, and many were helped along the rough pathway of life by his wise counsel and assistance.


One of men of Maine is Dr. Frank Nathaniel Whittier, who has stood for the highest advance in the science of medicine. The founder of the Whittier family in America was Thomas Whittier, who came to this country from England in the good ship Confidence in He mar1638. the prominent medical


Ruth Green,

at Salisbury,



died in 1696.

thrown from

his carriage, and his leg was crushed so badly that amputation below the knee was necessary, and from that time on he was obliged to use a crutch. About twelve years later, trou-

John Greenleaf Whittier, the poet, was a great-great-grandson of Thomas Whittier. Another great-great-grandson was Benjamin Whit-

ble with this leg developed and it became necessary for him to go to Boston for treatment. He

at the close of the


the hospital for many weeks, and the enforced quietness of his life there proved so great a strain on his nerves that he aged perceptibly in

during his confinement. health began to


After this experience his

and he was confined to



some time previous





to his death.






cheerfulness never deserted him, and he made himself beloved by all who came in contact with


Mr. Davis was at

first a


in politics,


joined the Republican party at the time of its organization and was thereafter a staunch supporter of its principles and policies. His relig-



was the Universalist



which he was reared. He inherited a considerable fortune from his father, and by careful man-


a captain in the


of the Revolution,

war came

to Maine,


and was a

settler at

Farmington, in the valley of the of the sons of Captain Benjamin Whittier was Nathaniel Whittier, who married Alice Sears, a member of another prominent New England family. Nathaniel Whittier lived on the Whittier homestead at Farmington. A son of Nathaniel Whittier, Nathaniel Gross Whittier, married Mary Lawrence Hardy, and was the father of Dr. Frank N. Whittier, of further menfirst





Dr. Whittier was born at Farmington, Maine, December 12, 1861. He prepared for college at Wilton Academy, and graduated from Bowdoin

College in 1885. In college, Dr. Whittier distinguished himself as a student and as an athlete. He received an honor part at graduation, and an election to Phi Beta Kappa. He was also captain




Bowdoin boat crew


win an

BIOGRAPHICAL championship and to establish an He received the degree of A.M. .n 1888, and received the degree of M.D. from the Bowcloin Medical School in 1889. He was


Thomas Worcester Hyde




intercollegiate record.

He was active in planning and buildbuilding. Coe Memorial Infirmary, and was the Dudley ing


Delta Kappa Epsilon college fraternity and the Phi Chi medical school fraDr. Whittier has been a member of the ternity. Bowdoin faculty since 1886, when he was made


of the


of the building committee for Hyde Dr. Whittier suggested the polar bear as a mascot for Bowdoin. The appropriateness of this mascot has been generally recognized, and won the approval of Admiral Robert E. Peary,



director of the Sargent Gymnasium. He became lecturer on hygiene at Bowdoin in 1887, and col-


lege physician in 1890. In 1891, Dr. Whittier visited Europe, and studied in the hospitals of London and Berlin. From

sium's trophy room the remarkably fine specimen Dr. of polar bear shot by himself near Etah. Whittier has been the author of many pamphlets

1892 to 1895 he was instructor in anthropometry of developing appliances in the Harvard summer school of physical training. During the


and use

early nineties, Dr. Whittier spent much time in introducing physical training in the Maine public

His system of physical training for schools. schools was published by the Maine State Board of Health. This system was adopted by Portland and many other Maine cities and towns. From 1894 to 1900 Dr. Whittier devoted himself to the study of the then new science of bacteriology, carrying on his studies in the summer courses of the Harvard Medical School and at the Boston hospitals. In 1897 Dr. Whittier introduced courses in bacteriology and pathology in the Bowdoin Medical School.

and microscopy, Dr. Whittier has been employed by Maine and other states in many celebrated court In the Lambert murder trial he was the cases. first in America to apply the serum diagnosis of human blood in a court case. In the Terrio murder trial he demonstrated for the first time that each discharged cartridge shell has the markings of the firing pin of the rifle stamped upon it, and




of his interest in pathology



and Donald B. MacMillan, Bowdoin,

Dr. MacMillan has given for the



articles for medical journals and magazines. collaborated with Albert W. Tolman in writ-

