Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Penmanship paper of student Grace A. Hamlin of Brownville, Maine


Penmanship practice paper of Grace A. Hamlin.  Grace mentioned Ruth A. Prescott in her practice lines, and the fact that Brownville also had a student named Ruth A. Prescott, born about the same time as Grace, makes me fairly confident that Grace A. Hamlin was a student at Brownville, Maine.




Grace Abbie Hamlin was born 14 March 1909 at Brownville, Maine, daughter of Melvin Augustus Hamlin and wife Ethel Albertina (Bell) Hamlin, born at Barnard, Maine, and Moro, Maine, respectively.


Grace's paternal grandparents were Eben G. and Susan or Susannah (Ladd) Hamlin of Piscataquis County, Maine.  Her maternal grandparents were Richard and Abbie Bell of Aroostook County.


If you have information on Richard Bell and wife Abbie (?) Bell, I hope that you will leave a comment or contact me directly.  In some sources, Richard and Abbie give their place of birth as Canada.  On Ethel Albertina Bell's marriage record, however, it's noted that Richard was born at Blaine, Maine, and Abbie at Stoneham, Maine.  


I believe that Richard's parents were John and Eliza (Ranke) Bell of New Brunswick, who were early settlers at Blaine, Maine.  


As for Abbie, I know that a John Bell from Stoneham, Maine settled in the Oakfield hills area of Aroostook County.  Whether the two Bell families were related, I don't know.


The 1870 Census of Oakfield has an Abby Bell, age 14, living in the household of John and Viana, Bell, ages 70 and 65.   If this is our Abbie, perhaps she was their granddaughter.


The following is an excerpt from The History of Aroostook, by George H. Collins, 1922:


Mr. John Bell, one of the earliest of the pioneers of Oak- 
field after the survey, came from Stoneham in Oxford County, 
to Aroostook to seek a new home. Hearing of the State land 
in Number 5, he went there, and as the hills looked natural to 
him, and reminded him of his home in Oxford, he concluded to 
settle in the new town. He first took a lot in the southwest por- 
tion of the town a short distance east of the East Branch. The 
lot extended from Downing Brook on the south to Moose Brook 
on the north, and was a very good lot, being beyond the granite 
belt. Mr. Cushman Walker of Hodgdon, had made a twelve 
acre chopping on the lot and Mr. Bell purchased Mr. Walker's 
possession. He lived in Linneus while he was making his first 
clearing and building his log house, and in 1861 moved his fam- 
ily to their forest home. Mr. Bell cleared upwards of twenty 
acres on this lot and built a good barn. He lived upon this farm 
six years and then sold it to Mr. John H. Bartlett, who now lives 
upon it. Mr. Bell then took the lot next west of his former 
home, and here he made a large clearing. He afterwards sold a 
part of this farm to his son, Mr. John F. Bell, reserving for him- 
self fifty acres, with something over ten acres cleared. The land 
is not much broken, lying lower than the adjoining farm, is not 
very stony and produces well. Mr. Bell has a neat house and 
good barn and a thrifty orchard of something over 100 bearing 
trees. He is nov/ 74 years old and somewhat feeble and. has 
given up the management of the farm to his son-in-law, Mr. 
Charles Bell, who lives with him. The old gentleman is justly 
proud of the fact that he sent three boys to the army, aged 14, 
16 and 18 years respectively at the time of their enlistment, but 
all large of their age and good stalwart young men. All three 
went into the 3rd Maine Cavalry and served until the close of 
the war and all three came home uninjured. 

In 1936, Grace Abbie Hamlin married Eugene Swain of White Plains, New York, and raised a family of, I believe, four children.


If you have any corrections to the information provided above, please leave a comment.  


Brownville, Maine



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