January 16, 1770 to December 19, 1839

The following biography of John Beedle comes from the book indicated immediately below. The original manuscript is handwritten and the page numbers and notes that appear in the text below reference the original manuscript.


                                                  A SHORT HISTORY


                                               THE BEEDLE FAMILY


                                                John Beedle, Jr.

                                                 Dresden, Maine


                                             [With later additions]



A Sketch of John Beedle, Sen & Wife {Susannah}

According to the record in the old family bible, John Beedle, Sen. was born in Old England, in the County of Devonshire, the town I think, but will not positively say, was Tiverton in the year of our Lord, Jan’y 16, 1770. What his father’s Christian name was, or his mothers, the writer has no means of finding out, neither am I able to tell how many brothers and sisters he had. It appears that John went to live with his Grandfather at an early age, after the death of his grandfather he lived with one of his Uncles. This uncle was a soapmaker & Tallow Chandler, and John worked at the same business. Subsequently he left his Uncle and worked at this same business as journeyman three years in the City of Bath. (Eng.)

At the age of 24 or 25 John embarked at South Hampton for the United States of America. He acted as a Steward on board the ship on his passage to America, thus he saved his passage money. When he was arrived in this country, he had something over 100 guineas in his possession. He lent 100 guineas to a man by the name of Tabor, taking his note, without anything else for security. This man failed in business not long thereafter, & Mr. Beedle never recovered a dollar of his lent money.

Mr. Beedle landed in Portland when he came to this country, but did not remain long at that place, but directed his steps towards Boston. Not long after his arrival in Boston, he engaged services with James Bowdoin, Esq. as Coachman. Mr. Beedle remained in the service of this gentleman two or three years.

Here, Mr. Beedle first became acquainted with Susannah Wilson, who afterwards became his wife. Susannah Wilson was Born in Dorchester, Mass. of respectable Parents, Aug. 6, 1780, her father’s name was Abiather. Susannah had several Brothers & Sisters, of whom some note may be taken of them hereafter. Susannah went to live with Mr. Bowdoin when only nine years of age — here these gentle folks kept her for nine years, a servant, without any stated wages, and without schooling. She managed some way to learn to read & to write her name, this was about all the Book education Miss Wilson had at the time of her marriage with Mr. Beedle. At the time of the Marriage of Miss Wilson, to make some amends for his neglect of Miss W.’s education, Mr. Bowdoin gave her 50 acres of wild land in Bowdoinham worth 50 dollars.-- (END OF PAGE 1 OF ORIGINAL RECORD)-

Mr. Beedle was united in marriage to Miss Wilson, on April 11, 1799. Mr. Beedle was ten years his wife’s senior,



Beedle2 Sketch of John Beedle Sen. pages 1-7


notwithstanding this, she made him a most excellent helpmeet, & I don’t think he ever once, regretted his choice. Mr. Beedle at the time of his marriage was 28 years old & his wife 18 years.

Not many days after their Marriage Mr & Mrs. Beedle took their leave of Boston, and made their way down to the Kennebec to make for themselves a home in the “howling” wilderness.

Their future home, that was to be, was situated two miles from the Kennebec, they did not immediately move to this spot, but tarried on the banks of the Kennebec for a year or two on a farm belonging to Mr. Bowdoin, until a clearing could be made in the forest & a cabin built, to shelter their heads from the storms.

Mr. Beedle had more difficulties to contend with & overcome, in making for himself & family a Home in the wilderness than falls to the lot of every one, that settles on land when in a state of nature. He had but a very limited knowledge of the use of that potent instrument used in subduing the mighty forests, the axe. The trees on his land were large, and a great many of them, But these trees must bow to the woodsman’s axe - the fire, that valuable servant of man, & especially of the first settlers, must sweep over these prostrate giants of the forests. But even this did not make an end of them - their bodies must be “junked” (?) in order that they might be rolled together in large piles, that they might have their final burning. This being done, the brush having been burnt by the first fire, the land is now ready for the seed of the husbandman.

