In section 2, lot 37 at Mountain View Cemetery lies one of our very early and distinguished settlers, Joseph Hall. He was a younger brother of Farnham and Frye Hall, who came to Camden before him.

Hon. Joseph Hall was born in Methuen, Mass., on June 26, 1793, and received his primary education there, plus a few months in Andover, Mass.       

Joseph came to Camden when he was about 16 years of age, and found employment as a clerk. About four years later he was elected an officer in the militia and served in the war as ensign of an infantry company of the 1st Regiment, when Erastus Foote (of Camden) was colonel and Asha Palmer was captain.

After a few instances with the enemy, Col. Foote ordered a greater part of his regiment to defend this town and vicinity. Guards were stationed from Camden Harbor to Clam Cove (Glen Cove). At the same time they erected two fortifications at the harbor, one on Jacob’s Point on the west side and the other at Eaton’s Point (where Wayfarer is today). While Col. Foote was commanding a detachment of 30 men and supervising the erection of the parapets, young Joseph Hall advanced rapidly in the military, being chosen captain of the Camden Light Infantry, and soon after elected major, lieutenant colonel and then colonel.

It was about 1814 when 100 men in two or three days completed the fortifications. The one on the west side of the harbor was of crescent form, and about 40 feet in length. Capt. Nathaniel Hosmer was going to build a vessel but was prevented by the embargo. So his lumber for that vessel was used for the fort. Farnham Hall, brother of Joseph, had a ship of about 400 tons on the ways nearly completed, and he was able to keep and launch his. The height of the fort was about 10 feet and the thickness about 4 feet. The spaces between the inner and outer walls were filled with dirt. Inside was a platform so the soldiers were elevated to easily rest their muskets on top. There were two 12 pounders mounted upon carriages. On the northerly side was a barrack building and then on the bank near the shore was a guard house. The fort on Eaton’s Point (near where some condos are today) was built nearly identical.

Joseph Hall married Mary Howe, daughter of Nathan Howe, and sister of Mr. John Eager. When Mrs. Hall died in 1825, she left six children: Mary (married Jonathan Huse), Harriet (married Joshua Norwood), Frederick, Eugenia (married Nathaniel Parker), Stephen and William. Two years later he married his second wife, Eliza Parkman, and they had seven more children: Joseph P., Sophia (married Charles B.F. Adams and later William Murdock), Ellen, Susan (married W.H. Hall), Kate, David and Gayton Hall.

Col. Hall was appointed deputy sheriff of Lincoln County, but after Waldo County was organized he was appointed the first sheriff of the new county. Many of the early people of Camden were appointed postmaster, as Joseph Hall was in 1830. He was also representative to Congress. Shortly after his retirement from Congress, his brother-in-law, John Eager, died and his friends requested that he again be postmaster to fill the vacancy. President Polk was his friend and associate in Congress, so he conferred on Hall the office of Navy agent for the port of Boston.

Joseph Hall bought from Capt. William Norwood a farm in Camden, in the area known as Melvin Heights. Some people know the property as the Henry Payson farm. He once again returned to Boston a weigher, measurer and gauger in the Boston Custom House under President Buchanan’s administration. While there he developed a close relationship with novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne and they remained friends for life.

Joseph Hall was Master Mason of Amity Lodge in 1826 and 1827, and later secretary for several years. It is said that perhaps no citizen of Camden had filled so many offices of public trust as Col. Hall.

On Dec. 31, 1859, he died at the age of 66.

His brother Farnham Hall came to Camden about 1806, and went into trade here until after the War with Great Britain. While here, he was a leading man in town and represented Camden in the General Court. He was the fifth Master of Amity Lodge, but he left Camden for New York and lived in the country on a Staten Island farm, so is not buried at Mountain View.

Another brother to Joseph Hall was Frye Hall, who came to Camden with Farnham and was a tanner by trade. He was also a Master Mason of Amity while here. He moved to Hope in 1826 for a year and then left when Waldo County was formed and he was elected county treasurer and registrar of deeds. He then moved to the county seat of Belfast, so he is not buried in Camden either.

Buried with Joseph Hall, however, are his first wife, Mary, and second wife, Eliza. Also at Mountain View Cemetery are his children: David, Ellen, Frederick, Gayton, Joseph P., Kate, Stephen, and Dr. William Hall.

In my previous article there was an error, brought to my attention. John and Evelyn Tewksbury’s daughter Ruth died in 1938 instead of 1918. I suppose I could say that is the first mistake I have made in my life, but everything else I write is true … to the best of my knowledge.

The next article will be about people near and dear to my heart.