An Historical Play." of the great war found Dr. Whittier already enrolled in the Medical Reserve Corps of the U. S. A. He was appointed first lieutenant, ing "Brunswick,

The outbreak

Medical Reserve Corps, March 24, 1917, was promoted to captain, June 16, 1917, and received his commission as major, Medical Reserve Corps, March 19, 1919. His medical work in the army was important and varied. On May 2, 1917, he was appointed president of a Medical Examining Board for the examination of Maine physicians for commisisons in the Medical Reserve Corps. He was also appointed a medical examiner for the

From June 13, 1917, to Plattsburg Camp. 22, 1919, he was in charge of the Post Hospital at Fort Preble, Maine. At different times he was in charge of the post hospitals at Fort Williams and Fort McKinley. From May, 1918, to January, 1919, he was medical supply officer first


for the port of Portland, and from July 26, 1918, to January 22, 1919, he was senior surgeon for the

possible to

He was honorably discharged from active service January 22, 1919. He still holds the commission of major in the Medical Re-

identify the discharging rifle. This principle has since been used to convict many murderers,

serve Corps, U. S. A. Dr. Whittier was united in marriage, June 24,


by means



of these


it is

the Brownsville murders.

busy years Dr. Whittier has found time to take a prominent part in the upbuilding of the "New Bowdoin." He planned and raised



funds for the Wliitticr Athletic Field, named in his honor. He was the Brunswick member of the building committee for the Delta Kappa Epsilon chapter house. He was associated with the ar-

Henry Vaughan, in planning and building the Hubbard Athletic building and grandstand He given to Bowdoin by General Hubbard worked for years on plans for a gymnasium for

port of Portland.

1895, with Eugenie Harward Skolfield, daughter of the late Alfred Skolfield, the well known ship

o\vner of Brunswick, Maine, mentioned below. Dr. and Mrs. Whittier are the parents of three children: Isabel M. S., born April 10, 1896; Alice A.

born January 24, 1808; Charlotte Harward born February 27, 1903, and died January 17,





Bowcloin, and had the satisfaction of overseeing the erection of the fine Bowdoin gymnasium and


seamen or navi-

gators are more famous than the hardy mariners developed in our New England states during the old days when a sea voyage was an enterprise of

moment and

a very real peri!.

They made




names known in every part of the world. If their fame as seamen was great, it was scarcely less so as the builders of the great ships which sailed the seas and bore the American flag in honor to Indeed, it was the four quarters of the globe.

same men who both

often the




This is particularly true in the these vessels. case of the Skolfield family, which for a number of generations was closely identified with the shipping interests of Maine, and of whom the late Alfred Skolfield was a distinguished member. Alfred Skolfield was born in Harpswell, Maine, December 5, 1815. He was descended from a

prominent English family, and was a great-greatgrandson of Thomas Skolfield, an officer in King William's army at the battle of the Boyne, 1690 Thomas Skolfield had a son named Thomas, who was the founder of the family in the United States. The younger Thomas was educated at Dublin University. He came to America with the Orr family. He married the daughter, Mary Orr, and lived in Boston a year or two and then moved with the Orr family to the district of Maine, where they bought land from the Indians. This land was at the head of Casco Bay. A large pine tree stood on this land, marking the dividing line between the towns of Harpswell and Brunswick. The third child of Thomas and Mary Orr Skolfield was Clement. He was a man of most honorable character, and held many town offices. He married Alice Means. One of their sons was George, the father of Alfred Skolfield, who is the subject of this sketch. George was known as Master George Skolfield, and became a conspicuous figure in the shipping world of Maine.




vessels in the Skolfield shipyard at

MAIN!-: Orme's Head on her way out

the Great


Rlack Landing Bertb, South Side Waterloo Dock. Star Line Packets. Liverpool to New York. American A. Skolflcld, ComPacket ship, "Koger Stewart." mander. 100G tons register, copper fastened and copAugust 25, 1853. pered, a fast sailer. C rim shaw & Co. ('.

