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Merle Atwood Hodgkins

Merle Atwood Hodgkins

Male 1905 - 1965  (59 years)

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  • Name Merle Atwood Hodgkins 
    Born 6 Nov 1905  Auburn, Androscoggin County, Maine Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    Gender Male 
    Occupation Farmer and School Bus Driver for City of Auburn, Maine. 
    Residence 2 May 1910  240 Lake Street, Auburn, Androscoggin County, Maine Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Residence 2 Jan 1920  Auburn, Androscoggin County, Maine Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    • Merle, age 14, in school
    Residence 14 Apr 1930  240 Lake Street, Auburn, Androscoggin County, Maine Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    Cemetery notes Plot C61 
    Died 27 Jan 1965  Central Maine General Hospital, Lewiston, Androscoggin County, Maine Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    Buried Mount Auburn Cemetery, Auburn, Androscoggin County, Maine Find all individuals with events at this location  [7
    • N 44° 07. 343 and W 070 degrees 14. 839.
    Notes 
    • My Dad, the gentle farmer. He loved his land and he loved his animals. Anyone that was around during a thunderstorm knew that he never came into the house, unless forced by my mother, during a storm. He would close up his out buildings and barn and then keep one small door behind his car open. He stood in that door watching the storm as if to protect his fields and crops from harm.

      It was the same with his animals, he could not see them hurt. I remember coming home to find a tom cat had killed all of my baby kittens while we were gone on a drive. When I told my dad, he said, "Go get your grandfather to take care of them." Burying animals or putting one down was always a job for Grampa Lester Hodgkins. Only once do I remember my dad participating in burying an animal. He had a horse which he had walked for hours, in and out the driveway, trying to save it's life and it died anyway. I think he just had to bury that horse himself after trying so long to will it to live.

      He was not only gentle with his land and animals but gentle with us. You had to be really bad to upset him and I never remember him touching me. A look was all it took for me to decide I had pushed an issue far enough. He always seemed to find a way to make everything possible if any of the three of us really wanted to do something. He was the soft touch and always seemed to me to be part "kid" himself. He loved to present my mother with special gifts and the two that I remember most were her fur coat (which she loved and wore forever) and the wonderful automatic washer and dryer that sat right in the kitchen. How great not to bring in the wash tubs and wringer washer to do the laundry.

      My mother was always the cook and a wonderful one at that but there were special things that only my father could do. Only Dad made fudge. Wonderful, chocolate fudge. There was a special pan that was "your father's fudge pan" and we couldn't use it for anything else. Popcorn was his other specialty and it was SPECIAL. Sometimes he grew his own corn and other years he would buy it. He popped it in an old popcorn popper with a long handle. He would set a chair in front of the stove and place that handle over his shoulder and push that basket back and forth with his index finger over the handle. I only remember perfect popcorn. His ritual did not stop there. After we were all served our dish, he would put his in "your father's popcorn bowl" and sit down to enjoy popcorn and milk. The bowl could also be used for his cracker and milk but never for anything else. It was white with blue design and a little gold trim!

      He was a farmer for most of his life. For many years he had cows and delivered milk door to door throughout the City of Auburn. In those days it was natural milk with a wonderful cream top. He had a special "milk room" down off the garage and it was there that the bottles were washed, the milk separated, bottled and capped. After it was stored in a large cooler until the next days delivery.
      Sometimes, my mother made butter. She had a barrel style churn and we all turned the handle at one time or another but she was in charge. The butter was used at home and also sold.

      The gardens were the big thing. Not only did he farm our own land but also the land off Park Avenue owned by Percy Young. In early spring we had strawberries and sold them at the "roadside stand" but the main crops were ready for August. He always had the first corn in the area and it was always planted near the street so folks driving by could watch it grow and be ready and waiting when it was finally picked. The "stand" would be spruced up and flowers planted in the window boxes. Fresh corn, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, beets, carrots, and later in the season squash. August was a busy time and after the early years of Methyl and Duane running a very small stand the building was built on the front lawn where my mom held fort for many years. After she had returned to work at B. Peck Co. in later years she still took the month of August off, to run the stand. Haying was also part of the farm and this was for the month of July. Again both properties were hayed. The work was done with horses and by hand. The dryed hay was pitched onto a hay rack and driven to the barn. There my father stood on the hay rack and placed the "fork" into the hay. A signal was given to someone driving the truck to back up in the driveway, thereby lifting the hay to the lofts. At the exact time he wanted to open the fork another signal was given the truck driver to stop. After dropping the hay up in the lofts the driver was then signaled to drive back in the driveway. It was quite a process and Dad was definitely in charge of it.

      After having sold the cows due to breathing problems and then Mom going back to work, he and I spent a lot of time together. The older kids were gone and lunch times, Monday nights and Saturdays it was just the two of us. I rode to school with him as far as the Auburn School Bus Garage, he fixed my lunch when I came home from school and he came back from the noon bus run. We watched the soap opera, As the World Turns. We drove back for the afternoon sessions. We went shopping together at Flanders for suits and felt hats, at Lamey-Wellehan for his shoes and at ........ for his boots. When it was time for me to have my first pair of heels, he took me to Senter, Giroux and Canter and we got navy blue sling backs, but not very high. We did his taxes together and I felt very grown up to be allowed to use the adding machine.

      Dad never believed that all work and no play was a good thing. He loved to play. He was a master of the dance floor. He had a special way of holding my mother with his massive hand on her backside. He could guide her anywhere on the floor and he stood so tall and straight that they drew lots of attention from bystanders. After the fall harvest there was always set aside a little time to play. He especially enjoyed the fall fairs with horse pulling. jEvery Wednesday night was reserved for Pinocle with the boys. For many years they moved from house to house but when Dad's health started to get worse they continued their game from our house each week.