But what a vast amount of labor has to be performed before the hardy Pioneer receives any remuneration from Mother Earth, for his hard toil. It would seem that a man to perform so much labor, ought to be physically a perfect Hercules. And yet Mr. Beedle did not possess a very athletic frame. But what he lacked in physical strength, he made up for, in time at least, by his great energy of mind & industrious habits. By the continued blows of his axe, and the application of fire --END OF PAGE 2 OF ORIGINAL RECORD)-- soon-had the pleasure of seeing his labor requited, in the bountiful crops of grain & corn, that newly cleared land brought forth.

On this clearing he erected a small one story frame house, with a “cat & clay” chimney at one end. A few years afterwards, this house was enlarged to its present dimensions. The “cat & clay” gave way to a permanent brick chimney erected in the centre, as was the practice of those days, in all old fashioned one story Houses. The style of building houses has been much improved since that day. The exact year that this house was built, I am not able to to tell, but think it was about 1807. The first Barn was built prior to this date and not many years therafter another Barn nearly as large as the first, was built, the dimensions of the first Barn was 45 ft. by 34, it was covered with long shingles (the roof) at first, these were taken off in 1827, having become very much the worse for wear. The



Beedle2 Sketch of John Beedle Sen. pages 1-7


roof was then boarded & shingled the usual way. The dimensions of the second Barn was 40 x 34. In 1826 and addition of about 16 ft. was put on the north end of this Barn, for a stable etc.

So it would seem that the labors of Mr. Beedle were greatly blessed of Heaven. The earth yielded to him 30, 60 an 100 fold. After the lapse of a few years, there was a demand for wood, to supply the Boston market but this demand was only for hard wood, so this was cut into cord-wood, & sledded to the banks of the Kennebec in the winter season. The Bark was stripped from the Hemlocks, & sent to Boston & other places to be used mostly for tanning purposes, while the tree itself was left to rot on the ground, or, which was oftener the case, to be piled up & burned. Cord-wood on the bank of the Kennebec river, in those days was generally sold for about two dollars per cord. Hemlock Bark, three or four dollars per cord. The cord-wood business kept the first settlers busy in the winter, & sometimes they carried the lumbering business into the summer months.

The first settlers in a new country are called to suffer a great many privations that their posterity will ever be strangers to, unless they to(o), become pioneers, in some wilderness part of the earth. Some of the privations endured by Mr. Beedle were want of roads to get the produce of his farm to market, No religious--(END OF PAGE 3 OF ORIGINAL RECORD)-- Meetings, were at some distance from his residence for a number of years. The school privileges also in those days were very small, for many years only about four or five weeks of school, taught by a female. For a number of years Mr. Beedle had but one neighbor nearer than two miles, this neighbor was Eld. Joseph Robinson. The children of these two familes made up the school. Eld. Robinson had eight children. Mr. Beedle about a dozen. There was but a few inhabitants in the town of B. at that time, consequently they raised but little money to be expended in schools.

For Religious Meetings they once in while went down to the old Meeting House in Dresden, & sometimes to the old meeting house in Bowdoinham. The roads were so bad in the summer time, that all their jouneying had to be performed on horse back, or on foot.

I have heard Mr. B. say that Eld. R. & himself used to carry their grists to Mill at Gardiner, & on this wise (I suppose they had no horses at this time) each would take a bushel of corn on his back to the River, and from thence to G. in a canoe, & back again in the same way, the land carriage was four mi. & the water eleven. Some times darkness would overtake them before they reached home, & it would be very dark sometimes, the wood was so dense. & there was plenty of Bears in those days, but they were not ferocious. It was not often that they attacked man. But they did quite often attack the green corn & sheep.

In all the labors and trials, incident to Pioneer life, Mr. B. ever found in his loving & excellent wife a true helpmeet, she



Beedle2 Sketch of John Beedle Sen. pages 1—7


shared in all his labors and trials, without murmuring or complaining. And God blessed them with numerous progeny. Their first child, a Daughter was Born July 14, 1800, twelve more added afterwards which will be noticed in another place.