This ship was lost at sea April 28, 1860. After the death of his father, in 1866, Alfred Skolfield went to Liverpool, England, and there became a partner of James R. Ross, formerly of Brunswick, Maine. They formed the firm of Ross,



Company, which firm engaged

change. Although Mr. Skolfield withdrew from the business in 1887, and his partner, Mr. Ross, is long since deceased, the business is still carried on in Liverpool under the name of Ross,



the firm's


name and


The high honor own name was






from Guildford, Surrey.

son of George and Lydia (Doyle) Skolfield, attended the local public schools during his boyhood. He was little more than a lad when he gave up his studies and started his life at sea on one of his father's vesIn a short time he had risen to be sels. captain. His first vessel the Dublin. He afterwards the

the John L.



in the








The Harward family was

of English ori-


gin; the first of the family in this country

He was


seventh preacher at King's Chapel, Boston. Mrs. Skolfield was a woman of unusual character and anthe

She died in Brunswick, June 5, 1904. Captain and Mrs. Skolfield three children were born: Eugenie Harward, married Dr. Frank N. tainments.

13, 1805.




daughter of Major John and Jane M. (Spear)

Although a shrewd business man, he never took advantage of others, but was always liberal and generous. He married Lydia Doyle, Alfred


held was

always a source of great pride to Captain Skolfield. He was a staunch Democrat in politics, but never sought public office for himself. He attended the Congregational church in Brunswick, and occupied the pew which has father bought when the church was erected. For many years he was a director in the Pejepscot National Bank and the Union National Bank. Alfred Skolfield was united in marriage, No-



in the

business of chartering vessels. Captain Skolfield continued active in this business for twenty years. He was a member of the Liverpool Ex-

the head of Casco bay. He became very wealthy as a result of his business, but he never lost his simple and direct attitude of mind, and had no false pride.

of Liver-

pool, and the Scioto is seen in the distance, entering the port. This represents an actual occurrence. Mrs. Whittier also has a card advertising llie sailing of the Roger Stewart



All of these

cotton trade.

Stewart vessels

and were

Mrs. Whittier, his daughter, has a painting of the Roger Stewart, by Walters, in which the ship is shown passing


Whittier, of Brunswick; Augusta Marie, who died in Brunswick in 1902, and Eveline Blanchard, died in England in 1874. When Alfred Skolfield

returned to the United States he took up his abode in his Brunswick home, which he continued to occupy until his death, in 1895.

Captain Skolfield was of a retiring disposition, but very hospitable and charitable, thoroughly upright, a man who commanded the respect of all who knew him.


The following

the record of the lives and activities of three resigenerations of the family of Shannon long


dent in Maine and identified in many channels with the town of Saco, Maine. Charles Way Shannon was born in New Lonof don, Connecticut, April 24, 1837, the son

who was a native of October 21, 1803, son of Doctor RichSaco, born ard Cults Shannon, born in Dover, New Hampshire, August 10, 1773, a graduate of Harvard College of the class of 1795, a surgeon in the United States Navy during our naval war with France (1798-1800) and later became the leading practicing physician of Saco, Maine, and a member and deacon of the First Parish Congregational Church of that place. As the son, Charles Tebbets, grew up, he displayed a great fondness and an unusual talent for music which seems to have been transmitted to his children. He was allowed and encouraged by his father to assist in furnishing the music at church on Sundays, probably at first by playing the base viol and later the organ. Strange to say, while allowing and encouraging him to play on Sundays, he would not allow his son to play on week days, as it was not then thought proper for a young man to occupy himself too much with music. He should learn a trade and give Charles Tebbets Shannon,


time chiefly to that.

