Local students named to president’s list at Plymouth State University

Local students have been named to the Plymouth State University president’s list for the spring 2024 semester, in Plymouth, New Hampshire. Named were:

Dylan Flewelling, of Oakland. Flewelling is a exercise and sport physiology major.
Joscelyn Gagnon, of Benton. Gagnon is a music education (K-12) major.
Kaiden Kelley, of South China. Kelley is an art and design major.
Abigail Sewall, of Jefferson. Sewall is a nursing major.

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Benton

Benton map

by Mary Grow

Continuing north on the east side of the Kennebec River, the next town after Winslow is Benton. Next north of Benton is Clinton.

These two towns share with Winslow not just the Kennebec, but the Sebasticook River as well. The Sebasticook meanders a bit west of south through Clinton’s town center, and past two of Benton’s once-four villages, on its way to join the Kennebec in Winslow.

Unlike Augusta, Vassalboro and Winslow, neither Benton nor Clinton ever included land on the west bank of the Kennebec.

Your writer intended to write about both towns this week. As usual, she found too much information; Clinton’s story will be postponed.

* * * * * *

What is now Benton began as the southern part of Clinton. It was part of the Kennebec Purchase. A summary history on the Town of Benton website says the area was surveyed in 1769.

The history section of Benton’s 2018 comprehensive plan names the earliest European settler as Ebenezer Heald, who in 1763 built the required cabin and cleared the necessary land to get a grant from Gershom Flagg. (Flagg was mentioned in the May 30 history article as a 1764 grantee on the west side of the Kennebec in Augusta.)

The first Benton settlers Henry Kingsbury listed in his Kennebec County history were Irish emigres George FitzGerald and David Gray, who settled on the Kennebec about a mile north of Benton Station. He gave no date, but said elsewhere the first settlers arrived in 1775, later than the Benton website and comprehensive plan say. Kingsbury named Flagg as an early settler on the Sebasticook around 1783, on a Plymouth Company grant that was “fifteen miles long by half a mile wide.”

It was not until 1842 that southern Clinton became a separate town. The Benton website credits the area that became Benton with the first sawmill on the Sebasticook, in 1773; the first doctor in town (Ezekiel Brown, Jr., at Benton Station on the Kennebec, in 1789); the first Clinton post office (at Flagg’s store in Benton Village on the Sebasticook, on July 29, 1811); and the first church building in town (the Congregational Meeting House at Benton Falls, also on the Sebasticook, in 1828).

Kingsbury wrote that Benton town records start with a March 16, 1842, Maine legislative act (Maine had become a separate state on March 15, 1820). This act divided Clinton and incorporated “the town of Sebasticook.”

A Historical Society slideshow on the Town of Clinton’s website illustrates the separation. It describes the line of demarcation beginning on the Kennebec, going east-southeast to the Sebasticook and up the middle of the Sebasticook to Clinton’s east boundary. It appears that Sebasticook took almost half Clinton’s land area.

Sebasticook, the comprehensive plan says, is an Anglicization of “Chebattiscook or Chebattis, meaning John Batstiste’s [Baptiste’s?] Place.” A Maine education website calls it a Penobscot word meaning “‘almost through place’ or ‘short passage river,’ referring to the short portage to the Souadabscook Stream, which connects the Penobscot and Kennebec rivers.”

At a March 4, 1850, town meeting, Kingsbury said, Sebasticook voters directed their selectmen to propose a new name. Selectmen chose Benton, which was approved by the legislature and first used at a September 1850 town meeting.

Sources your writer found are, for once, unanimous on the origin of the name: it honors Democratic U. S. Senator Thomas Hart Benton (March 14, 1782 – April 10, 1858). Benton served in the Senate from Aug. 10, 1821 to March 3, 1851; Wikipedia says he was the first person to serve five terms.

What else he was noted for depends on the source. Kingsbury mentioned only his 1854-1856 two-volume book, Thirty Years in the United States Senate (cited elsewhere as Thirty Years View).

Benton was a lieutenant colonel in the War of 1812, serving as Andrew Jackson’s aide, seeing no combat.

He fought several duels (an unlikely reason to name a town after him).

Wikipedia calls him “an architect and champion of [United States] westward expansion,” the movement also called Manifest Destiny.

He was a slave-owner, but opposed extending slavery into new territories.

