Biography of Orin J. Nevins

ORIN J. NEVINS-Of the old guard in the lumbering industry in the western part of the State, Mr. Nevins, who for some years has been retired from active participation in his former calling, was a promoter of the manufacture of that product at a time when many similar industries were helping to make history in their field. He witnessed the progress of lumber at its best, both at Holyoke and Turners Falls, and in the prime of his life he was associated with some of its outstanding successes, sharing, too, in the progress of invention that brought the processes to their present high standard. Veteran of the Union Army in the Civil War, he shared, then and later, in the practical advancement of every patriotic cause. A saying has been passed down in his family that since 1620 there has never been a criminal, a millionaire or a pauper in the family. He is the son of Dexter Nevins, a farmer and cattle dealer, of Maine, and of Cordelia Hillman, daughter of Uriah Hillman, a Martha’s Vineyard whaling captain.

Orin J. Nevins, was born at Farmington, Maine, December 28, 1842, and received his education in the local district schools. He was employed on his father’s farm until the Civil War, when he entered the service of the United States Government. In 1871 he went to Holyoke, where he became associated with the lumber industry; and eventually he went to the Comstock Mill, at Turners Falls, 1880, of which he was the general manager for many years. At the time of his retirement, in 1914, he was with the Connecticut Valley Lumber Company, at Mount Tom. He was also engaged in the building and selling of residences.

At the beginning of the Civil War Mr. Nevins enlisted in Company G, 9th Maine Volunteers, and joined his regiment at Chapin Farm, near Richmond, Virginia. That winter, under General Butler, the regiment lay siege to and captured Fort Fisher; crossing the State of North Carolina to Raleigh, they then joined General Sherman in his march to the sea, at Goldsboro. Mr. Nevins received his discharge August 15, 1865, and 1eturned to Maine. His fraternal affiliations are with Mechanics’ Lodge, No. 66, of Orono, Maine, the Free and Accepted Masons, and Edwin E. Day Post, No. 174, Grand Army of the Republic, of Greenfield.

Mr. Nevins married, April 3, 1866, Laura J. Merrill, now eighty years of age, a daughter of Asa Merrill, of Orono, Maine, and they are the parents of: Justin S., Bertha and Gertrude (Mrs. Hickok).


Lockwood, John H. (John Hoyt); Bagg, Ernest Newton; Carson, Walter S. (Walter Scott); Riley, Herbert E. (Herbert Elihu); Boltwood, Edward; Clark, Will L. (Will Leach); Western Massachusetts A History 1636-1925; New York and Chicago: Lewis historical publishing company, inc., 1926

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