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Fannie Prentiss of Enfield, Penobscot Co., ME


Fannie Prentiss of Enfield, Penobscot Co., ME
By Linus Joseph Dewald Jr., Editor
Spring 2009 and Revised 14 Jan 2009

Update of 1 Jan 2009: By email of 19 Dec 2008, Amie Campbell suggested that "Fannie Prentiss" is Lydia Frances Prentiss, daughter of Charles Edwin Prentiss of Bangor, Penobscot Co., ME .

Her suggestion appears to be correct. "Fannie" is one of the nicknames for "Frances", and "Lydia F." is shown as "Lydia Frances" in the 1860 census living at home but not in the 1870 census, doubtless because she is the "Fannie" who married Marcellus Dyer in 1864.



1. Fannie Prentiss was b. 28 Sep 1841 in Enfield, Penobscot Co., ME, and d. there 13 Jun 1875, age 33 years, with burial in the Dodline Road Cem., Engield, per Bellew-Campbell.org .

She m., as his 1st wife, Marcellus Llewellyn Dyer on 24 Mar 1864 in Enfield. He was b. 24 Mar 1840, Thorndike, Waldo Co., ME. He was the son of Levi Dyer (1806-1881) and Betsy Farwell (1792-1882). He appears in the 1920 Enfield, Penobscot Co., ME census as a Boarder in the home of his daughter, Mary.

Fannie and Marcellus had 1 or more children, including:

  1. Mary E. Dyer, b. Aug 1866, ME. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [2]

After Fannie's death, divorce or separation, Marcellus next married Isabell Sarah Whittier on 9 Mar 1880 in Penobscot Co., ME. Isabell was born on 7 Feb 1841 in Enfield, Penobscot, ME and d. 25 Aug 1917 at age 76. She was bur. in Dodlin Road Cemetery, Enfield, Penobscot, ME. (Ref: Ancestry.com ). Marcellus appears in the 1920 Enfield, Penobscot Co., ME census as a Boarder in the home of his daughter, Mary, above.

Children from the marriage of Marcellus and Isabell were:

  1. Levi L. Dyer was born in Apr 1882 in Maine and died on an unknown date. At home in Enfield in 1910 census He m. Clara Lyons.
  2. Olen Dyer 2180 was born on 5 Sep 1882, died on 2 Jun 1884 at age 1, and was buried in 1884 in Dodlin Road Cemetery, Enfield, Penobscot, Me.

2. Mary E. Dyer, b. Aug 1866, ME per 1900 census. At home as a widow in the 1910 and 1920 census in Enfield, Penobscot Co., ME. By email of 12 Jan 2009, a descendant, Rose, provided the following information, reading in part as follows:

    ". . . Mary (Dyer—I don’t know if this was ever Mary’s legal last name) [Mary], my GGGM, was not their child by birth. She moved in with them after her birth mother, Julia Prentiss, died. . . Her father supposedly was Jeremiah Murphy. Mary listed him as [her] father on her marriage cert of Nov. 17, 1920 to William L. Littlefield in Enfield, ME, [who] was listed on the 1920 census as living with Mary & family as “hired man”. . . Mary’s last name is Towle at this point.

    "I don’t know why Mary’s dob is listed as 1866 on the 1900 census—I believe that 1869 is the correct birth year. Of course, these vital statistics vary depending on which document you are looking at - I have seen Mary’s birth year as being 1866, 1869, 1870 & 1871.

    "Having said all this, there is some confusion as to who Mary’s real father was. I think that it probably was Jeremiah Murphy, as Mary stated on her marriage cert[ificate]. Also, she and her [birth] mother, Julia, are listed as Murphy on the 1870 census. However, I haven’t been able to find a marriage cert for Julia & Jeremiah, nor a birth cert for Mary. Possibly there never was a marriage.

