Organizations, as listed in the 1962 Bicentennial Booklet.
Bowdoinham Boy Scouts
The First Boy Scout Troop was organized in Bowdoinham in 1941 with Mr. Stanley Libby as Scout master and Rev. A. M. Craig and Ralph H. McEwen as Troop Committee. The troop was Sponsored by the Second Baptist Church, for several years then was continued by the Knights of Pythias. Troop 59 continued active for about ten years. Since then another troop No. 58 has been organized and an active troop is now led by Arthur Curtis with John and Robert Ackley as assistants and John Brown on the Committee. There are 17 scouts with two patrols, the Flaming Arrow and the Beavers.
Bowdoinham 4-H Clubs
The first 4-H Club to be organized in Bowdoinham was a group of six high school boys with Charles White as their leader. The boys were: C. Milton McEwen, Leonard Bishop, Chester King, Edwin Lamoreau, Clarence Gould, and Ivan Moore. It was begun in 1916 or 1917 and was the first one organized in Maine, and believed to be the second oldest in the country. The boys raised prize poultry and exhibited them at fairs and poultry shows.
In 1918 a club for girls was formed. One of these girls, Helen Hackett Robinson, had the distinction of belonging to one club in Bowdoinham Village and being the leader of another at Bishop's corner at the same time. Her club chose the name, "Merry Workers" which was adopted and used by the Bowdoinham group for more than twenty years.
At one time the Merry Workers Club was considered the second oldest club being in continuous operation in the United States.
There have been many excellent and devoted leaders through the years. To mention a few: Miss Emily Rideout, Mrs. Ralph McEwen, Mrs. Erland Curtis, Mrs. Arnold Lamoreau, Mrs. Delmar Curtis, Mrs. Ellis Moore, Mrs. James Brice, Mrs. Chester Hobart, Mrs. Caleb Mitchell, Mrs. Zina Maxwell, Mrs. Lloyd Skelton.
At present Mrs. David D. White, of the White Road is the leader and Mrs. Lloyd Skelton assistant leader of the Bowdoinham Pine Tree 4-H Club. The officers are: Junior Leader, Jack H. White; President, Eleanor Skelton; Vice President, Robert Temple; Secretary, Judith Temple; Treasurer, Frank Skelton; Reporter, Jack White; Health officer and flag bearer, Penny White; Cheer leader, Glenice Skelton. There are seven members who are taking a total of fifteen projects. As their Community Project the club will care for the two cemeteries on the White Road. Many a bank account of homemaker, and business man got its start in one of these clubs.
Camp 9871 - Modern Woodmen of America
The Modern Woodmen of America Camp 9871 was organized in Bowdoinham July 16, 1901. The original Charter was lost in the fire of 1904 and was replaced. Of the Charter Members only one is now living. Dr. Alston H. Lancaster of Worcester, Mass., a practicing physician now 88 years old.The camp was very active socially and fraternally for many years and now has a large number of members holding Life Insurance Certificates. Ernest Lancaster was Camp Secretary for many years. Ralph H. McEwen was appointed Secretary by the Head Camp and has held that office for more than thirty years.
Electa Chapter, the second Eastern Star Chapter in the State of Maine, was instituted September 4, 1888 by a group from Adah Chapter No. 1, Biddeford. Benjamin L. Higgins was the moving factor in getting the Chapter started.Susan Blodgett Frank K. Jack
Mrs. Susan Blodgett was the first Worthy Matron (George Blodgett of the Fisher Road is her grandson) and Frank K. Jack was the first Worthy Patron. The last Charter Member, Henry Cornish, died in 1952. Mrs. Miriam Rideout and Mrs. Erla Kelley are granddaughters of J. Loyalist Browne and nieces of Ola Browne, both charter members and Mrs. Helen G. Mitchell, W.M. 1933-34-49, District Deputy 1957 & 58, is the daughter of Josephine Chapman Gould and granddaughter of Georgiana and Martin Chapman, Charter Members, and Mrs. Margaret Gile is Georgiana Chapman's daughter. Mrs. Cora Denham, of Lewiston, is daughter of Charter Members John and Sara Young. Mrs. Ethel Emerson of Portland, our oldest member in point of service now living, was Worthy Matron in 1902 and served as Grand Warder that same year. Her sister, Mrs. Mildred Given was Matron on five different occasions and Mildred's husband, Milton, was Worthy Patron for 13 years. Caleb Mitchell a very active member has just retired from the East for the sixth time.
