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Aaron Howes

Male 1820 - 1906  (85 years)


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  • Name Aaron Howes  [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
    Birth Abt 1819  Maine, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [4, 9
    Birth Abt 1820  Maine, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [5, 6
    Birth Dec 1820  Maine, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [7
    Born 31 Dec 1820  Solon, Somerset, Maine, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 3, 8
    • death record says South Solon
    Gender Male 
    Occupation Rockland, Knox, Maine, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 3
    City Councilman 
    • also Trustee of the Methodist Church
    Residence 1825  Aroostook, Maine, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Occupation 1 Jun 1850  [4
    Millman 
    Residence 1 Jun 1850  Frankfort, Waldo, Maine, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Occupation 1 Jun 1860  [5
    Lumber merchant 
    Residence 1 Jun 1860  Rockland, Knox, Maine, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    Occupation 1 Jun 1870  [6
    Lumber dealer 
    Residence 1 Jun 1870  Rockland, Knox, Maine, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    Occupation 1 Jun 1880  [9
    Lumber dealer 
    Residence 1 Jun 1880  Rockland, Knox, Maine, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [9
    Occupation 1 Jun 1900  [7
    Landlord 
    Residence 1 Jun 1900  16 Knox Street, Rockland, Knox, Maine, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [7
    Occupation Nov 1906  [8
    Lumber dealer 
    Died 2 Nov 1906  Rockland, Knox, Maine, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 3, 8
    Age: 85y 10m 2d 
    Buried Abt 6 Nov 1906  Achorn Cemetery, Rockland, Knox, Maine, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Notes 
    • cousins marry
    • This story was written by Aaron Howes at the age of 81 years and published in the Rockland Opinion in 1902
      ===================================
      In the early spring of 1825, Sylvanus Howes, then living at South Solon, Somerset County, Maine, decided to move, with his family, into what was then a part of Washington County, but is now in Aroostook County. Mr Howes belonged to one of the oldest of New England families. He descended in direct line from Thomas Howes and Mary his wife, who came from England and settled in Dennis, mass in 1637. The line of descent is: Thomas, Joseph H. Samuel, Joseph, Edward, Sylvanus and Sylvanus Jr. The family, when it removed to Aroostook, consisted of Sylvanus Howes, Mary (Heald) Howes, and the four children, Harrison, Jane, Aaron & Mary. The three last named are living and in the enjoyment of good health today, and Harrison Howes died at his home in Winterport only a few months ago. Jane and Mary – Mrs Hutchins, of Portland and Mrs Weirs of Linneus – recently paid a visit to their brother, Aaron, at his home in Rockland.
      “On that spring morning, just 77 years ago, the father loaded uo his reams with a portion of his household goods, and, taking the oldest son, Harrison, then abut 10 years ol, started out on his long and weary journey. And – probably after many mishaps and discouragement, unknown to the writer of this sketch – he arrived at what is now the town of Houlton. After my father had found a temporary home for Harrison, and storage for his few goods he started on his return trip though long stretches of unbroken forests, across lakes, following rivers and streams on the ice. Arriving at his home and making a few hurried and necessary arrangements, he again loaded his teams, and, taking my mother and the three children that remained, once more started on the journey to the Northern frontier of Maine. After travelling a few miles, as we were passing over quite a high hill, I remember that one of our neighbors who was going with his told us that from that point we would get our last view of South Solon.
      “Continuing on, we came to the Piscataquis River. I remember when we were at Foxcroft, seeing the Academy building. When we had got to Milo, the snow was nearly all gone, and the ice in the river was not considered safe for horses to travel on any farther. I do not remember what became of the teams after that, but they were probably sent back to South Solon I remember that we stopped in the town of Milo, perhaps one or two days and as teams could go no farther, handsleds were hastily made and what could be taken was put upon them.
      Those of us who were too young to walk were taken on the sleds, while the others walked in the fast melting snow and ice. My father and a man named McFarland drew the handsleds as best they could. This journey from Milo to Houlton was a very different matter and by a very different route from that taken by the Bangor and Aroostook railroad between these two points. Now, the distance is covered in a very few hours. Then it required a number of days. Leaving Milo on the ice, our pioneers wended their way down the Piscataquis river to the Penobscot, thence up that river to where the town of Winn is now located. There another halt was made at the house of a family of the name of Snow. It was said that this was the last house as you went up the Pensobscot River. Leaving the Snows, we went to Mattawamkeag Point, and then from thence, up the Mattawamkeag river , to a carrying plave where the town of Weston now is. At that time it consisted of a small log camp. Some time before arriving at this place, the ice had become so weak that I remember to have seen the blackwater do hurrying by; and in one place my mother broke through the treacherous ice. One night, after we had stopped to camp for the night, a dog was heard barking at a distance. So, making another start, we soon came to the long camp mentioned above. This was owned by a Mr Gilpatrick, who, with someone else, had gone on a fishing excursion, leaving his dog in charge of the camp. The faithful dog, true to the instinct of his nature in guarding his master’s property, refused our party admission to the camp. Someone opened the door, and then one of the party climbed to the roof of the camp and made such a racket that the frightened dog took a hurried leave. We remained there until the return of Mr Gilpatrick and his party from fishing. Near this, we called at an Indian camp, where they had two young bears. After we had gone on a little distance from the camp, two of the Indian women overtook us and told mother that they wanted “a needle to sow over and over”. It was only a short distance from Mr Gilpatrick’s camp to the Grand Lake, This lake is a fine sheet of water, said to be about 20 miles long and 10 miles wide and former part of the boundary between Maine and New Brunswick. Our party went up this lake quite a distance – perhaps 15 miles – and then struck into the dense wilderness in a northerly direction for Houlton. I do not recollect anything of note from the time we left the lake until we arrived in what is now the southerly part of the town of Hodgden.
      Here in the wilderness was a family of the name of Winship, where we made another stop – I think for the purpose of giving my father an opportunity of looking up a lot of land on which he could build a log house and make a home for his family.