By perserverence and industry Mr. B. succeeded clearing quite a number of acres of their heavy growth. The land that comprised the Bowdoin Tract was laid out in 100 acre lots, the lots were 50 rods wide & one mile in length. The fifty acre lot given to Mrs. Beedle was the northern half of a lot on the North side of the Road, running from the Kennebec --(END OF PAGE 4 OF ORIGINAL RECORD)-- River to the Cobossy Pond. Subsequently Mr. B. bought the fifty acres belonging to the first fifty. He paid for this I believe six dollars per acre, he subsequently cut all of the wood off from this, not leaving as much as a wood lot, intending at some future day, to buy the lot adjoining on the East, But another stepped in before him & purchased the said lot. But at a later day, the northern half of the lot fell into Mr. B’s hands in payment of a debt owed him by one, Graves. The Home Farm consisted at Mr. B’s death of 150 acres.

Mr. B’s health began to fail before he was forty—five years of age, so that after this period in his life he could do no very hard labor. He had now a very large family on his hands for maintenace, & it required a man of some financial skill to meet the yearly expenses of so large a family. In erecting his buildings, the expense went beyond his income, to meet this, he mortgaged his farm to Mr. Burke of Gardiner & an old friend of his.

In the first part of the year 1818, R. H. Gardiner Esq. of Gardiner, made Mr. B. a very advantageous offer, to move on his farm, and become a foreman of the same. Mr. B. believed it his duty to accept Mr. G’s liberal offer. Accordingly in the month of March 1818 Mr. B. and a part of the family moved to Mr. Gs farm, into his farm house, at the expiration of one year, having let his farm to George Russel, the rest of the family came to G. The family remained here three years, & then moved back on the old place again. But Mr. B. remained until June (?) and by this move Mr. B. was able to lift the mortgage from his farm & had some hundred dollars besides. He perhaps would have staid longer on Mr. G’s farm, but his own farm was by no means improving in the hands of Mr. Russel. In the month of August 1822 Mr. B. put up a building which he called “The Cider House”. The mill and press were in the cellar under the building, the first story was occupied as a carpenter shop, the chamber above as a granary. Subsequently Mr. B. erected a third Barn, this was 30 ft by 30 ft. This was used exclusively for a sheep Barn, he having a large flock of sheep at that time, in after years other out buildings were erected——carriage house, cart house, etc.

Mr. B. was a great lover of order & neatness, around the farm --(END OF PAGE 5 OF ORIGINAL RECORD)-- and tried to impress a sense of this order upon the minds of his people, belonging to his family. In the fall of 1837 Mr. B. sold his farm & stock to




Beedle2 Sketch of John Beedle Sen. pages 1-7


his son John who had been living with him, for four or five of the past years. Mr. B reserved for himself & wife one room & stable room for his trusty old mare “Jenny”.

Mr. B. gave up all care now & tried to settle himself down into a tranquil state of mind. How much of this state of mind he enjoyed, I am unable to tell. One thing is certain, whether it was much or little, he did not enjoy it only for a brief period. His health continued to fail gradually although not confined to the house or to his bed, till a few days before he died.

On the 17th of Dec. 1839 he rode out to his son-In-law’s Mr. Hutchinson’s (2 miles) and back the same day, that was his last ride, he was attacked with the Billious Collic soon after his return on the day abovementioned. A Physician (Dr. Boynton) was sent for immediately, he succeeded in relieving him somewhat of his pain, but he continued to sink until the afternoon of the 19th Dec. 1839 when he ceased to breath, lacking about a month of being seventy years old. The Rev. Mr. Clapp, Rector of Christs Church (Gardiner) officiated at the funeral of Mr. Beedle, his text was Psalm 90 - 12. The body of the deceased was placed in a vault that he had built a few years before his death, situated on the west side & also adjoining the Cider House Cellar wall.

