Douglass Family Papers (MS14)

Abstract: Lloyd Douglass (1912-1984) worked as an apprentice in the Metallurgy Laboratory at the Saco-Lowell Shops in Biddeford in the years leading up to WWII.

This collection is particularly good at showing the tightly controlled business practices employed by SLS during the lean years of the Great Depression.

Biography: Lloyd C. Douglass was born March 3, 1912 in Sebago Lake Village (Standish), son of Asa Martin and Geneva May (Libby) Douglass. In 1928, at the age of 16, he graduated from Scarborough High School. Lloyd Douglass was admitted to the apprentice program at Biddeford’s Saco-Lowell Shops, and worked in the Metallurgical Laboratory for several years (until WWII, when he enlisted and served in the Army-Air Force as a flight mechanic for the 439th troop carrier squadron). After the war Douglass returned to Maine and had a long career as an electrician and engineer at Snow’s Food Products in Scarborough. In 1947 he married Ruth Myrtle Rumery, daughter of Linwood William and Helen Eliza (York) Rumery of New Barn Cove (Granite Point Road), Biddeford. Ruth was born October 5, 1918 and was a 1937 graduate of Biddeford High School. Lloyd Douglass died October 5, 1984, and his wife passed 25 years later on June 11, 2009.

MS014 – Douglass Family Papers finding aid

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Seth S. Fairfield papers (MS33)

Abstract: Small collection relating to the work, mostly legal, performed by Seth S. Fairfield (1790-1863) as both as York County Justice of the Peace in the first years of Maine statehood and as an assignee, and also work performed as a surveyor.

6 Seth S. Fairfield 1861-1862

Seth S. Fairfield 1861-1862

Biography: Seth Sweetser Fairfield was born March 12, 1790 in Wenham, Massachusetts, the third of four children born to Joseph and Elizabeth (Sweetser) Fairfield. Joseph died in November 1808, when Seth was about 18 and his sister Polly was about 22 ~ it was probably about this time when the trio moved north to the Saco and Biddeford.

Fairfield served as a Lieutenant and ranking officer in the Saco Artillery Company of the Massachusetts Volunteer Militia during the War of 1812. Lieut. Fairfield served under Lieut. Col. J. Spring from June 20-August 31, 1814 (this was directly after and as a result of the famous “Bulwark” attack on the Cutts property at Biddeford Pool on June 16, 1814.

Fairfield married Phoebe Lovejoy (d. 1860) in 1824, incomplete records indicate they had at least one but possibly as many as 3 or 4 children, all daughters. He also served on local boards along with many of the important businessmen of the day, such as his term on the Board of Directors of the Saco Mutual Insurance Company along with Nathaniel Burbank, Samuel Pierson, and Josiah Calef.

[Obituary from the “Union + Journal” (Biddeford, Me.) of July 10, 1863, p.2.]
“Died in Boston, July 3d, while on a visit to his daughter, Hon. S. S. FAIRFIELD of this
city, aged 73 years.
Thus has passed away one of our oldest and most respected citizens. He was born in
Wenham, Mass., March 12th, 1790, and at an early age came to Biddeford with his
mother and sister, and was a surveyor of lumber and of land, and in both capacities
acquired the confidence of all. His survey books still remain as proof of his carefulness
and accuracy in all he undertook.
Thirty-eight years ago he was appointed cahier of the Manufacturers’ Bank, Saco, and
served in that capacity till 1848, when he was chosen cashier of the Biddeford Bank, and held that position at the time of his death, and was, we believe, the oldest cashier in New England, with one exception, Charles Sprague of the Globe Bank, Boston. Thro’ this protracted term of service, he has been always true, prompt and cautious, and secured the good will and the confidence of all. In 1860, he was elected Mayor of the city, and brought to the discharge of the duties of that office the same qualities which he had shown in all the positions he had filled. He was re-elected in 1862, and at the end of that year decline a re-election.
He was always social and pleasant in his manner to all alike, high and low, rich and poor, and so he had the good will of all.—He was emphatically an honest, true, reliable man, always useful, always trustworthy In the words of one who saw the procession bearing his body to its final resting place, “He was a good old man, and every body liked him.”
He was buried from the Unitarian Church in Saco, on Sunday the 5th, with Masonic
honors, the Lodges of Saco and Biddeford, uniting to honor ther [sic] oldest and most
worthy member. The citizens of both places gathered in large numbers at his funeral, and the feeling of regret was universal that they would not again see his pleasant face.”

MS033 – Seth S. Fairfield papers finding aid

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Clement Deschambault papers (MS50)

Abstract: This collection contains materials relating to Hon. Clement Deschambault’s law enforcement and political careers in the city of Biddeford. It is comprised of clippings, correspondence, photographs, awards, and speeches he delivered in both French and English. The bulk of the materials cover the years 1957 to 1964.

