A glance at the map of the western part of Washington County will show that any treatment of the early settlement upon the Narraguagus River, necessarily involves more or less of the histories of Steuben, Milbridge, Harrington and Cherryfield. Steuben was formerly township “No. 4, East of Union River,” and No. 5 comprised the territory now included in the towns of Milbridge and Harrington. The town of Cherryfield is composed of No. 11, Middle Division, Brigham Purchase, and of the northeastern part of what was formerly Steuben. All that part of Cherryfield lying south of the mills on the first
The Dunbars of Narraguagus Valley Maine are all descended from Obed and Abigail Dunbar, who were early settlers in Steuben, and came from Taunton, Mass. Their children were Merrill, Caleb, Polly, Peter, Humphrey and Abigail.
The Fosters of Milbridge, Cherryfield, Sullivan, etc., are descended from a Mr. John Foster, who, with his wife, came to the Narraguagus river valley from Cape Elizabeth soon after the close of the Revolutionary War. He and his wife were English born; came to Halifax, thence to Cape Elizabeth and thence here. He had three sons, James, Robert and John.
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. 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. Children of Alexander and Betsey Campbell were: James, Frances, Hannah, Peggy, Polly, William, Samuel, Alexander, and Betsey.
About 1760, two brothers, Thomas and Samuel Leighton, came from Falmouth to this River. Samuel settled on the lot now in possession of Richard P. Willey. His sons were Theodore Leighton, Isaac Leighton, Parritt Leighton and Phineas Leighton. Thomas Leighton, the brother of Samuel Leighton, settled upon a lot at the head of Pigeon Hill Bay. He had a family of six sons and five daughters. Robert, Joseph, Thomas, Annie, Molly, James, Ross, Abigail, Betsey, Sarah and Benjamin. Nearly at the same time that Thomas and Samuel Leighton came and settled, Thomas Leighton 2d came from Dover, N. H., to Gouldsboro. His wife was Lydia Tracy. It is not known that there was any relationship between these two Thomas Leightons. From Gouldsboro, Thomas 2d soon removed to Steuben and settled upon the lot afterwards known as the Henry Leighton lot. He had ten children, Jonathan, Mark, Charity, Alexander, Hatevil, Pamelia, Isaiah, Daniel, Israel and Asa.