It seems to have been a custom in England for persons to have their Coffins made, some times a number of years before they were needed. It was, I suppose, in accordance with this custom that Mr. B. had his own coffin, and his wife’s made & brought home some years before his death. Mr. B. was greatly opposed to all tinsel show, gewgaws, or superfluities in anything that he had anything to do with, considering that all that was added to any thing for mere show, or ornament, was a wicked waste of time & money. Hence the coffins he had made for himself & wife were of the plainest kind -- made of pine boards, stained black, no varnish, no handles on them, no ornamental screw heads, no lining within, nothing can be concieved of more plain than these coffins were. --(END OF PAGE 6 OF ORIGINAL RECORD)

And was Mr. B. at fault in this matter of having nothing about these coffins that was merely for a show & that only for a very short time? Common sense says No. But fashion, that imp of the Devil, is generally listened to before the Bible & common sense is consulted. Perhaps it may be said by some that it was not common practice at the time we speak of above, to have coffins, decorated as they now are, & and if Mr. B. was alive now (1865) & wished to have his coffin made beforehand, it would be quite a different one from the one made 25 years ago. How this would be I am unable to say. I am aware that time & fashion change to many of us, not for the better, but for the worse.

But to return from this digression, Mr. B’s personal appearance——in stature was about five feet, ten inches, strait & well built, although not stout built, his common weight, I think in his best days was not more than 155 lb or 160 lb. He had a frank, open & manly countenance, and an index to his



Beedle2 Sketch of John Beedle Sen. pages 1-7


heart, although of a very quick temper, yet he was not morose, nor did he hold his temper long at a time except in some particular cases where individuals had incur(r)ed his displeasure he would attach to them some significant name, in his view, which would last them for some time.

He was a man of strict integrity, dealing with everyone uprightly, his judgement in matters that pertained to this world was much relied upon by his fellow man, he was called upon frequently to administer upon Estates, he was ever ready to help the unfortunate. In his intercourse with his fellow man he was social & genial & and knew how to give and relish a good joke as well as any other man. He wore such a serious countenance in relating his jokes, that sometimes he offended the subject of his jokes, supposing he was in earnest.

He was bought up in the faith of the Church of England, but did not adhere to this Church, he could not swallow the Calvinistic part of their Creed. I think he once made profession of Religion, the writer well remembers hearing him pray in his family, & ask the Blessing at the table. But he never connected himself with any denomination. For sometime before he died he did not have his reason or speech.


Mr. Beedle made his will some years before his Death. His Sons James & John were executors of his will, and the property was divided as follows, James, George, Granville & John were to be paid fifty dollars a piece. The girls, or their heirs, twenty—five dollars apiece—— 12 heirs in all, viz, seven sons & five Daughters. The sum paid those heirs was nine hundred & twenty—five dollars ($925) His widow was to have her maintenance out of the remainder of the Estate & if there was anything remaining at her Death, it was to be divided equally among the sons. The Provisions of the Will, as it will be seen hereafter, were not carried out to the letter.

Mrs. Beedle survived her husband over 18 years. She was a great sufferer in body for a number of years before she died. But she suffered with Christian patience & resignation. She was converted not long after her near neighbors Joesph Robinson (Eld.R) in what year this was, I have no means at hand to ascertain what year it was. She was Baptised by immersion by Eld. John Stinson, a Calvinist Baptist of the old school. She did not however join his Church, but with a Christian Band, a new sect just sprung up, this sect soon ceased to be & the most of the members joined the Free W. Baptists. Mrs. B. remained a worthy member of this denomination until about 1836 when she joined the M. E. Church where she lived. One reason why Mrs. B. changed her church relations, there was no F.W. Baptist Church in the neighborhood where she lived. Another reason was, a number of her children had been converted & joined the M. E. Church. and of course it was very natural for her to want to be with her children. Mrs. B. was not what is termed a “noisy” Christian, in her nature she was diffident & retiring. She preached more by



Beedle2 Sketch of John Beedle Sen. pages 1-7


her example than by precept.  She did at a later period rise in some measure above this timidity or want of confidence, the writer of this has heard her more than once at a social meeting, say "Glory to God".  She was not only a Christian, But one of the best of mothers, as her children can truly testify, with what care she watched over them, especially if they were in any degree ailing. She was indeed a true wife. --(END OF PAGE 8 OF ORIGINAL RECORD) -- and a devoted Mother & kind neighbor.  As before stated, Mrs. B. had a great deal of sickness in the last part of her life, several times she was brought near the gates of Death, her last sicknesss was long & severe, but was graciously sustained through the whole.  She dropped dull mortality to soar to the Blessed Mansions above on the 22nd day of March 1857, aged 76 yrs & seven months & 16 days.