      “Although the snow lay quite deep, he very soon made selection of a tract of 100 acres of land, on which no trees had been cut. It proved to be excellent land, free from stones, producing excellent crops. It was, however, much out of the way. In a few days, my father, with what help he could get, erected a very small log house for us, Probably it was but little better than a camp, but, after such a long weary journey, it was a house. In that wild section then almost every family lived in a log house. I have heard it remarked that, at this time, there was but one frame house in the how thriving town of Houlton.
      “Here we are, then, at last, located in a small log house, in an almost endless wilderness, with not a clearing or a house to be seen. The snows were deep and the winters were long and severely cold. It must not be forgotten that there were no roads – only footpaths through the forests. Not long after this, what was termed the Northwestern Boundary question began to be quite warmly discussed and the US Government sent some troops to Houlton and established a military post called Hancock Barracks. And, in order to supply that garrison ,the government build the military road from Lincoln to Houlton in about 1831-2. I think this was the first passable road between Houlton and Bangor. The road was so level that the teamsters used to say it was “downhill all the way from Houlton to Bangor and three-quarters of the way back.” Previous to the building of the military road, heavy goods, such as hardward, salt, molasses etc, came up the St John river and were brought over from Woodstock, New Brunswick. There was only a pathway through the woods between Woodstock and Houlton, and one of our neighbors, wanting a grindstone, bought it at Woodstock and putting it on its edge, rolled it on to the Houlton – the best available means of transportation.
      “Prices of all kinds of goods were enormously high. I think I remember hearing prices like the following: pork, $40 per barrel; flour, $20 per barrel; molasses, $1.50 per gallon; tea, $1.50 per pound; salt, $1.50 per bushel; factory cloth, 50 cents per yard. Labor and almost every kind of farm produce, was cheaper. A Smart man might get $1 per day, by workign from sunrise to dark and taking store pay, for there was little money. The distribution of surplus revenue by the US Government was a great help to the early settlers. Potatoes were about 40 cents per bushel; eggs, 8 to 10 cents per dozen; butter, 10 to 12 cents per pound. I worked hard during the long days of one season, in a lumber mill for $13 per month; and I do not think I had more than $5 in money at any one time during the season.
      “After the military road was build, other roads were built to various points. I think that Houlton was the first town incorporated in what is now Aroostook county That county was organized in 1839, formed from portions of Penobscot and Washington counties. There being no hall or other public building, the first term of court for Aroostook was held in an unfurnished house then being built by Aaron Putnam. There were no schools in this section for a number of years after we came, in 1825, except possibly now and then a small private school for a short time. Teachers could not have the training and cultivation possible at the present time, nor could they aford to devote much time for training, as it was only occasionally that they could get a school to teach, and even then they received only a small remuneration for their services. The labor of boys and girls was needed at home as soon as they were large enough to plant a hill of corn or potatoes or to pull up weeds. So, all day they were needed in the fields, and at night, by the light of the fire, children might be seen in many homes, with a piece of planed board and a pieve of chalk (for slates were scarce) trying to work out some problem in arithmetic. We used to get people who could write a fair hand, to set copies for us, so we could learn to write. At that time, we did not have writing books with printed copies. Few families were able to send their children away to school at that time. Hearing that, at Kent’s Hill, young men could obtain an education and pay part of the expense by labor in the shops connected with the seminary, I decided to go there. At that time Prof. Larrabee was president. Pleased with the idea of obtaining some education and paying our way by labor, one of our neighbor’s sons, of the name of Hutchinson, and myself started and walked most of the way to Kent’s Hill, arriving there in a thick snow storm.
      “The next day, on looking around, we learned that the workshops were a failure and were going to decay. However, we found boarding places. I paid all the money I could, sawed a number of cords of wood and then worked at haying to get money to finish paying my board, etc. During the following Winter, I was in the woods a part of the time and in the Spring I returned to Kent’s Hill again and stayed until my money was all gone. After leaving Kent’s Hill the second time, I never attended school any more, but tried my hand at teaching a number of Winters, and was fairly successful. As schools were not graded at that time, it was much harder for the teacher, and the remuneration was much less for the services rendered than at present.
      “At this early date, there were no churches or religious societies in the vicinity of Houlton, and religious meetings were seldom held, unless at some dwelling house, or perchance a farmer’s barn could be obtained for the purpose. Occasionally we would see a moose or caribou and deer and bears were more plentiful, while sometimes the dismal howl of wolves would make night hideous. I think there was little hunting at that time, as men were too busily engaged in obtaining the necessities of life for their families.
      “While living at this house in the wilderness, a daughter, Sarah, and a son, Chandler were added to the family, both of whom have since died, My father was a man of strong resolutions. The seasons were favorable, crops were good and prosperity crowned his efforts to such an exten that he soon had the best farm in town. When the sons had grown to be young men, father thought he would like for each to have a farm of his own. So the old farm was exchanged for wild land, and he began on a new place. But this land proved rocky, the seasons were frosty, and the crops were destroyed. When the sons had arrived to manhood, none of us appeared to take to farming So this place was sold and the family, like too many others, became scattered. All the family, except Chandler, found homes in their native states; he died at his home in Malden, Mass., some years since. The three children of this family now living, although well-advanced in years meet together as often as circumstances will admit, and talk over the joys, the sorrows, the many privations and hardships of their earlier lives.
      Aaron Howes
      ===================================
      Note: Aaron Howes, who wrote this bit of his personal history, was eighty-nine years old at the time. He was the grandfather of Lewis Howes Johnson and the great-grandfather of Ralph Edward Johnson, Mary Helen Johnson and Elizabeth Anne Johnson, of Madison, NJ.
      This story is submitted by Blanche W Robinson Johnson, wife of Lewis Howes Johnson and mother of Ralph, Mary and Elizabeth. Thanks too to the Condit Family Archives.
    Person ID I166898  ONS
    Last Modified 31 Jul 2020 

