Samuel Waters came to Newcastle from England. He probably came first to Massachusetts, as he married Mary Kennedy of Bridgewater, Mass. He purchased 200 acres of land in Newcastle at the head of Dyer’s Neck, where it stretched in an uneven pattern from river to river, according to the Rev. David Quimby Cushman in his “History of Ancient Sheepscot and Newcastle.” No date is given for his birth or when he came to Maine but his oldest children were born in the 1760s, when he was, undoubtedly, a young man so he probably was born around 1740.
Samuel Waters was a cooper by trade. Cooperage is the art of making wooden casks, kegs, barrels, tanks, vats, and other circular or elliptical wooden vessels bound together by means of hoops. There were no boxes, no plastic bags; everything was carried by barrel or similar container. Water, beer, and food were carried on sailing ships to supply the men with food and drink. All commercial shipments were shipped in like containers
The cooper makes his product in three parts: the staves, the headings, and the hoops. A cooper can work alone at his home shop and this area had the needed hardwood for the task. He was in a ship-building area. This would have been a good place to carry on his trade.
When Samuel arrived at the head of Dyer’s Neck, it was a wild country, but he made a clearing there and made himself and his family a good home. His first wife died and he married Margaret McLelland, the daughter of William McLelland and Mary Ballantine.
William McLelland was of Scotch-Irish descent, and from Medford, Mass. He came to Sheepscot about 1734. After the Presbyterian Church was formed, he was chosen its deacon. He was town clerk from the incorporation of Newcastle until his death in 1763. With the Indian problem, McLelland moved his family in to the garrison at Sheepscot, where they lived for seven years.
One summer, the Indians were so numerous that the people were obliged to go out in companies, guarded by armed men, to do their work. Bread was so scarce, as well as other supplies, that they were obliged to pick peas and eat them with milk as a substitute.
Cushman writes that Samuel Waters “was a very pious man, and did much toward sustaining religious ordinances among the people, and used frequently to have meetings at his own house. Like many good men he had some peculiar notions and ways. When his second wife died, a friend in sympathy remarked to him, ‘You have lost your wife.’ ‘Yes,’ he replied, ‘the loss of women and the increase of sheep will make a man rich.’ When asked a question which he did not care about answering, he would feign deafness – appear as though he did not hear, and would make no reply.”
In 1765, Samuel Waters and John Hussey were chosen to be packers of fish (alewives) and see that the fish ways in the Sheepscot River were unobstructed.
In 1769 Samuel Waters, Jacob Greely and Benjamin Woodbridge were chosen as a committee to lay out a road from the town road on Dyer’s Neck near his home, to join the town road on the Eastern side of Dyer’s River. This would have been to connect with the road in North Newcastle. He was also on the committee to lay out a public landing place at the Head of the Tide and lay out a road leading to it from the town road. This was before Head of the Tide broke away from Newcastle in 1794 to become a part of Alna.
In 1778, a committee was formed “to lay out” a bridled road from Ezekiel Latien’s to Samuel Waters’, on Dyer’s Neck. In 1769, Waters was on the committee to provide a school for the “upper end” of town, the first school in the area.
Later in life, Samuel married for a third time. His new wife was Ruth Averill, of Jefferson. He moved to Jefferson and died there.
Samuel Waters had seven children: four girls and three boys. Mary was the oldest of Samuel’s children. She married Joseph Glidden Jr. in 1770. Joseph, Tobias, and Zebulon Glidden came to this area from New Hampshire about 1750. Joseph purchased 192 acres of land from the William Vaughan estate. This bordered on the river. He bought other pieces of land to border on the county road (what is now Academy Hill Road) so he could have an outlet to get to the main highway. The Mills Road had not been built. His land extended from Damariscotta River to Glidden Street and the gatepost that is still there. Then it followed a line directly up over the hill to near Lincoln Academy.
The house known as the Glidden House was built by him, probably soon after he bought the land. Joseph Jr. and his new wife, Mary Waters, moved in to the place and raised their children there. They had 12 children – nine daughters and three sons.
When the elder Joseph Glidden purchased the place, he found a colony of Indians inhabiting the neck of land on which the oyster banks are located, where they remained and were tolerated for many years, greatly to the discomforts of said Joseph and his family. They would engage in criminal and destructive acts, and even steal the dinner from the table while the mother was waiting for the family to come and gather around. But, says Cushman, they were tolerated and befriended for many years, not withstanding the many annoyances from them being nearby.
Samuel Waters’ first son was named Samuel, for him. He moved out of town to Palermo. Samuel next had a daughter, Nabby, who married Major Moses Carleton, of Wiscasset.