The Encyclopedia Britannica says Benton insisted that public lands be distributed to people planning to settle on them; his political base in the 1820s was “small farmers and traders.”

Several sources mention Benton’s support of hard currency (“gold and silver coins instead of paper money and bank notes”), for which he was nicknamed “Old Bullion.”

It would be interesting to know which of these policies impressed the Benton selectmen, or what other choices, if any, they debated. Your writer notes two advantages of the new name: it’s closer to the top of alphabetical lists, and it’s shorter and quicker to say and write.

A Wikipedia article lists more than a dozen United States counties and towns named in Senator Benton’s honor, including Benton, Maine.

* * * * * *

Although Benton did not exist legally until March 16, 1842, Kingsbury and others begin their histories of the town decades earlier. Readers should remember that the name “Benton” in the following paragraphs is used retroactively until incorporation.

Kingsbury, finishing his history in 1892, named four villages in the Town of Benton: Benton Falls, Benton Village, East Benton and Benton Station (originally Brown’s Corner, where Dr. Brown settled). If these population centers began life as Clinton Falls, etc., your writer has found no historian who mentioned it.

Benton Falls and Benton Village were both on the Sebasticook, adjacent to waterfalls that provided water power. Benton Falls was and is on the east bank, on what is now Falls Road, running along the river from Route 139 south to the Winslow town line.

Your writer has been unable to find a definitive location for Benton Village, which no longer exists under that name. More intensive research in 19th-century land deeds should provide the information: Kingsbury identified the village, and other locations, by names of nearby pre-1892 residents.

There were two notable “falls” in the Sebasticook in the late 1700s and early 1800s, called upper falls and lower falls. Several sources, including Benton’s comprehensive plan and the town website, say Benton Falls was/is on the upper – upriver, or more northerly – falls.

The website lists, between 1769 and 1773, “First dam built at the upper falls (in now Benton Falls).” The plan says, “The first dam, erected at the upper falls in Benton Falls[,] was built before the Revolutionary War.”

Kingsbury, however, said the mills and shops at the upper falls were in Benton Village. He wrote that around 1800, Captain Andrew Richardson built an early sawmill on the east bank “at the upper falls (now Benton village).”

After much reading and map study, your writer sides with Kingsbury: as the Sebasticook flows toward the Kennebec, Benton (Village) is upriver, or north, of Benton Falls. This opinion is strengthened by the map in the 1879 Kennebec County atlas, which shows Benton P. O. (post office) on the west bank, upstream of Benton Falls P. O. on the east bank.

(The map in the 1856 atlas shows a densely populated area from south of Benton Falls to north of Benton Village on both sides of the Sebasticook and along roads paralleling it. This combined population center is labeled Sebasticook Corner on the east bank and Benton on the west bank.)

The present bridge where Route 139 crosses the Sebasticook, the Benton town office on the west bank a short distance downriver and nearby residences and commercial buildings are now in the area labeled Benton or Benton Village.

“Before 1800 a toll bridge was built and carried away several times by high water,” the Benton website says. Whether the river was bridged first at Benton Falls or Benton Village is unspecified. The 1856 map appears to show a bridge at each place.

East Benton and Benton Station are easier to locate.

East Benton was south of Fifteen Mile (or Fifteenmile) Stream, along today’s East Benton Road, in the southeastern part of town. Kingsbury listed two sawmills on Fifteen Mile Stream before 1840. They burned around 1855, were rebuilt and burned again sometime after 1870, he wrote.

The East Benton post office opened Aug. 5, 1858, Kingsbury said. The 1879 map shows an area labeled East Benton P. O. on the East Benton Road around the intersections with Richards, Hanscomb and Bog roads, on the west side of Fifteen Mile Stream.

On Dec. 28, 1887, Kingsbury said, the post office name was changed to Preston Corner; Daniel Preston had been postmaster since March 22 of that year, and served until Nov. 20, 1889. The name became East Benton again on May 29, 1891.

Benton Station was and is on the bank of the Kennebec, extending along the river both ways from the bridges between Benton and Fairfield. The 1879 map shows Maine Central railroad tracks through the village. The comprehensive plan says as of 2018, the former railbed was part of Benton’s Kennebec River Walking Trail.

Kingsbury said the first Benton Station post office was not established until May 31, 1878.

