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Special Collections: Guide to the William H. McCrillis Papers

Arranged and described by Brenda Howitson Steeves
Raymond H. Fogler Library Special Collections Department
January 2004
 
 
Introduction and Summary Information
 
Collection Title: William H. McCrillis Papers.
Dates of the Collection: 1830-1982 (inclusive); 1840-1912 (bulk).
Provenance: Gift of George D. Carlisle, 1999.
Collection Number: MS 332.
Box Numbers: 1-4 (formerly unnumbered boxes).
Size and Arrangement: The collection consists of 4 archival record cartons and 4 ledgers.
Conservation Note: The collection has been re-housed in acid-free folders and boxes. Documents have been surface cleaned as needed and metal fasteners removed.
Preferred Citation: William H. McCrillis Papers, Special Collections, Raymond H. Fogler Library, University of Maine.
Restrictions on Access and Use: Kept at Fogler Library's offsite storage facility. One week's notice required for retrieval.
 

Biography
 
The collection contains the personal and business papers of William H. McCrillis of Bangor, Maine. Papers of his sister, Harriet S. Griswold, and business records of her heirs are also included.
 
William McCrillis, the son of Dr. John McCrillis, was born on November 4, 1813, in Georgetown, Maine. He studied law in Bangor and began his own practice there in 1834. He soon established a large and profitable law business and was appointed County Attorney for Penobscot County in 1838. In that same year he was elected to the Maine House of Representatives; he also served in the House in 1859 and 1860. He was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1860. He was the owner of many timberlands in Maine and at the time of his death in 1889 was probably the largest individual landowner of this type of property in the state. With others, he was also an incorporator of several dam companies in Maine, including the Katahdin Dam Company, the East Branch of Pleasant River Dam Company, the Godfrey Falls Dam Company, and the Heron Lake Dam Company.
 
At his death, McCrillis’s entire estate passed to his sister, Harriet S. Griswold, also of Bangor. By 1923, the land holdings were owned by her grandchildren, Margaret Griswold Locke, Merrill Griswold, Roger Griswold, and Anna Griswold, and organized into the McCrillis Land Association, a privately held Massachusetts business trust with the primary purpose of investing in Maine timberland. George T. Carlisle and Henry Prentiss and their successors, Prentiss & Carlisle Company, managed its operations. The Land Association now has two wholly owned subsidiaries, McCrillis Timberlands, Inc., which holds timberland, and McCrillis Corporation, which holds recreational land.

Scope and Content Note
 
The William McCrillis papers deal primarily with his activities as an owner of large amounts of timberland in northern Maine. The collection also includes materials of his sister, Harriet Griswold and of members of her family. The papers were arranged and re-foldered by staff in Special Collections at an earlier date and much of that arrangement and many folder titles have been retained. The papers are arranged in two series:
I. Papers of William H. McCrillis and II. Papers of heirs of William H. McCrillis.
Series I has six sub-series: Correspondence, etc.; Papers from law practice; Personal finances and miscellaneous personal material; Records of various business ventures; Deeds; and McCrillis lumber business. Series II has two sub-series: Business records and Papers of Harriet Griswold.
 
Series I begins with several folders of correspondence of William McCrillis, 1840’s-1870’s, especially with the Hinckley & Egery Iron Company of Bangor. This is followed by materials from McCrillis’s law practice, 1863-1875, and information about his personal finances, especially the amounts of taxes paid, 1874-1890. Several folders of records of directors of various dam companies reflect his activities as an incorporator of these companies.
 
The two largest sub-series in Series I contain information about McCrillis’s extensive land holdings in Maine. The sub-series containing deeds is arranged chronologically and includes information on his holdings in Aroostook, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Somerset, Washington and Hancock Counties. The last sub-series, McCrillis lumber business, is arranged alphabetically by county, then by township and range. This sub-series contains information about McCrillis land holdings in Aroostook, Penobscot, Piscataquis, and Somerset Counties. Material includes deeds, maps, reports, surveys, financial information, correspondence, etc., about each township and its lumber. Many of these folders also contain documents dating after William McCrillis’s death; they are included in his papers because they were started during his tenure.
 
