History of Warren, Maine
From
A Gazetteer of the
State of Maine

By Geo. J. Varney
Published by B. B. Russell, 57 Cornhill,
Boston 1886




Warren, one of the western towns of Knox County, situated upon the St. George’s River, which passes through it from north to south, dividing it into nearly equal sections. Other streams are Back River and the outlets of North and South, Crawford and White Oak ponds. The first of these ponds has an area of about onehalf a square mile, and the second of about one square mile. The area of the town is near 27,000 square acres. The surface is quite broken, with many hills, the highest of which are Mount Pleasant and Congress Mountain. The first of these affords an extensive view of the ocean and of Penobscot Bay. The soil of the town is variable—chiefly clay loam, and rewards well the labors of the husbandman. The chief crop for market is hay. Limestone is the principal bed-rock, though there is some granite, both of which are quarried. There was formerly a large quantity of lime made in the town, and the industry is still followed to some extent. The coasting trade was formerly much pursued, but has been mostly abandoned. Ship-building, also, was formerly a leading industry. Between the years of 1770 and 1850 there were built here 224 vessels, varying from fifty to above 1,000 tons burthen. This business too, has now fallen off. The principal manufactures at present are woollens, by the Georges River Mills; snow-shoes, by the Warren Shoe Factory, each employing nearly 100 hands, and E. Wason, powder. The three principal villages are known as Warren, and North and South Warren. The station of the Knox and Lincoln railroad in this town is 12 miles west of Rockland.

Warren was originally known as the Upper-town of St. George, and belonged to the Mnscongus, afterward the Waldo Patent. The settlement was begun under the auspices of General Waldo, the pro prietor, in 1736. At this time, says Eaton, “with the exception of a trading-house, mill sand fort, wnich had been erected on the banks of the St. George one hundred and twenty-five years previous, no marks of civilization existed, and no inroads wore made upon that unbroken forest, which over the whole county sheltered the moose and the Indian alike from the scorching suns of summer and the howling storms of winter.’ Having made a favorable arrangement with the proprietor, Waldo, forty-seven persons, in the summer of 1736, located themselves here. Waldo furnished them with provisions, and they occupied themselves principally in getting out staves and cord-wood, varied with hunting and fishing. In 1752, there was an arrival of German emigrants; and in subsequent years more of these, with English, Scotch and Irish, augmented the number ot inhabitants. Among the settlers of 1735 occur many names still represented in Warren and the neighboring towns, as Patterson, Baggs, Creighton, Starrett, Spear, Lermond, McIntyre, Robinson and Kalloch. Gen. Ellis Spear, recently commissioner of patents, is a native of Warren and a descendant of an early settler. In 1752, another colony brought 20 Scottish families, being among others the following names, now closely identified with the history of the town. Anderson, Dicke, Crawford, Malcolm and Kirkpatrick. The name Stirling which they gave their village still adheres to the Jocality. Great numbers of shad and alewives were formerly caught in the St. George’s and its branches in this town, yielding quite a revenue. The natives marked a tree near the first falls and forbade the English to fish above it. The transgression of this edict was one of the causes of the hostility of the Indians.

Warren was incorporated in 1776, taking its name from Gen. Joseph Warren, who had then recently fallen at Bunker Hill. It was first represented in the General Court in 1779, by Moses Copeland, Esq.; later, by Samuel S. Wilde and Samuel Thatcher; Henry Alexander, elected in 1788—9, was the first captain of the plantation militia. His successor was Thomas Kilpatrick, who had charge of the block-house, built in 1753 above the fort. In 1754, the settlers were driven by the Indians to take refuge in these defences, and others in Cushing. The town records eofnmence and continue unbroken from 1777. They show that the inhabitants were the active and bold friends of liberty. The first post-office in town was established in 1794; the first meetinghouse, in 1793; and one was built by the Baptists in 1806. Rev. Robert Rutherford preached several years to this people prior to 1756. Rev. John Urquhart, was the first settled minister. He was dismissed in 1782—3; being succeeded by Rev. Jonathan Ruse, ordained 1795. The first bridge over the river was built in 1780; another at the head of the tide was built in 1790—1. The first saw-mill was built in 1785. A court house was erected and courts established there in 1799.

Among the eminent citizens of the modern period are Hon. Edwin Smith, Oscar Eaton, Esq., Dr. B. F. Burton and Cyrus Eaton, the historian. An account of this town or of the county would be incomplete without a sketch of the latter. Cyrus Eaton was born at Framingharri, Mass., in 1784 coming to Maine as a teacher of music at the age of 20 years. He settled in Warren, and subsequently by unremitting application became—unaided by teachers—a very learned man, a proficient in various branches of science, and master of several languages. In 1845 he became blind, and assisted by his invalid daughter as amanuensis, turned his attcntion to writing the town histories of this centrai region of Maine, for which he had been for many years collecting materials. “For accuracy, elegance of style and general merit, nis works have seldom been equalled in their department of literature. Mr. Eaton received distinguished honors from various institutions and learned societies in recognition of his historical and other literary labors.” The church edifices belong to the Congregationalists and Japtists. There is a public library of about 500 volumes. The town sustains an excellent high-school. The number of public schoolhouses is nineteen; and the school property is valued at $9,000. The valuation of estates in 1870 was $834,610. In 1880 it was $789,820. The population in 1870 was 1,974. In 1880 it was 2,166.

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