History: Clement H. Deschambault was born in Biddeford on November 1, 1910, a son of Zepherin and Lea (Leblanc) Deschambault, and was one of nine children. He married Henriette Palardis on November 11, 1933, with whom he had four daughters: Carmen, Claire, Violet and Lucille. He was a lifetime resident of the city, and a member of the city police department for many years, rising to the rank of captain in 1936, a position he held until 1942. The U.S. census of 1940 reports Deschambault had a 7th grade education, and yet he was a police captain with the city working 64 hours a week on average, 51 weeks a year. At the same time, he also owned and operated a grocery store out of his home on outer Main Street. In 1956 he resigned his duties with the police department to devote more time to his business.

Deschambault was elected mayor in 1958 on the Democratic ticket and won four successive terms to establish himself as a leader in state Democratic circles. Following his retirement from politics in 1963, Deschambault focused on operating his grocery store which he ran out of his home at 506 Main Street. Deschambault ran his grocery until his retirement in 1969. Deschambault was a strong supporter of education and pointed to the construction of the new high school, almost across the street from his Main Street home on Maplewood Avenue, as one of the accomplishments of his administration. He also numbers among those accomplishments an improved street system and planning for the municipal airport. He was a communicant of St. Joseph’s Church in Biddeford, and was buried at St. Joseph’s Cemetery upon his sudden death in 1975 at age 64.

MS050 – Clement Deschambault papers

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Goodwin papers (MS24)

Abstract: Business, personal and legal documents generated by various members of the Goodwin family. Particularly good at showing life around the Saco River wharves and the sea/shipping industry in the beginning of the 19th century.

History: The Goodwin family was one of the very early families of Biddeford, and included ships captains, tax collectors, justices of the peace, and notaries public. The Goodwins, in addition to Biddeford, were found in Kittery, Pepperellboro (Saco), Berwick and Boston. The collection as recorded in the 1980’s was significantly larger and included correspondence, personal papers and business and legal documents produced mainly by Capt. Thomas Goodwin, Capt. Nathaniel Goodwin, and Thomas Jefferson Goodwin. Prior to 2007, a large portion of this collection was dispersed, gifted or sold — no documentation exists as to the nature of disposition. What remains, however small, is still an incredibly rich snapshot of pre-textile industry Biddeford and Saco.

MS024 – Goodwin Papers

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Miscellaneous collection – Small manuscripts (MS999)

Abstract: The Library’s Miscellaneous collection – Small manuscripts includes a variety of materials relating to the history of Biddeford and environs, from colonial times to the modern era. The collection is a “catch-all” for the numerous single item and very small collections, which while important and informative, do not warrant their own singular collection. These materials include a large portion of the Library’s 18th century holdings, and are a rich source of local and regional historical material.

History: Many of the items in this collection were formerly numbered individually in the “Doc #” scheme that was partially implemented by volunteers in the 1980’s. A reference copy of this scheme has been retained in the “Legacy” tab of the Finding Aids working binder for reference. When known, the “Doc #” is entered into the “Old Number” field in the PastPerfect Catalog item record for each item/unit.

MS999 – Miscellaneous collection / Small manuscripts

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Painchaud’s Band research collection (MS53)

Abstract:  Compiled by author and historian Joyce Butler of Kennebunk, Maine. It contains clippings, notes, and research materials, plus two drafts (one unpublished and one published) for a history of the Painchaud’s Band and its founder, Pierre Painchaud. The second draft was accepted for publication and appeared in the September 1977 issue of Down East Magazine.

History:  Pierre Painchaud (1852-1909) was Biddeford’s most famous musician, and the band he founded in the early 1870’s (which operated and performed for well over 100 years) was equally as famous in Maine and New England as its legendary founder. Joyce Butler (1933-) is a graduate of Boston University and has worked extensively in Maine’s cultural and historical communities. She has written and published numerous articles and books, including “Wildfire Loose: the Week Maine Burned”, the seminal work on Maine’s Fire of 1947. Mrs. Butler has won numerous accolades for her work. She resides in Kennebunk, Maine.

MS53 – Painchaud’s Band research collection finding aid

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Newspapers collection (MS61)

Abstract: Collected single issue and bound volumes of newspapers, spanning over 200 years of mostly local news. Most of the papers come from Biddeford and Saco, however the collection also includes papers from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York and St. Paul, MN (bound in, probably by accident, with some other papers). There are also a large number of special commemorative papers for large fires, hurricanes, blizzards as well as local and state anniversaries.

History: The Biddeford area has been home to an active print industry since the early 19th century, possibly earlier, and there have been many papers printed for the citizenry. The current local daily, “The Journal Tribune” was established in 1884. Newspaper editors in Biddeford and Saco in the 19th century famously traded jabs in their respective papers over opinions and reporting. The publisher of the local French paper, Alfred Bonneau, was very active in local politics and a successful businessman as well. Please see each paper for printing and production information.

MS61 – Newspapers collection finding aid

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