Biography of Cyrus A. Packard

Cyrus A. Packard
Cyrus A. Packard

Cyrus A. Packard, who was First Selectman of Blanchard, Piscataquis County, for twenty-five years and Town Clerk for sixteen years, was born in Hebron, Me., December 22, 1822. A son of Reuel K. and Patience (Bowker) Packard, he Was a descendant of Samuel Packard, who came from England in the ship “Diligence” in 1638, and settled in what is now the city of Brockton, Mass. From Samuel Packard the line is traced through Zaccheus, who married Sarah Howard; James, who married Jemima Keith; Reuben, who married Anna Perkins; and Ichabod, Cyrus A. Packard’s grandfather, who married Rachel Cole. Reuben Packard, of the fourth generation from Samuel, was Orderly Sergeant in Captain Josiah Hayden’s company of minutemen, who took part in the battle of Lexington, April 19, 1775. Ichabod Packard was a private in Captain Elisha Mitchell’s company, Colonel Simon Carey’s regiment, which started for the front April 2, 1775. He served also in Abiel Pierce’s company, Colonel Nicholas Dike’s regiment, from August 3 to November 29, 1776. His wife was a member of the family of Joseph Cole, who had four sons and four grandsons in the Revolution.

Reuel K. Packard, born in Hebron, Me., January 26, 1792, who was a carpenter by trade, moved from Hebron to Monson soon after his marriage and from Monson to Blanchard in 1834. In Monson he was engaged in trade and milling. He was one of the early merchants of Blanchard, and for a number of years was interested in a grist-mill here. A Whig in politics, he was Town Clerk for a number of years; and, an active member of the Congregational church, he was Deacon for several years. He died January 2, 1862.

His wife, who was born in Hebron, March 28, 1791, died October 7, 1872. They had three children, namely: Augustus, who died in Hebron, aged about four years; Cyrus A., the subject of this sketch; and Henry M., born September 2, 1826, who was killed in Blanchard by the bursting of a saw, November 5, 1850.

Having been educated in the schools of Monson and Blanchard and at the Foxcroft Academy, Cyrus A. Packard taught school for six terms in this vicinity. In his early manhood he worked for a while at carpentry with his father. Then he and Joseph B. Packard engaged in the manufacture of matches in Blanchard, but they soon abandoned the enterprise on account of the tax. For six months in 1864 he was in the employ of the Sanitary Commission at Washington, looking after the sick and wounded Maine soldiers. In the fall of the same year he enlisted in Company G, Seventeenth Maine Regiment of Volunteers, and was assigned to duty in the Provost Marshal’s office in Bangor, where he was occupied until the close of the war. A Republican from the time of the formation of the party, he was County Commissioner of Piscataquis County for nine years; and by the appointment of Governor Davis he was State land agent until 1892, a period of twelve years. He was elected to the State legislature of 1895, receiving all the votes cast in his district but three. Mr. Packard was made a Mason in 1868, and belonged to Doric Lodge in Monson. He was a member of the Congregational church. Gifted with a wonderful memory, he was well versed in history, especially in the history of his own county. He died December 7, 1896, the first to break his family circle.

On April 5, 1848, Mr. Packard was married to Sarah Packard, who was born in Hebron, September 7, 1827. Her father, Ephraim Packard, born March 13, 1790, settled in Blanchard in 1830, before any roads had been opened here. Besides conducting a farm he managed a hotel for a while. He was County Commissioner for six years and Probate Judge at the time of his death. In the Congregational church at Blanchard he was a Deacon. He died November 2, 1855. His wife, who was born November 28, 1792, died August 25, 1862. Cyrus A. Packard left a widow and eight children. The children are: Reuel A., born April 13, 1849, a carpenter of Guilford, Me. ; Charles E., born September 2, 185o, a lumber manufacturer of the same town; Emma B., born May 10, 1854, wife of J. Warren Chamberlain, of Blanchard; Henry M., born March 28, 1857, station agent in Blanchard; Anna I., born September 25, 1861, wife of L. W. Gammon, of Guilford; Lizzie E., born September 23, 1863, wife of John Patten, of the Blanchard hotel, the Valley House; Evvie M., born November 25, 1865, wife of C. Sumner Packard, of Blanchard; and Edmond B., born January 22, 1890, residing in-Blanchard. Mr. Patten, mentioned above, has charge of the old Packard home in this town. Mrs. Packard lives with her son Henry M. The latter attended the schools of Blanchard, and graduated at Dirigo College, Augusta, in 1886. In early life he was engaged for a while in farming; and during two summer seasons he was surveying for the State in Aroostook County, in the vicinity of Madawaska. Since 1892 he has been station agent here, on the Bangor & Aroostook Railroad. He was elected First Selectman as his father’s successor, and has been Town Clerk for seventeen years. Well advanced in Masonry, he is a member of the lodge at Monson and the chapter at Dover. He is not married.

Source: Biographical review: containing life sketches of leading citizens of Somerset, Piscataquis, Hancock, Washington, and Aroostook counties, Maine. Boston: Biographical Review Publishing Company, 1898.

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