First row: l to r, Raymond Stein, W. P., Anne Stein, W. M. Mabel Heenie, A. M.; P. P. Eugene Fisher, A.P. Second row. Charlotte Billings, Treas.; P M. Sadie Garland, Adah; S. Elva Curtis, Esther; Geneva Adams, A. Cond.; Doris Blodgett, Cond. Third row: Mildred Dunn, Organist; P. M. Dorothy Allen Martha; M. Louise Tome, Ruth; P. M. Gladys Peterson, Sec. Fourth row: P. M. Pearl Raymond, Warder; P. M. Vesta Williams, Chap.; Laurence Adams, Sentinel; Alicia Sedgley, Electa; Ella Curtis, Marshal.
In 1891, Electa Chapter voted in favor of forming a Grand Chapter in Maine and then by a series of misunderstandings was not present at the founding of Grand Chapter. Members of Electa have served as Grand Chapter Officers, District Deputy Grand Matrons and Grand Representatives over the years but space does not permit of listing them all. However, in addition to Ethel Emerson and Helen Mitchell already mentioned, active members who have served are Mrs. Vivian Dodge, Grand Marshal 1955-56, and Mrs. Ruth Fisher, Grand Representative to Pennsylvania 1959. The Chapter has grown over the years, each Matron and her Officers contributing to its progress. In September 1963, Electa will celebrate its 75th Anniversary.
Girl Scouting in Bowdoinham
The Girl Scout Program in Bowdoinham is relatively new. Mrs. Robert Dudley was leader of the first troop in 1947 with Mrs. Mable Heenie as her assistant. In 1951 Mrs. Avery Fides Jr. with Mrs. Malcolm Jewell as assistant started a Brownie Troop. In 1952 Mrs. Jewell and the Older Brownies began an Intermediate Scout Troop with Mrs. Bert Merrill as assistant. Ten years of uninterrupted Scouting has continued with two Brownie, troops and one Intermediate troop in town with more girls becoming interested every year. At the present time they are called "Lone" troops but in 1963 will become part of a new "Neighborhood" group including Brunswick, Harpswell, Topsham and Bowdoinham. There will be twenty-five or more troops in this neighborhood so that our girls will be able to get more of the feeling of belonging to such a great organization.
First Row, L to R: Rachel Noble, Kathy Baker, Susan Curtis, Arolyn Hardy, Brenda Linkenback, Roxanne Brookings. Second Row, L to R: Pamela Brookings, Sandra Fornal, Debbie McPherson, Kathy Jewell, Carol Millay, Joselyn Brawn, Susan Blake, Kathleen Temple, Vickie Fox. Third Row, L to R: Janice MacDonald, Jerry Donnely, Paula Fides, Linda Millay, Debbie Fides, Carol Emmerson, Cheryl Small.
The present Brownie leaders are Mrs. Charles Mateyko and Mrs. Arthur White. Mrs. Frank Wallace and Mrs. James Read. The Scout Leaders are Mrs. Merle A. MacDonald, with Mrs. Avery Fides Jr. and Mrs. Malcolm L. Jewell as assistants.
The Bowdoinham Junior Chamber of Commerce is probably the newest organization in town. This organization is also referred to as the "Jaycees".
The Jaycees received their charter from the United States Chamber of Commerce on March 28, 1961. At that time they had 25 members.
Front Row, L to R: John Brown, Donald Allisot, John Young, James Read. Back Row, L to R: Clifford Gray, Stanley Baker, Harold Hobart, Robert Lamoreau, Robert Jameson.
The first officers elected for a full term were:
James Read .............................External Vice President
Rev. John Young......................Internal Vice President
Robert Lamoreau ....................Treasurer
John Brown .............................State Director
Clifford Gray ..........................Director
Robert Jameson ........................Director
During their first year, the Jaycees purchased the old Post Office building and the lower floor has been converted into a club room. The group have regular meetings the first Tuesday and third Thursday of each month. The directors meet the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month.
Some of the projects to the Jaycees credit are: work on the baseball diamond and skating rink at the Community School; the work connected with the redecoration of the town hall; a sign for the Bowdoinham School and Public Library and one for the Community School. They also sponsored an entrant in the soap box derby and have taken part in many other projects.
