CHARLES BUFFUM comes of the most rigid Quaker stock, he being of the seventh generation
in America. Robert Buffum and his wife Tamason, both devout members of the Society of Friends, came to this country
from England in 1690, landing at Salem, Mass.
Samuel Buffum, father of Charles Buffiim, was a native of North Berwick, Me. In 1813 he enlisted and served in
the War of 1812. He married Mary Neal, of North Berwick, who was not a Friend, and for these two acts he was disowned
by the Society of Friends. Notwithstanding he had been disowned, he was so beloved by the Friends that none ever
passed his house without calling to see him. He came to Orono in 1832 and for many years was prominently identified
with the business interests of the town. He was Postmaster for twelve years, receiving his first appointment, in
1837, from Postmaster-General Amos Kendall. He had six children who grew to maturity, viz.: David N., deceased;
Albert C., deceased; Maria F., wife of N. H. Allen, deceased; Charles, Gustavus A., now of Louisiana, Mo., and
Julia A., wife of B. B. Nicholas, now of Tilden, Neb.
Charles Buffum was born in Palermo, Me., in 1820, and came to Orono with his father in 1832 and for several years
worked in the lumber mills. He was educated in the common schools of Orono, at China Academy, and at the Maine
Wesleyan Seminary, at Kent's Hill.
In February, 1839, during what was called the "Aroostook War," arising out of boundary disputes between
the United States and Great Britain, Mr. Buffum was a private in Company A, commanded by Capt. George W. Maxim.
The regiment was commanded by Major-General Hodsdon.
In May, 1844, he formed a partnership with his brother, Albert C., under the firm name of A. C. & C. Buffum,
and went into trade in Orono, and in connection with this they became manufacturers of lumber, which continued
until his brother's death, in 1855, when he succeeded to the whole business, which he continued until recently.
In 1868 he was a member of the House of Representatives of this State, and in 1870 and 1871 he was a member of
the State Senate from Penobscot County, being elected to the Presidency of that body in 1871.
In 1875 he was elected a member of the Executive Council, which position he held three years, the last year being
Chairman of that body.
In the fall of 1877, by order of the Governor and Council, the Land Agent appointed him to ascertain what islands
on the coast of Maine belonged to the State. He attended to the duties, sailing from Kittery to Quaddy, and made
a report which was entirely satisfactory to the Executive of the State and also to the Land Agent.
In 1878 he was appointed as one of the commission, composed of three men, to examine and report to the Legislature
as to the legal rights of voters in the Madawaska region. That commission consisted of Judge Symonds of Portland,
Mr. Kimball of Oxford County, and Mr. Buffum.
In the fall of 1878 he was appointed Superintendent of the Reform School for Boys, at Cape Elizabeth, which position
he held until a change in the State administration, in 1879.
In the winter of 1882 Mr. Buffum was invited by a large lumber firm of Chicago, Ill., to go to North Platt, Neb.,
and negotiate for a lumber yard there, which they had been endeavoring to do for a long time, but without succeeding
- which, by shrewd management, he successfully accomplished, and established a business highly satisfactory to
the firm that employed him.
Mr. Buffum has always acted with the Republicans, and has ever had the confidence of the State Committee and leading
men of the party. He married Miss Lydia Smith Ordway, daughter of William G. and Sophia Ordway, of Orono. They
have four children living, one having died in infancy, viz.: C. Frank, now President of the Blue Ridge Lumber Company,
of Dillsboro, N. C.; Fred C., of the firm of Buffum & Pendleton, merchants, at Portland, Ore.; Lydia Maria,
wife of Prof. L. H. Merrill, of the Maine State College, at Orono, Me., and Annie Gertrude, now at home.
Mr. Buffum, now seventy-three years of age, has retired to a small farm, consisting of only six acres, in the village
of Orono, where he proposes to spend the remainder of his days.