Biography of Major Charles H. B. Woodbury

Major Charles H. B. Woodbury, Town Treasurer of Dover and one of the best known merchants in Piscataquis County, was born in Durham, Maine, May 15, 1823, son of James and Rebecca (Sydleman) Woodbury. The paternal grandfather, Ebenezer Woodbury, who was born in New Salem, New Hampshire, in 1760, served under General Gates in the Revolutionary War, and was present at the surrender of General Burgoyne. He was one of the early settlers of Durham, where he cleared new land and passed the rest of his life industriously engaged in farming, attaining the age of seventy-five years. His wife, Betsey, who was born in 1755, died in 1828. They were the parents of several children, including two sons, of whom James was the youngest.

James Woodbury was born in Durham, June 8, 1793. He began life as a farmer in his native town, where he tilled the soil for a number of years. Moving to Dover about the year 1825, he continued in that useful calling for the rest of his active period. He was drafted into the United States army, and saw active service in the War of 1812. In politics he was in his later years a Republican. In religious belief he was a Free Will Baptist. He died in September, 1872, in his eightieth year. Rebecca, his wife, who was born in Durham in 1795, became the mother of eight children, three of whom are living, namely: George S., a prosperous farmer of Dover; James, a retired merchant of Bangor; and Charles H. B., the subject of this sketch, who is the youngest. The others were: John S., Eben, Edward E., Mrs. Eliza Fernald, and Mrs. Rebecca Wyman. Mrs. Rebecca Woodbury died June 8, 1867, aged seventy-two years.

Charles H. B. Woodbury was taken by his parents to Dover in his infancy, and his education was there acquired in the district schools. When sixteen years old he secured employment as clerk in a general store kept by George W. Sawyer, for whom he worked four years. At the end of that time he became a partner, and was associated with Mr. Sawyer until 1861. In 1864 he purchased his present place of business, which was built in 1828, and is one of the oldest mercantile stands in town. He has since carried on a thriving trade in groceries, making a high reputation among his fellow-townsmen and the wholesale merchants of Bangor, Portland, and Boston. In public affairs Major Woodbury is conspicuous for his long-continued service, having, with the exception of three years, been Town Treasurer of Dover since 1846. He was first appointed Postmaster by President Zachary Taylor in 1849, holding the office for four years. Again appointed by President Lincoln in 1861, he retained the position until 1885. He was elected Representative to the legislature in 1862, and he has ably filled several other elective offices. He was but twenty years old when he was commissioned Major in the State militia.

Major Woodbury contracted the first of his two marriages on February I, 1849, with Elizabeth Tower, of Foxcroft. She died in 1852, leaving no children. On September 15, 1854, he married her sister, Lucinda B. Tower, who was born in Peacham, Vermont. June 29, 1829. She is the mother of one son, William C., born in Dover, December 15, 1857, who is now the treasurer of the Piscataquis Savings Bank. William C. Woodbury married Martha Fogler, of Rockland, Maine, and has one daughter, Pauline. Politically, Major Woodbury is a Republican. Both he and Mrs. Woodbury attend the Congregational church.

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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