William Pitt Preble
b. 6 Apr 1811
m. 1st Abigail Hadlock Spurling, 1839
m. 2nd Jane Matilda Hadlock, 1875
d. 13 Apr 1905
William P. Preble was the husband of Abigail C. Preble,
then her niece, Jane Matilda Hadlock.
He was a Mason.
He was a notary public,
He recorded captains' reports of shipwrecks near the Cranberry Isles.
Buried in the Preble Cemetery.
Maine Memory Network has our exhibit about Preble.
William Pitt Preble (1811-1905) descended from one of seven Preble brothers who had emigrated from England to Portland in the 17th century. Related to an influential Portland family, he was the son of the Mount Desert Rock lighthouse keeper.
He survived two wives, spanning nearly six decades of marriage. In 1839, Preble married Abigail Hadlock Spurling (1808-1874), the widowed sister of the builder and first owner of the "Preble house", Capt. Samuel Hadlock, Jr. In 1875, he married Hadlock's widowed daughter, Jane Matilda Hadlock Sanford (1826-1898). She was born in Paris, France during Hadlock's tour of Europe with his Northern Curiousities Show, as told in Rachel Field's book, God's Pocket.
Preble came to Great Cranberry Island as a schoolteacher, became a church elder, selectman, justice of the peace, notary public, gentleman farmer, tax appraiser, postmaster, storekeeper, fish inspector, shipbuilder, ship owner, and shipwreck appraiser.
He processed, witnessed, and composed documents for himself and others including correspondence, store ledgers, and shipwreck salvage papers.
He officially witnessed the marriages of many Cranberry Islanders over the years, and was instrumental in civic projects including establishment, on Great Cranberry Island, of the first local Post Office in May 5, 1847, and construction of the non-denominational Union Meeting House in 1866.
In 1901, Preble's stepson, Samuel "Sammy" Sanford (1852-1933), won a lawsuit against him for payment due for services rendered at the Preble House.
Sanford had moved out of the main house and lived for decades in a tiny cabin on the property. It is there he met and inspired the author Rachel Field, and thus earned the homestead a place in literary history.
From "Bar Harbor Record" Wednesday, April 26, 1905
Mr. Wm. Pitt Preble, ninety-four years
and one week old, the oldest inhabitant
of this town, quietly passed away April
13. He was born in York, Me., April 6,
1811, and came to Mt. Desert rock lighthouse
station, where his father was the
keeper, at the age of eighteen years. The
following winter he came to this place to
teach school and has since that time been
closely identified with the interests of
this town. In 1839 he married Mrs.
Abagail C. Spurling, by whom he had
seven children, only two of whom are now
living, Mrs. Horace G. Bunker, of Westfield,
N.J. and Mrs. Fannie A. Spurling
of Boothbay, who with Mrs. Elmenia T. Preble,
widow of his son, Wm. H. Preble
of Chicago, have tenderly cared for him
during the last two years of his life.
He was the prime mover in having the
first post office established in this town,
and was the post master for many years
in succession, and has served several
terms since going out of office for the
last time, eight years ago next July. He
had held the office of first selectman of
this town more years than any other man
in town, and was faithful to his trust in
every way. He has been greatly interested
in the war with Japan [Russo-Japanese War, 8 Feb 1904 - 5 Sept 1905], and up to
within two days of his death, insisted upon
having the war news read to him and
expressed his sympathies with the "Japs"
although he regarded war as a cruel
means whereby to obtain justice or judgment.
The funeral services were very impressive,
being conducted under the auspices
of the Free Masons of Tremont
lodge of which he was in years gone by
the head officer. Rev. Mr. Aldrich, the
Methodist minister at Southwest Harbor,
spoke words of comfort and consolation
to the bereaved ones.
click to enlarge
Wm. P. Preble ca. 1850
Wm. P. Preble ca. 1900
Abigail Cobb (Hadlock) (Spurling) Preble
b. 3 Jul 1808
m. 1st Samuel Spurling, 14 Sep 1825
m. 2nd Wm. P. Preble, 3 Mar 1839
d. 17 Jan 1874, Cranberry Isles
Abigail was the daughter of Samuel & Sarah (Polly) (Manchester) Hadlock, of Islesford.
She was a sister of Sam Hadlock, Jr..
She first married Samuel Spurling (b. 4 Dec 1795, d. 20 Oct 1837, drowned.) When Sam Spurling died she was left with five children:
Samuel Hadlock (b. 23 Jan 1827, d. 1895 in CA)
Zulma Mills (b. 14 Oct 1831, d. ?)
Andrew Barclay (b. 25 Mar 1833, d. 22 Aug 1906)
Sarah Hadlock (b. 20 Jun 1835, d. 9 Jun 1919)
Abigail Cobb (b. 29 Sep 1837, d. 28 Jul 1860)
Abigail C. (Hadlock) Spurling then married William Pitt Preble, her second husband, his first wife.
We know Abigail was President of the Cranberry Isles Benevolent Sewing Circle at least in the years 1863-1865 because we have the original drafts of her President's Reports for those three years.
click to enlarge
Abigail C. Preble ca. 1855
Abigail C. Preble ca. 1870
Jane Matilda (Hadlock) (Sanford) Preble
b. 16 Mar 1826 (Paris, France)
m. 1st George E. Sanford, March 1843
m. 2nd Wm. P. Preble, 1875
Jane was born in Paris, France, the daughter of the adventurous showman Samuel Hadlock, Jr. of Cranberry Isles, and Dorothea Albertina Wilhelmina Celeste Russ, the "Prussian Lady", for whom the house later called "the Preble House" was originally built.
She first married George E. Sanford b. 1812, d. 1873).
When George died she was left with three children:
Albertina A., b. 1842 (before the marriage), d. 1867
Samuel C., b. 1852, d. 1933
Dorothea R., b. 1862, d. 1899
Jane Matilda Sanford then married William P. Preble, 1875.
She was the third Hadlock to reside in the Preble House: first the Captain himself, followed by Abigail C. Preble, William Preble's wife, who was born a Hadlock.
Jane Matilda Hadlock came to the house as an infant and returned as its mistress at age 49.
click to enlarge
Jane Matilda Sanford ca. 1855
Jane Matilda Preble ca. 1890