Accordingly he was

New York

to live in the family of an uncle and, as an apprentice, to enter his manufacturing establishment for the purpose of learnlater sent to

ing a good trade and business. This arrangement did not prove to be wholly acceptable to him and when he reached his majority, feeling free to act as he pleased, he decided to leave as soon as a good opportunity offered a position which had

This camt one become unbearable. Sunday afternoon, while walking with a friend along the wharves of East river. There he roticed moored at one of the piers a man-of-war displaying a large banner whereon was the adverHe boarded the tisement, "Musician Wanted." vessel and made inquiries of the officer in charge. He was asked what instrument he played. "I'll try anyone you have," was his answer. Then a clarionet, an entirely new instrument, was brought by the band master and placed in the hands of the young man. After running the scales up and down a few times, his musical ability was at once recognized and his services accepted. Thus he shipped for a five years' cruise on board the already



sailed for



France a few days




once informing him of the step he had taken, but when his father received the letter the son was already on the high seas. At the exon a piration of the cruise he took passage schooner from New York to Saco, landing at the ferry and walking up to his old Saco home where he was joyfully received by his father and other

his father at

Later in life this five of the family. years' cruise up the Mediterranean afforded many interesting narratives for the entertainment of


his children.


married Jane Randell Stanwood, of Eastport, Maine, July 21, 1836, and after residing in New York for a time they moved to New London, Connecticut, where the subject of this sketch was born. A second son also was born there, the Hon. Richard Cults Shannon, of Brock-


York, who was named after his grindSubsequently the family moved to Providence, Rhode Island, where a third son was born, the late Doctor James Harrison Shannon, of Saco, Afterwards the family moved to New Maine. Bedford, Massachusetts, where they lived until 1852 when the parents decided to move back to port, father.

their native


Maine, taking up their resithe twin city of Saco.


The eldest son, Charles \\ ay Shannon, the principal subject of this sketch, a little later in that year (1852), and while a pupil of the Biddeford High School, began his career, as organist, by playing at the Methodist Episcopal church in Biddeford, located at that time on the corner of Alfred and Bacon streets. In the fall of 1853 the Unitarian church of Saco was to receive a new organ, and an opening concert was to be given by the regu-

and others. A noted organist from BosMr. John Wilcox, was to preside at the organ on this occasion. The choir was to meet weekly for rehearsals in preparation for the concert, and young Shannon had been engaged through his

lar choir


father to play for the choir at these meetings. was then at his bashful age and had little or

He no

confidence in himself, especially as he was to meet It singers who were entire strangers to him. was indeed no easy task and he still vividly recalls the dread he felt while attending these rehearsals.


new organ had arand being desirous of seeing it, he walked quietly by himself over from Biddeford one afternoon to have a look at the he learned that the

rived and

was being



set up,



best told in his


words by Professor Shannon himself:




in Biddeford,

As of


rearhec] the corner of Miilille nucl School streets I met Mr. Charles Twambley, one of the




society and grently interdecided to accompany me and we went up into the choir gallery where I was introduced to the man who was setting up the organ as "the organist." This was a great surprise to me for I h:id never once thought they would have me told me that play the organ and my father had never had already been engaged by him to play it. I the over elated happy surprise I naturally felt much thus given me, and went at once to the front of the organ to examine it; that is, to read the names of the stops and to consider their various combinations and management. In a very few minutes I found that The fact Is I I thoroughly understood the organ. had already prepared myself with a good deal of study, so that it nil seemed to come natural and easy I have always recalled with pleasure the to me. knowledge that came to me so swiftly during those first few minutes. The concert was a great success, and on the following Sunday I took my place as the church organist. The organ was a most musical one and a delightful one to play. This position, as organist, subsequently proved to be a most valuable experience. The following year, in the autumn of 1854, the choir decided lo give another concert and this time I was to be organI selected as my solos. Home Sweet Home, and ist. variations, and The Last Rose of Summer. Business had called my father from home, and I was thus prevented from having his assistance so an Italian teacher was engaged to help me. We met at the church, and as he played the organ I realized at once that he did not know as much about the stops as I did, although his execution was excellent. When I showed him the solos I had selected he said in broken English, "No, Impossible for you to play these pieces on the This was a very unexpected statement to organ." me, and I hardly knew what to maxe or it and that was the end of the lesson which cost me a dollar, although neither one of us had tried a note of the music I wished to learn. However. I was not at nil discouraged, but became more determined than ever I hired a boy by the to master those two pieces. name of Horatio Blaisdell to blow the organ for me, paying him twenty-five cents a day. I practised dally for two weeks, playing from morning until evening with only short reeess for the noon dinner. About the middle of the afternoon, on the tenth day, I left the organ stool, feeling quite encouraged with the progress made; but before I knew it I was sound asleep. The boy awoke me and while trying to explltn my sleepiness, I went to sleep again and was again awakened by the boy. The fact is that I had become completely exhausted physically and mentally with the exertions I had made. However, I resumed my practising immediately after the second nap, and was only Interrupted once, by Mr. Twambley, who called to tell me that he would pay the hoy for doing the blowing. This was a great financial relief to me as my exchec quer then at a pretty low ebb. The concert was entirely satisfactory and proved to be a gre::t moceM for tee personally as the Iliddeford "Journal" gave me must flattering notice. ! opened the concert with "Home Sweet Home." vitli variations, hut there was no response from the audiian any during tl'e first part of rhe After the usual intermission I opened fie program. second part of the program with my other solo, "The t Summer." with variations, and I -.i-'ll never forget how I felt at tin- tnon.ent I finished playroost


