Monday, March 21, 2011

Andrew Harrington Bibber, Civil War veteran, marine painter


Andrew Harrington Bibber was an officer in the First Maine Cavalry and Assistant Adjutant-General of  Volunteers Infantry Regiment.

First Maine Cavalry Late Standard
with Battle Honours
Hoist 36", Fly 42", Material: Silk,

Manufacturer: A. W. Pollard, Boston



Andrew Harrington Bibber was born at Lubec, Maine, on 22 July 1836, the son of Charles H. and Adeline Ann (Harrington) Bibber. From online research, I found that the name Bibber likely goes back to the spelling Vibert, a European name that likely started out as a Christian name and over time became a surname.

His paternal grandparents were Thomas and Dorcas (Pettingill) Bibber of southern Maine.  His maternal grandparents were Andrew and Abigail "Nabby" (Clark) of Eastport, Maine.

With President Lincoln's call to the states for 75,000 men, Maine responded, not with the one requested, but with ten regiments, fully armed and ready to serve for three years. 

Andrew Harrington Bibber became a sergeant in the First Maine Cavalry and rose through the ranks to full Captain of Company F, First Maine Cavalry in July of 1864.  After mustering out on 13 March 1865, he became a commissioned officer as Assistant Adjutant General of Volunteers Infantry Regiment.

His first marriage was to Sarah Houghton, daughter of Hon. Partman and Orinda Ann (Prince) Houghton.  Partman Houghton was a member of the Maine state legislature, but is probably best known today for a fund he endowed, still extant, whereby many elderly women in Eastport are given a gift of money during the holiday season.  It would be interesting to know what inspired him to set up this fund, something very sad, no doubt.

Andrew had a dry goods business and enjoyed painting marine scenes, for which he was receiving some acclaim.

Andrew and Sarah had two daughters: Edith Prince Bibber, born 23 July 1870 and Sarah P. H. Bibber, born 24 December 1871.  Less than two weeks after Sarah H. P. Bibber's birth, Sarah (Houghton) Bibber died, on 3 January 1872, likely as the result of complications of childbirth.

On 27 September, 1876, Andrew Harrington Bibber married again, to Annie Louise Ansley (also seen in the variation Annesley), who was born at Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada, on 11 July 1854, and educated at Saint John Young Ladies Academy and at Vassar College.

 Her father, John, a mill owner and government official, was the son of  Devonshire  immigrant Daniel Ansley, who became a successful shipping merchant at Saint John.  Annie's mother, Sarah (Hayden) Ansley, a descendant of John Alden, was born on Beacon Hill in Boston.  

Sarah P. H. Harrington died shortly after her father's marriage to Annie.  

Andrew and Annie had a daughter, Alice Alden Harrington, born 30 October 1883 at Eastport, Maine. 

In 1890, Andrew, Annie, Edith and Alice moved to Orange, California, where they purchased twenty acres to develop an orange orchard.   Andrew later resumed the dry goods trade.  In his later years, he took up his brush again and became known for his seascapes.

Andrew Harrington Bibber died on 6 October 1913.  Annie, Edith and Alice remained in California after his death.  Annie died at Los Angeles on 5 February 1938.  Edith, a Vassar graduate like her stepmother, was a music teacher who gave private lessons at her home; she died in 1964, at Los Angeles.

Alice Alden Bibber graduated from the Girls' Collegiate School of Los Angeles and later married her first cousin, Roy Bibber, who had by then changed his name to Dion Ray O. Van Bibber.  The marriage ended in divorce.  Alice died in 1960 at Los Angeles.  Her ex-husband died in 1985 in Texas.

If you have any corrections, additions or insights regarding the information presented here, please leave a comment or contact me directly  Thanks!

I found a very interesting site on the Vibert Family, which cites Andrew Harrington Bibber as one of its "famous members".  Incidentally one of the other "famous members" was James Bibber, who was learning to weave with my ancestor Elizabeth (Meader) Hanson of New Hampshire. During this time she and her children were attacked by Indians; two sons were killed.  Elizabeth and another son (my ancestor) and daughters were carried off. All but one were eventually ransomed.

For more information on this family, see the page for Andrew Harrington Bibber at the Maine and Maritime Canada Genealogy network.

A map of neighboring Lubec and Eastport, Maine on Cobscook and Passamaquoddy Bays:

View Larger Map

View Larger Map


Thanks for stopping by!

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