    "After Mary moved in with the Dyers, she began using their last name. My grandmother, [Mary's daughter, Amy Towle], used this last name on Mary’s death cert & obituary. If Mary was illegitimate, the name Dyer would have had more legitimacy. I think this is also the reason that Llewellyn Dyer & Julia Dyer are listed as Mary’s parents on these two documents. (The older people in my family always referred to Mary as Murphy, and said that she was orphaned & taken in by the Dyers.)

    "Mary died July 10, 1959, in Bangor, ME.

    "Mary E. (Dyer) Prentiss/Murphy/Towle - again, correct dob is 1869. If you look at the 1880 census, Mary and the Dyers live next door to Adner Towle and his wife, Hattie, & children. . .Hattie dies, and Mary moves next door to be Adner’s new wife. . .He was almost 20 yrs her senior. Adner’s dob varies by document, 1851, 52, 53. Per his gravestone, Adner was born Oct. 26, 1853 & died Oct. 20, 1909.

    "Adner & Mary’s daughter, Amy, was my grandmother. Her daughter, Beverly, was my mother.

Mary m. Abner F. Towle (called "Adner" in 1900 census) on 19 Nov 1886 in Lincoln, Penobscot, Me. He was b. Sep 1851 (per 1900 census) in Enfield, Penobscot, Me and died at an unknown date between 1908 (birth of his dau., Amy) and the 1910 census where Mary appears as a widow. Children:

  1. Jerry Towle, b. c. 1877, ME. At home in 1900 and probably Adner's son by a prior marriage.
  2. Anna M. Towle, b. c. 1881, ME. At home in 1900 and probably Adner's son by a prior marriage.
  3. Abner Towle (called "Adner" in 1900 census), b. c. 1883, ME. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [3]
  4. Hazel A, Towle, b. c. 1889, ME. At home in 1900.
  5. Arthur L, Towle, b. c. 1892, ME. At home in 1900. At home in 1910 in Enfield.
  6. Pearl M. Towle, b. c. 1894, ME. At home in 1900. At home in 1910 in Enfield. She had 1 or more children, including:
    1. Mezine (Maxine?) Towle, b. c. 1915, ME.. She was Mary's granddaugher and living with Mary's family in the 1920 census.
  7. Ila/Ida R. Towle, dau., b. c. 1902, ME. At home in 1910 and 1920 in Enfield.
  8. Amy L. Towle, b. c. 1908, ME. At home in 1910 and 1920 in Enfield.

Living with Mary's family in 1900 was Anne E. Dow, widow, b. Nov 1834, ME, and called Adner's mother.

3. Abner Towle (called "Adner" in 1900 census, "Alner" in 1920 census and "Adner" in the 1930 census). He was b. c. 1883, ME. At home in 1900 and probably Adner's son by a prior marriage. He appears in the 1920 census with his wife and family living near his mother's home in Enfield, Penobscot Co., ME. 1930 census in Enfield with his wife and family. Not in SSDI.

He m. Rubine S. Curtis(?) (per 1920 census, but called "Arline" in 1930 census), b. c. 1884, ME. Children:

  1. Helen E. Towle, b. c. 1905, ME. At home in 1920 and 1930.
  2. Charles A. Towle, b. c. 1907, ME. At home in 1920. He may be the Charles A. Towle shown in the SSDI as b. 5 Nov 1908, obtained his SS# in ME, and d. 21 Aug 1989 in an unspecified location.
  3. Vaughn Towle, b. 24 Jan 1909, ME, and d. Apr 1965 in Lincoln, Penobscot Co., ME (per SSDI). At home in 1930 census.
  4. Leona M. Towle, b, c, 1913, ME. At home in 1920 and 1930.
  5. Laura M. Towle, b. c. 1915, ME. At home in 1920 and 1930.
  6. Emma Towle, b. c. 1924, ME. At home in 1930.

Living with Abner's family in the 1930 census was Matilda Curtis, b. c. 1860, and called Abner's mother in law.

If you have any information about the folks mentioned in this article, please send your information to us at the Prentiss Newsletter. Be sure to give the full title and date of this article in the Subject line of the email.

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