Narraguagus Valley Some Account of its Early Settlement and Settlers

Campbell Genealogy of Narraguagus Valley Maine

Some time between 1766 and 1768, Alexander Campbell removed from Damariscotta to Steuben, and built a mill at Tunk, now called Smithville, on the east side of the river. It was the first mill there. Mr. Campbell was afterwards well known, not only at home but far east and west, as Colonel Campbell. He was born in Georgetown, this State, and was the son of Alexander Campbell, born in Scotland, and Frances (Drummond) Campbell, born in Ireland. He was born in 1731. In 1759, he married Betsey Nickels, who was born in Ireland and came to Lynn, Mass., with her parents when about six years old. From Lynn, she came with her brother, Capt. William. Nickels, to Damariscotta. At Damariscotta, two children were born to the Campbells — James and Frances. While living at Steuben, Hannah, Peggy, Polly and William were born. About 1772 or ’73, they moved to this river and built a house at what we call “Shipyard Point,” where Nash’s lumber yard now is. While living there, Samuel, Alexander and Betsey were born. In 1790, they built and moved into the house on the hill, the same now occupied by their great grandson, F. I. Campbell. Col. Campbell had found it so expensive getting his lumber to market from Tunk that he concluded to come to this river and operate, where he could raft his lumber to the vessels that were to take it away. He first contemplated building his dam and mill on the privilege now occupied by the “Forest Mill,” grist mill, etc. He took counsel of Mr. Ichabod Willey, who was the only wheelwright, and of others who had lived here some years, and they advised him to build a dam down at the point instead, for two very sufficient reasons in their estimation. 1. A sufficient head to work a mill could not be raised up at the falls, and 2d, there was little or no timber on the river above, and he would need to have his mill where he could reach it with logs cut upon the river below, and upon the islands. There was already a mill on the dam now occupied by Coffin & Co., and that would more than use up the timber that could be got up river. And so he built a dam and a tide-mill down below.

In the troublesome times that followed soon after Col. Campbells’ settlement — the struggles and trials of the Revolutionary War — he was very active and efficient. It would be interesting to the reader, I am quite sure, to relate in considerable detail the part that Col. Campbell took in the affairs of this county and the country from 1774-5 to the close of the revolution. But space will not permit. I can only say that Col. Campbell was the adviser, aid and confidential correspondent of the famous patriot, Col. John Allan, who did more than any other one man in all eastern Maine for the cause of Freedom and Independence, in thwarting the schemes of the British, and in keeping the Indians from the St. John to the Penobscot friendly and true to the American cause, and when the people of the region round about had any appeal to make to the General Court of Massachusetts, or to the Continental Congress, Col. Campbell was generally their agent and envoy. Col. Campbell died in 1807. His children:

  1. James Campbell, the oldest son of Col. C. Campbell, m. Susanna Coffin, a sister of Dea. Elisha, Matthew and Temple Coffin of Columbia. They settled at Mill River, where the Kennedys now live. Their children were:
    1. James Campbell A. m. Thirza Fickett.
    2. Nancy Campbell m. Joseph Adams.
    3. Richard C. Campbell m. Sally Foster.
    4. Polly Campbell died young.
    5. Patrick Campbell m. ____ Smallage.
    6. Colin Campbell m. Sally Ricker.
    7. Alexander F. Campbell m. Julia Patten.
    8. Catherine Campbell m. Thomas A. Snow.
    9. Betsey Campbell m. Weston Merritt.
  2. Fanny Campbell m. James Archibald, who with his brother Thomas, had come here from Nova Scotia. He lived but a short time, and she afterwards m. Capt. Ambrose Snow, a son of the old pioneer preacher, Elder Snow. Their children:
    1. Robert Campbell married in Thomaston.
    2. ____ Campbell died young.
    3. William Campbell m. Myriam Wass.
    4. Ambrose Campbell m. 1st , and 2d Eliza S. Nickels.
    5. Thomas A. Campbell m. Catherine Campbell.
    6. Jane Campbell m. Francis Cobb.
    7. Polly Campbell m. Capt. Post.
  3. Hannah Campbell m. Thomas Archibald. Their children were:
    1. Elizabeth Campbell m. Joseph Adams.
    2. Margaret died young.
    3. Sophia Campbell m. Thompson Lewis.
    4. Mary Campbell.
    5. Hannah Campbell.
    6. Samuel Campbell.
    7. Thomas Campbell.
    8. Susan Campbell m. Charles S. Hall.
  4. Peggy Campbell m. John Foster and was the mother of Alexander Foster and of Robert Foster who formerly lived where J. A. Milliken now lives.
  5. Polly Campbell m. Robert Foster, Sr., and died soon after.
  6. William Campbell m. Jane Lawrence. Their children were:
    1. Hannah Campbell, John L. m. Margaret Lewis.
    2. Betsey Campbell m. B. G. Ricker.
    3. Samuel Campbell m. Elizabeth S. Shaw.
    4. James Campbell m. Leonice Nickels.
    5. Ambrose S. Campbell m. Ann M. True.
    6. William Campbell never married.
  7. Samuel Campbell m. Rebecca Wass. Of all their children Alexander and Mrs. Moore only are living. Their children were:
    1. David W. Campbell m. Margaret B. Nickels.
    2. Alexander Campbell m. Caroline Ricker.
    3. Francis C. Campbell died unmarried.
    4. Fanny Campbell died young.
    5. Susan Campbell m. J. W. Moore.
    6. William Campbell, died young.
    7. Abigail Campbell, died young.
    8. Aaron W. Campbell, died young.
    9. Robert F. Campbell, died young.
    10. Nancy A. Campbell m. J. Q. Adams.
  8. Alexander Campbell m. Nabby Collins. Their children were:
    1. Peggy Campbell m. James Ray.
    2. William Campbell died unmarried.
  9. Betsey Campbell, the youngest daughter, died unmarried at the age of 26 years.

Milliken, J. A. The Narraguagus Valley: some account of its early settlement and settlers. Covers towns of Steuben, Milbridge, Harrington and Cherryfield. Machias, Maine: 1886; reprinted A. J. Huston, Portland, Maine, 1910.

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