John Franklin Knowlton, of Ellsworth, Clerk of the Supreme Judicial Court for Hancock County, has been a resident of this city since 1890. Born March 19, 1856, in Montville, Waldo County, he is a son of John Colby Knowlton. His paternal grandfather, the Rev. Ebenezer Knowlton, who was born in New Hampshire, until after his marriage lived in the Granite State. As a minister of the Baptist church he was settled in Montville in 1823, and preached there until 1850. Then he retired to the farm which he had previously bought, and there spent his last days. To him and his wife, whose maiden name was Abigail True, three children were born: John C., Ebenezer, and David.
John C. Knowlton, born in Pittsfield, New Hampshire, was about a year old when his parents took him to Montville. Here he subsequently resided until his demise in 1887 at the age of sixty-five years. A man of ability and energy, he was the owner of a saw and grist mill, and carried on an extensive business. Much interested in the welfare of the town, he rendered valuable service in all the important local offices. He married Sarah A. Webb, a native of Albion, Maine, and a relative of Judge Webb, of Waterville. They reared four children, as follows: Charles E., who died at the age of thirty-six years; Emma, who married Daniel Tarr, of Sutter Creek, California, and lives in Southern California; Caro, who is the wife of the late F. O. Keating, of Appleton, Maine, and John F., the subject of this biography.
John F. Knowlton acquired his elementary education in the district and high schools of Montville. Afterward he attended the Bucksport Seminary and an educational institution of note in Augusta. From 1876 to 1877 and from 1880 to 1890 he was a professor in the East Maine Seminary at Bucksport, Maine. He resigned his position in the seminary to accept the appointment of Clerk of the Supreme Court for Hancock County, an office which he has since satisfactorily filled. He is also Recorder of the Municipal Court of Ellsworth. Valuable service was rendered to the community by him in the capacity of superintendent of schools, a position which his former experience as a teacher specially qualified him to fill. He is now the president of the local School Board. Fraternally, he is a Knight Templar, an Odd Fellow, and a member of several less extensive secret organizations. Politically, he is a straight Republican; and in 1880 he cast his first Presidential vote for James A. Garfield, and has never missed an election since. On December 4, 1878, he was married to Miss Jessie Meservey, a daughter of Albert Meservey, of Appleton, Maine, and a niece of President Meservey, of the New Hampton Literary Institution. He is now the father of four children; namely, Ethel M., Morris W., Charles C., and Hazel M.
Source: Biographical review: containing life sketches of leading citizens of Somerset, Piscataquis, Hancock, Washington, and Aroostook counties, Maine. Boston: Biographical Review Publishing Company, 1898.