Monday, November 18, 2013

1870s/1880s Autograph Album with Pages Signed Mostly by Students and Staff at Gorham Normal School at Gorham, Maine


1870s/1880s autograph album comprised of pages signed mostly by staff and students at Gorham Normal School at Gorham, Maine.

There's no ownership page, and none of the signers indicated the name of the album owner.  However, there were several pages signed by people named Elden in the album, some of them far from Gorham.  One of them, Nettie E. Chapman, called herself the album owner's cousin.  She was Nettie Caroline (Elden) Chapman, daughter of Chase Boothby Elden and Marietta (Herrick) Elden and wife of Charles Henry Chapman.



Because of this and after looking at a list of graduates in an 1881 catalog of the State Normal and Training School at Gorham, I'm thinking that this album might have belonged to Mary Phenix Elden, born 17 September 1862 at Buxton, Maine, daughter of William and Sarah B. (Elden) Elden.  Mary's father was a brother to Chase Boothby Elden, which would explain a cousin relationship between Nettie and Mary.   

I don't believe Mary Phenix Elden ever married.  She was living at Buxton, Maine, as late as the time of the 1940 Census. 

Interestingly, I found a reference to the memoirs of Mary Jane (Elden) Phenix written in her 70s for her son George.  Mary Jane, wife of John Phenix, was a sister to Mary Phenix Elden's father William.  Apparently William named his daughter after his sister, down to the married name.  



The album is approximately 7" x 4-1/4" and contains the sentiments of nearly 80 people.  An alphabetical list of the signers appears at the end of this post.

William J. Corthell signed a page at Gorham, Maine, on December 23, 1879.  William Johnson Corthell, an 1854 graduate of Colby College, became the first principal at Gorham Normal School in 1878 and held the post until 1905.



Instructor Charles W. Fenn signed a page at Gorham, Maine, on December 22, 1879.



Harry H. Bryant, who may have been related to Mary Phenix Elden on her mother's side, signed a page on September 10, 1881 and created the only sketch in the album, a very  nice one.



If after reading the information above and going through the list of signers, you feel the album owner was someone other than Mary Phenix Elden, please leave a comment or contact me directly.  Thanks!

List of signers: [Note: given names within a specific surname may not be in alphabetical order.]

