Biography of Hiram Blanchard

Hiram Blanchard, of Eastport, Washington County, a manufacturer of high-grade fertilizers and a dealer in fish pomace and fertilizer material, was born in Charlotte, this county, on January 11, 1825, his parents being David and Saviah (Bennett) Blanchard. The paternal grandfather, Stephen Blanchard, who was a hatter by trade, was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, July 1, 1763. He removed from that town to Hopkinton, New Hampshire, where he afterward worked at his trade, and died on March 16, 1829. His wife’s maiden name was Elizabeth Esterbrook.

David Blanchard, above named, born at Hopkinton, New Hampshire, on February 14, 1797, died in Charlotte on January 11, 1868, having removed to the last named place in 1829. He owned and operated a farm, and also carried on shoemaking. A man of remarkable industry, he guided his life by the strictest principles of honor and integrity. Although outside the pale of any church and a well-known free-thinker, the whole trend of his life supported morality in every form and exerted a strong influence against the use of tobacco and spirituous liquors. In politics he was successively a Whig, Free Soiler, and a Republican. A leading man in the town of Charlotte, he served in many local offices. His wife, Saviah, died in the State of Minnesota at the advanced age of ninety-three years. Of their ten children, five are living, namely: Hiram, the subject of this sketch; Charles B., who resides in Milltown, Maine; Rufus, who resides in the State of Washington; Frederick, who resides in Minnesota; and Saviah, who is the wife of Henry A. Jackman, and also resides in Minnesota. The others were: Isaac G., David, Stephen, Walter, and Lucy.

Hiram Blanchard’s boyhood was passed in his native town, where he attended the public schools. At the age of sixteen he began working for himself, his wages being twelve dollars per month. He learned the painter’s and finisher’s trade, and for the ten succeeding years worked at it as a journeyman. He then engaged in lumbering at Charlotte and later at Machias. Subsequently he made bricks at Pembroke, and also owned and conducted lumber-mills at Machias. Since cooling to Eastport in 1873, he has been interested in various enterprises, including lumbering, brick-making, saw and grist milling, and in the industries carried on in the carding-mills, box factory, and sardine factories. His business was conducted under the name of H. Blanchard & Sons. After spending twenty years actively engaged in the various ways mentioned, he engaged in his present business in 1897, leaving the other interests to the care of his sons, who form the Blanchard Manufacturing Canning Company.

All the ground fertilizers put up in Mr. Blanchard’s establishment are mixed and ground in gypsum, which, in itself, is considered a valuable fertilizer, especially for sandy soils. This substance not only retains the ammonia contained in the fertilizers, but draws ammonia from the soil and the atmosphere, and holds it until the rain liberates it for the food of the plants. On this account it is an almost indispensable element in soil fertilizers that are to be used on lands subject to drought, like most of those in Florida, as it carries the plants safely through the dry season. Mr. Blanchard has received many testimonials, alike from agriculturists in the North and in the South, who have employed his fertilizers and appreciate their value. The entire quantity of fertilizers that is shipped from his plant at Prince’s Cove, amounting to about one thousand tons annually, contains no-constituent that is not valuable. It is the proprietor’s aim to put on the market only the best possible product. He is also interested in the fish and oil business, and owns some sixteen tenements.

In 1849 Mr. Blanchard was married to Susan Lincoln, who was born in Charlotte, Maine, March 16, 1832, daughter of William Lincoln. His children were: Ambrose L., Hiram, Jr., Walter E., Isabella, Susan, Myra, Jennie N., Clara, and Saviah. Of these, the last named died at the age of two years. Ambrose L. and Hiram, Jr., are in the sardine canning business in this city, being among the leading men in this, Eastport’s leading industry. Walter E. is a clerk for his father. Isabella married E. P. Damon, of this place.

Myra and Jennie, who both reside here, are respectively the wives of George B. Hall and Byron Carson. Susan and Clara Blanchard reside with their parents. Mr. Blanchard, Sr., is not connected with any church organization. In politics he is a Republican.

He was a Selectman in Eastport before the incorporation of the city, and in 1880, 1881, 1882, and 1883 he was in the legislature. His life has been one of active industry; and he is one of the best known men in Eastport, while his sons are among the largest tax-payers here.

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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