"Young Men of Action" is the motto of the Junior Chamber of Commerce, in this and every other community where Jaycees are active. They hope that many young men between the ages of 21 and 35 will join with them to make the Jaycee movement an even greater one than it is now.
Standing: Beverly Lamoreau, Clarinda Gray. Seated: Hazel Allisot, Margaret McMullen, Helen Read.
Margaret McMullen ........................President
Hazel Allisot ..................................Vice President
Helen Read..................................... Secretary
Beverly Lamoreau ..........................Treasurer
Clarinda Gray .................................State Director
The Bowdoinham Jaycee Wives have been organized about a year, beginning in May l961, when a group of Topsham Jaycee Wives got us started. We were chartered on June 21, 1961, with a membership of nine. The membership is now sixteen with hopes of an increase.
The Club's main purpose is to help the Jaycees in any project in which they need assistance and to help make the town a better place in which to live. Through the year we have completed many projects which we feel have helped the town. Our aim has been centered mostly on entertainment for the children of the town.
Newly Elected Officers:
Hazel Allisot ....................................President
Clarinda Gray ................................. Vice President
Beverly Lamoreau ............................Secretary
Dorothy Baker................................. Treasurer
Irene Ervine......................................State Director
Knights of Pythias
Kennebec Lodge No. 42, Knights of Pythias was instituted on December 27, 1883 with eighteen charter members. J. Loyalist Browne perhaps did more than any other man to undertake the necessary steps to institute this Lodge. Appropriately enough, the members elected him their first Chancellor Commander. The following men were the charter members: J. Loyalist Browne, J. E. Cornish, Charles F. Staples, Charles E. H. Elliott, Charles E. Purington, Lewis M. Fulton, Benjamin L. Higgins, George F. Blake, E. S. McKeenan, John Carney, George W. Thompson, John P. Rideout, Lowell W. Blanchard, Thomas W. Skelton, George W. Rideout, M. H. Bibber, William D. Curtis, and Josiah M. Fulton.
The instituting meeting was held in the Masonic Hall, and a full corp of Grand Lodge officers were present, with Grand Chancellor Montgomery S. Gibson of Portland, presiding.
The history of the organization for more than three quarters of a century has been a worthy one, and many of the leading citizens of the community have entered the portals of the Castle Hall and become members.
A Lodge Room was fitted out in what was then known as Merrow's Hall and occupied the same until the hall was destroyed by fire on March 1, 1904 losing all furniture and paraphernalia.
On March 8, 1904, a meeting was held in the Grange Hall. On March 22, the Lodge appointed the following committee to build a new hall: R. D. Purington, C. H. McEwen, John Carney, H. D. Cornish, C. W. Sedgley and A. E. Raymond. A lot, on which the former Hall stood, was purchased and the new Castle Hall which is the building now standing, was erected.
Front row: Fred Temple, Fin. Sec'y; Purlie Harmon, Prelate; Clyde Pratt, Chancelor Commander; Henry Libby, Vice Chancelor; Maynard Hinkley, Treas. Back row: Roland Lord, Jr., M. at Arms; Walter Foster, Inner Guard; Henry Lamoreau, Master of Work; Cleveland Curtis, Outer Guard; and Arthur Curtis, Secretary.
The burning of the Hall on March 8, 1904 was actually the beginning of an era of prosperity for Kennebec Lodge, for the records show that the initiation teams were busy on every meeting night that the Lodge met in the Grange Hall while the present Castle Hall was being built. The membership grew until a high of ninety-nine members were on the roster at one time. At present the Lodge has fifty members. Three hundred and six men have taken the vows of Pythian Knighthood since the Lodge was founded.
Kennebec Lodge sponsored the first Boy Scout Troop in Bowdoinham in 1942 with Reginald Dore as the first scoutmaster. The Lodge members have received much satisfaction from the accomplishments of its scout troops and still is a sponsor of a troop. Many of the active members in the Lodge today were former members of its scout troops.
For a number of years, the Lodge held a two-day fair in the Town Hall around Thanksgiving time, which was one of the big events of the community. Each summer a field-day was held at the seashore for members and their families.
While the Lodge is not large in numbers today there are many active workers who enthusiastically carry the banner of Pythianism in the community.
