Gazetteer of the State of Maine With Numerous Illustrations, by Geo. J. Varney
BOSTON: PUBLISHED BY B. B. RUSSELL, 57 CORNHILL. 1882. Public domain image from
116 GAZETTEER OF MAINE.
up with two-inch plank, and having two flankers. At Winter Har-
bor, near the shore, four houses situated on a square, were strongly
garrisoned, and occupied by a number of families. Captain Smiths
public house was protected by a brick wall on the inside, with flankers ^
at each end. After the peace of 1748 the town suffered no further
from the Indians.
The action of the town during the Revolution was highly honor-
able. Colonel John Smith and some 80 other citizens entered the
Continental army for the war, The privateer Thrasher, com-
rnanded by Captain Benjamin Cole, belonged to Biddeford. Captain
Phillip Goldthwaite, inspector of the port, was the only person in town
who opposed the war.
During the war of 1812, the British destroyed shipping at the mouth
of the river, including some ships on the stocks at Captain Thomas
Cutts shipyard at the Neck.
The first bridge leading from Biddeford to Saco wras built by
Colonel Thomas Cutts, Deacon Amos Chase, Thomas Gilpatrick, Jr.,
and Benjamin Nason, in 1767. It spanned the west branch of the
river to Indian Island, and was made a toll bridge by act of General
Court in 1768. Colonel Cutts bought out Chase and Nason, when it
began to be called Cutts Bridge. Previous to this a bridge (paid for
by a lottery) had been erected, connecting the island with Saco side,
a ferry over the western branch completing the passage until Cutts
Bridge was built.
A post office was first established in town in 1789, the postmaster
being Benjamin Hooper. In 1855, Biddeford was incorporated as a ,
city, Daniel Somes becoming the first mayor. Its population by the
first census, in 1790, was 1,018; in 1850, 6,095; 1860, 9,350; 1870,
10,285; 1880, 12,653.
Rev. Richard Gibson, a clergyman of tbe Church of England, is
believed to be have been the first ordained minister resident in York
county. He was on that coast as early as 1636. Rev. Robert
Jordan succeeded him about 1640. Both must at some time have
officiated in Biddeford. Rev. Thomas Jenner, a Non-conformist,
preached in the town in 1641, remaining about two years. He is
thought by some to have been the first Puritan preacher in Maine.
Rev. Seth Fletcher is the first minister of Biddeford of whose engage-
ment any record is preserved. The town employed him from 1666,
and he appears to have continued there until the settlement was de-
stroyed in 1675. A parsonage was built about 1685. The first Con-
gregational Church was formed in 1730, and Samuel Willard, ordained
in the same year, was its first minister. Biddeford was separated into
two parishes in 1797, and a new edifice built soon after ; Rev. John
Turner was the first minister of this second Congregational Church. ^
The Pavilion Church was organized in 1857, and the Rev. Samuel M.
Gould became pastor from the date of organization. The first
Methodist meeting-house was built in 1847. The first Catholic church
(St. Marys) was built in 1855. Christ Church (Episcopal) was organ-
ized in 1869. There are now eight church edifices within the village
portion of the town, five of them being of brick, and two or three,
large and elegant structures.
Biddeford schools have for several years been graded from primary
to high. The number of schoolhouses is 21; and the value of the
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