    Father Sylvanus Howes, Jr,   b. 5 Nov 1794, Dennis, Barnstable, Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 Oct 1868, Winterport, Waldo, Maine, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 73 years) 
    Mother Mary Heald,   b. 1 Dec 1793, Solon, Somerset, Maine, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 11 Dec 1865, Frankfort, Waldo, Maine, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 72 years) 
    Married 28 Nov 1814  Solon, Somerset, Maine, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Family ID F50875  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Hannah Heald,   b. 28 Oct 1829, Maine, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 12 Feb 1919, Rockland, Knox, Maine, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 89 years) 
    Married 24 Oct 1852  Skowhegan, Somerset, Maine, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Children 
     1. Lillian B Howes,   b. 29 Feb 1856, Rockland, Knox, Maine, USA Find all individuals with events at this location
    +2. Nora Clementine Howes,   b. 3 Aug 1860, Rockland, Knox, Maine, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 Jun 1887, Rockland, Knox, Maine, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 26 years)
     3. Lewis W Howes,   b. 20 May 1864, Rockland, Knox, Maine, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 May 1883  (Age 18 years)
    Last Modified 11 Mar 2020 
    Family ID F51868  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBirth - Abt 1819 - Maine, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBirth - Abt 1820 - Maine, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBirth - Dec 1820 - Maine, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - City Councilman - - Rockland, Knox, Maine, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 1 Jun 1850 - Frankfort, Waldo, Maine, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 1 Jun 1860 - Rockland, Knox, Maine, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 1 Jun 1870 - Rockland, Knox, Maine, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 1 Jun 1880 - Rockland, Knox, Maine, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - Age: 85y 10m 2d - 2 Nov 1906 - Rockland, Knox, Maine, USA Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Sources 
    1. [S406] Howes Genealogy - used with the permission of the Dennis Historical Society, Joshua Crowell Howes, revised by Col. Bob Howes, (1892, revised in 2006).

    2. [S3288] Aaron Howes article.

    3. [S568] Find a Grave, www.findagrave.com, 117624928.

    4. [S162] 1850 census - US.

    5. [S180] 1860 census - US.

    6. [S181] 1870 census - US.

    7. [S183] 1900 census - US.

    8. [S1448] Maine Deaths, www.familysearch.org & Anccestry.com.

    9. [S182] 1880 census - US.