Keith A. Lord of Idyllwild, California:Information about Oliver Dorrance Stinchfield
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Oliver Dorrance Stinchfield (b. December 13, 1845, d. date unknown)Oliver Dorrance Stinchfield (son of Jeremiah Stinchfield and Sarah Bridgham) was born December 13, 1845 in Danville Junction, ME, and died date unknown.He married Lizzie R. Symonds.
Notes for Oliver Dorrance Stinchfield:
We are indepted to his perseverance for this historical account of the Stinchfield Family. He is the Great Grandfather of Keith A. Lord the curator of this genealogy revisisted after 110 years after O. D. Stinchfield compiled all this information. It must have been a tedious indeavor where communication was by word of mouth and researching records in the towns and grave sites. O. D. Stinchfield was a master of so many trades. He was educated in Boston for music. He was choir director. "I was born on the farm at Danville Junction, received a liberal education (mostly rawhide) in the little old schoolhouse at Danville Junction. As soon as I became old enough to put on shoes and stockings, I was destined to become a musician, writer, artist, photographer, and humorist entertainer (and creator of this genealogy."
Two Descendants of Thomas and Hannah Stinchfield, who willbe remembered best , are Jeremiah and his son, Oliver D Stinchfield, the latter more commonly known as ODS.
As reported in my mother's article in the Lewiston Journal Magazine Section on May 30 ,1959 entitled "Memorial Day is Time of Looking Back Through Family Histories," O D Stinchfield was quoted in saying "As soon as I became old enought to put on shoes and stockings, and climb the fence separating the school yard from Colonel Ingersoll's apple orchard, my friends decided I was fit for nothing but a musician. The latter years of my life have been given over mostly to the laudable efforts of creating harmony out of discord. My political and religious preferences are a profound secret, know only to my bosom friends. I was adopted by Rowe's Corner Grange early in its career, being one of its Charter Members."
That he was modest in summing up his life is evident, for in reviewing his accomplishments, it would seem that either the days must have been longer, or more could be put into them, O D was an artist, a musician, a poet, photographer, prominent in community affairs, a humorous enteratiner, and due to his careful compilation of the family genealogy and clippings which he saved, pictures he took with his old wooden box camera, this story can be written.
Will all this, O D was foremost a family man. Following his education at the Maine State Seminary and later going to Boston, Massachuetts to study music, he married Lizzie R Symonds of New gloucester. Four children were born to them, two sons who died as infants, two daughters, Florence Elinor Stinchfield, who is now residing in Kansas City, Mo as Mrs. Henry Holt and Eva Abbie Stinchfield the late Mrs. Rufus Lord.
The family lived many years on Washington Street, Auburn, Maine the old home having only this past year been torn down to make room for the new highway, (1958).O D and his wife lived out the last years of their lives at 15 Vine Street, Auburn with their daughter Mrs. Rufus Lord and family, and here his gradson Kenneth D Lord and his great-grandchildren still live as of 1959.
Of his many accomplishments, music was perhaps O D's outstanding one. For 20 consecutive years, he was organist and director of music at the St Joseph's and St. Patrick's Catholic Churches, duringwhich time he had but one Sunday of absolute vacation. In addition to his regular duties he played the requiem for narly 800 of the congregations who had died during that time, not to mention the Nuptial Masses and other services.
O D had the honor of preparing the music for the Christmas Day opening services of the new St Patrick's Church, which took weeks of preparation. Over 5000 attended the opening day services, at which the Very Rev Father Wallace officiated, and worshipers were kneeling in the aisles.
As organist and director of music, O D also served at other times during his life, at the Bates Street Baptish, First Universalist churches in Lewiston and at the High Street Congregational Church in Auburn. He trained many choirs and choruses, and he conducted the Maine Festival of Music for two years. It is said he knew the musicians of those times better than anyone in the community.
In his capacity as a humorist and singer, O D wrote many playlets and light operas; also poems and several original songs that made a hit locally. He played his own accompaniments, singing many of his compositions. Some of his favorite numbers were "The Oysterman" and Watkins Evening Party" "Little Jack Horner" an arrangement from Caldicott made by O D, "Lament for a Lost Voice" and "The Old Irish Gentleman."
O D again had the honor of arranging music for the opening day service at St. Patrick's Church, when the new organ installed back in the late 1800s. Built by Hook and Hastings, this organ was a delight to O D who felt that the organ was voiced perfectly for the church and he expressed pleasure in its eacy and delicate pedaling.
O D Stinchfield in line with his occupation and interest in music, also engaged in the work of piano tuning and traveled for many years through this County, Oxford County and into New Hampshire. He spent considerable time in research on musical pitch, and preserved in his scrapbooks, are the answers to many queries sent out to orchestras, musical companies and musicians all over the country.
O D's collection of reports on this subject were typical of the time and effort which he put into all of his endeavors. Many people in this part of New England who still have pianos of that period, will find in the back O D's signature and the time of the last tuning, so says Mrs. Phyllis Barron Downing, who found his mark in the piano at her cottage at Monmouth.
O D occupation of piano turning, would appear to have been an excuse to take off in his horse and buggy to travel about the country. Certainly, from the evidence left behind, histime wasn't spent entirely in piano tuning. He was apt to take an easel, paints, sketch book and his old wooden box camera.
O D kept scrapbooks and albums. There were many pictures of the people and places he visited, taken with the old box camera. All were neatly labeled. There are pencil sketches, oil paintings, even the post cards which he would be at a certain place to tune pianos, tokens of his humourous and artictic termperment.
Witty wordings, illustrated with his humorous sketches, proclaimed his trade. One such was a picture of a piano, replete with drawn-in head and legs. The head was wrapped in a bandage and the legs soaking in a tub of water and O D was depicted as the Dr and labeled "Dislocation of Temperament, A Bad Case."
A newspaper clipping proclaimed: "O D Stinchfield of Auburn, is probably one of the finest penmen in the country and possibly the world. This does not refer to the excellence of penmanship, but to minuteness. Not long ago a controversy arose between Mr. Stinchfield and Rev George L White of Farminton, New Hampshire as to which could put the greatest number of words on a small sixed post card.
Mr. White did his best and sent his friend in Auburn a card bearing 3700 words. This was booked upon as a marvelous performance and no one believe that it could be beaten. Then O D Stinchfield returned the compliment by writing the Fifth Psalm, Casabianca and Creed of the Bells, and a large number of other selections on a post card of the same small size. The grand total of the words amounted to 4606 and it is said that it breaks the world's record for minute writing.
The clipping went on to say: "If any person has ever approached such fine penmanship as this, his name should be given to the public." The card in O D's scrapbook is the one bearing over 1700 words, Rev White no doubt, possessed the other cards.
O D Stinchfield's daughters, Florence and Eva inherited his musical and artistic temperaments. Florence (Mrs. Henry Hoit) of Kansas City, Mo was a mezzo-soprano and studied music in Boston and inFlorence, Italy, under Vannuccini, and in London under other prominent teachers. Upon her return to Auburn, she gave a concert at the High Street Congregational Church, receiving much acclaim for her high notes and her control of the soft passages.
Eva, the late Mrs. Rufus Lord, studied piano in Boston. She was also a good artist, as evidenced by the many sketches and large charcoal portrait drawings signed with her name.
And so from the family of John Stenchfield (Stanchfield) (Stinchfield) started in his community back in the 1700s, have come and gone, and their offspring make their homes in many parts of the world.
Children of Oliver Dorrance Stinchfield and Lizzie R. Symonds are:
- +Eva Abbie Stinchfield, b. February 25, 1875, Lewiston,Androscoggin,Me, d. date unknown.