     She was not put into the coffin which her husband had made for her at the same time he had his own made - it was found upon examination not to be suitable for that sacred purpose.  The "vault" where Mr. B's remains were deposited  on examinnation was found to be unfit to be inhabited by the Dead.  A grave was made in a plot of ground that was  once a garden, and there the remains of Mr. Beedle was removed from the vault & laid, and the remains of his wife was laid by his side.  And there in all probability they will lay until the Resurrection.

     The oldest daughter,[Susannah ] Mrs. Kitridge, who died in 1832 was laid in the vault with her father, her remains as well as the remains of the youngest Daughter (Ann), Mrs. K's oldest son [Wesley] & youngest chiId,[Sussanah] their remains were likewise removed to this new burying spot in the old Garden, a much better place for the Burial of the Dead .than the Tombs that are built for the purpose, unless they were excavated out of the solid  Rock.  The one that Mr. B. built was a poor concern.  The walls were built of common field stone, & were not laid in mortar.  The roof was boarded and shingled, like any building.  In a few years by the action of the frost,  it was in a bad condition, the rats took possession of it, & made sundy holes in the coffins.  Since the removal of the remains of the Dead that were in this vault, it has been left to decay, the Cider House has been taken down & removed. 

Mrs. Beedle's Kindred

     Her Father's name was Abiather Wilson,  Mother's name (maiden name) was Mary (?)  She married for her first Husband Benj. Everton. she had by this husband four sons,  Benjamin, Thomas, Zepheniah, & John.  By her 2nd husband Abiather Wilson, she had six daughters, viz. Betsy, Hannah, Esther, Mary, Susannah,  & Zibiah.  Betsy mar. John Clapp, Hannah m. Dan'1 Howard (?), Esther m. Joseph Marshall, Mary died aged 20 yrs., Susannah m. John Beedle.  Zibiah never married. --(REST OF LAST  LINE OF PAGE 9 OF ORIGINAL RECORD MISSING) --

       [Finis Beedle2 Sketch of John Beedle Se'n. and Wife]





Beedle3 A Family Record  pages 8-12


From:       A Short History of the Beedle Family by John Beedle,



(Later information and dates have been added to the original record of 1865)

John Beedle, Sen.  Born Jan'y 16, 1770,  Married April 11, 1799,   Died Dec. 19, 1839

Susannah Beedle,  Born August 6, 1780, Married April 11, 1799  Died March 22, 1857


Children of_ John  &  Susannah [Wilson] Beedle

1.   Susannah, Born in Bowdoinham (now Richmond)  July 14,1800, Died Feb. 13, 1832

2.   Mary, Born in Bowdoinham, Sept 10,1801,  Died Sept.  26, 1858

3.   Elizabeth, Born Feb. 28,  1803, Married Feb.  8, 1824,  Died Jan'y 6, 1878

4.   James Bowdoin, Born May 19, 1806, Married Nov. 4, 1828,  Died Aug. 10, 1876

5.   George Washington, Born May 19,  1806, Married, Dec.  19,  1832, Died Mar. 10,  


6.   Sarah B. Born Nov. 28, 1807, Married, April 4,  1831, Died Aug. 1, 1864

7.   Granville Temple, Born Oct.  14,  1809,  Married, June 9,  1832

              Died Feb. 3, 1869 (fungus tumor)

