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William and Samuel Gordon


William and Samuel Gordon of Fryeburg, Maine ae 78 years old.

From Newspaper clipping collection of the late Robert Taylor

Twin Brothers Celebrate Day

Fryeburg, Maine 12 Oct (Special)

Speaking of twins, it is safe to say that the oldest and smartest in the State are William and Samuel Gordon of Fryeburg, who quietly celebrated their 78th birthday Thursday. Their father was Stephen Gordon who thru three Henrys was a direct decendent of the famous Gordon clan of Scotland. 

These twins have the brawn and wit of their Scottish ancestry and in health and intellect are men of 60, not 78.

Henry Gordon, the father, married Lydia Chase, who was the granddaughter of Dr. Josiah Chase, the second physician of Fryeburg. One daughter and five sons were born, The surving children are Dr. Seth C. Gordon, the "Twins", and Mrs. Hannah McKenny, who makes her home with her brother, Dr. Gordon.

"I am glad to see you boys out," said a passerby one day, when the five-year-old twins were playing in their door-yard in West Fryeburg.

"Yes," said a twin, "Mama says she'll be glad when we both get our noses on bare ground."

In later years no apple-parlin', husking or kitchen dance was ever complete without the twins, and many a "double shouffle" and "picked reel" was danced to the fiddling of Job Harrington, Abner Gee, George Smith and Caleb Abbott.

Many complications arose from the boys being "as much alike as two peas" One day "Bill" called on "Sam's" best girl and even she failed to tell "tother from which" and took him for the "tother." Both are great readers, well informed in all affairs of the day and possessed of remarkable memories. William Gordon has filled many positions of trust in town and has been president of West Oxford Agricultural Society for five years. He has always been much interested in the town's history and knows it from the beginning. His diary which he has kept for 50 years, is full of valuable material. He is famous as an auctioneer, having been at it since 1856. He says he can sell all day long and not effect his voice "any more than it did 50 years ago." He also is a surveyor and two years ago worked out doors at surveying all winter.

A near neighbor pays him this tribute: " He is one of the men of the town; an excellent neighbor, a genial companion. His home relations are delightful." His wife was Julia Anderson of Chatham. There are three daughters, Mrs. Fanny Waterman, who lives with her parents. Mrs. Mollie Billings and Mrs. Arvilla Pingree of Massachusetts.

Samuel Gordon married Susanna Farrington, who died some years ago. His daughter, Mary Gordon, is his companion and housekeeper. He lived many years on the old farm in West Fryeburg, but came to the village some 20 years ago. His great speech in town meeting is often referred to by his neighbors.

Once when the "over-the-river" section of town was trying to get a bridge across Swan's falls for their accommodation, the measure was discussed in town meeting, and the project was vigorously fought by the village people. Mr. Gordon arose and with great warmth proceeded to show the lack of public spirit and the "narrow contractedness" of their views, giving this dramatic prophesy: "Gentlemen, the time will come when the grass will grow in the streets and the foxes will leer in at the windows."

"One of the best men that ever lived, generous and kind," said a neighbor. And continued another, "the best brother-in-law a woman ever had." 

These brothers, altho living in different parts of the village, keep their cows in the same barn, and every morning and night at five o'clock sharp they may be seen in "milking frocks," with milk pails in hand going toward the barn. "No need of a clock," said the sister, "we can tell the time by Sam and Bill."


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