IT has been said by some sage that necessity is often the firm foundation of fortune.
However difficult it may be sometimes to comprehend this rugged remark, it would seem that the early life of Seth
L. Milliken is a most excellent example of what poverty, when coupled with courage, perseverance, and a determination
to win, will do for a boy in the way of helping him to achieve success. His paternal ancestors came from Scotland.
Their coat of arms is found in Burkeís Peerage, and the old seat of the Millikens is at Renfrewshire, Scotland.
It consists of a stately stone structure, surrounded by ornamental grounds. It was occupied by Sir Hugh Milliken,
from whom Seth L. Milliken descended, and whose ancestor was knighted for his military skill and bravery. His maternal
ancestors were the Counts of Perigueux, later Perrigaux, in France, and their burying-place is an elaborate tomb
in white marble with done columns and an imposing monument in the cemetery of Pere La Chaise. They occupied the
ampitheatre at Perigueux, in Perigaud, France, as their chateau from the eleventh to the thirteenth centuries.
Seth was born at Montville, Maine, in 1837. The father, William Milliken, who was the son of John Milliken of Scarboro
who entered the Revolutionary army when he was but sixteen years of age, serving through the war, went to Texas,
when Seth was but a child, to build a lot of houses. After having his houses burned and coming near losing his
scalp by Comanche Indians, the father returned to Maine somewhat reduced, it is presumed, in his financial resources.
At the age of fourteen, Seth left home to make his own living. An education was what be most desired and which
he obtained without aid from any one, except three dollars given him by his grandmother out of her Revolutionary
pension, when he was walking forty miles to school because he could not afford to pay stage fare. He graduated
from Union College, New York, in 1856, and was elected six weeks thereafter a member of the Maine House of Representatives
from Camden and was returned the following year, serving during the years 1857 and
He was then elected clerk of the Supreme Court for the County of Waldo and admitted to the Bar. During the time
Mr. Milliken was clerk of the Court and previous to his entering Congress, he traveled nearly thirty thousand miles,
while speaking for the Republican party, in New York, Ohio, and other states. In the State and National campaigns
he was in constant demand, and he gained a national reputation as a popular speaker even before he entered Congress.
In 1876 Mr. Milliken was a delegate to the National Republican Convention at Cincinnati, and an elector of President
the same year; he was also a delegate to the National Republican Convention at Chicago in 1884. He was elected
to the Forty-eighth, Forty-ninth, Fiftieth, Fifty-first, Fifty.second, and Fifty-third Congresses.
Mr. Millikenís career in Congress is familiar to all, his reputation being as broad as the nation itself. As a
public speaker and debater he has few equals, being concise, forcible, and eloquent, to which is added elegant
manners and a fine presence, while in his legislative work he is attentive and painstaking, always looking out
for the interests of his own constituents. That they appreciate his work is shown by his repeated elections. He
was for a long time chairman of the Committee on Public Buildings and Grounds, and successfully carried through
Congress, often amid great opposition, appropriations for some of our largest and finest public structures.
Mr. Milliken has two children, a daughter, Maud, who is now a young lady and a son, Seth M., eighteen years old
who is a cadet at the West Point Military Academy. He has been a resident of Belfast for more than thirty years.