8.   John, Born Feb.  19 1811, Married, Feb.  4, 1838, Died Oct. 12, 1894

9.   Hannah, Born July 17, 1813, Married, Oct.  23, 1836, Died Nov. 6, 1881

10. Walter, Born Feb. 5 1815, Married. Feb. 7, 1849, Died July 17, 1894

11. Chs. Wesley, Born Oct. 24, 1816 (never was married)

              Died in Trenton, Mich. Feb. 19, 1853

12. William,  Born April 13,  1819 (in Gardiner) Married,  April 4, 1848, Died June 10,

             1870[6] ['A note at end of this section of the 'Family Record" gives the date

              of his death as June 10, 1876 and that of his wife as Mar. 19, 1893, aged 70


13. Ann Gardiner, Born Nov. 7, 1820, Died in Richmond, Mar. 3, 1824




John Beedle and numerous other local residents, including many relations, submitted the following petition

to stop the practice of administering "unlawful or extra-judicial oaths.  The petition fail in its purpose but we

now have a record of John Beedle's signature.







More about John Beedle from "History of Dresden", by Charles Edwin Allen, 1931:


From “History of Dresden”

Page 690


John Beedle is very favorably mentioned by James Bowdoin, in the Bowdoin papers, now the property of Bowdoin College.  He was the father of John Beedle, whose name appears in Dresden records in this decade. John Beedle, senior, was born in the county of Devonshire, England, January 16, 1770, and came to America in 1795. He lived in Boston four years, in the employ of James Bowdoin as coachman. April 11, 1799, he was married to Susannah Wilson, a native of Dorchester, living in Bowdoin's  family, and soon after removed to the Kennebec, then a wilderness country. She was born August 6, 1780, and died March 22,  1857.  He settled in what is now Richmond, then part of Bow-

doinham. He had charge of Mr. Bowdoin's land in Bowdoin ham, and was a tried, trusted, and faithful employee. He died  December 19, 1839.


   "John Beedle's Book of Expenses, time he came to live with Mr. Bowdoin, 3d of January, 1797, beginning Jan. 10, 1797,"


 is interesting because it tells us what one young man twenty-seven  years old spent his money for in the closing years of the eighteenth  century, in Boston. For this reason it is given herewith almost in full.



                                                  Page  691


     10 yards cotton @ 1-6                                                                    0-15-0

     A waistcoat                                                                                  1- 4-0

     Making 3 shirts                                                                              0-4-6

     Pair of stockings                                                                            0-5-6

     A short coat                                                                                  2-13-6

     For to aproons (? 2 aprons)                                                             0-3-9

     A pair of galloses (? braces)                                                            0-12-0

     For two books                                                                               0-0-0

     Repairing a watch                                                                          0-3-0

     Mch 18 Do                                                                                     0-6-0

     Cloth for a fair of pantaloons                                                          1-0-0

     Trimens ( ? trimmings)                                                                    0-4-0

     For making of do                                                                           0-4-6

     For Riteng (righting ?) of a pair of britches                                      0-2-0

     Mending two shirts                                                                        0-1-3

     Payd Dr. Jeffries for bleeding                                                        0-3-0


  This was Dr. John Jeffries who is mentioned in history of Boston. See Memorial History of Boston, Vols. 3 and 4. Also a sketch in American Cyclopedia. He was a Loyalist and went to Halifax, and thence to London, where he experimented in ballooning.  Returned to Boston in 1789, where he practiced his profession until his death in 1819. He was born February 5, 1744, grad. Harvard in 1763. Received degree of M. D. from University of Aberdeen in 1769, having attended there and in London.


Payed for medersons (? medicines)  

  at Bartlet's, May 15                                                                           0-5-1/2           

Payed for brandey for bitters                                                              0-3-1/2

A letter from Freeman                                                                        0-1-2

A pair of shoes                                                                                   0-9-6

May 15, 4 pair of stockings                                                                  0-13-0                                                                                       

one pair of do. 4-6  Handkerchief 4/6                                                  0-9-0

Flannel for wasticote & set in                                                              0-11-2





June 5,  1797                                    

Bought a hatt                                                                                     1-1-0

One pair of stockings                                                                           0-4-4

Payed at Minot Thayer's for cloth for

  coat and settera (etc.)                                                                       2-1- l

Payed Lowis for making of a coat. & settera (etc.)                                 l-3-9

