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 • Hancock County
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Oliver Lane Colby
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Birth: Dec. 24, 1826
Deer Isle
Hancock County
Maine, USA
Death: Nov. 13, 1904
Hancock County
Maine, USA

Oliver Lane Colby
b. Dec. 24,1826 Deer Isle, ME; s/o Abram Colby and Sally Lane
d. Nov. 13,1904 at Tea Hill, Stonington, ME "of right cerebral apoplexy"...Dr. BLN
m. May 6,1846 Abigail Yeaton Knowlton,
b. March 7, 1825 Isle au Haut, ME; d/o Robert Knowlton and Sarah Buckminster
d. Jan. 25,1905 "due to a paraxysm of angina resulting from cardiac aclerosis"--BLN

1. Melissa Elwood Colby b. May 27,1844 d. Oct. 13,1920 of acute synovitis of left shoulder and meningitis bur. Woodlawn cemetery, Stonington, ME m.(1)Joseph Davis s/o Jonathan & Elizabeth Davis [4 children]; m.(2)Samuel E. Holden s/o Amasa and Abigail Holden [1 child]; m.(3)Charles Cousins Cousins

2. Oliver Colby

3. Abigail [Florence Abigail] Colby

4. Sarah Knowlton Colby b. Nov. 16, 1850 d. aft.Oct. 15, 1920 [her sister's funeral] m. July 29, 1868 Joseph Smith Eaton son of Isaac Billings and Barbara (Smith) Eaton [no issue]

5. William Henry Colby b. June 10 (or 16), 1854 d. Sept. 2, 1928 m. May 6,1856 Hannah Marilda Barbour d/o Warren and Mary Helen (Sweetser) Barbour [2 children]

6. Alonzo Knights Colby b. Apr. 19, 1858 d. aft. Oct. 15, 1920 [his sister's funeral] m.(1)Adelaide "Abbie" Fifield dau.of John J. Fifield and Sarah Tyler. He m.(2)a Boston woman. Alonzo died in a Mattapan Hospital, MA.[2 children-Maud and Jessie]

7. Abraham Thurlow Colby b. Feb. 22,1862 d. June 1,1865(Sarah, his sister, says he died about age three.--BLN)

8. Elsie W. Colby (twin) b. July 4,1865 m. July 3,1886 James E. Thomas s/o Capt. Henry Thomas and his 1st wife of Breman, ME.

9. Elmer C. Colby (twin) b. July 4, 1865 d. 1868 2 1/2 yrs of measles.

10. Abbie Francis Colby b. May 27, ____, m.(1) Ernest Robbins [2 daughters] m.(2)Fred Gray
From Interview with B. Lake Noyes: "Oliver Colby says he was b. Dec. 24,1826 in the old Colby house that stood where the present one is at Jack's Corner and m. May, 6, 1846 Abigail Yeaton Knowlton d/o Robert and Sarah (Buckminster) Knowlton. She was b. March 7, 1825 at Robinson place, Isle au Haut, Thoroughfare."

Oliver and Abigail are both buried in the Knowlton Cemetery at Tea Hill. Oliver was listed by 1850 census as a sailor.

From The day before YESTERDAY, "Eagle and Mark Island", by Clayton H. Gross; ISLAND AD-VANTAGES, SEPTEMBER 28, 2000:"...In 1847 a lighthouse was erected on Mark Island to mark the western approach to Deer Island Thorofare, the eastern end being marked by Dow Ledges. It had been pointed out that the approach to the Thorofare could be dangerous and traffic there was increasingly heavy. In 1856 the government purchased Mark Island from Capt. David Thurlow, the owner of nearby Crotch Island. The cost to the government was $175.

The Light List of 1900 describes the light as follows; A fourth class having a fixed white beacon 52 feet above mean high water and visible for 12 1/2 miles. It had a square white tower with a dwelling attached. The red fog bell tower and a red brick oil house stood about 91 feet northeast of the light tower.

In 1872 or 1873 the keeper's post was given to Samuel E. Holden of North Deer Isle, probably in recognition of his service in the Civil War. He was married to Melissa Colby who seems to have been the daughter of Oliver Colby of Tea Hill. On one occasion Melissa was alone on the island with some of their five children while her husband was in Rockland. That night she heard the sound of muffled oars as prowlers made a landing. When the intruders crept under her bedroom window, she poured the contents of a common crockery bedroom "appliance" down over their heads, causing them to flee, much the messier and, perhaps, wiser!

On one occasion when her husband was ashore, Melissa went into labor and by herself delivered their youngest child with only the older children to help. When Holden became ill she assumed the duties of keeper for two months. Holden died on March 31,1874. On April 2 Melissa was appointed acting keeper, a post which she held for 25 months, eventually losing out to a man. Among the things she successfully accomplished while there was to change over from the use of animal fats and whale oil to kerosene to fuel the light. This evidently was considered a difficult feat. At the end of her tenure on Mark, she moved ashore to Green's Landing, eventually married Charles Cousins and had several more children...

Family links: 
  Abraham Colby (1796 - 1839)
  Abigail Yeaton Knowlton Colby (1825 - 1905)*
  Melissa Colby Holden Davis Cousins (1844 - 1920)*
*Calculated relationship
Early Settlers Cemetery
Hancock County
Maine, USA
Created by: Stuart Strout Woodside S...
Record added: Jan 28, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 64828997

- Wendy (inactive)
 Added: Aug. 8, 2012

 Added: Jun. 10, 2012

- Stuart Strout Woodside Skolfield
 Added: Jan. 28, 2011

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