General John White Bodwell (1800-1861)

Son of: John 1776

John was educated in the public Schools of Acton, Maine, and left home before reaching his majority to enter the employ of General Elisha Allen, his grandfather, as a clerk in his general store in Sanford, Maine. As a young man he demonstrated unusual ability and good judgment, and won the confidence of his employer to such an extent that when he resigned the office of postmaster in 1820 in order to serve as presidential elector, young Bodwell, though but twenty years of aged was appointed to fill the vacancy and was postmaster until April, 1821, when General Allen, having performed his duty as elector, was re-appointed postmaster. Before 1825 General Bodwell, removed to Kennebunk and engaged in trade, but returned to Sanford after a few years, and resided in the Clark house in that town during the remainder of his life. He possessed military talent of a high order and rose rapidly from the ranks to the command of a brigade. He was successively quartermaster, brigade quartermaster, major and aide to the brigadier-general, and at the age of twenty-six was commissioned brigadier-general himself, and served with distinction many years.

In October, 1823 Greenburgh, Bodwell and Co., succeeded to the late firm of Thomas Dew and Co., which was dissolved the eleventh of the month took the store and stock of the old firm. (History of Kennebunk)

In 1824 Mr. Wise formed a co-partnership with John, and opened a store for the sale of general merchandise. The partnership was disolved about a year later, with John W. Bodwell retiring. (History of Kennebunk)

The annual review and inspection of the fourth regiment of the 1st Brigade and first division of the Maine Militia took place on the old "training field," nearly opposite the road leading to the saw-mill at the Eastern Depot, the 23rd of September, 1926. The various evolutions of the soldiers were credibly performed under the inspection of Brig. Gen. John W. Bodwell and Col. Jesse L Smith. Public interest in these reviews was now evidently on the wane. Although the day was fine, the number of spectators was not large and those who were present manifested little old-time enthusiasm that marked such occurences. (History of Kennebunk, p. 474)

General Bodwell was a natural mechanic and was fond of cabinet-making, at which he worked occasionally. He was postmaster from 1841 to 1846, and for two years member of the Sanford school committee. In 1859 he was Deputy Sheriff of Sanford. The history of Sanford said of him: "Whatever came from his hands was well done." He carried on gardening and farming on a small scale, and was interested in fruit raising. Garden sauce and apples were his specialties. His orchard extended southeast from Nasson's Hill, was the best cultivated in town, and his hand-picked gilly-flowers, sheep-noses, goose-eggs, Baldwins, greenings and russets were the best fruits the market afforded. In his filed and orchard he was neat, orderly and methodical. As a illustration of his methodical manner, we may instance his manner of planting corn and potatoes in straight rows in perfect squares, so that whichever way seen they appeared to be almost mathematically straight. It was frequently remarked that if a six-inch cannon ball should be shot at a row lengthwise, it would cut down every stalk of corn growing in that row. He was one of the first, if not the first, to cultivate tomatoes for table use. When first cultivated they were a curiosity and an ornament.

BornDiedMarried Spouse
2 Sep 180028 Apr 1861 10 Nov 1823Julia Ann Allen
Shapleigh, MeShapleigh, Me Sanford, Meb. 23 Sep 1806

Children of John and Julia (Allen) Bodwell

NameBirth Date Birth PlaceDeath Date Death Place
1.John F.1823 12 May 1896Augusta, Me
2.Elisha Allen10 Jan 1826 Sanford, Me12 May 1827 Sanford, Me
3.Enoch1827 Sanford, Me?1850
4. Elisha Allen 2 May 1829Sanford, Me 13 Aug 1853Sanford, Me
5.William Henry G. 31 Dec 1834Sanford, Me 20 Jul 1866Sanford, Me
6.Henry William G. 31 Dec 1834Sanford, Me 9 Aug 1874Sanford, Me

December 18, 1996

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Contact: December 26,1996
Copyright (C) 1996, 1997 Donald J. Bodwell. All rights reserved.