Samuel R. Byram, the proprietor of the oldest established drug business in Eastport, was born in this city, September 8, 1818, son of Henry and Betsey. (Ricker) Byram. The family’s earliest ancestors of whom there is any authentic knowledge were Captain Nicholas and Mary Edson Byram, who were married in 1676 and died in 1727. They were the parents of ten children, namely: Bethiah, born in 1678; Margaret, born in 168; Mehitable (first), born in 1683; Mehitable (second), born in 1685; Michael, born in 1687; Mary, born in 1690; Eleanor, born in 1692; Susanna, born in 1695; Josiah, born in 1698; and Joseph, born in 1701. Josiah Byram, the next in line, married Hannah Rickan in 172, and their children were: Susanna, born in 1721; Jonah, born in 1723 ; Theophilus, born in 1725; Mehitable, born in 173o; and Relief, born in 1732. Theophilus Byram, great-grandfather of the subject of this sketch, settled in North Yarmouth, Maine, where he died in 1812. In 1749 he married Mrs. Elizabeth, or Betsey, (Blackman) Beal, widow of Samuel Beal (second). Their children were: Josiah, born in 1750; “Oliver, born in 1751; David, born in 1753; James, born in 1756; Melzar, born in 1759; and Susanna, the date of whose birth is not known. The grandfather, Oliver Byram, married Elizabeth Moxey.
Henry Byram, son of Oliver, born in North Yarmouth, August 15, 1780, was a mason by trade. After moving to Eastport in 1813 or 1814, he was a master workman here until 1830. In that year he established the drug business now carried on by his son, and was actively interested in it for ten years, when failing health caused him to retire. He died February 15, 1848. In politics he supported the Democratic party. Betsey Ricker Byram, his wife, whom he married January 10, 1805, was born in Berwick, Maine, June 24, 1781. She was a member of the Baptist church. Her children were born as follows: Alfred R., January 13, 1806; Henry O., February 6, 1808; Delano, September 29, 1809; Alfred R. (second), October 30, 1811; Jabez R., September 11, 1813 ; Samuel R., the subject of this sketch; and William P. Byram, October 8, 1820. The first five were natives of North Yarmouth, and the others were natives of Eastport. The only survivors of the number are: Alfred R. Byram, of Vineland, New Jersey.; and Samuel R., the subject of this sketch. The mother died February 25, 1861.
Samuel R. Byram attended school regularly until he was thirteen years old, at which time he began to assist his father in business. Owing to the feeble state of the latter’s health he found it necessary thereafter to devote the greater part of his time to the store. Succeeding to its ownership in 1840, he has for a period of fifty-seven years dispensed medicine to the people of Eastport, and is still actively engaged in his useful calling. He carries a full line of drugs, chemicals, patent medicines, fancy goods, stationery, etc.; and his store is not only the oldest of its kind in the city, but is also very liberally patronized. He has always taken an active part in public affairs. In all he served as Town and City Clerk for some thirty-eight years, first from 1848 to 1853 and then from 1862 to March, 1895. He is well informed upon all subjects of general interest to the community, and has acted as a Justice of the Peace since 1879. Politically, he is a Republican.
On November 16, 1854, Mr. Byram was united in marriage with Mary L. Hawkes. She was born in Eastport, October 24, 1832, daughter of Micajah and Sally (Wheeler) Hawkes, the former of whom served as assistant surgeon in the United States navy during the War of 1812, and was on board of the “Hornet” at the time of her engagement with the “Peacock.” Mr. and Mrs. Byram have one daughter, Sally Wheeler, who assists her father in the store. Mr. Byram was made a Mason in Eastern Lodge, No. 7, in 1848, and is still a member of that body. He is also an esteemed member of the Central 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.