Samuel’s other two sons were active in town affairs. William, born in 1764, married Patience Bryant, born in 1771. She was a daughter of Nathaniel Bryant Sr., who came from the south shore prior to the Revolution. Nathaniel and Patience – don’t those names sound familiar? I have written much about this Bryant family, which still is playing an important part here in Newcastle.
William Waters is called a man of extensive business, a claimant of French spoliations. He is listed a both innholder and a retailer.
In 1796, the town voted to build a bridge over Dyer’s River, where the Erskine Mill was. This was to be on the upper side of the old one. It was to be 20 feet wide and covered with square timber or three-inch plank. It was to be of the proper height, not less than two feet higher than the old bridge. It was to have proper pieces of timber laid on each side of the bridge, in the room of rails. The whole was to be finished in a workman-like manner. William Waters, who lived nearby, agreed to build the bridge in the described manner for $100, within three months.
William was to be involved in a longer and more controversial problem in another field. During the time of the revolution, there was much said about forming a new town out of the North Parish of Pownalboro (Alna) and that portion of the town of Newcastle which lay to the north of the Sheepscot River and to the westward of a line drawn from the “bend” in the Sheepscot River, to the north limits of the town.
The principal reason for separation from Newcastle was that those who lived in that area would have better religious conditions if they did not have to go all the way to the churches in the lower part of Newcastle. In 1778, an article was inserted in the warrant to this effect but it was voted down. These people then asked to be relieved from “paying the Minister rate” in Newcastle, that they might join the North Parish (Alna) in Pownalboro and be assessed there. At the 1779 town meeting, that was voted down, too.
The subject seems to have rested for some years, but in the 1788 warrant an article was inserted to see if the town would let them join the parish and exempt all those living in the area from paying the tax to Newcastle. They would build a church there. This would be their own church and in their neighborhood. This was granted by the town, but this permission was to join the parish, not the town.
In 1790, the request got more detailed. Inhabitants north of the Great Bend of the Sheepscot were involved. The town turned them down, but in 1794, to make them happy, they voted to build a meetinghouse “on the first high hill to the Westward of the dwelling of William Waters, on the North side of the town road.”
The spot was chosen and a committee appointed to carry out this building. They had power given them to choose the dimensions of the house, draw a plan of it, sell the pews, and pay the expense of the building.
Instead, the weary northern residents took their problem directly to the General Court in Massachusetts and it granted their request to leave Newcastle. The act for incorporating the town of New Milford (Alna), was passed on June 25, 1794. And the act setting off a part of Newcastle to New Milford was passed in February 1795.
It was agreed that Alna should pay to Newcastle the sum of $100, in four annual installments.
Alna should also pay the county tax for the last year. This had been a long and tedious controversy. From it, Newcastle lost a large section of its northeast territory. Today, most people drive through Head Tide and never think it was once a part of Newcastle. There is nothing written about what William Waters’ part was in the proceedings.
Son Daniel followed William. Daniel was born in 1768 and married Mary Weeks, of Jefferson. Daniel is referred to as “Major” but the information does not say how he got the title. He was a justice of the peace and a surveyor of lumber. He is listed as an innholder and a retailer. He was moderator for the town and served as selectman.
In 1797, he was chosen as a delegate to represent Newcastle in a convention at Hallowell to take into consideration the dividing of the county of Lincoln into two counties and to decide where the line should be. It is to be remembered that in 1760 Cumberland and Lincoln counties were set off from York County. Lincoln became the entire northern part of the state. Its county seat was at Pownalboro, on the Kennebec River. The first courthouse and jail were built there about 1761. When Pownalboro was divided into three towns, the seat of government was moved to the South Precinct, now Wiscasset, where a courthouse and jail were built.
This caused dissension with the people in Hallowell (Augusta was its northern parish). Their claim was that Wiscasset was too far away for them to travel to attend court and for legal business. A proposal was made to the Court of General Sessions in Massachusetts that a new Lincoln County court and jail should be built in both Wiscasset and Augusta. After 1786, the courts met in Lincoln County twice each year, alternately in Pownalboro (Wiscasset) and in Hallowell (Augusta).
This was not a good plan, either. Two county seats made court sessions confusing. And it was to help solve this situation that Daniel Waters went to Hallowell in 1797. The committee came up with the plan to split the county. The towns around Hallowell and Augusta were formed into a new county: Kennebec. In 1799, Kennebec County was formed to include many of the towns on both sides of the Kennebec River.
Lincoln County still consisted of land now parts of Androscoggin, Sagadahoc, and Knox counties. Those counties would not be taken from Lincoln County for more than 50 years.
Samuel’s daughter, Jane, was next in line. She married twice: James Clark and Benjamin Ayer. Both lived in Alna. Nancy, the youngest daughter and youngest child, died young. Although both William and Daniel had large families, today there are no people named Waters on the tax list in Newcastle.