Series II contains miscellaneous business records of the timberland business after McCrillis’s death and includes correspondence, deeds and papers of Henry Prentiss, manager of McCrillis land holdings, as well as materials of the Griswold family. The collection ends with papers of Harriet Griswold, especially information about her estate.
 

Box List
 
Please note: All items without a folder number and designated as Ledger are kept in wall storage area.
 
Series I: Papers of William H. McCrillis
 
Sub-series 1: Correspondence, etc.
 
Box 1
 
Folder
 
1 Correspondence, notes, balance sheets, 1866-1875, 1906
2 Notes, 1871
3 Correspondence and accounts with Hinckley & Egery and Thomas D.
Egery, 1840’s-1870’s
4 Correspondence and accounts with Hinckley & Egery and Thomas D.
Egery, 1850’s-1870’s
 
Sub-series 2: Papers from law practice
 
5 Legal notes and memoranda, 1860’s
6 Court transcripts, 1863
7 Correspondence, schedule, map, spruce and pine account, 1863-1878
8 Jewett bankruptcy, 1872-1875
 
Sub-series 3: Personal finances and miscellaneous personal material
 
9 Personal cashbook, 1860-1868
Ledger Journal, 1881-1887 [with copy of McCrillis’s will, 1887, and
information about his personal property]
10 Taxes, 1874-1887
11 Taxes due, 1873-1890, Wm. McCrillis and estate of Wm. McCrillis
12 Taxes paid on townships by late W.H. McCrillis, 1889
13 Deeds to church pews and Mt. Hope Cemetery lot, 1838-1891
14 William McCrillis’s daily journal, 1883
 
Sub-series 4: Records of various business ventures
 
15 Godfrey Falls Dam Co.: records of meetings of stockholders, etc.,
1879-1912
16 Heron Lake Dam Co., 1868-1910
17 Katahdin Dam Co.: act of incorporation, etc., 1871-1885

Sub-series 4: Records of various business ventures cont.
 
Box 1 cont.
 
Folder
 
18 Katahdin Dam Co.: accounts, etc., 1880-1887
19 Nickatous Dam Co. and Penobscot Steam Navigation Co., 1846, 1848
20 Pleasant River Dam Co.-East Branch: acts of incorporation, etc.,
1872-1885
21 Pleasant River Dam Co.-East Branch: stockholder information and
estimates for improvements, 1885-1890, undated
22 Pleasant River Dam Co.-East Branch: accounts, 1879-1880;
agreement for improvements, 1891
23 Pleasant River Dam Co.-East Branch: corporate documents, 1880-1913
24 Pleasant River Dam and Improvement Co.: Copies of Bangor Daily
Whig and Courier, Sept. 24-Oct. 3, 1853
25 Sheer Boom Improvement Co.: correspondence, corporate documents,
1880-1899
 
Sub-series 5: Deeds
 
Ledger Maine lands, Vol. 1 [Abstracts of titles ... in counties of Aroostook,
Piscataquis, Somerset, Hancock, Washington and Penobscot]
26 Index to Vol. 1, Maine lands, and loose materials from volume
Ledger Records: McCrillis: Piscataquis County [copies of deeds]
27 Deeds from 1830-1839
28 Penobscot County, Bangor, deeds, 1836-1875
29 Penobscot County, T8, R3, deeds and agreements, 1840, 1844
30 Miscellaneous deeds, 1840’s-1875
31 Penobscot County, Orrington, William Kendall, deed, 1841
32 Penobscot County, Hermon, deeds, 1841, 1843
32a-32b Penobscot County, 1840s-1870s
33 Piscataquis County, Kilmarnock, deeds, 1841, 1850
34 Penobscot County, misc. deeds, 1844-1877
35 Penobscot County, Orono, deed, 1845
36 Miscellaneous deeds, mortgages, etc., 1845-1883
37 Aroostook County, misc. deeds, etc., 1850’s
38 Aroostook County, T13, R15, deed, 1851
39 Penobscot County, T10, R13, deed, 1851
40 Penobscot County, T7, R6, deed, 1852
41 Penobscot County, T10, R9, deed, 1852
42 Penobscot County, T12, R8, deed, 1852

Sub-series 5: Deeds cont.
 