Ladies Auxiliary of the Bowdoinham Firemen
1938 - left to right: Eleanor Cash, Cleora Skelton Ruby, Prudence Hamilton, Muriel Tibbetts, Pearl Bragg Sedgley, Courtney Nealey, Georgia Fides, Ruth Jones, Clara Temple, Helen Read Coskery, Ceola McEwen
In August 1938 the above group of women met to organize the Auxiliary of the Bowdoinham Fire Department. Mrs. Ralph McEwen was the first president. The first duty was to set up a booth and sell refreshments for the first firemen's muster held on Sept. 5, 1938.
It was active for a number of years, but did not hold regular meetings. In 1948 they were reorganized with Mrs. Ella Curtis as president. Money has been raised by staging plays, minstrel shows, card parties, suppers and dances. The proceeds have helped to buy dishes, a record player, a front end fire pump, hose clamps, rain coats, and smoke masks. A charitable project has been to give Christmas Baskets to the shut-ins of the community. Past presidents have been Louella Pratt, Evelyn Ackley, Eleanor M. Brice, Ann Stein, Irene Allisot, and Clarinda Gray.
Ladies Auxiliary with the Phenix engine.
1962 - left to right: Irene Allisot, Florence Brown, Clarinda Gray, Grace Climo.
Lancaster Bishop School Association
Nostalgic memories of childhood days spent in a little red schoolhouse prompted the organization of the Lancaster School Association. A few old friends met and planned a school reunion of former teachers and pupils. On July 11th, 1936, the first meeting took place. Sixty two persons gathered across the dusty road from the schoolhouse site. The old ash trees provided the shade on that hot summer day, as in the long ago, when Eben Lancaster sat beneath them to pray and meditate.
The enjoyment of this first gathering was such that for twenty-five years they have become an annual event. The Association was formed, the schoolhouse site purchased, and officers elected in 1937.
L to R: Mrs. Mary Webber, Mrs. Edward Buker, Mrs. Harold Rollins, Mrs. Philip Rideout.
In 1948 a granite marker was set in cement on the original stone doorstep of the old schoolhouse.
Our program for each year has always included a devotional period with the singing of favorite old time hymns and a brief memorial sermon for those who are no longer with us.
In a few short years we realized our members were decreasing, although the interest remained at a high level. In 1951 we invited the teachers and pupils of the former Bishop School to unite with us. A number of these had attended this District before it was closed. They accepted our invitation and were warmly welcomed. We then became the Lancaster-Bishop School Association.
Guest speakers at our meetings have included John Gould, Author; William Clark, Columnist; Dr. Vining Dunlap; Senator Neil Bishop; the late Robert Tristam Coffin and many others.
In July 1961, we celebrated our 25th Reunion Anniversary. Original poems were read by Mrs. Donald Grant, Mrs. Mabel Lancaster and Miss Bertha Brown. Miss Brown, a former teacher and pupil of the school recalled the days when we drank spring water from a common dipper, ate our lunches from a tin pail, and endured cold feet as a necessary evil in the process of acquiring an education. An anniversary cake, made and served by Mrs. Maxwell, was a delightful replica of the old schoolhouse.
L to R: Mrs. Lloyd Skelton, Mrs. Philip Rideout, Mr. Zina Maxwell, Mrs. Edward Buker.
In 1959 Mr. Melvin Pratt presented the Association with a hand carved gavel which has special significance. Our President, Mr. Maxwell, cut and seasoned a small branch from one of the ash trees for this purpose. It is our hope that this useful memento will be used in years to come and serve as a loving reminder of the friendships revived and strengthened through the Lancaster-Bishop School Association.
There is no friend like the old friend,
Who has shared our morning days.
No greeting like his welcome,
No homage like his praise.
Fame is the scentless sunflower
With gaudy crown of gold.
Friendship is the breathing rose
With sweets in every fold.
