Sunday, June 1, 2014

Helen F Spaulding and her ancestors

Photo from Abplanalp Library, UNE Portland, ME 04103
In 1862, at age 18, Helen F. Spaulding was one of 15 women students attending Westbrook Seminary.
She was, however, the only female student from out of state. Daughter of Shercbiah Spaulding and Lurena A. Spaulding of Chelmsford

Helen was born there ]uly 23, 1837; educated in Chelmsford MA and at Francestown, N. H. Below is her family line history.
from Massachusetts History and Genealogy Project Beside Old Hearth-Stones. The Spauldings were in the town among the first settlers. Edward Spaulding was there before the incorporation in 1655, and was among those selected in November, 1654, "by the consent of the major part of the town for ordering the Public affairs." He belonged to that colony, who, with their minister, left Wenham in Essex County, and did good service in establishing the church and town that have made a most commendable record for two hundred and forty years. Ten generations of the Spaulding family are recorded as having resided in Chelmsford, and figured in the history of the town. I met, among others of the family, Mr. George Spaulding, busily occupied in tilling his acres. He said, "My father was Alpheus, and his father was Joseph Spaulding, who left this farm in response to the call of April 19, 1775, and who gained some notoriety in the battle of Bunker Hill. You have read the inscription on the slab at his grave, which gives only a part of my grandfather's story. His own report of it was, 'I fired ahead of time, and Putnam rushed up and struck at me for violating orders. I suppose I deserved it, but I was anxious to get another good shot at Gage's men ever since our affair at Concord. The blow from "Old Put" hit me on the head, made a hole in my hat, and left this scar;' and," said the grandson, "it was an honorable scar. Grandfather was proud of it, and carried it to his grave."

Mr. George Spaulding, who is of the eighth generation, continued his story, "My grandfather was living at that time in an old house on this farm, and had just raised the frame of this dwelling when he was called to do a patriot's duty away from these acres. When the house was completed he moved into it with grandmother and the children, one of whom was my father; and the Revolutionary roof has already sheltered five generations of Spauldings."

To make his grandfather's part at Bunker Hill more vivid, Mr. Spaulding brought from the house a silver watch, ticking with as much regularity as it was on the morning of June 17, 1775, when Joseph Spaulding aimed his fowling-piece at Major Pitcairn. Said the proud descendant, "My grandfather brought the watch to this house; and here it has been kept ever since, often proving more reliable than some modern timepieces."


In confirmation of Mr. Spaulding's story of the cocked hat, Mrs. Luther Faulkner of Billerica says, "It was one of the delights of my childhood to play in that old garret with my companions, the grandchildren of Joseph Spaulding. It was the storeroom of scores of articles that dated back to the early generations of the family. There were the rude implements of the farm, the cast-off utensils of the kitchen, and many articles of husbandry that time had relegated to that lumber-room. Oh, what a pleasure it was for us children, on a rainy day, to amuse ourselves among those relics! The flax cards, the hatchel, the reel, the wheels great and small, were all put to our childish service. Then a season was spent in playing soldier, but the boys thought the girls had no part in that. 'Grandsir's' cocked hat was brought from its hiding-place; and each boy in turn, crowned with the tattered relic, marched up and down the garret floor. 'Just as Grandsir Spaulding marched at Bunker Hill,' was the childish order. It had received holes through the crown, and 'grandsir' was proud of them; but the old soldier of 1775 was gone, and I am afraid we were rough with his hat. The hat and all else in that ancient garret were consumed by fire; yet the memory of those days, and particularly of the old cocked hat, will remain as long as life lasts."

Another most interesting representative of the Spaulding family is Mrs. Mary (Spaulding) Shedd, who, at the age of ninety-three years, delights in repeating the stories heard from the lips of her grandfather, Zebulon Spaulding, who was one of the minute-men of the town. The story of the opening Revolution, as she tells it, confirms that already given, and her personal recollections of the second war with England are as vivid as are those of the Civil War. Said this venerable member of the family, "My father was Sherebiah Spaulding." In regard to the second trouble with England, she said, "The early spirit of patriotism was quickly kindled in his breast, as in others of Chelmsford. He presented a most charming appearance to my youthful eyes, when he was equipped in his brilliant uniform, and ready to march to Boston. I was too young to fully realize what the war-cry meant; but there were those in our family who recalled the sufferings of Concord, Bunker Hill, and Valley Forge, and with tearful faces stood by as the soldiers went away, while the old fire of patriotism was rekindled in their breasts; but their forms were too much bowed with age to again face the enemy." This delightful lady of the old school, on her ninety-third birthday, remarked, "I have known eight generations of my family, and have seen an entire change in the manner of conducting domestic matters, as well as business affairs. I have seen the loom and wheel, which were kept in action in each family, give way to the innumerable looms and spindles of the city of Lowell, which has sprung into existence since I came to maturity."