Box 1 cont.
 
Folder
 
43 Aroostook County, T2, R4, deeds, 1852, 1859
44 Penobscot County, Old Town, deeds, 1852-1880
45 Aroostook County, T14, R15, deed, 1853
46 Penobscot County, T1, R7, deed, 1853
47 McCrillis & Griswold, deeds, etc., 1854-1915
48 Deeds, etc., 1860’s-1870’s
49 Washington County, Danforth, deed, 1860
50 Penobscot County, Veazie, deeds, 1861, 1881-1882
51 Penobscot County, T16, R3, deed, 1863
52 Penobscot County, Eddington, deed, 1865
53 Chambers Farm, deeds and other records, 1866
54 Penobscot County, T4, R8, deed, 1867
55 Nova Scotia, deeds, 1867, 1869
56 Miscellaneous deeds, 1867-1880
57 Piscataquis County, T4, R10, deed, 1868
58 Old Town, Moore lot, Lake lot no. 4, 1869-1928
59 Deeds, etc., 1870’s
60 Penobscot County, Winn, deed, 1870
61 Deeds, etc., 1870’s, 1893
62 Peleg Jones and J.H. Butler, deeds and papers, 1872-1878
63 Hancock County, Dedham, deed, 1874
64 Piscataquis County, Williamsburg, abstract of title, 1883
65 Deeds and papers from C.H. and R.W. Sawyer to F.A. Wilson, 1889
66 Somerset County deeds, 1875, 1881
67 Washington County deeds, 1850s-1860s
 
Sub-series 6: McCrillis timberlands business
 
Box 2
 
1 Lumber book: Account of lumber run by Taylor & Ayer, 1839-1845
2 Report & survey, Lapomkeag Stream, 1848, 1851
3 Journal re timberlands, 1852-1853
4 Annual report of the land agent, state of Maine, 1872
5 Schoodic Lake: water and right to build dam, 1882, 1916
6 Field notes: N line, B R 11; S line, A R 12, Oct. 1889
7 Land schedules for Aroostook County, undated
8 Maps

Sub-series 6: McCrillis timberlands business cont.
 
Box 2 cont.
 
Folder
 
9 Aroostook County, T8 R4
10 Aroostook County, T9 R4
11 Aroostook County, T9 R4
12 Aroostook County, T9 R4, Survey and exploration by R.E. Mullaney, 1909
13 Aroostook County, T12 R8
14 Aroostook County, T12 R13
15 Aroostook County, T12 R14, E ½
16 Aroostook County, T 12 R14, W ½
17 Aroostook County, T13 R8
18 Aroostook County, T15 R9
19 Aroostook County, T15 R9
20 Aroostook County, T16 R8
21 Aroostook County, T17 R4
22 Aroostook County, T18 R10
23 Aroostook County, T18 R10, Eli Thibodeau
24 Aroostook County, T18 R10, Eli Thibodeau
25 Franklin County, T2 R7
26 Penobscot County, T2 R8, N ½
27 Penobscot County, T2 R8, N ½
28 Penobscot County, T2 R8, N ½
29 Penobscot County, T2 R8, N ½
30 Penobscot County, T3 R1
31 Penobscot County, T5 R6, Mount Chase
32 Penobscot County, T5 R6, Mount Chase
33 Penobscot County, T5 R6, Mount Chase
34 Penobscot County, T5 R7, S ½, W.E.L.S.
35 Penobscot County, T5, R7, S ½, W.E.L.S.
 
Box 3
 
1 Penobscot County, T5, R7, S ½, W.E.L.S.
2 Penobscot County, T7, R7
3 Penobscot County, T7, R7
4 Penobscot County, T7, R7
5 Penobscot County, T7, R7
6 Penobscot County, T7, R7
 
 
 
Sub-series 6: McCrillis timberlands business cont.
 