Masters of Merrymeeting Grange No. 258 from 1883-1962:
J. W. Lang
F. S. Adams
George H. Blodgett
T. P. Whitmore
A. C. Williams
Wm. S. Aderton
A. R. Howard
John M. Curtis
Chester F. Hobart
A. C. Williams
E. S. Blodgett
C. F. Hobart
F. B. Meserve
C. S. Holbrook
C. M. White
F. B. Meserve
E. L. White
J. H. King
F. B. Meserve
F. B. Meserve
W. H. Gould
Pearl A. Cannon
The first meeting to organize a Grange was held in Mechanics Hall, October 27, 1883. The following were the Charter Members of Merrymeeting Grange:
Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Land, Mr and Mrs. Isaac Wilson, Mr and Mrs. J. P. Cobb, Mr. and Mrs. M. H. White, Mr. and Mrs. F. S. Adams, Carrie Kendall, R. D. Spear, Fletcher White, T. M. Merriman, W. B. Kendall, E. P. Kendall, T. P. Whitmore, Susie M. Whitmore, W. B. Merriman, Abbie G. Hulse, John P. Wilson, F. A. Getchell, C. E. Sanford
At that time the following Officers were elected and installed by County Deputy W. S. Rogers of Topsham Grange:
Master, J. W. Lang
Overseer, J. P. Cobb
Lecturer, W. B Kendall
Chaplain, M. H. White
Treasurer, T. P. Whitmore
Secretary, F. S. Adams
Gatekeeper, W. B. Merriman
Pomona, Mrs. Isaac Wilson
Ceres, Mrs. J. W. Lang
Flora, Mrs. J. P. Cobb
L A. Steward, Susie M. Whitmore
Mr. J. L. Brown was the first applicant for member ship on Nov. 23, 1883. Ella Williams and Annie Brown were the first members to receive the degrees in full form, on January 4, 1884.
Subjects of discussions during the winters of 1883 and 1884 were Commercial Fertilizers, Fences, Jersey Cattle, What Crops to Raise, Associated Dairying and County Fairs.
The first Pomona Meeting was held in June, 1884. There were two meetings held in the Mechanics Hall and after that were held in the G. A. R. Hall. The balance in the Treasury on January 4, 1884 was $24.82.
On December 4, 1902 the Grange lost all its property by fire which destroyed the G. A. R. Hall. Work on the new hall was already in progress at the time of the fire. The land was purchased of Mr. John Gray on Sept. 9, 1898 for $225.00. The hall was dedicated on Jan. 21, 1904 by State Master Obadiah Gardner. The following were the Officers of the Grange at the time of the dedication:
Master, C. S. Holbrook
Overseer, C. M. White
Lecturer, R. W. Carr
Steward, J. H. King
Asst Steward, F. P. Blodgett
Chaplain, John Curtis
Treasurer, W. B. Williams
Secretary, E. L. White
Gatekeeper, F. N. Wood
Ceres, Alice Fulton
Flora, Eliza Ferguson
Pomona, Ella Williams
L. A. Steward, Susan Quint
Front Row, I. to R: Shirley Curtis, Margaret Derocher, Selma Linkenback, Ina Douglass, Coze Hobart, Hazel Denham. Back Row, L to R: Chester Hobart, Arthur Curtis, Beverly Douglass, Merle MacDonald, Hartley Douglass, Thomas Linkenback,Nancy MacDonald, Milton Douglass
Parent Teacher Association
In the fall of 1927, Superintendent of Schools Dwight Moody of Bowdoinham suggested that a Parent Teacher Association be organized and asked Ceola Bugbee McEwen, the new principal of the Coombs Grammar School, to assist in organizing. Dr. Richard Libby and Miss Florence Hale of the State Department of Education in Augusta were invited to come for the first meeting. The meeting was held at the Coombs building. The original records have been lost, but if we remember correctly, the High School Principal, John McCart, was elected President, and Ceola Bugbee McEwen Secretary, and Lucille Toothaker, High School Assistant, was treasurer. The School Committee members were most cooperative. They were: Mr. Milton Given, Miss Emily Rideout, and Mr. Albert Henderson. The Teachers at that time were Mr. McCart and Miss Toothaker in High School, Ceola Bugbee McEwen grades 7, 8, and 9. Gladys Raymond grades 4, 5, and 6. Hattie O. Andros-grades 1, 2, and 3. These teachers and the following parents were the charter member: Carrie Merrill Johnson, Lona Hackett, Ethel Hackett, Mildred Given, Mrs. Rood, Myrtle Lowell, Vernon Lowell, Anna Malier, May Heenie Gould, Elva Curtis, Ruth Jones, Lottie Purington, Della Rideout and probably others that we do not recall.