Going back to the Sebasticook, the comprehensive plan says a second dam was built at the lower falls in 1809, but it had no fish passage and therefore “so hindered the fishing that six years later the selectmen had it removed.” (But if the lower falls is really at Benton Falls, it must have been soon replaced to provide water power.)

The plan emphasizes the importance of fishing to early settlers, for food and as an “industry.” Main catches were alewives and shad; there were some salmon.

In 1817, the plan says, “fishing privileges were auctioned off so that sections of the river were sold to individuals.” Kingsbury added that people brought wagons from 40 miles around to collect fish, “which were thrown into the carts literally by the shovelful.” Alewives cost 25 cents per 100, shad four cents each.

The Sebasticook was a better fishery than the Kennebec because the Sebasticook was bridged and “could be spanned easily by weirs,” letting residents use both banks, the plan explained. The west bank of the Kennebec was and is in the Town of Fairfield.

Damming the Kennebec at Augusta in 1836 ended the fisheries.

Kingsbury said an early sawmill was built at the Sebasticook’s upper falls about 1800, and listed three mills and a tannery there in the 1820s.

Around the same time, he mentioned a blacksmith shop and Gershom Flagg’s grist mill at Benton Falls. Benton Falls, he said, had its first tavern by 1818, and by 1823 another tavern “where the pulp mill boarding house now [1892] stands.”

The comprehensive plan calls Benton Falls “the hub of the community” in the first half of the 19th century. The writer listed “at least three (3) sawmills, a tannery, carding and dye mill, grist mill and shingle mill.”

By the 1860s, “a brush and block-handle factory was run in the same building that wooden shoe sole shoes were manufactured. In 1872, a potato planter was invented and manufactured at the Benton Falls.”

The plan adds that Benton’s large pine trees were another economic resource. It says the masts for the USS Constitution (launched Oct. 21, 1797) were cut in Unity by a team of six men, mostly from Benton; hauled to the Sebasticook behind 20 oxen; and floated downriver through Benton.

Kingsbury listed early stores at Benton Falls (from 1808), Benton Station (from before 1810), Benton Village (from 1828) and East Benton (not until the 1870s). The East Benton store, “on the west corner of the road to Clinton,” began life as a smithy (no date), was enlarged and converted about 1878, and burned six days after it opened, he wrote.

The comprehensive plan says the “first frame house north of Augusta” was built on Benton’s Eames Road in 1772. (Eames Road runs southeast off Falls Road at the southern end of Benton Falls.) The builder’s name is omitted.

Main sources

Kingsbury, Henry D., ed., Illustrated History of Kennebec County Maine 1625-1892 (1892).
Town of Benton, 2018 Comprehensive Plan (found on line).

Websites, miscellaneous.

Correction and apology

For the article (above) on the Town of Benton, which was separated from Clinton in 1842, your writer reviewed multiple sources’ differing locations for the upper falls and the lower falls on the Sebasticook River.

She concluded the village of Benton Falls, on the east bank of the river, was founded at the lower falls. Having since had time to visit Clinton’s Brown Memorial Library and read part of Major General Carleton Edward Fisher’s admirably researched 1970 history of Clinton, she now believes she was wrong: Benton Falls, a mill village in the 19th century and a residential area today, was and is at the upper falls.

Fisher wrote that the lower falls were only about half a mile north of the Winslow town line. The upper falls were about half a mile farther upriver.

Another mile upriver, about where today’s highway bridge carries Route 139 across the Sebasticook a little north of the Benton town office, and where your writer erroneously located the upper falls, is what Fisher labeled Nine Mile Rips, a third stretch where the river drops comparatively rapidly.

The apology is to the writers of the Town of Benton’s website and comprehensive plan histories, who said, correctly, that Benton Falls was and is at the upper falls.

East Kennebec Trail renamed in honor of Peter Garrett

Peter Garrett cuts the ribbon to the trail renamed in his honor. (photo by Michele Dorr)

Great moment for Kennebec Messalonskee Trails and the community

Peter Garrett cuts the ribbon to the trail renamed in his honor. (photo by Michele Dorr)

The East Kennebec Trail, on Benton Avenue, in Benton, has been renamed the Peter Garrett Trail, on May 16, 2024. They had a ribbon cutting ceremony at 3 p.m., to honor Peter Garrett and to officially rename the trail. This was a great honor for the Kennebec Messalonskee Trails and the community.