      Clothes were another thing. He never wore jeans or dressed like a farmer. He always wore tan "Dickie's" and a dress shirt for farming. Since he had large (size 12} and narrow feet he had a hard time finding boots that he could wear even for a short period. Therefore, he always wore dress shoes except for the dirtiest jobs. Every night after supper he would take the shoe box out of the closet and sit down beside the stove and polish his shoes for the next day. He didn't wear a cap often either. He worn a felt hat during the cold months and a straw hat in the summer. When going out with my mother his attire was usually a white shirt, suit and tie unless it was just to visit with friends or family.

      The "farm" was the place that everyone visited. We were so fortunate to have family around us all summer long. Although Dad was brought up as an only child by his grandparents he always welcomed by mother's family. My grandmother, Madora Akerley lived with us for many years and therefore the family came to visit. Many stayed for a month, some stayed all summer. They knew they were welcome. We had huge parties on the lawn, lobster cookouts and plenty of corn. Lots of wonderful memories.
    Person ID I2160  Reed
    Last Modified 28 Jun 2019 

    Father Lester Woodbury Hodgkins,   b. 21 Jan 1879, Auburn, Androscoggin County, Maine Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Apr 1957, Central Maine General Hospital, Lewiston, Androscoggin County, Maine Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 78 years) 
    Mother Josie Adeline Atwood,   b. 23 Oct 1878, Auburn, Androscoggin County, Maine Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 6 Jul 1913, Auburn, Androscoggin County, Maine Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 34 years) 
    Married 1 May 1901  Lake Street, Auburn, Androscoggin County, Maine Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 8
    • Married by Rev. Stanley Durkee of Court Street Free Baptist Church-
    Photos
    Cows at the farm on Lake Street
    Cows at the farm on Lake Street
    Documents
    Lester Hodgkins and Josie Atwood
    Lester Hodgkins and Josie Atwood
    marriage record
    Family ID F22  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Ida Verna Akerley,   b. 3 Jun 1904, Newcastle Creek, Canning Parish, Queens County, New Brunswick, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1 Jan 1992, Maine Medical Center, Portland, Cumberland County, Maine Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 87 years) 
    Married 23 Nov 1929  Lewiston, Androscoggin County, Maine Find all individuals with events at this location  [9
    • Married by Percy L. Vernon, pastor United Baptist Church, Lewiston, Androscoggin County, Maine
    Children 
     1. Methyl Louise Hodgkins,   b. 20 Oct 1930, Lewiston, Androscoggin County, Maine Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 7 Apr 2009, Central Maine Medical Center, Lewiston, Androscoggin County, Maine Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 78 years)
     2. Duane Atwood Hodgkins,   b. 16 Dec 1933, Central Maine General Hospital, Lewiston, Androscoggin County, Maine Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 Feb 2002, Augusta, Kennebec County, Maine Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 68 years)
     3. Marian Ruth Hodgkins,   b. 19 Aug 1939, Central Maine General Hospital, Lewiston, Androscoggin County, Maine Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 6 Mar 2007, Falmouth, Cumberland County, Maine Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 67 years)
    Photos
    240 Lake Street, Auburn, Maine
    240 Lake Street, Auburn, Maine
    Last Modified 12 Apr 2015 
    Family ID F1502  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 6 Nov 1905 - Auburn, Androscoggin County, Maine Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 2 May 1910 - 240 Lake Street, Auburn, Androscoggin County, Maine Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 2 Jan 1920 - Auburn, Androscoggin County, Maine Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 23 Nov 1929 - Lewiston, Androscoggin County, Maine Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 14 Apr 1930 - 240 Lake Street, Auburn, Androscoggin County, Maine Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 27 Jan 1965 - Central Maine General Hospital, Lewiston, Androscoggin County, Maine Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Mount Auburn Cemetery, Auburn, Androscoggin County, Maine Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Photos
    Merle Hodgkins
    Merle Hodgkins
    (back)
    Merle Hodgkins
    Merle Hodgkins
    (front)
    Merle Atwood Hodgkins
    Merle Atwood Hodgkins

    Headstones
    Merle Atwood Hodgkins
    Merle Atwood Hodgkins
    Merle Atwood Hodgkins

  • Sources 
    1. [S769] Descendants of Bejamin C. Durgin, 1775-1954, Bernice E. Durgin, (Brunswick, Maine, Russell A. French), p. 23.

    2. [S12] Record of Births--City of Auburn, Record of Births--City of Auburn No. 655 issued September 22, 1941 and signed by Mabel H. Bedell, Clerk of the City of Auburn. Birth reported by Dr. W. J. Renwick, Auburn, Maine and Recorded: Novemb, er 7, 1905.

    3. [S35] 1910 U.S. Federal Census (Population Schedule), ED 4, Sheet 10A, Dwelling 161, Family 182, Ebenezer Hodgkins household.

    4. [S60] 1920 U.S. Federal Census (Population Schedule), ED 3, Sheet 2A, Dwelling 33, Family 38, Ebenezer Hodgkins household.

    5. [S39] 1930 U.S. Federal Census (Population Schedule), ED 1-3, Sheet 14A, Dwelling 301, Family 331, Merle Hodgkins household.

    6. [S2] Maine Death Index, 1960-1997, (The Generations Network, Inc., Provo, UT, USA, 2002), Certificate 6500057.

    7. [S101] Headstone, 5Apr2009.

    8. [S103] “Maine Marriage Records, 1705-1922”, 1892-1907 Vital Records; Roll #: 27.

    9. [S769] Descendants of Bejamin C. Durgin, 1775-1954, Bernice E. Durgin, (Brunswick, Maine, Russell A. French), p. 33.