Regular Meetings were held for a few months, then it was decided that a worth while project should be started rather than just continue with more or less social meetings. It was decided that to start a School and Public Library would be most desirable. The first fund raising project was to contact the Alumni of Bowdoinham and Coombs High School and ask each to contribute a dollar or more if they wished to be used for the library. This met with unanimous approval. By spring the room in the basement of the school building had been finished with matched lumber and shelves had been built. Many people contributed books and the teachers and other members worked many hours listing and cataloging the books. The library was opened to the public in February 1929, being open two afternoons and two evenings a week with all volunteer workers. Book suppers were held and each person brought one or more books to pay for his supper. This, however, was not too great a success, since all attics were cleaned out and, as we recall cataloging them, we had 7 copies of "Tom Brown's School Days," and many other old favorites arrived in large numbers.
Miss Alta Reed, who worked at the Brunswick Library, made it possible for us to receive several boxes of books from their library. Later the town appropriated $25 or $50 each year for books, and we received a State Stipend on this. Among the many who worked in the Library were Mabel Lancaster, Bertha Heath, Dorothy Dickinson, Elva Curtis, Goldie Sprague McCart, Ceola Bugbee McEwen, Lucille Toothaker, John McCart, and many more.
Left to right: Grace Climo, Katherine Hobart, Dorothy Brookings, Mabel Heenie, Edith Tourtelotte.
In 1946, with the financial help from the Davenport fund, the present Library building was purchased and the books were moved to the new location. A Library Association was formed and has taken over the operation of the Library.
The P.T.A. has functioned each year and has conducted clinics, and many other very useful projects for the betterment of the community and the children.
Some of the projects in recent years to raise money have been: minstrel show, sponsoring the Peterson Leather Co's Christmas Dinner, cooked food sales and numerous other projects. In 1959 it was voted to raise money with a Community Birthday Calendar. Over a period of three years nearly $2,000 has been raised. This money has been used to help the library, fixing the school yards, the building of a ball diamond, play ground equipment, musical instruments for the Community School's newly formed band under the direction of Mr. Merle Walker, Bristol, Me., television sets for each school to be used in educational T.V., teacher's room for the Community School, equipment for the school lunch program, drapes for each school to aid in the showing of slides and numerous other projects.
The PTA was instrumental in starting the school lunch program in 1955. It is now under the direction of Edith Tourtelotte, head cook, and Beverly Douglas, assistant. Present officers are: Mabel Heenie, President, Dorothy Brookings, Vice President, Katherine Hobart, Secretary, Edith Tourtelotte, Treasurer, and Grace Climo, Program Chairman.
First Row: Laura White, Elva Curtis, Eva Messer, Florence Stilphen, Evelyn Ackley ,Second Row: Prudence Soucy, Margaret Frizzle, Margaret Prindall, Jacqueline Stilphen.
Rathbone Sisterhood was reorganized as Pythian Sisters Bowdoinham Temple, as McDonald Temple No. 48, February 23, 1907. In 1942 the Temple gave up their charter, on December 28, 1944 reorganized with same name and number.
Officers of 1962: P. C. Eva Messer; M.E.C. Elva Curtis; E. S. Lora White; E. J. Margaret Prindall; Manager, Jacqueline Stilphen; Treas. M. Evelyn Ackley; Sec. Prudence Sucy; Protector, Margaret Frizzle; Guard, Florence Stilphen. Oldest member, Georgie Denham, a charter member from 1907.
Reading left to right - front row: Fred Jack, Melvin Jenkins and Christine Jenkins, William Kendall, Charles H. McEwen, J. E. Cornish and Charles B. Randall.
Second row: Walter Crocker, Charles Blodgett, George Varney, Alphonso Berry, Rev. J. E. Palmer, Herbert "Bert" Cornish, Aaron Soule, George "Dutchy" Cutler, Selden Hinkley and Edward Dunham.
Third row: Stephen Pratt, R. A. Dickinson, York Brown, Frank Wood, Alphonso Wood, Charles Newton, Rev. George Powers, George H. Hackett and Wesley Williams.
Fourth row: Aubrey MacDougall, John Temple, John O. Sedgley and grandchild, Robert Temple, Eugene Temple, Benjamin B. Douglas, William Graves, Frank K. Jack and I. M. Fowles.