CORRECTION: In the article above, which appeared on the cover of the May 23, 2024, issue of The Town Line, it was originally incorrectly stated that the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors authorized the renaming of a trail in the Kennebec Messalonskee  trails after long-time advocate Peter Garrett. It was not in the board’s jurisdiction to do so. It was a reporting error.



EVENTS: Benton alewife festival set for May 18, 2024

The 2024 edition of the Benton Alewife Festival will take place on Saturday, May 18, from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., at t he park near the Benton Town Office, on Rte. 100. The event will take place rain or shine.

The Benton Alewife Festival is a free community event celebrating the annual return of the alewives to the Sebasticook River. This event includes live music with the Oystermen, free food including hot dogs, samples of smoked alewives, arts and craft projects, face painting, demonstrations and information from the Kennebec-Messalonskee Trails group, Sebasticook Regional Land Trust, Ken Hamilton Living History, Benton Historical Society, St. Joseph Nature Sanctuary, Maine Rivers, commercial alewife harvesters, wood carvers, local beekeeper, Forest Rangers from the Maine Forest Service, and much more! This event will take place rain or shine!

For more information visit our Facebook Page .

Silver Beaver award presented to area scout leaders

by Chuck Mahaleris

The Silver Beaver is the highest award a local council can bestow upon a volunteer Scout leader. Two local scouters from across the Kennebec Valley District of Pine Tree Council received this award, Kelly Pillsbury, of Benton, and Joseph Poulin, of Oakland. Kennebec Valley District delivers Scouting in Kennebec, Lincoln, Knox, Somerset, and Franklin Counties.

Poulin has been active in scouting since 1990 when he was a Webelos Cub Scout and then crossed into Oakland Troop #454. He earned his Eagle Scout award in 1997. Since 2002, he has served as a volunteer leader in scouting at the local, district and council levels. He is currently serving as the vice chairman of Kennebec Valley District, training chairman for Pine Tree Council and a member of the Pine Tree Council Executive Board. Additionally, he has served as program director for Day Camp and Fun Pack Weekends. “I enjoy seeing youth succeed and grow,” Poulin said.

Kelly Pillsbury is a former district chairman for Kennebec Valley District and currently serving on the district committee and as a committee member for Troop #479, based in China. Both have received the District Award of Merit which is the highest award a local scouting district can bestow upon a volunteer. Pillsbury is a past Exalted Ruler of Waterville Elks Lodge #905 during which time she formed the “Antler Lodge” to bring the Elks program to youth. She joined scouting in 1995 as a Tiger Cub parent and has been active since. “Kelly has been active in Scouting for more than twenty-five years,” said district member Ron Emery, of China. “Kelly always has had goals to advocate that training was important for Cub leaders, scout leaders as well as scouts, and the troop committee should always support and encourage that training.”

The awards were presented in Raymond, at Camp Hinds, on January 18, by Pine Tree Council Vice Chairman Scott Valcourt.

EVENTS: Understanding land surveying

A landscape painting by Uliana Fournier, Winslow High School, grade 10. (contributed photo)

An Understanding Land Surveying workshop will be held at the Benton Grange Hall, 29 River Rd., Benton, on Wednesday, April 17, 6:30 – 8 p.m.

The sight of land surveyors peering into tripod-mounted equipment by the roadside is common enough, but what are they actually doing? Frank Siviski, a professional land surveyor with more than 30 years of experience, will shed light on the seemingly mysterious world of boundary determinations. Siviski has taught survey-related courses at Unity College, and is formerly an instructor at Kennebec Valley Community College, in Fairfield. His talk will help landowners understand how surveys are created, standards that are applied, and how landowners’ goals shape the outcome. If you have questions about boundary surveys, this is an opportunity to have those questions answered.

Local students named to dean’s honor list

Zachary Craig, of Benton, Catherine Estes, of Sidney, and Rebecca Riley, of Chelsea, were named to the dean’s honor list at Cedarville University, in Cedarville, Ohio, for Fall 2023.

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Some early Maine poets

by Mary Grow

As promised last week, no more ponds for a while. Instead, your writer turned to Thomas Addison’s chapter on Literature and Literary People, in Henry Kingsbury’s Kennebec County history. She hopes you will enjoy meeting a few of the writers mentioned.

