Far Flung Places

04 Jan 2017 2:59 PM | Debi Curry (Administrator)

by Cheryl Willis Patten

On 29 May 1879 Dea. James Cleveland stopped at the Washington Hall Building in Skowhegan, home of Baker and Judkins Monument Works, and ordered a grave stone for his wife, Betsey Cleveland. It was to be set in Bloomfield Cemetery (now known as Southside Cemetery) and he paid for it in two installments. On 29 May 1879 he paid $30.00 and the remaining amount of $18.00 was paid on 6 June 1879. The dimensions of the stone and the exact wording to be cared on the stone were written in the order book. 1

BETSEY/Wife of/Dea. James Cleveland. /Born Dec. 5. 1798./married at the age of 20/& lived with her husband 62 years./the mother of ten children/and lived to see/18 grandchildren/and 16 great grandchildren./Died Apr. 10. 1879./AE. 82. /A dutiful wife. A kind mother./a good Christian. 2

Elizabeth (Betsey) Parker, the daughter of Samson Parker and Rachel Coburn was born 7 Dec. 1796 and died 10 April 1879.   On 8 January 1817 she married James Cleveland, the son of Joseph Cleveland and Susan Steward,3 who was born in Bloomfield on 8 Feb. 1793 and died in Fairfield on 4 March 1881. 4

James and Betsey lived on the Middle Road in Skowhegan and he “gave to a number of his children the names of his wife’s relations.” 5  Their children were

  • Calvin (1818-1907) Secretary to ME’s Governor Abner Coburn;  6
  • Samuel P. (1820-1882) “(lived a few years in Cal.), of Barnet, Whorff & Co., axe manufacturers. Was Chief of Police several years”; 7
  • Rose Ann (1881-1883) wife of Skowhegan farmer, Capt. George Washington Durrell;  8
  • James (1824-1905) resident of Kansas, “a large farmer, stock raiser, and business man; was twice member of state Legislature and Senate; sent by the State to Washington D. C. on important business. Has been in public life many years, and is an excellent orator"; 9
  • Mary Jane (1828-1892) wife of Charles Blanchard who engaged in the lumber business in Lock Haven, CT and Philadelphia, PA.  He was a well-known and large lumber merchant; 10
  • John Emery d. 11 Oct. 1831, infant son; 11
  • Fidelia Coburn (1830-1907)  wife of Skowhegan farmer, William Benjamin Fletcher; 12
  • William Parker (1833-1909) traveler to California in 1851 and to Australia in 1854. He married Catherine Lacy from Tipperary, Ireland and they raised seven children on their large farm in Yalca, Australia; 13
  • Sarah Parker (1836-1900) married Joseph Jewett Steward; 14
  • Abner Coburn (1840-1903) owner of one of the largest cattle ranches in Cleveland, NV, a town named for him. He held many public offices in NV, including twice being a presidential elector and in 1894 he was a candidate for governor. 15

Betsey’s gravestone in Skowhegan’s Southside Cemetery makes it clear that family was important to her. How proud she and James must have been that their descendants were noted citizens in far flung places, including many U. S. states and Australia.

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1 Maine Old Cemetery Association. The Marble Records, “Betsey Cleveland”, (No place, privately published, 2006).  Volume 19, Page 107.    

2 Betsey Cleveland gravestone,  Southside Cemetery, Skowhegan, ME. Photographed by Cheryl Willis Patten, 22 Oct. 2014.

3 Louise Helen Coburn and other residents, Skowhegan on the Kennebec, 2 volumes (Skowhegan, Maine, 1941), 1:178.

4 Coburn, Skowhegan on the Kennebec, 1:178.

5  Coburn, Skowhegan on the Kennebec, 1:178.

6 Cleveland, Edmund James,. The genealogy of the Cleveland and Cleaveland families: an attempt to trace in both the male and the female lines the posterity of Moses Cleveland ..., of Alexander Cleveland ... and of ancient and other Clevelands in England, America and elsewhere: with numerous biographical sketches : and containing ancestries of many of the husbands and wives : also a bibliography of the Cleveland family : and a genealogical account of Edward Winn … 3 volumes (Hartford, Conn.: Printed for the subscribers by the Case, Lockwood & Brainard Co., 1899) II:1710. [Hereafter cited as The Cleveland Genealogy.]

6 James, The Cleveland Genealogy, II: 1751.

7  James, The Cleveland Genealogy, II: 1708.

8 James, The Cleveland Genealogy, II: 1709.

9  James, The Cleveland Genealogy, II: 1709.

10 James, The Cleveland Genealogy, II: 1710.

11  John E. Cleveland gravestone,  Southside Cemetery, Skowhegan, ME. Photographed by Cheryl Willis Patten, 22 Oct. 2014.

12 1870 U.S. census, population schedules. NARA microfilm publication M593, 1,761 rolls. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.

13 James, The Cleveland Genealogy, II: 1710.

14 Coburn, Skowhegan on the Kennebec, 1:178.

15  Coburn, Skowhegan on the Kennebec, 1:178.


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