Box 3 cont.
 
Folder
 
7 Penobscot County, T8, R6, S ½
8 Penobscot County, T8,R7, N ½, Sec. No. 9
9 Penobscot County, T8, R8
10 Penobscot County, T8, R8
11 Piscataquis County, T4, R8, Lake View public lots
12 Piscataquis County, T4, R8, Lake View public lots
13 Piscataquis County, T4, R8, Lake View public lots
14 Piscataquis County, T4, R8, Lake View public lots
15 Piscataquis County, T4, R8, Lake View public lots
16 Piscataquis County, T4, R8, Lake View public lots
17 Piscataquis County, T4, R8, Lake View public lots
18 Waldo County, Codlead Marsh
19 Piscataquis County, T5, R9; T6, R9; T7, R9
20 Piscataquis County, T5, R9; T6, R9, T7, R9
21 Piscataquis County, T5, R15
22 Piscataquis County, T9, T10
23 Piscataquis County, TA, R11; TB, R11
24 Piscataquis County, TA, R11; TB, R11
25 Piscataquis County, TA, R11; TB, R11
26 Piscataquis County, TA, R12, S ½
27 Piscataquis County, TA, R12, S ½, public lots
28 Piscataquis County, TA2, R13; TA2, R14, Baker Mt. tract
29 Piscataquis County, TA2, R13, TA2, R14, public lots
30 Piscataquis County, T2, R9, public lot
31 Piscataquis County, TB, R11
32 Piscataquis County, TB, R11
33 Piscataquis County, TB, R11
34 Somerset County, NW ¼, T3, R3, N.B.K.P.
35 Somerset County, T5, R4
36 Somerset County, T7, R16
37 Somerset County, T7, R16
38 Somerset County, T10, R16

Series II: Papers of heirs of William H. McCrillis
 
Sub-series 1: Business records
 
Box 4
 
Folder
 
1 Cuts for the season, 1889-1916, Aroostook, Penobscot, Piscataquis
Counties
2 Records relating to Mrs. Sarah J. Baker’s claim, N ½, T2, R8, 1899-1903
3 Road repair tax for 1904: Aroostook County [printed pamphlet]
Ledger Amounts of wood cut in various townships, 1905-1917
4 Agreement, 1908, Wabash, Pittsburg Terminal Railway Company
5 Letter to J.H. McGowan, 1910
6 Correspondence, legal documents, etc., of Henry Prentiss, 1900-1912
7 Business papers of Henry Prentiss, 1916-1931
8 Deeds of Henry Prentiss
9 Deeds and papers of Henry Prentiss
10 Deeds and papers of Henry Prentiss
11 Deeds, E.E. Ring Land Co., 1914-1923
12 Deeds, E.E. Ring Land Co., 1919-1932
13 McCrillis Timberlands records, 1982-1983
 
Sub-series 2: Papers of Harriet Griswold
 
14 Deed, 1859
15 Schedules of land owned by Mrs. Harriet S. Griswold, 1891, 1903
16 Account records, 1912-1918, re estate of Harriet Griswold
16a Journal, income and expenses, 1911-1918, estate of Harriet Griswold
17 Bonds, estate of Harriet Griswold
18 Bonds, estate of Harriet Griswold
19 Deeds, plans, notes, Penobscot, Aroostook, Piscataquis Counties
20 Griswold estate income figures, May 16, 1932
21 Income tax returns, 1913, 1914, estate of Harriet Griswold
22 Income tax return, 1915, estate of Harriet Griswold
23 Income tax return, 1916, estate of Harriet Griswold
24 Income tax return, 1917: stumpage since 1900
25 Letter from Merrill Griswold to Robert Sawyer, 1917 [re estate of Harriet Griswold]
26 Income tax returns, 1917, 1918, estate of Harriet Griswold
 

Finding Aids for selected manuscript collections in the Special Collections Department at Fogler Library are accessible online in URSUS, in a browsable Guide to Manuscript Collections. Please contact Special Collections at spc@umit.maine.edu or (207) 581-1686 for further information.

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