Addison’s definition of literature covers almost anyone who wrote: newspaper people, historians, educators and sundry others. Your writer has chosen arbitrarily to begin with selected poets.

Many of the names Addison mentioned have no on-line references. Others are listed only as contributors to a book titled The Poets of Maine: A Collection of Specimen Poems from over Four Hundred Verse-makers of the Pine-tree State, compiled by George Bancroft Griffith and published in 1888.

Your writer found excerpts from this book on line. The samples she read have brief biographies and selected poems.

* * * * * *

Amos Lunt Hinds’ book,
Uncle Stephens

A large number of writers came from Augusta, Gardiner and Hallowell. Addison listed surprisingly few from Waterville or towns farther north, and not many from smaller towns.

An exception was the Town of Benton, identified as the home of poets Amos Lunt Hinds and Hannah Augusta Moore.

Amos Lunt Hinds (born in Benton Nov. 12, 1833, or sometime in 1834; died in Benton, April 24, 1908) was the son of Asher Hinds (born in Benton May 2, 1792; died in Benton April 23, 1860) and Lucy Harding (Turner) Hinds (1801 – July 2, 1883), who was either the first or second of his two wives (sources disagree).

The on-line description of Forgotten Books’ 2018 reprint of Amos Hinds’ 1905 Uncle Stephen and Other Verses includes Hinds’ introduction. The poet said the poems were written over 40 years; some had been published in newspapers and magazines, locally and out of state. Hinds collected them into a book “at the suggestion and request of old friends, to whom they are submitted with affectionate greeting.”

An article in the Jan. 10, 1906, issue of the Colby Echo (found on line) republishes a Dec. 27, 1905, Waterville Evening Mail article on the publication of Uncle Stephen. Hinds is described as a Colby graduate, Class of 1858, and a resident of Benton Falls.

The unnamed writer of the article mentioned several poems with local connections.

The one titled The Soldiers ‘ Monument was “read at the unveiling of the monument in this city on May 30, 1876.” The newspaper quoted one verse:

Long let this musing soldier stand,
‘Neath free New England skies,
To all that love the fatherland,
Type of self-sacrifice.

General Isaac Sparrow Bangs, in his military history included in Edwin Carey Whittemore’s Waterville history, describes the founding of the Waterville Soldiers’ Monument Association in March 1864, before the Civil War ended. Its purpose was to provide a memorial to honor Waterville residents who died in the war.

The first fund-raising events were that month. After a Nov. 29, 1865, event, Bangs wrote, the association apparently went dormant until June 1875. By then, donations and interest totaled $1,000, and the town gave a matching sum.

Association committees were formed to design the monument and find a site. Two more fundraisers May 16 and 17, 1876, added $350, and the Waterville Soldiers’ Monument, in what is now Veterans Memorial Park, at the corner of Elm and Park streets, was dedicated on Tuesday, May 30, 1876, Memorial Day.

Another of Hinds’ poems, Old Block House, was about Fort Halifax, in Winslow, the 1906 newspaper writer said.

Uncle Stephen, “the first and longest poem in the volume,” honored Stephen Crosby, whom the writer called “one of the early settlers of that portion of Winslow which lies adjacent to Benton Falls.”

Crosby owned a grist mill, and during 1816, the Year without a Summer, he “endeared himself to his generation and his memory to other generations, by refusing to profit by the distress of his neighbors, continuing to sell corn, of which he had a store, at the ordinary price.”

On-line genealogies say Amos Lunt Hinds married Lettice Orr Reed (1834 – Jan. 26, 1910), and name only one child, Lucy Turner Hinds (1866-1966). The “Colby Echo” article says Amos was the father of Asher C. Hinds, Colby 1883 (but see box on the Hinds family).

* * * * * *

Poets of Maine says Hannah Augusta Moore was born in Wiscasset on March 15 of either 1827 or 1828. Her grandfather was Colonel Herbert Moore, of Waterville; her father, Herbert Thorndike Moore, is identified as “of New York City.”

Her mother, who is not named, and her father were both poets, the biography says. The family moved to Philadelphia when Hannah was “a small child” and she started writing there. Then she lived in New York (City?) “for many years.” In 1886, she “came back” to Benton, which she called “dear native land.”