For two handkerchiefs                                                                         0-4-6

One yard of ———— (?)                                                                         0-1-6

5 yards of canvas for a frock                                                                0-7-6

Making                 ;                                                                             0-1-6

A pair of shoes 0-12-0.  Do.0-12-0.  Do-o-lO-0                                       1-14-0

Nov. 23, For cloth for a great coat   

          6 yards, @ 10s per yard       J                                                    3-5-0

Buttons 1/6, velvet 2/6                                                                      0-4-0

For making the side (said?) coat                                                          0-18-0


                                                   Page 692


For trimmings                                                                                    0-12-0

  "  Flatt cass (?)                                                                                 0- 5- 0

  "  mending of a cott (coat?)                                                              0- 3- 0

Payed for a muff for Suckey                                                               1-10- 0

A silk handkerchief                                                                            0- 5-  0

A pair of mittens                                                                               0- 1-  3

                                                                                                   £ 14- 2 -  4

                  Brot over                                                                       11-14-11


Expenses for the year 1797,                                                             £25-17- 3


  Other fragments of accounts in 1798 are preserved, which we need not copy. But some memoranda may be interesting and of value to descendants in Dresden or Richmond. He worked for a Mr Coleman in 1799 and 1800, and gives a receipt from Joseph Coleman "Payed Capt. Weson for freight & passage 2-17-0”, which was without doubt to the Kennebec. October 10, 1802, he wrote that he went on board Capt. Riss and sailed for Boston.   Arrived in Boston the 12th. Left Boston the 20th, and arrived  at Kennebeck 23d."  In 1803, he mentions receiving $84 from John Hathorn in payment for timber. In 1805, he mentions notes given to Mr. Bowdoin.  As late as 1829, Deborah Woodward  gave him a receipt for ten dollars in payment  for 15 weeks’ services  Other names are mentioned m connection with lumbering and wood cutting, as late as 1813. These extracts, which  illustrate some of the business of a hundred years ago, and which may perhaps serve as aids for some investigator must close our  sketch of the worthy ancestor of a worthy Dresden family.



Information obtained from:


which appears accurate and well researched, but has not been verified.


John1 Beedle was born 16 January 1770 in Devonshire, England (possibly Tiverton) {16, 18, 19}. He married 11 April 1799 to Susannah Wilson {19}. She was a native of Dorchester, Mass., born 6 August 1780, the daughter of Abiather and Mary(?) Wilson. Susannah was living with the family of James Bowdoin at the time of her marriage. John died 19 December 1839 at Richmond, ME. Susannah died 22 March 1857. {16, 18}


At an early age John went to live with his grandfather. After the death of his grandfather, he lived with one of his uncles. This uncle was a soapmaker and tallow chandler, and John worked in the same business. John left his uncle and worked in the same business as journeyman three years in the city of Bath. {19}

At the age of 24 or 25 [in late 1795] John embarked at South Hampton for the United States of America. He acted as steward on board the ship on his passage to America, thus saving his passage money. John Beedle landed in Portland, Maine, but did not long remain at that place. {19}

He may have arrived in Boston as early as 1795, but by 3 January 1797 he was living in the James Bowdoin, Esq. household in Boston, MA, where he was as a coachman. From the time John started working for Mr. Bowdoin, until at least 1829, John kept a journal of his expenses. His entries for 1797 are printed in Allen' History of Dresden, Me. {18}

Also working in the Bowdoin household was Susanna Wilson. She came to the household when only nine years old, working as a servant without any stated wages, and without schooling. She managed to learn to read and to write her name, but that about all the education Miss Wilson had with the Bowdoin family. John Beedle, age 28, and Susanna Wilson, age 18, married in April 1799. At the time of the wedding, Mr. Bowdoin gave Susanna 50 acres of undeveloped land in Bowdoinham, which was worth 50 dollars at the time.{19}


Soon after their marriage they moved to the Kennebec, then a wilderness country. John settled in that part of Bowdoinham which later became Richmond. He had charge of Mr. Bowdoin's land in Bowdoinham, and was a trusted and faithful employee which is very favorably mentioned in the Bowdoin Papers, now the property of Bowdoin College. {16, 18}

In May 1811 John Beedle, of Bowdoinham, became a naturalized citizen {17}. He declared that he was born in Devonshire, England; he had been a resident of the U.S. for 16 years, and a resident of Bowdoinham for 11 years {17}.