Fifth row: Paul Ames, James H. Ames, Jacob Bishop, John Purington and Charles Hall
Front row, left to right: Mary Webber, Alice Given, Edna Small, Margaret Gile, Mildred Given, Maude Fossett, Clyde Fossett.
Second row: Ethel Hackett, George Hackett, Lona Hackett, Charles Hackett, Carrie Johnson, Lottie Purington.
Third row: Miranda Meserve, Frank Hackett, Edward Buker, C. Eugene Hill, Elmer Jordan, George Robinson, George Caswell.
Inset: Rudolph Dussault, Perley Harmon, Mr. and Mrs. George Sedgley.
The Bowdoinham Women of Extension
The Extension service of the United States Department of Agriculture is observing its 50th anniversary this year and the history of Bowdoinham will not be complete without a mention of the Extension work carried on by the Women of Bowdoinham.
The first Extension group in Bowdoinham was organized in 1927 and ran until 1934. The officers were:
Chairman...........................Miss Emily Rideout
Secretary............................Miss Helen Denham
Clothing.............................Mrs. Eva Purington
Foods.................................Mrs. Della Rideout
Millinery............................Mrs. Eva MacDougal
Home Mgt ..........................Mrs. Florence Seigers
In 1938 a new group was organized with the following officers.
Chairman............................Mrs. Ceola McEwen
Secretary.............................Mrs. Lida Buker
Clothing..............................Mrs. Anna Palmer
Foods..................................Mrs. Mildred Given
Home Mgt ...........................Mrs. Coze Hobart
The Extension association has been active continually since 1938 and its members, their families and friends have learned may new practices in all phases of home making during these years. The present officers are.
Chairman.............................Mrs. Gladys Peterson (also County Chairman)
Secretary..............................Mrs. Nancy MacDonald
Clothing...............................Miss Eva Palmer
Family Life..........................Mrs. Gladys Peterson
Foods...................................Mrs. Ceola McEwen (also County Secretary-Treasurer)
Home Management.................Mrs. Gretchen Maloon
The Pioneer 4-H Steer Club
Mr. and Mrs. Marshall Wilson of Bowdoinham originated the idea of a Steer Club on the same principal as the 4-H clubs. After discussing the idea with the county and State representatives of the 4-H Clubs a club was formed in 1960 with Mr. Wilson as leader and Mrs. Wilson, assistant leader.
Front row: Patrick Noyes, Michael Temple, Frank Shelton.
Second row: Myron Dunn, Gary Lotheridge, Penny White.
Third row: David Lotheridge, Vernon Tourtelotte, Mark Lancaster.
Fourth row: Philip Dinsmore, Jr., Marshall Dunn, Jr, Ernest Savage.
Fifth row: Ralph Brown, Harley Mullen, Jack White.
The ages of the following members, sixteen boys and one girl, ranged from nine to seventeen years: Alton Wilson, Frank Skelton, Ernest Savage, David Lotheridge Myron Dunn, Harley Mullen, Mark Lancaster, Marshall Dunn Jr., Gary Lotheridge, Foster Meserve, Michael Temple, Jack White, Penny White, Vernon Tourtelotte, Philip Dinsmore, Ralph Brown, Patrick Noyes.
Some members made their own ox yokes and goads. They acquired their steers when they were young calves so you might say the steers and their owners grew up together.
These young folk have exhibited at the Bowdoinham Fourth of July Barbecue ox-pull and have attended several fairs. At Topsham Fair in l961, sixteen members each exhibited a pair of steers. Alton Wilson won first prize in the senior division for Working Steers, and Frank Skelton won first in the Junior division. All have won ribbons, money and prizes.
The Sunshine Society
The Comfort Branch of the International Sunshine Society was organized September 7, 1904 at Merrymeeting Grange Hall at Bowdoinham Village. The ten charter members were: Mrs. Anna Beals-Malier, Mrs. Carlton Lancaster, Mrs. Mary Webber, Mrs. George Blair, Mrs. Charles Blair, Mrs. Wesley Williams, Mrs. Charles Brown, Mrs. Jennie Small, Mrs. Angie Hutchins, and Mrs. Sybil Briary. The following officers were chosen: president, Mrs. Anna Beals; secretary, Mrs. Carlton Lancaster; treasurer, Mrs. Mary Webber.
Today's officers are: president, Miss Eva Palmer, Vice president, Mrs. Margery Walentine; secretary, Mrs. Mildred Given; treasurer, Mrs. Lottie Purington; and Miss Helen Denham in charge of "Cheer Cards."