ested in together


of the








of sight, nnd I lo myself. -If they will only not ig thankful I will lie." All at once thc-re tremendous api'lans". the very first of tli- eren:incxpected thnt at first I was ji'rti'd Dg fun. but the next moment I ii was true appreciation of my playing. felt








MY brother, Richard, family, besides myself,

was the only member



who was way home he made

present at the cona call at the Biddecert. On his ford House and there saw Mr. Richard M. C.'hapin.iii, the cashier of the Bic'.deford Savings Kank. !>aei:i:; the floor and exclaiming in an excited manner how He kept asserting that wonderfully I had played. he had never heard anything like it in his life an! that it was "wonderful, wonderful." .My progress from this time was marked, and though young in years, I soon hail a good teaching business, and a little later began playing at public entertainments and concerts. This position as organist I was able to retain with the aid of members of my family for My father played the organ. nearly twenty years. nlso my two brothers, later my wife, and still later. my daughter, Mabelle. During the early part of these years, with my brother. Richard, supplying my place at the Unitarian organ. I was able to play at the Second Congregational church of Biddeford, where I had my first exLater, with tlie able assistance perience as chorister. of my wife, I was enabled to take charge of the music at the First Parish Congregational Church of Saco. Many years previous to this arrangement, however, probably during 1853, I played at the State conferen. held in the same church which I remember was largely attended, and that I was, as a boy, much surprised upon receiving from rieacon Sawyer, through my father. This church the sum of six dollars for my playing. was destroyed by fire in 1860. My three children were brought up to assist me i'i the music at church on Sundays: my daughter. Mabelle Stanwood Shannon, at the organ and with her voi"e: my daughter, Grace L. Shannon, with her violin and voice; and my son, Charles, with his cornet and voice. They were all able to transpose music; that is, to play it in the key thought best suited to the voices of the singers, which was of invaluable assistance to me. I will here refer to an Incident, which as I now recall it, seems quite remarkable. My daughter, Mabelle, was then a little girl of ten years. My wife was playing at the Unitarian church and myself at the First Parish church. While breakfasting one Sunday morning, I noticed my wife looking rather pale. Presently she said to me, " I do not feel well this moruin. Could not Mabelle play for me?" I said, "Yes, she I asked Mabelle if she would play, can, if she will." she simple nodded her head signifying that she woald. After breakfast we made ready for churc-h and on cr.r way to the church, calling at Parson Nichols for the hymns I went over the music with her, and she played with such ease, at the same time footing the pedils and handling the stops that her mother never played that organ afterwards. Mabelle continued playing it for nearly two years. And here I might refer to one of the earlier incidents of my musical training showing the persistent determination of our father that his boys should fully en toy the pleasure of studying music a pleasure which b's own father had denied him. On the vail of the dining room he had fastened a musical staff and while we were at table during meal times my brother. Richard, and I were required to give promptly the names of th