EDWARD W. STAPLES, one of the best-known citizens of Biddeford, Me., was born
August 21, 1836. He is the son of Joseph Staples. His father was a successful and enterprising farmer, a man of
sterling qualities and sound business principles. He held many offices of trust and represented his district in
the Maine Legislature at Augusta. The old Staples farm, where Edward W. Staples was born and passed his early youth,
has been in the possession of the Staples family for five generations, passing from father to son, until now the
subject of this sketch is the owner, being the fifth direct descendant. The farm, lying on the banks of the Saco
River and extending back many acres, is about three miles from the city of Biddeford. Benjamin Staples, the paternal
ancestor of the family, first owned the farm and was one of the pioneers of Biddeford, coming from England in the
early infancy of the town.
Mr. Edward W. Staples' boyhood days were spent on his father's farm, attending the district school until sufficiently
advanced to enter the public schools of Biddeford. After finishing the course of study in the public schools, he
attended Bethel Academy, at Bethel, Me. Having completed the various branches of study at the academy, he entered
the employment of William H. Fields, a clothing merchant, in the year 1855.
After four years spent in learning the business, he commenced his mercantile career, in 1859, by opening a clothing
store of his own at 100 Main Street, where he successfully engaged in business until January, 1887, when he was
elected to the position of Treasurer in the Biddeford Savings Bank. of which institution he had long been a Director.
He early showed a business talent and fondness for finance, and consequently he was well equipped for this position
as Treasurer. The Biddeford Savings Bank is known and recognized throughout the city and surrounding towns as one
of the strongest and most reliable banks in the State.
Mr. Staples brought to the bank the same untiring zeal and devotion which always characterized his mercantile career.
He is always ambitious to have whatever he has in charge show signs of continual progress and improvement.
Although thoroughly interested in politics and loyal to his party, he never in any way sought to be foremost or
to secure a political office. Whatever distinction has come to him has been secured to him by the recognition of
his capabilities by his party, who have unanimously kept him in office for so long a time. He was elected to serve
in the Council and also as Alderman. He was sent to Chicago, in 1884, as a Delegate from his district to the Democratic
He was elected Mayor of the city in 1883, which office he held for three consecutive years. in 1890 he was again
induced, by his party, to accept the nomination for Mayor and was elected, and has been re-elected every year since,
until now he is serving his seventh term as Chief Magistrate. During his Mayorality he has projected and carried
out the measure for paving the streets, which before this had been entirely neglected.
Mr. Staples has, on several occasions, been appointed to settle estates, a task which involves so much discrimination
and good judgment, but in each case his tact and good financial ability have enabled him to give perfect satisfaction.
He has the management of much valuable real estate in the city.
Mr. Staples was married, in 1859, to Clara M. Frisbie, a former school-mate, the youngest daughter of Col. Austin
S. Frisbie, of Bridgton, Me. The Frisbie homestead, comprising many acres and beautifully situated, is owned by
Mr. Staples, and is occupied for a few months each year as a summer residence. Eight children have been born to
Mr. and Mrs Staples, seven of whom are living. The eldest son is employed as an assistant in the bank with his
Mr. Staples has, for thirty years, been a member of the Second Congregational Church. He has occupied various church
offices, always gives generously to the church, and is identified with all charitable objects. Mr. Staples has
always been interested in his native place, -- anxious for its growth and improvement. He enjoys the esteem of
everybody, and his position and reputation have been earned by his own efforts. Energy and untiring devotion have
made him successful in his business and official career.