John Beedle is found in the 1810 census at Bowdoinham, Lincoln Co. {1 (cites p. 356)}

NOTE: Other contemporary Beedles in the Richmond-Gardiner area were: Elizabeth Beedle, m int. 1805 Stephen Avery {16}; Elisha Beedle, b 1790-1800, was a head of household in 1840 census; Abraham Beedle, born 1790-1800, was head of household in 1840 census. They are of no known relation to John1 Beedle.


Children of John and Susannah (Wilson) Beedle {16, 19}


Susannah, b 14 July 1800 Bowdoinham (that part now Richmond); d 13 Feb 1832 Gardiner; m 1825 James Kitridge of Madison. Ch. KITRIDGE: (1) Wesley (1826-1840); (2) James; (3) Granville; (4) Susannah (1832-1832)


Mary, b 10 Sept 1801 Bowdoinham; d 26 Sept      1858, age 57y; m    27 Nov 1825 John Stantial of Hallowell {32} Ch. STANTIAL: (1)   Lucy Ann, b 1824, m 1849 William Loud; (2) Mary

Elizabeth (1827-1901); (3) John Henry (1832-1901), m 1873 Martha J. Lynn; (4) William Francis (1833-1870); (5) Hannah Maria (1836-1881), m 1860 Jacob H. True; (6) Walter Beedle (1838-1866); (7) George Harrison (1840- 1851; (8) Susannah Beedle (1842-1902), m 1871 Orrin True;(9) Charles Gilmore (1844-1846)


Elizabeth ("Eliza"), b 28 Feb 1803; d 6 Jan 1878; m 8 Feb 1824 [8 Jan 1824 {32}] John Hutchinson of Hallowell (he d 1860 Cambridge, MA). Ch. HUTCHINSON: (1) James Beedle, b 1824, m 1855 Jennie Parrish; (2) George Henry (1829-1854)


James Bowdoin, b 10 Oct 1804; m 4 Nov 1828 Myra Woodward


George Washington, b 19 May 1806; d 10 Mar 1874; m 1832 Cordelia Woodward


Sarah, b 28 Nov 1807; d 1 Aug 1864; m 4 Apr 1831 [24 Feb 1831 {32}] Laban Blair of Pittston; Ch. BLAIR: (1) Alfonse C., b 1831, m 1860 H.E. Smith; (2) Helen Augusta (1833-1852); (3) Euphemis Young, b 1835, m 1859 David A. Noble; (4) George Laban, b 1837; (5) Samuel F., b 1838, d at sea 1858; (6) William Henry Harrison (1840-1862) 9th ME Regt.; (7) Lucy Jane, b 1843; (8) Sarah Elisa, b 1844; (9) Martha Etta (1846-1857); (10) Mary Wilder Cooper, b 1849


Granville Temple, b 14 Oct 1809; d 3 Feb 1869; m 1832 Sarah G. Collins

John, b 14 (or 19) Feb 1811 Richmond; d 12 Oct 1894 Dresden; m 1838 Priscilla Barker


Hannah, b 19 July 1813 [17 July 1813 {19}]; m 23 Oct 1836 David G.C.S. Trott of Woolwich, (1803-1877); Ch. TROTT: (1) stillborn child; (2) Susannah Beedle (1841-1842); (2) Elenora Jane, b 1845


Walter, b 5 Feb 1815; m 1845 Mary E. Wyman


Charles Wesley, b 24 Oct 1816; d 19 Feb 1853 Trenton, Mich.


William, b 13 Apr 1819 Gardiner; m 4 Apr 1848 Martha A. Reed


Ann Gardiner, b 7 Nov 1820 Gardiner; d 3 March 1824 Richmond