Thomas Blackwell, a retired farmer of Cornville township, has made a noteworthy record for persevering industry and thrift, and is a fine representative of the self-made men of Somerset County. He was born December 27, 1830, in the neighboring town of Norridgewock, son of Thomas Blackwell, Sr. The latter was born and brought up in Madison, Maine, a town in which he passed the earlier part of his life. Some years ago he became a resident of Dead River plantation, Somerset County, remaining there until his death in October, 1894, at a ripe old age. He was twice married. His first wife bore him one child, Joseph, who lives in Madison, Me. By his second union there were several children.
Thomas Blackwell, the subject of this sketch, had but meager opportunities for obtaining an education. He left home when but eight years of age, going first to Dover, New Hampshire, where he spent a long winter of four months. He afterward worked for different farmers in Somerset County until he was thirty years old, being employed for the larger portion of the time in Cornville. After his marriage he began farming on his own account in Cornville, spending the first four years on a farm not far from his present home. During the ensuing two years he resided in Canaan township. Then, not being satisfied with his environment, he returned to Cornville, and, buying the property then known as the Pollard farm, has since conducted a substantial business as general farmer and stock-raiser. He has one hundred and ten acres of land, well improved, and usually reaps excellent harvests of grain and hay. Of late years, owing to impaired health, he has given up the cares and responsibilities of the farm to his son, and is now spending his declining years in the enjoyment of the fruits of his industry.
Mr. Blackwell was married June 14, 1860, to Miss Betsey Flanders, who was born in Cornville, February 17, 1827. Her father, William Flanders, born in New Hampshire, settled in life as a farmer in Cornville, where he and his wife, whose maiden name was Betsey Malborn, passed their last years. Mr. and Mrs. Blackwell have one child, Charles H., born June 25, 1866. As mentioned above, Charles H. has charge of the farm, looks carefully to the welfare of his parents, and is very active in local affairs. Both he and his father support the Republican party.
Source: Biographical review: containing life sketches of leading citizens of Somerset, Piscataquis, Hancock, Washington, and Aroostook counties, Maine. Boston: Biographical Review Publishing Company, 1898.