History of Montville, Maine
A Gazetteer of the
State of Maine

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

Montville lies in the western part of Waldo county, 16 miles west of Belfast, on the stage-line from Augusta. The town is of diamond form, having its longest axis north and south. Freedom. bounds it on the north-west, Knox on the north-east, Morrill on the east, Searsmont on the south-east, Liberty on the south-west and Palermo on the west. The superficial area is about 20,200 acres. The surface is broken by ledges, hills and mountains. Those having names on the county map are Otis Hill and Hogback Mountain. The last is a long elevation with several peaks, standing near the centre of the town. From its southern and eastern slopes flow streams tributary to St. George’s Rjver, while its western slopes feed the Sheepscot, and the northern the Sebasticook. Notwithstanding the broken condition of the surface, there is good grazing and tillage on hill, slope and valley. Granite is the prevailing rock. There are several ponds in the town, of which True’s Pond in the southern corner is the largest, having, with three other small ponds connected, an area of about 4 square miles. The town has several villages,—Montville Village or McFarland’s Corner, Center, North, West and South Montville. There are in the town five saw-mills for the manufacture of long and short lumber, one grist-mill, two cheese-factories, two carriage-factories, etc.

This town was in the second grand division of the grant known as the “Twenty Associates’ Proprietary,” the most of which was subsequently owned by Joseph Pierce, of Boston, from whom the settlers obtained their titles. The first settlement in this town was in 1778—9, by a Mr. Stannard, who moved away in a few years; so that the first permanent settler was James Davis, a Presbyterian minister, originally from Massachusetts. Two years later his two sons William and Joshua, and a more distant relative, became residents. These all settled in the neighborhood of what is now Liberty. These families intermarried, and the Davis families became so numerous that the plantation gained the name of Davistown, which it retained until its incorporation. Following the last, came William Clark and Archibald McAlister, from Jefferson (then Balistown); and about 1793, Timothy Barrett, a native of Concord, Mass., took up his residence in Montville. He here maintained the life of a hermit till about 1844, and in 1847 he died at the supposed age of eighty-five. On February 18, 1807, the settlement was incorporated as Montville, a name derived perhaps from the mountain which marks the centre of the town.

In 1799 came in Rev. Moses McFarland. He was born in 1781, commenced preaching here in 1805, and continued to do so until within a few years. Another preacher, Rev. Ebenezer Knowlton, a resident of Montville, in 1855—7, represented this district in Congress. The town has now four Free Baptist churches, and one Methodist church. The number of public schoolhouses is fifteen; and their value, with appurtenances, is $4,500. The valuation of estates in 1870 was $389,945. In 1880 it was $362,692. The population in 1870 was 1,467. In 1880 it was 1,255.

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