The biography does not say when Hannah had previously lived in Benton, and the following text is not helpful. It says that after her mother died (no date given), she “attended school at Waterville, Me.”

As soon as Moore settled in Benton, Ephraim Maxwell, publisher of the Waterville Mail newspaper, began publishing her work.

Moore wrote under pseudonyms, including Helen Bruce and Wanona Wandering. The biography explains that she avoided “Hannah” “from a dread that she might be supposed to consider herself a second ‘Hannah More.'”

(Hannah More [Feb. 2, 1745 – Sept. 7, 1833] was a British writer whose works included plays and poetry, mostly religious.)

The biography says it was Moore’s own choice to live “like a hidden singer in a hedge.” Her poems were available in the United States and in Europe, and many were set to music. One collection, titled “Plymouth Notes,” sold 40,000 copies in Europe in its first year.

The biography ends by quoting “June in Maine,” one of Moore’s best-known poems. The first stanza reads:

Beautiful, beautiful summer!
Odorous, exquisite June!
All the sweet roses in blossom,
All the sweet birdies in tune.

The poem urges readers to go outside and enjoy

All the dim aisles of the forest
Ringing and thrilling with song;
Music—a flood-tide of music—
Poured the green valleys along.


Buttercups, daisies, and clover,
Roses, sweet-briar, and fern,
Mingle their breath on the breezes—
Who from such wooing could turn?

* * * * * *

Frances Parker Mace

Frances Parker (Laughton) Mace is another Maine poet, who was a friend of Moore’s. Wikipedia says she was born in Orono, Jan. 15, 1836 (or, one source says, 1834, citing her tombstone), daughter of Dr. Sumner Laughton and Mary Ann (Parker) Laughton.

The family moved to Foxcroft in 1837. Mace’s education included Latin “and other advanced subjects” at Foxcroft Academy when she was only 10 years old. Her first poems were published when she was 12, some in The New York Journal of Commerce, Wikipedia says.

The Laughtons moved to Bangor, and Mace graduated from Bangor High School in 1852. Wikipedia says her most famous poem was published in the “Waterville Mail” when she was 18, suggesting a Waterville connection by 1854 – did she and Moore meet then? Your writer found no evidence.

This poem is titled Only Waiting. It was inspired by a friend who asked an elderly man in a poor-house what he was doing and received the reply, “Only waiting.”

The poem begins:

  Only waiting till the
  Are a little longer grown,
  Only waiting till the
  Of the day’s last beam
is flown;
  Till the night of earth
is faded
  From the heart, once full
of day;
  Till the stars of heaven
are breaking
  Through the twilight
soft and gray.

It goes on to describe the man’s readiness to leave his weary life for the company of angels.

The poem was published in the Waterville Mail under the pseudonym “Inez.” Later, a hymn-writer named Mrs. F. A. F. Wood-White, from Iowa (according to one on-line source), claimed she had composed it, creating a dispute that was eventually resolved in Mace’s favor.

Mace married a lawyer named Benjamin Mace in 1855, and for the next 20 years was busy with eight children, four of whom died young. She began writing again when their eighth child was two years old, with a poem published in Harper’s Magazine.

Her collected poems were published in the 1880s, before and after the family moved to San Jose, California, in 1885. She died in Los Gatos, California, on July 20, 1899.

NOTE: For those interested in seeking out poems mentioned in this article, your writer found on line:

Two recent reprints of Amos Lunt Hinds’ Uncle Stephen and Other Verses: a 2016 hardcover edition by Palala Press, and a 2018 paperback by London-based Forgotten Books.

Three reprints of The Poets of Maine: in 2008 by Kessinger Publishing (Vol. 2 only); a 2017 paperback by Forgotten Books; and a 2023 paperback by Creative Media Partners, LLC.

Listed as available on amazon.com, in January 2024: copies of Frances Laughton Mace’s two poetry collections, Legends, Lyr­ics and Son­nets, originally published in Boston, Mas­sa­chu­setts, by Cupples, Upham, in 1883; and Under Pine and Palm, originally published in Bos­ton by Tick­nor, in 1888. No publisher is given.

