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Mini Bios of People of Scots Descent
Victor Wells MacFarlane


Sometime back in the late seventies the writer first met Major Macfarlane, at one of the hotels around Moosehead Lake, and the fact that he bad previously written something for the Forest and Stream pertaining to the charms and attractions of the Moosehead,

Monson and Elliottsville regions as a summer resort for tired city people led to our acquaintance. He was then a resident of either New York or Chicago and was spending his summer in Maine as a "summer visitor." His love for Maine never grew less but increased as the years passed. He finally became a permanent resident of Greenville and was the first to establish the manufacture of veneer in eastern Maine. He was a man of great force and energy and abundant enthusiasm about whatever engaged his attention. Belonging to the same political organization and viewing many public questions from similar angles our relations were intimate and remained so until his death. We shall always cherish most agreeable memories of him.

The following was prepared for the Maine Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States and read at the meeting held in Portland, Dec. 5th, 1917:

Companion Victor Wells Macfarlane died in Reading, Mass., October 15, 1917. Living remote from headquarters of the Commandery he was able only occasionally to have a share in our meetings; but his presence, when it was possible for him to be with us, was always welcome, and his fellowship in the order was loyally cherished by him to the last.

He was born in Yonkers, Westchester county, N. Y., August 27, 1844. Both of his parents, Duncan and Mary Ann Macfarlane, were natives of Paisley, Scotland. From them he inherited those sturdy thrifty qualities which his father and mother brought with them to this country when they sought for themselves a home oil this side of the sea, settling at Yonkers, Here the son spent his early years. From the public schools in Yonkers he at length passed to the Peekskill Military Academy at Peekskill, N. Y. Here the opening of the Civil war found him receiving thorough receiving training, a fitting preparation for such patriotic service as at that time comparatively few among its had. He was then, however, seventeen years of age. But a year later, on graduating from the academy, be at once sought active service, enlisting as a private in the well-known Seventh Regiment of the National Guard of New York. This was a three months' regiment; but at the end of this period the value of his service had been so fully recognized, that on being mustered out he was empowered to raise a company of volunteers, and was offered a commission as first lieutenant, mustering officer and adjutant of the 172nd Regiment of the New York Infantry. He accepted the commission and September 6, 1862, he was transferred to the 165th Regiment, New York Volunteers. His efficiency as a drillmaster was now so well known that his services, outside of his regiment, were often sought and he was frequently on detached service. January 13, 1863, he was honorably mustered out; but in July, 1863, on the call of President Lincoln for additional troops, he joined the 17th Regiment New York National Guard, and July 8th was made sergeant major of the regiment and major July 25, 1863. At the expiration of the service of this regiment he was mustered out August 13, 1863. His eligibility to membership in this order was derived from his services in the 165th New York Volunteers, and he was elected a member through this commandery Sept. 3rd, 1902, his insignia number being 13,642.

Following his war service, Companion Macfarlane engaged in business it, New York City, giving his attention to his various interests there until 1883. About that time he removed to Chicago, Ill., where he enlarged his grain business of earlier years and was prominent in other enterprises. While in Chicago, he was connected with the Board of Trade. In 1890 on account of ill health he came to Maine and established a veneer manufacturing plant on the shores of Moosehead lake, employing a large number of workmen in this plant and in obtaining hardwood lumber ill the neighboring woods. The Plant was destroyed by fire in 1905 but through his activities was rebuilt on a much larger scale. In 1910, Companion Macfarlane returned to New York and devoted himself to the sale of the output of several veneer and box factories. He was thus employed when laid aside by his late illness.

In these various enterprises Companion Macfarlane was known as a stirring, energetic, progressive business man.. He also took an active interest in the welfare of the communities in which he made his home. He was prominent also in matters pertaining to state and national affairs. In politics he was a Republican and in 1899 was elected member of the legislature of Maine is the representative from the Greenville class. In 1901 he was elected state senator from Piscataquis county. He was a man of genial and lovable personality and had a large acquaintance with prominent men in many circles in wide sections of our country. He was a member of the Army and Navy club in New York and of the Masonic order.

Funeral services were held on October 17th at his late residence in Reading, Mass., and also on October 18th at St. Johns cemetery, Yonkers, N. Y., where the burial took place.

Companion Macfarlane was married May 24th, 1865, to Zanina Nelson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Nelson, of Peekskill, N. Y. To them one child was born, Cornelia Seymour Macfarlane now Mrs. Lyman Blair of Greenville, Maine. Mrs. Macfarlane died in April, 1903. On October 30th, 1913, Companion Macfarlane married in New York City, Blanche Elizabeth Bailey, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles H. Bailey of Medford, Maine, who survives him. To her and the surviving daughter this commandery desires to make affectionate mention of remembrance and sympathy.


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