Charles A. Rolfe, one of the best known business men of Princeton, Washington County, and an ex-member of the legislature, was born in this town, December 25, 1842, son of Putnam and Rosanna (Hilton) Rolfe. Ebenezer Rolfe, the grandfather, who was a native of Massachusetts, came to this section when a young man, and engaged in lumbering and farming. He was one of the original settlers in Princeton, where he resided for the rest of his life, and died when he was eighty years old. His wife, whose maiden name was Nancy Humphrey, died at seventy-six.
Putnam Rolfe, a native of New Brunswick, in early life carried on farming. He later entered the lumbering business, building the first saw-mill in Princeton; and he also established the first general store. One of the leading men here in his day, he served in the more important town offices, and was State Senator for two years. In polities he acted with the Republican party from the time of its formation until his death, which occurred. July 4, 1878. He was a member of the Congregational church. Rosanna, his wife, who was a native of North Bridgton, Maine, became the mother of five children. Of these, two are living: Charles A., the subject of this sketch; and Fred P. Rolfe, who is a surveyor, and resides at Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. The others were: Annie M., Alice E., and Mary E. The mother died in July, 1872.
Charles A. Rolfe completed his education at the Calais Academy. In August, 1862, he enlisted as a private in Company B, Eleventh Regiment, Maine Volunteer Infantry. He participated in the siege of Charleston, the battles of Bermuda Hundred and Deep Bottom, and witnessed the surrender of General Lee at Appomattox Court-house. After he was mustered out with his regiment in 1865, he returned home and engaged in business with his father. When the latter died, he became the sole proprietor of both store and lumber-mill. Retiring from the lumber business in 1884, he has since devoted his time exclusively to the store. His stock includes the staple goods needed by an agricultural and lumbering community; and, as he does not allow it to deteriorate, he retains the confidence and patronage of the public.
In politics Mr. Rolfe is a Republican, and he has been more or less active in local and State affairs. He has served as First Selectman and Town Treasurer for a number of years, was a member of the legislature for four terms, and is agent for the Passamaquoddy tribe of Indians, which numbers four hundred and seventy-five souls. In February, 1865, he married Emma F. Pike, of Waterford, Vermont, a daughter of Nathan and Julia Pike, neither of whom is living. Mr. and Mrs. Rolfe have one daughter, Annie M. Mr. Rolfe is connected with Lodge No. 138, F. & A. M., of Princeton; with St. Croix Chapter, Royal Arch Masons; with St. Croix Council, R. & S. M.; and with Hugh de Payens Commandery, of Calais, Maine.
Source: Biographical review: containing life sketches of leading citizens of Somerset, Piscataquis, Hancock, Washington, and Aroostook counties, Maine. Boston: Biographical Review Publishing Company, 1898.