Doctors of Foxcroft
By Dr. Edgar
to give a brief history of those physicians who have practiced
in Foxcroft, the chief obstacle has been that there are no
records or documents available to which reference might be had,
and it has been necessary to depend, with few exceptions, upon
the memory of those now living. In such instances the
information has been largely of a fragmentary character and
somewhat speculative as to dates and names.
allotted to this task was very limited for such an undertaking
and no claim is made for completeness or absolute accuracy.
It is hoped
that with what few facts are here recorded the information and
corrections which will undoubtedly come to our attention
subsequent to this occasion, it will be possible to compile a
better and more complete history of this profession.
history of Piscataquis mentions one physician, Josiah Hobbs,
regarding whom no information can be obtained, and in the
absence of such mention of him is hereby made in connection with
history records the fact that in 1808 Capt. S. Chamberlain being
ill of a fever sent to Bangor for Dr. Rich, who made the trip up
in twenty-four hours, presumably by horseback, and charged
fifteen dollars. One year later a Dr. Winthrop Brown came here
from Berwick, but his field was so limited that he soon sought
another and until 1818 the settlers were without a local
At this time
Jeremiah Leach came to Foxcroft and fortified his income by the
manufacture of potash, but his health soon compelled him to seek
aid in Boston.
In 1818. Dr.
Stacy Tucker located here and remained until his death. He was a
man of considerable consequence in the early history of the
town, being identified with all public enterprises and holding
many offices. He built the house on Main Street now owned by
William P. Oakes and had two sons and three daughters, Martha
Tucker, Mabel Warren and Frank Turner, grandchildren of Dr.
Tucker, still reside in this community.
Lawton settled in Foxcroft somewhere about 1840, at which date
he was one of the founders of the Baptist church in Dover. He
lived first on Lincoln Street in a small house which was
demolished some twenty-live years ago and which stood near the
site of the residence now owned by Leo Libby. He later built and
occupied the house on Main Street owned by Stanley Annis, it
being at that time the next house on that side of the street to
the James S. Holmes residence, later occupied by Dr. Preston
Fisher and at present by Dr. C. C. Hall, Jr.
enjoyed an extensive practice here and in 1849 moved to Bangor.
He married Mary A. Parker and their children were Frances L.
Mace, who went to California and was somewhat celebrated as a
poetess, and F. M. Lawton, an ex-mayor of Bangor.
Jordan came here in 1848 and the next year bought the practice
and good will of Dr. Lawton, who was about to leave as above
stated. He built the residence on North Street now occupied by
Dr. Chamberlain, where he continued to reside until 1865.
was a man of very engaging personality and had a wide practice,
but in 1857 or '58 his two children died of diphtheria and he
became so impressed with the futility of medical science in the
face of disease at that time, that he gradually relinquished his
practice and in 1858 was elected Register of Deeds for this
county, a position which he held until 1862, when he enlisted in
the army, was made surgeon and served until the end of the war.
Subsequent to his being mustered out of the service he moved to
Springfield, Mass., where he died. Dr. Jordan had two sons.
Charles of Chicago and William of Massachusetts.
Edgecomb came to Foxcroft in 1853 and remained about seven
years. He first located in the village but later married Miss
Julia Howard and moved to the farm cleared by her father, Asaph
Howard, where they continued to reside until 1856, when the
records show that it was sold to Ansel Crockett and the Doctor
and Mrs. Edgecomb moved to Turner.
Holmes was a native of this town, a son of Salmon Holmes. In
1858 he located here to practice his profession and ultimately
bought and occupied the house of Dr. Jordan on North Street. Dr.
Holmes enlisted in the army, was made surgeon and was killed on
the field while in line of duty.
A diary kept
by Mr. Henry Prentiss of this town makes note of the sad
occasion when Dr. Holmes' body was brought home from the front
for burial. A Rev. Mr. Godfrey preached the funeral sermon and
the interment was in the Foxcroft cemetery.
was a popular practitioner and a public-spirited and patriotic
gentleman, and his death was a sad blow to the community. He
married a Miss Washburn, sister to Gov. Israel Washburn and to
two other brothers, one a congressman from Illinois, the other a
congressman from Minnesota and the founder of the Washburn flour
In 1863 Dr.
Joseph W. Cook, a homeopathic physician, came to Foxcroft, and
resided on Lincoln street in a house now owned and occupied by
John F. Arnold. Dr. Cook practiced here for a number of years
and afterward moved to Dover. He corresponded for the Observer
and reported many political meetings in the surrounding county,
it being a time of political strife. He had one son and two
daughters. Dr. Cook's reputation for professional ability was
excellent. In 1864 Dr. Costello Hamilton opened an office here
and remained a short time. But little can be learned of him
except that he was not in full sympathy with the government in
relation to the Civil War and it is due chiefly to this fact
that any record of his presence here was preserved.
Buck was a native of Hodgdon, Maine, and received his medical
degree in 1859. After serving as surgeon and being mustered out
with the Sixth Maine Regiment, he spent a year in New York and
located here in 1865. For many years he was a familiar figure
about town and a welcome visitor to the sick, a public-spirited,
kind-hearted and skilful physician and a surgeon of marked
occupied various municipal offices and represented this class in
the legislature in 1877; he also served the county as treasurer
for six years and was United States examining surgeon for thirty
years. He was a member of the Maine Medical Association and a
contributor of original articles to the County Medical Society.
Dr. Buck died at his home on Main Street in August 1908, aged 75
years. He left beside his wife, a daughter, Anna, and a son,
Lieut. Guy M. Buck, all of whom still reside in the old home.
The pharmacy which the Doctor established in 1865 on Monument
Square is still operated by his son.
Dr. Evelyn G.
