Historical Sketch of BUCKFIELD Maine
Leading Business Men of


BUCKFIELD is in the southeast of Oxford County, on the Buckfield & Rumford Falls R. R. It is divided by the Nerinscot or Twenty-Mile river and also has other water supply which gives it a very large resource in this direction. Falls Brook Abbott, Washburn, Half-Moon, Shag, Tantrabagus, Wind, Bungamuck, Swan, Great; and Little Labrador Ponds are some of the most important water reservoirs. There are also many hills in the town, the most prominent of which are Streaked Mountain, South Hills and Owl's Head Hill. Resting among these various elevations, the town is both sheltered and beautified. The soil, especially along the river, is fertile and agriculture advantageous. There are also in these hills several veins df magnetic iron and yellow ochre which have been mined a little and promise good results if developed. The town is the center of business for this part of the country, and its commercial interests are constantly progressing. The water supply has been a great advantage from the start. There are ten good powers on the Nerinscot river, and the outlets to the various ponds. This power is practically undeveloped and will admit of great expansion. The present industrial interests are mainly in lumber, staves, wooden tools, grains, brushes, leather harnesses, shoes, tanneries, plaster, carding, shingles, powder kegs and powder. A slight outlay would make the water supply inexhaustible and abundantly capable of supplying a great manufacturing interest. The river is easily utilized for the purpose, other advantages are abundant,, and transportation by railroad to all markets easy. There is a great granite ridge nearthe river, which will also be of great financial profit to some enterprising business man. The history of Buckfield is replete with interest. The first settler in the town was Benj. Spaulding, who came in 1776. He was followed in 1777 by Abijah Buck and Thomas Allen with their families. In 1785 the town was surveyed and the settlers paid two shillings an acre for it to the State of Massachusetts. The place was named after Abijab Buck and his mother, who were after that sturdy stock which has left the imprint of its life and name in various parts of the State. In 1793 the town was incorporated as Buckfield. In 1807 it sent its first representative to the Legislature in the person of Enoch Hall. A great fire across this part of the State in 1816, levelled the forest and incalculably damaged the towns. It was long before Buckfield recovered from the effects. The first preacher here was Rev. Nathan Chase, who had been a chaplain in the Revolution and exercised a strong and noble influence here for many years. The first church of which he was pastor, was organized by the Baptist denomination in 1821. Seba Smith, the well-known journalist and author was born here as was also Hon. Virgil D: Parson, member of Congress, and Hon. John D. Long, Ex-Gov. of Massachusetts, and member of Congress. The town took an active and devoted interest in the Olvil War, and was represented at the front by some of Maine's most gallant soldiers. The sad, as well as the honored and joyful memorials of that great conflict have been affectionately treasured.

The town has made considerable advance in many lines since the war. In 1870 the population was 1,494, and the valuation $534,678. In 1880 the population was 1,579, and the valuation $397,598. Much business development has also been gained during the present decade. Altogether with its rich resources and the progressiveness of its people, the town's business outlook is most promising and it bids fair to become one of the chief centers of the inland trade of the State. The educational interests of the town have always been carefully considered and executed; the schools have a high and wide reputation. The town is also well advanced in social and religious culture, the churches and every charitable work are generously supported. The great natural beauty of the region is also attracting more tourists and summer visitors here every season.

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