History of Monmouth, Maine
From
A Gazetteer of the
State of Maine
By Geo. J. Varney
Published by B. B. Russell, 57 Cornhill,
Boston 1886
Transcribed by Betsey S. Webber



Monmouth the north-westerly town of Kennebec County,
is about 16 miles from Augusta, and about 48 miles from Portland, on
the line of the Maine Central Railway from the latter place to Water-
ville. The town is nearly square in its form; and is bounded on the
east by Litchfield and West Gardiner, north by Winthrop and Wayne,
and having the town of Wales, in Androscoggin County on the south,
and Green and Leeds, in the same county, on the west. On or near
the border lie five ponds, commencing at the south-east with Purgatory
ponds, there follow Cobbossee Contee Great Pond at the north-east,
Annabessacook at the north, Androscoggin Pond at the north-west,
and parallel to and south-easterly of this, Wilsons' Pond. The latter
takes its name from a man who was drowned in it by the Indians. The
first settlers found a small tribe of these residing in town, who grad-
ually disappeared. In the western part of the town lies Cochnewagan
Pond, whose outlet furnishes the power for the manufactories at Mon-
mouth Centre. There are a grain mill, capable of grinding seventy-
five bushels of wheat per day, and of corn, five or six hundred; a sash-
factory, a saw-mill with capacity to saw from five to seven thousand
feet of boards per day; a shingle-mill and carpenter's shop. The other
villages are South Monmouth, East Monmouth and North Monmouth.
At each of these is a post-office, and the Maine Central Railway has a
station at the Centre. At East Monmouth, on the outlet of Annabes-
sacook Pond, is a saw and shingle mill; and on the outlet of Wilson's
Pond at North Monmouth is a factory for making shovels, hoes, and
axes, a grist-mill, and several lesser manufactures.

The surface is uneven, but it is said that there is not a lot of waste
land in town. The most extensive elevation of land is Oak Hill, from
150 to 200 feet high. The underlying rock is principally granite, and
the soil is a gravelly loam. Agriculture is the chief occupation of the
inhabitants; and excellent crops of hay, apples and potatoes are pro-
duced. The town also yields considerable quantity of beef cattle and
dairy products.

The first settlers are believed to be Thomas Gray, Joseph Allen,
Philip Jenkins, Reuben Ham and Jonathan Thompson, who removed
from Brunswick in the winter of 1777. Two years later arrivd Icha-
bod Baker, John Welch, Alexander Thompson, Hugh Mulloy, and
John and Benoni Austin. Peter Hopkins and James Blossom came in
1781, and some thirty others soon after. Among the latter were Gen-
eral (then Colonel) Henry Dearborn, Simon and Benjamin Dearborn
and John Chandler. The territory was part of the Plymouth Patent.
At the close of the Revolutionary war, General Dearborn became pro-
prietor of 5, 225 acres of land in the township, upon which he erected
farm buildings and mills, residing constantly upon his property for
several years, and spending a portion of his time here for the remain-
der of his life. John Chandler came as an itinerant blacksmith, the
poorest man in the settlement in respect to money. But his talents
were of a high order, and he rose to be Major General of the State
Militia, a representative in Congress, a United States senator and
later was appointed collector of the port of Portland. Among other
residents were General James McClellan, afterward of Bath, Colonel
Greenleaf Dearborn, of the United States army, General Ira Blossom,
of Buffalo, New York, and Hon. Anson G. Chandler.

During its existence as a plantation, it bore at different times the
names of Freetown, Bloomingsborough and Wales. It was incorpo-
rated as a town in 1792, and at the suggestion of General Dearborn,
received the name it now bears in commemoration of the battle of
Monmouth, in which he bore a part.

There are six church-edifices in town, belonging to the Congrega-
tionalists, the Calvinist and the Free Baptists, and the Methodists.
Monmouth Academy, founded in 1803, was for many years in the
front rank of the itinerary institutions of the State; and many eminent
persons have here received a part of their education. Monmouth has
besides fourteen public schoolhouses, valued at $5,000. The valuation
of estates in 1870 was $592,068. In 1880 it was $609,042. The population
in 1870 was 1,744. By the census of 1880 it is now placed at 1,520.

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