More about the Hinds family

On-line sources say poet Amos Lunt Hinds had three younger brothers and a younger sister. The brothers are listed as Albert D. Hinds (1835-1873); Asher Crosby Hinds (1840-1863); and Roswell S. Hinds (1844-1864). The sister was Susan A. Hinds (1837-1905).

Find a Grave website says the Asher Crosby Hinds who was born Jan. 7, 1840, in Clinton, served in Company G of the Third Maine Infantry during the Civil War. He started as a corporal and mustered out as a sergeant. The website quotes the beginning of his obituary from the April 2, 1863, Piscataquis Observer, which says he died in Benton at the age of 23.

Amos and Asher’s brother Albert and his wife Charlotte (Flagg) named their first son, born in 1863, Asher Crosby Hinds.

Wikipedia says Asher Crosby Hinds, born Feb. 6, 1863, and died May 1, 1919, represented Maine’s First District in the U. S. House of Representatives for three terms, from 1911 to 1917.

The article says he attended Coburn Classical Institute and graduated from Colby College in 1883; worked for a Portland newspaper beginning in 1884; and from 1889 to 1911 held clerical positions in the Maine House of Representatives, working for the Speaker.

Hinds edited two procedural manuals, Wikipedia says, an 1899 edition of the Rules, Manual, and Digest of the House of Representatives and in 1908 Hinds’ Precedents of the House of Representatives.

The article cites a 2013 study showing the Precedents “successfully altered the behavior of House representatives, as they became less willing to appeal decisions of the chair.”

This information leads your writer to conclude that Rep. Asher C. Hinds was Amos and Lettice Hinds’ nephew, not their son.

Amos Lunt Hinds and a dozen other family members are buried in Barton-Hinds Cemetery on Eames Road in Winslow, according to Find a Grave.

Main sources

Kingsbury, Henry D., ed., Illustrated History of Kennebec County Maine 1625-1892 (1892).
Whittemore, Rev. Edwin Carey, Centennial History of Waterville 1802-1902 (1902).

Websites, miscellaneous.

Benton native named 2023 Senior Sailor of the Year

Petty Officer 1st Class Maegan Findley, a native of Benton, was named 2023 Senior Sailor of the Year for Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command (NMRTC) Ports­mouth, during a ceremony at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, in Virginia, on October 3.

Findley is a graduate of Lawrence High School, in Fairfield. Findley also earned a degree in medical laboratory sciences in 2010 from Thomas Nelson Community College, in Virginia.

Findley joined the Navy 19 years ago.

The Good Trail: Tall Nancy is coming tomorrow

by Lisa Lichterfeld

“Tall Nancy is coming tomorrow.” Selwyn gives one of his world weary sighs, signaling resignation, since his default stance towards visitors is generally averse. This gets me going with a quick retort. “You are incredibly lucky that tall Nancy chooses to come here and spend time with you.” Selwyn is equally quick to make eye contact and state “You’re right. Tall Nancy is an angel.”

When I took a seasonal farm position at Johnny’s Seeds, some of my friends – fellow parents of young athletes who are part of the Unified Champion Club – asked how they could be supportive. I was concerned about leaving my husband home alone for that length of time. Selwyn is physically frail and has growing memory loss and confusion. He had become increasingly dependent, needing support for many daily life activities. Nancy offered to come one day a week and stay for four hours. She developed her own routine into which she incorporated sweeping and cleaning the kitchen, bringing in the recycling barrel from the road, making and eating lunch with Selwyn, and rubbing Selwyn’s feet. Now everyone reading this understands why the term “angel” can be applied to Nancy. The tall part is because – well, she is tall, and that is how Selwyn distinguishes her from the other Nancys in our circle of friends.

Three weeks after I started working at the farm, I quit. It just wasn’t working out. Making sure the needs of my husband and my daughter were being met through coordinating daily support from my friends and family became too stressful. And Selwyn had deteriorated further due to his anxiety with all of the arrangements.

Tall Nancy said “Can I still come over on Tuesdays?” And so we established a pattern and a growing friendship and camaraderie as Nancy volunteered her time so that I could take a physical and mental breather from the demands of home life.

One day as Nancy was leaving our home I said “you are our hero Nancy”. That afternoon Nancy was walking the trail in Benton with her son Jonathan and his direct support person Kevin.

