Biography of Nathaniel H. Vining

Nathaniel H. Vining, chairman the Board of Selectmen of St. Albans, Somerset County, was born in this town, July 13, 1839, son of Israel and Joan (Bigelow) Vining. The grandfather, Josiah Vining, moved from Litchfield, Maine, to St. Albans, settling upon a tract of land in the vicinity of the old Quaker meeting-house, and engaged in farming. He married Esther Clough, of Durham, Maine, and had a family of eleven children, namely: Sarah, who married Hiram Hawes, of St. Albans, and is no longer living; Jeremiah, who died in California; Abbie, who is now a widow and resides in Amesbury, Massachusetts; Jacob, at one time a minister and later a cashier of a bank, who married Lucy Dillingham, both being now deceased; Louisa Vining, a school teacher, who has taught in six different States; Israel, the father of Nathaniel H. ; Esther, a school teacher in Merrimac, Massachusetts, now deceased; John and Josiah, both of whom died young; Ruth C., who taught in a Friends’ school for several years, and is now the widow of Ephraim Huntington; and William Francis Vining, who married Rebecca Currier, of Amesbury, Massachusetts, and is now a retired carriage manufacturer of that town.

Israel Vining, who was born in Litchfield, came in childhood with his parents to St. Albans. When a young man he located where his son Nathaniel H. now resides, and cleared from the wilderness a good farm, which he occupied until his death. He was an industrious farmer and a useful citizen, who figured quite prominently in local public affairs; and he was highly esteemed for his many commendable qualities. He served as Deputy Sheriff of the county, and was Collector of Taxes for several years. His wife, Joan, who was a native of Skowhegan, married for her first husband Nathaniel Hawes, of Harmony, Maine, by whom she had one daughter, Rosetta, now deceased, who was the wife of John Hoyt. Her second union was with Israel Vining, by whom she had five children, namely: Nathaniel H., the subject of this sketch ; James Selden, who died at the age of seven years; Henry C., born February 23, 1846, now a civil engineer in Seattle, Washington; George W., born in February, 1848, who is now a retired business man of Seattle; and Joseph Cushman Vining, a cabinet-maker, who married Ella Whittemore, of Chelsea, Massachusetts, and has two children — Frank C. and Albert. George W. Vining was formerly manager of the North-western Cracker and Confectionery Company of Seattle, and prominent in the business circles of that city. He married Mary Edna Lucas, and his children are: Ruth Winnifred and Harold Luther Vining. The mother is no longer living.

Nathaniel H. Vining began his education in the common schools, afterward attended the Oak Grove Academy, and completed his studies at a business college. He has always resided at the homestead, having had charge of the property during his father’s declining years, and succeeding to its possession after the death of his parents. Besides the home farm, which contains one hundred and twenty acres, he owns some outlying land, and is engaged in general farming and the raising of hogs, sheep, cattle, and horses. On September 20, 1864, he was joined in marriage with Annie L. Stone, who was born in Ripley, Maine, February 23, 1846, daughter of Cyrus and Maria (Prescott) Stone. The former, born August 3, 1817, died January 3, 1876. The mother, who was born August 9, 1824, is now living with her daughter. Cyrus and Maria Stone reared four children: Jesse, a veteran of the Civil War, born March 24, 1844, who married Lizzie Rand, and is now a carpenter in Boston; Annie L., who is now Mrs. Vining; Harriet A., who died April 5, 1895; and Nora Belle, who is the widow of Willard Griffin, late of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and is now living in Somerville, Massachusetts. Mrs. Vining has had four children, namely: Carrie Mabel, born February 14, 1866, who was a school teacher in Seattle, and died in that city, November 28, 1887; Selden, a resident of Seattle, born September 15, 1867, who is married and has one daughter, Marie T.; Frank Newell, horn March 22, 1872, who is now a member of the School Board and resides at home; and Florence R. Vining, born December 26, 1876, who resides principally in Massachusetts, where she is engaged in dressmaking.

In politics Mr. Vining is a Republican and a member of the Town Committee. For twelve years he was Town Treasurer. He has served as Tax Collector and a member of the Board of Health, is a Justice of the Peace, has been a Selectman for several years, and is now the chairman of the board. He is Connected with Hartland Lodge, No. 101, I. O. O. F.; and St. Albans Grange, No. 114, Patrons of Husbandry; and he attends the Methodist Episcopal church. Mrs. Vining was a member of the School Board from 1894 to 1896, being the first woman elected to that body. Since 1891 she has been the secretary of the Somerset County organization of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union.

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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