Buck, wife of Dr. John Buck, came here from Philadelphia soon
after the death of her husband in 1870 and began the practice of
medicine according to the homeopathic school. Dr. Buck remained
here until 1879, having an office and home in the Masonic block
over what is now Batchelor & Sawyer's store.
In 1879 she
married Lyman W. Keene and moved to Atkinson, returning to
Foxcroft in 1884, where she continued to reside and practice
until her death in 1901.
was licensed as a physician under the act of 1895. She resided
at the time of her death at her farm on the North and South road
near Foxcroft Center.
Dr. J. B.
Cochrane, a native of Fayette, Maine, came here from Minnesota
in 1873 and married Elizabeth M. Cochrane of Dover. He located
in his present residence, the Cochrane homestead on Lincoln
Street, near the site of Piscataquis Falls and on the town line
between Dover and Foxcroft.
received his degree in 1866 and did general practice, serving
between 1882 and 1883 as pension examiner, being secretary of
the board. Dr. Cochrane retired from active practice several
years ago and devotes much of his time to agriculture and the
raising of small fruit.
Dr. A. T.
Walker came here from Sebec Village in 1875, where he had been
in practice since 1870. He boarded at the Exchange while
building his residence on North Street, the next above Osgood
remained in Foxcroft until the spring of 1883, when he removed
to Falmouth. Mass., ultimately retiring in 1889 and now residing
in Woburn, Mass. The Doctor sends greetings to his old friends
and expresses the hope that the centennial will be a grand
success in every way. While here Dr. Walker enjoyed an extensive
practice and the reputation of a successful business man.
Dr. T. H. Merrill came to this place and built the house on Main
Street now owned by W. L. Sampson. His office was in the
apartment now occupied by Dr. W. G. Buswell as a dental office.
had several children, among whom was a son Fred, now a
Congregational minister in Massachusetts. About 1890, Dr.
Merrill moved to Tacoma, Wash. He is now a resident of Brockton,
Fisher came here in 1885 from California and resided in the
James S. Holmes house on Main Street. He remained about ten
years and. moved to Jamaica Plains, Mass.
had a wide practice here and in surrounding towns, was a
practical, conservative man and one of good judgment although
somewhat eccentric and the author of many original tales. His
father practiced in Corinna where Dr. Preston was probably born.
Dr. E. D.
Merrill was born in Dexter. Maine, 1866, received his degree in
medicine in 1885 and located here in 1886. He married Miss Lora
Dyer of Foxcroft and maintains his office and residence on
Winter Street. Dr. Merrill is of the Homeopathic School, is a
member of the Maine Medical Association and treasurer of the
Piscataquis County Medical Society. He enjoys the distinction of
being the senior physician in active practice as regards the
date of his location in this community.
Dr. A. H.
Chamberlain, son of Chester and Minerva (Spaulding) Chamberlain,
was born in Foxcroft in 1861, received his degree in medicine in
1888 and located here in 1891. Dr. Chamberlain resides in the
house on North Street built and occupied by Dr. Jordan and later
by Dr. Holmes. He attends to general practice but specializes to
quite an extent in diseases of the eye and ear. Dr. F. W
Merrill, son of Adams H. Merrill of Williamsburg, came here
early in 1895 from Winn, and for two years occupied the W. L.
Sampson house on Main Street.
At this time
there were registered in Foxcroft five physicians and sometime
in 1896 Dr. Merrill returned to Winn. While here he occupied as
an office the rooms in the Opera House Block now occupied by the
E. E. Whitney Insurance Company.
In 1894 Dr.
A. H. Stanhope moved from Milo to Dover and opened an office in
the Opera House Block in Foxcroft. He continued in this town
until 1897 when he moved his office to Dover, where he still
resides and practices. Dr. Stanhope is a member of the Maine
Medical Association and an ex-president of the county Medical
Society. Dr. Stanhope received his medical degree in 1887.
Dr. Harold C.
Martin, son of Mr. and Mrs. Osgood Martin and a native of this
town, was born Oct. 23, 1870. He received his medical degree in
1895 after serving as surgeon for the Canadian Pacific Railroad
and house physician at the Kineo House. Moosehead Lake, he
located in his home town in 1900, where he had an office in the
building on North Street moved from the site of the present
Opera House Block.
died of angina pectoris the year that he came here. He was an
able, competent physician, a man of exceptional brilliance, and
his untimely death was mourned by a host of friends who remember
him for his many line qualities and companionable nature.
was a member of the Maine Medical Association.
Dr. M. O.
Brown, a native of Dover, after practicing in Aroostook County
for several years, located in Foxcroft in 1908. Maintaining his
office and residence in the Masonic Block on Union Square. In
1911, he moved across the street into Dover, where he, now
received his medical degree in 1902, is a member of the Maine
Medical Association, and at present president of the Piscataquis
County Medical Society.
In 1910 Dr.
C. C. Hall, Jr., son of Dr. and Mrs. C. C. Hall of Dover, having
received his degree in medicine, located in Foxcroft and
purchased the James S. Holmes house on Main street, formerly
occupied by Dr. Fisher. Dr. Hall maintains an office in the
Opera House Block formerly occupied by Dr. E. D. Merrill, is a
member of the Maine Medical Association and at present
vice-president of the Piscataquis County Medical Society.
Dr. Edgar T.
Flint, son of Henry B. and Caro E. Flint of this town was born
June 2, 1877. He received his degree in medicine in 1901 and
practiced ten years in Aroostook County, coming here in 1911,
residing at his old home on Lincoln Street and maintaining his
office in the Masonic Block. Dr. Flint was a member of the First
Maine Regiment in the Spanish-American war and is a member of
the Maine Medical and County Medical Society.
Source: Sprague's Journal of Maine
History, Vol. 5 No. 7, Published by John Francis Sprague, Dover,
ME, July 1914