Chet started working at New Balance 23 years ago, right out of high school. New Balance, as a workplace, encourages its employees to embrace a culture of giving. This aligns with Chet’s own values and temperament. “I’m not going to drive by someone on the road with a flat tire, and not stop.” He hopes that this ethos continues to live on in his sons Christian 21, and Trenton 11.

On the first of July, Chet was driving around looking for a local ball game to watch. It was his first day of vacation. He sat on the bleachers at the Wrigley field, in Waterville, and watched a not so typical game.

All the batters hit the ball – either from multiple pitches or a T. Every hit, catch and run was cheered by the spectators. There was a great deal of elation, and rarely any sense of defeat. Chet was watching the Unified Champion Club. In the UCC team, some players are more skilled and they are able to play more competitively with one another. Others are beginners, or less skilled, and even the most competitive in the field will stop, wait, fumble the ball, and otherwise take steps to make sure that person makes it to first base.

While eating ice cream and observing this unusual ball game, Chet couldn’t help overhearing a conversation taking place a few rows down on the bleachers. Our very own tall Nancy was telling her other mom friends about her dream to have a swing built at her home that was large enough for her six-foot three-inch, 30-year-old son Jonathan. Jonathan is largely non-verbal, and does not participate in team sports, but comes to many of our team events. At the ball field he usually spends his time on the swings. He so loves to swing that he will endure the discomfort of having the too small swings (designed for children) cut into his hips, leaving open areas that have to heal.

This conversation percolated in Chet’s mind, and he decided that he wanted to build that swing. He talked to his friend and co-worker Maggie and she immediately wanted to finance the project. “Word got around and pretty soon everybody was saying ‘I want to help’.”

Now it was up to Chet to find the woman with the son who needed a swing. He went back to the ball field for the next two weeks on the same day at the same time, only to be disappointed. Determined to find them, he called the AYCC, spoke to Patrick Guerette and was informed that the one time that he had watched our game was on an alternate night due to bad weather. The next week he would finally be able to find us on the correct evening.

But he did not have to wait that long. Running on the river trail in Benton, he saw one of the people who he remembered from the game. It was Kevin, one of the partners in the UCC.

Once you have seen Kevin, you will remember him. Noticeably short with a very long, full, dark beard, Kevin is one of the most approachable people I know. Always up for a bit of fun, and frequently a bit of mischief. Chet stopped his run and began rapidly explaining how he recognized Kevin, and how much he wanted to build a swing for “that woman and her son”.

At some point, tall Nancy who was patiently watching this conversation unfold, leaned towards Kevin and whispered “well, shall we tell him?”.

And that is how Chet met Nancy and Jonathan.

Money was pooled from all of those involved with the major portion coming from Maggie.

When the materials were purchased, Dan from Hammond Lumber contributed funds to the project as well. Justin, Jimmy, and Chet built the swing with Chet’s son Trenton and Justin’s son Nick, assisting. Chet’s wife Renee beautified the landscape around the swing, planting flowers that continued to bloom right through the summer.

It all happened in a single day when Jonathan was out with Kevin and his partner Jill. Jonathan doesn’t like having people in his home and can sometimes become quite upset. But upon returning to the house at the end of the day, the smile and immediate adoption of the swing could not be mistaken for anything less than Joy. No matter how many people stood by and watched!

On the same day that I called Nancy “our hero”, she met Chet on the trail. As though synchronized by a writer’s pen, the trail of good deeds made itself visible. The service Nancy so graciously gave to us, and the very tangible and large swing that brought joy to Jonathan (and some respite for Nancy), seemed to be linked. At least in Nancy’s mind. Because the next time she came over, she said “You see, I better keep coming, because good things are happening!”

Love to my good friends Nancy Moore, Jonathan Tingley, Kevin Taft and Jill Currier. And love to those helpers I have not met – Chet, Renee and Trenton Hanscom, Maggie Diagle, Justin and Nick Cote, Jimmy Lucas, and Dan Doray.

The Unified Champion Club is a non-profit that operates out of the AYCC providing sporting events and memberships to adults with special needs and their partners. It brings people together whose destiny it is to assist one another in celebrating our beautiful lives. All donations towards this endeavor are welcome.

Lisa Lichterfeld is also the author of the book “My Name is Kwayah” written from the perspective of her daughter with Down Syndrome, and available on Amazon.