  • Lucy S. Allen of Saccarappa, Maine, signed on January 16, 1880
  • Genevieve Allen of Portland, Maine, signed at Gorham, Maine, on January 16, 1880
  • Edith M. Barrows, signed at Gorham, Maine, on January 15, 1880
  • Sumner Bragdon of Saco, Maine, signed on January 20, 1886
  • Callie E. Bragdon of Hollis Centre, Maine, signed in 1886
  • Harry H. Bryant, signed on September 10, 1881
  • Carrie B. Burke of Lyman, Maine, signed at Gorham Normal School on January 15, 1880
  • Clara M. Burleigh, signed at Gorham, Maine, on January 7, 1880
  • Kate H. Burleigh of Fairfield Center, Maine, signed at Gorham, Maine, on January 12, 1880; shared the page with Belle Hamblen
  • O. F. Chadbourne of East Baldwin, Maine, signed at Gorham, Maine, on January 19, 1880.  Osborne F. Chapman
  • Helen S. Chadbourne of Gorham, Maine, signed at Gorham, Maine, in January 1880
  • C. H. Chapman of East Corinth, Maine, signed on "10-1-1887
  • Nettie E. Chapman of East Corinth, Maine, signed on October 7, 1887; the album owner's cousin
  • Blanche L. Chapman of East Corinth, Maine, signed on October 7, 1887
  • Carrie S. Clapp, signed at Gorham Normal School
  • Emma A. Clark of South Hollis, Maine, signed at Old Orchard, Maine, on August 14, 1882; shared the page with Lill A. Clark
  • Lill A. Clark of North Conway, New Hampshire, signed at Wentworth Cottage, Old Orchard, on August 14, 1882; shared the page with Emma A. Clark
  • Arthur W. Clark of North Conway, New Hampshire, signed on August 4, 1882
  • Georgie M. Clark of Cumberland Mills, Maine, signed on December 30, 1879
  • Very faint, but I believe it's A. H. Clark of South Hollis, Maine, signed at Old Orchard Campground on August 14, 1882
  • M. Fannie Clarke of Kennebunkport,  Maine
  • Mary B. Cobb, signed at Gorham Normal School on January 19,1880; shared the page with Annie M. Hill a nd Annie G. Rounds
  • Fannie F. Cordwell, signed at Gorham, Maine, on January 16, 1880
  • William J. Corthell, signed at Gorham, Maine, on December 23, 1879.  He became the first principal of Gorham Normal School in 1878.  William Johnson Corthell was born at Addison, Maine, on 11 July 1828.  He was educated at Colby College.  Died at Calais, Maine, on 1 November 1908.
  • Hattie A. Deering, signed in 1880
  • John L. Dike of Sebago, Maine, signed on Class Day, January 27, 1880, presumably at Gorham Normal School
  • M. C. Dow of West Baldwin, Maine, signed at Gorham Normal School on January 19, 1880
  • Mrs. Francelina Earle of Hollis, Maine, signed in January 1886
  • C. Earle of Hollis, Maine, signed on January 21, 1886
  • Estella A. Earle of Hollis, Maine, signed on January 9, 1886
  • Mary Elden of Buxton, Maine; possibly the album owner
  • Lizzie E. Elden of Bradford, Maine, signed on October 3, 1887
  • Perley G. Elden, signed on October 3, 1887 at Bradford, Maine
  • Nathan B. Elden of East Bradford, Maine, signed on October 2, 1887
  • F. W. Elden
  • Mabel Elden of Buxton Center, Maine, age 12
  • Clara M. Estes of Gorham, Maine, signed in 1880
  • Mildred Evans of Portland, Maine, signed in 1880
  • C. W. Fenn, signed at Gorham, Maine, on December 22, 1879.  Charles W. Fenn was an instructor at Gorham Normal School until approximately 1883.
  • Emma A. Files of Gorham, Maine, signed at Gorham Normal School on January 6, 1880
  • Clara E. Foss of Steep Falls, Maine, signed on December 4, 1881
  • Etta L. Gay of Saco, Maine, signed at Gorham Normal School in 1879.  Henrietta L. Gay.
  • Alice L. Goodwin of Gorham, Maine, signed on January 19, 1880 at Gorham Normal School
  • Clara A. Goold; mentions Gardiner, presumably Gardiner, Maine
  • Belle Hamblen of Portland, Maine, signed at Gorham, Maine, on January 12, 1880; shared the page with Kate H. Burleigh
  • Lewis A. Hamblen of Gorham, Maine, signed on January 15, 1880
  • E. B. Hamlin of Sweden, Maine, signed at Gorham Normal School on January 20, 1880
  • Gertie J. Harmon of Portland, Maine, signed on October 6, 1882
  • T. G. Harmon, signed in 1881
  • Annie M. Hill, signed at Gorham Normal School on January 19, 1880; shared the page with Annie G. Rounds and Mary B. Cobb
  • Annie C. Johnson of Gorham, Maine, signed in January 1880
  • Susie Josephs of Portland, Maine, signed at Gorham Normal School
  • Helen M. Kimball, signed in 1880
  • Maggie Luce of Saccarappa, Maine, signed on January 5, 1880
  • Marietta S. Murch of Portland, Maine, signed at Gorham Normal School
  • Hattie A. Nason of Bonny Eagle, Maine, signed on June 28, 1881
  • F. C. Nichols of Woburn, Massachusetts, signed on January 20, 1886
  • Annie Owen of Buxton Centre, Maine, signed on October 6, 1882
  • Jennie F. Pennell of Saccarappa, Maine, signed at Gorham Normal School on November 15, 1880
  • Emma Pike of Cornish, Maine, signed at Gorham, Maine, in 1880
  • C. E. Pingree of Denmark, Maine
  • Bessie A. Read of Gorham, Maine, signed on January 19, 1880
  • Una G. Roberts of Waterboro Center, Maine
  • Mrs. Robert W. Robinson of Worcester, Massachusetts, signed on February 4, 1901 at the C. E. Convention
  • Annie G. Rounds, signed at Gorham Normal School on January 19, 1880; shared the page with Annie M. Hill and Mary B. Cobb
  • Josie H. Short of St. Louis, Missouri, signed at Gorham, Maine, on January 15, 1880
  • Josie A. Simonton of Portland, Maine
  • C. H. Skinner of South Casco, Maine, signed at Gorham Normal School on January 18, 1880
  • Addie Spear
  • G. R. Spinney of West Gorham, Maine
  • Leonard B. Stiles of Saccarappa, Maine, signed at Gorham, Maine, on January 16, 1880
  • Maggie Sturdivant of Cumberland, Maine, signed at Gorham, Maine, on January 16, 1880
  • J. F. Suckling of Moscow, Maine
  • John Trubshaw of The Twin Hills, Pingree, Dakota [presumably Pingree, North Dakota, settled in 1881 or 1882]
  • Elizabeth E. Trubshaw
  • Belle H. Wentworth of West Newfield, Maine, signed at Gorham, Maine, on January 15, 1888 [or 1880]
  • Julia M. Whitehouse of Sweden, Maine
  • L. A. Whiteley of Portland, Maine
  • Dora E. Whitney of Gorham, Maine, signed at Gorham Normal School on January 16, 1880
Buxton, Maine


Thanks for stopping by!


1 comment:

  1. Dear Pam,
    I am so very excited by your post. Mary Phenix Elden was my 1st cousin 4xs remover. Her dad, William, and my 2xs great grandfather Perley G. Elden were brothers. I see he even signed her book. I'm actually related to quite a few of the people in the album.

    Sincerely,
    Beth Wilson

    ReplyDelete