Many remember the Hodgman Store on Main Street that was owned by George Thomas Hodgman, followed by Maurice Payson and later his son Maurice. Mr. Payson’s daughter Isabel and husband, Archie Bailey, ran the shoe store in their block, followed by their son Kenneth Bailey. The owners were all so pleasant that people enjoyed shopping there during the 19th and 20th centuries.

George T. Hodgman was born in Camden Nov. 25, 1860, the son of George and Beatrice Hodgman. After attending public schools here, at only age 20, he was taken in partnership of Miller and Cleveland, clothiers. One year later he bought out the interests of his partners, and continued the business with his brother J. Hale Hodgman. In a few years his brother left the firm and George ran it until he died in 1926. His wife, Annabelle Shepherd Hodgman, owned the store with the capable manager, Maurice Payson, running the business. When she died in 1939, Mr. Payson inherited the store.

George T. Hodgman was very active in town affairs. He was clerk of the Camden Village Corporation for several years, and second selectman in 1893 and 1894. He was the chairman of the Board of Selectmen in 1924 and 1925.

He joined the Amity Lodge of Masons in 1883 and was Worshipful Master during 1889. In the middle 1800s he joined the Keystone Chapter, and served as its treasurer for 32 years.

Beginning in 1890 he held the office of deputy collector of customs in the Camden District for three years, and a few years later he was appointed postmaster for three terms. On Aug. 1, 1914, when the cornerstone for Camden’s new post office was laid, he presided over the celebration.

George Hodgman was knighted in the Claremont Commandery of Rockland on April 21, 1902, and became Sir Knight Hodgman. He served as a guard in the Camden Commandery for 15 years. On Sept. 12, 1910, it was “the biggest political revolution in half a century.” The Democrats swept the state. Democrats went on to elect two congressmen as well as to win control of the state Legislature. George T. Hodgman was the only Republican in the country to get in the state Legislature, when he defeated Job Montgomery. In 1911, he was elected president of Megunticook Bank.

The following year he served on the Camden School Board for 12 years. He had a keen interest in politics and for several years was a member of the Republican State Committee. On July 12, 1918, there was a serious accident on the Georges Valley Railroad crossing (on the state road between Warren and Waldoboro). It claimed the life of a Rockland man and injured Camden’s tax collector John Paul and ex-postmaster George T. Hodgman, who were on their way to Augusta to a meeting of the Republican State Committee.

His activities did not stop there as Mr. Hodgman became Past Noble Grand of the Mt. Battie Lodge of Odd Fellows, and a member of the Megunticook Encampment and the Rebekahs.

During this era, Camden had a Board of Trade (before the days of the chamber of commerce) and Hodgman served as vice president and later president.

Camden lost a well-liked, active citizen and businessman when George Thomas Hodgman died on March 13, 1926, at his home on Free Street.

George had a brother, J. Hale Hodgman, born in 1862, who married Carrie Dean, who was born the same year. In about 1881 he was in partnership with his brother in a clothing store for only a short time.

J. Hale Hodgman was better known in the town of Camden as its treasurer. He was a mason in Amity Lodge serving as its treasurer as early as 1910.. He also served as treasurer on the Board of Trade for several years. As a Republican he was elected as county treasurer. All through Camden’s history, J. Hale Hodgman continued to be elected as treasurer of many organizations, as well as Camden’s town treasurer for 27 years.

He owned Hodgman Insurance Agency, which he sold to A. Burton Stevenson in October 1939 because of failing health. On Dec. 2 of that same year, he died at the Camden Hospital, and his wife, Carrie, died the following year.

Hodgman was a familiar name in Camden for many years, beginning with an early settler, Job Hodgman and his wife, Anna Hosmer, who were born in the 1750s. Job served in the Revolutionary War. They had seven children, of which Gen. Amos and Deacon Joel were perhaps the best known. So the Hodgman name is throughout Camden history for many years. There are 23 members of the Hodgman family buried at Mountain View Cemetery.

In two weeks read about a resident active in town affairs and at one time our town clerk.


Barbara F. Dyer has lived all her life, so far, in Camden and is referred to as the unofficial official town historian.