52 Ancestors #39: Samuel Melville Hawkins, Farmer & family man

Samuel Melville Hawkins is my fourth great grandfather. He was born February 28, 1824 in Machias, Washington County, Maine – but his parents remain a mystery. We assume his father’s name was Hawkins – and on his death certificate, his mother’s name is listed as Jane Pliter or Titer. (Another clue is a Sarah Titus, age 72, living with Samuel and his wife Jane in 1850 – and Father’s birthplace “England” in 1900 census.)

On July 4, 1847, in Wesley, Washington County, Maine, he married Jane Towers. She blessed him with eight children: Mercy, my third great-grandmother (1848-1883), Laura (1852-1865), William Albert (1854-1924), Moses P. (1855-?), Clarence (1859-1891), Hannah (1859-1920), Samuel Melville Jr. (1865-1928) and Fredrich H. (1869-1952).

He registered for the Civil War Draft, but did not serve due to a disability of some kind. The Registrations records indicated such.

Hawkins Tombstone

Hawkins Tombstone

The census shows his residence as Wesley, Maine from 1850 until his death on December 13, 1902 in Wesley. He was a farmer in each census, and knowing the area, that would have been a hardscrabble life. I also know that he did some trading with the local Native American populations – an activity that ended up with his eldest daughter being raped and left pregnant by her attackers. Mercy’s daughter, Carrie Evelyn, was raised by Samuel and Jane her whole life – her mother marrying and leaving the home, and the girl behind, only to die in a house fire with her husband and infant son when Carrie was a teenager.
I received a letter from Ivan Hawkins, grandson of Samuel Hawkins Jr. (Dated March 10, 2000)

“First of all, it is not clear where Samuel Sr., B 1824 originally came from, possibly from the Machias area. It is believed that he might have been taken in and raised by a family, which as a common practice at that time. Possibly the Blakes, which could explain the close friendships of the family.

As for Jane Towers b. 1824, sometime during the 1840’s, two sisters by the name Towers came from Towers Hill, Charlotte Co., New Brunswick and settled in Wesley. One sister, who’s name I don’t remember, possibly Mary, married a Gray. The other sister, Jane, married Samuel Hawkins.

Samuel and Jane had several children. Mercy, I don’t have much information on. Laura b. 1851 d. 1873 at age 22 years. Hanna B, I have some information, but need more research on. Clarance, b. 1859 d. 1891 at age 33 yrs.

As the story has been told to me, which I may not be fully correct on, William, Frederich, Moses and Samuel Jr. all went west in and around the late 1890’s or early 1890’s. Moses settled in Sourthern Maine in the Town of Wells. Samual Jr. stayed with him for awhile.

Frederick and William traveled to Minnesota logging and farming. One brother stayed in that area and one traveled to California logging. Not much about them is known after that.

Samuel Melville Hawkins Jr., who liked to be called Mel, stayed with Moses in Wells for awhile. He wrote his father and told him if he could find a place for him to live, to buy it for him because he was moving back to Wesley.

In 1893, Mel bought the so called Rollins lot from Blake. Its quite possible Blake sold the house because he traveled west lumbering.


About T.K. Eldridge

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One Response to 52 Ancestors #39: Samuel Melville Hawkins, Farmer & family man

  1. Pingback: 52 Ancestors 2015: #36 Occupations | Of Loons and Lady Slippers

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