Spaulding Fiske House
At an early age Helen Spaulding began teaching, alternating teaching with furthering her own education.Helen was in Class of 1864, graduated from Westbrook Seminary with a Laureate of Science degree and was appointed head of the Woman's Department at Westbrook Seminary and Female Collegiate Institute. She served in this position for six years and taught Geometry, Algebra, English and Drawing. During the 1862 spring term at Westbrook Seminary, Helen took French and enrolled in the Normal Class. A Normal Class was offered during the spring and fall terms for those who were preparing themselves to be teachers. "Special attention" was given to this class. Helen also served as an assistant to Principal S. H. M'Collester and Associate Principal Charles S. Fobes.
Charles S. Fobes, Westbrook Seminary, ca. 1887
Helen received her instruction from the school of Horace Mann as well. She was with Westbrook for 6 years went to Fitchburg, MA and was for some time the first assistant in the High School. When Westbrook Seminary principal Rev. Sullivan Holman McCollester was called to be the first president of Buchtel College, founded in Akron, Ohio, in 1870, Helen Spaulding became Buchtel's chair of English Literature, a position she held for three years.

S. H. McCollester, Westbrook Seminary, ca. 1865

In 1880 Mr. Eliot and Miss Helen F. Spaulding president and vice-president of the Christian Union, inaugurated a series of lectures on Social Science which were given in the chapel.


LIST of the educators of the state would not be complete without the name of Helen F. Spalding, and no record of the part that the women of the state have borne in its educational work would be complete without at least a brief mention of the part that she has had in it.

Miss Spalding was born in Chelmsford, Mass., and received her first instruction in the matchless public schools of that state in the days of Horace Mann. At an early age she began teaching. She alternated this work with attendance upon private schools under eminent instructors, and when about 20 years of age she graduated at Westbrook Seminary, Maine. Upon completing her course she was chosen head of the woman's department at Westbrook Seminary, a position that she filled successfully and acceptably for six years. She went from there to Fitchburg, Mass., where for some time she was first assistant in the High School. On the opening of Buchtel College at Akron, Ohio, Miss Spalding was given the chair of English literature, a position which she held for three years. Her health becoming impaired by constant application to the duties of her profession, she asked and obtained leave of absence, and improved the opportunity thus given to visit her brothers in Portland, Oregon. Finding the climate beneficial to her health, she later resigned the chair of literature at Buchtel College and accepted a similar position in the Portland High School. With tin's work Miss Spalding was identified for a period of thirteen years, during which time she Laid a shaping hand upon the lives of hundreds of the young men and women of the state. For obvious reasons the true record of this endeavor must forever remain unwritten except as it is recorded in the character and attainments of those who as the years went on passed out of school into the active'duties and responsibilities of life.

Careful investment of her earnings grew with the growth of the city into business interests that required her personal attention, and in 18— Miss Spalding reluctantly resigned her position in the Portland High School and retired from the profession to which she had devoted so many useful years.

Though Miss Spalding withdrew from the teachers' ranks, her active sympathies are still enlisted in the cause of education, and to this extent she has never dropped out of the work, but in a quiet, earnest, helpful way continues to promote its interests. A busy woman, active in good works and ever ready with good words, she is a dependable force in all lines in which true womanly endeavor is enlisted for the public weal. Active in the cause of liberal religion: a humanitarian who is always ready to voice the wrongs of the voiceless, she is passing gently down the sunset slope of life. And when at last its evening shadows enfold her she will gratefully be "remembered for what she has done."

Books published:
Statistical Trends in Religious Education
Evaluation and Christian Education: Discussion of Some Theological, Education, and Practical Issues; Papers Presented
Missionary Education for Young People in Disciple Churches
Abstracts of Doctoral Dissertations in Religious Education



Jonathan Spaulding

Henry Spaulding Perham

Miss Eliza Spaulding

N E Spaulding
Hannah "Ann" BALLARD
Birth: August 14, 1655 in Andover, Massachusetts
Marriage: July or September 20, 1681 John Spaulding in Chelmsford, Middlesex, MA
John Spaulding / Spalding
Birth: February 15, 1658-59 in Chelmsford, Middlesex, Massachusetts
Death: 1720 in Plainfield, CT
Death: 1726-27 in Plainfield, Windham, CT     

Sources of Information:
  • -The Chelmsford Historical Society
  • - The History of New Ipswich, NH 1735-1914; by Charles Henry Chandler; Fitchburg, Mass. Sentinel Printing Company; 1914
  • -The History of the Town of Wilton, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire; by Abiel Abbot Livermore and Sewall Putnam; Lowell, Mass; Marden & Rowell, Printers; 1888.
  • -The Spalding Memorial A Genealogical History of Edward Spalding of VA and MA and His Descendants by Rev S J Spalding revised and enlarged by Charles Warren Spalding; Chicago, 1897
  • - genealogies of members
  • - The history of Milford by George A. Ramsdell; Concord, N.H.: Rumford Press, 1901, 1118 pgs.
  •  Grave Photo by Ellen Notbohm

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