Mrs. Mary Webber and Mrs. W. D. Hutchins are the only living charter members. Mrs. Webber was the secretary for thirty-five consecutive years. Mrs. Sybil Briary, another faithful officer, served sixteen years as president.
In the early years, the group had many all day meetings where they would work on patchwork and other sewing and enjoy a bountiful dinner served by the hostess of the day. Most of today's meetings are afternoon affairs except for a few all day picnic meetings.
The Comfort Branch owns a hospital bed, three wheel chairs, several canes and crutches, bed rests, etc. that they lend without cost to those who need them.
This group of ladies has never been very large in numbers. But countless Bowdoinham shut-ins and needy could testify to their thoughtfulness because of "Sunshine Baskets," money, and cards that they have received.
TAKEN AT MRS. GEORGE SEDGLEY'S, APRIL, 1962
From left to right: Mrs. Carrie Johnson, Mrs. Lona Hackett, Mrs. Mary Webber, Mrs. Edna Small, Mrs. Mildred Given, Mrs. George Sedgley, Mrs. Ethel Hackett, and Mrs. Lottie Purington. Miss Eva Palmer in front.
TAKEN AT MRS. BEALS, JUNE 21, 1907
Front row: Mrs. Webber, Fred Beals, Annie Beals, Ethel Hackett, Lawrence and Helen Hackett, Ella Williams and Nel Blair.
Back row: Mrs. Hattie Hackett, Mrs.George Sedgley, Nellie Rideout, Mrs. Stockman, Mary Webber, and Hortense Cannon.
TAKEN AT THE WESLEY WILLIAMS HOME, 1912
Front row: Nettie Brown, Ella Temple, May Heenie-Gould. Back row: Phina Brown, Marion Brawn, Annie Raymond, Sybil Briary, Mrs. Soule, Mrs. Bishop and Mary Webber. Behind Nettie Brown is Hattie Hackett.
Three-Quarter Century Club
Mr. Edward Buker
Mrs. Margaret Gile
Mrs. Lottie Purington
Mrs. Elizabeth Bishop
Mrs. Alice Hinkley Given
Mr. Charles Preble
Mr. George Caswell
Mrs. Mary Glabb
Mrs. Mildred Robinson
Mr. Cleveland P. Curtis
Mrs. Mildred Given
Mr. George Robinson
Mr. George Chesley
Miss Jane Given
Mrs. Martha Reed
Mr. William Crague
Mr. Edmund Gilpatrick
Mr. Stephen Reed
Mrs. Ellen Cornish
Mr. C. Eugene Hill
Mrs. Mattie Small
Miss Jessie Cromwell
Mrs. Ethel Hackett
Mr. Alden Small
Mrs. Ida Douglass
Mr. George Hackett
Mrs. Edna Small
Miss Georgia Denham
Mr. Charles Hackett
Mr. George Sedgley
Mrs. Cora Denham
Mr. Frank Hackett
Mr. Percy Tibbetts
Mrs. J. Albion Dunlap
Miss Mary Hardie
Mr. George Trefry
Mr. Rudolph Dussault
Mr. Perley Harmon
Mrs. Emily Wallace
Mr. George Dotten
Mrs. Carrie Merrill Johnson
Mr. Robert Wallace
Mrs. Elizabeth G. Eldridge
Mr. Elmer Jordan
Mr. Edward White
Mrs. Dorothy Favour
Mrs. Carrie Kimball
Miss Frances Wilson (92)
Dr. Richard Favour
Mrs. Josephine Lang
Mrs. Mary Webber
Mrs. Maud Fossett
Mrs. Nettie Leavett
Mrs. Mazie Williams
Mrs. Clyde Fossett
Mr. Harold Lammers
Mrs. Annie Weeks
Mrs. Miranda Hackett Meserve
Bowdoinham's oldest citizen who was born in Bowdoinham is Miss Frances Elizabeth Wilson, born March 27, 1870. She was graduated from Bowdoinham High School in 1888, Farmington State Normal School in 1894, and the McLane Hospital of Nursing as R.N. in 1911.
Mrs. Carrie Kimball is the oldest resident who holds the Boston Post Cane. She was born January 21, 1865 and moved to Bowdoinham about 1932.