THE Stetsons of Bangor are among the oldest and most respected families of eastern
Maine. For nearly one hundred years they have been prominent in business and official affairs, doing much to shape
the events of their time, and have always been honored citizens of the community in which they have lived. The
common ancestor of the Stetson family in America was Robert Stetson, called Comet Robert because he was Cornet
of the first horse company raised in Plymouth Colony in 1659. He came from County of Kent, England, and settled
in Scituate, Mass., in 1634. He was a noted man in the colony and held many places of honor and trust. Mr. Stetson
died February 1, 1702, aged ninety years.
Simeon Stetson, grandfather of Isaiah K. Stetson, the subject of this sketch, and sixth in descent from "Cornet"
Robert Stetson, was born in that part of Braintree which is now Randolph, Mass., October 26, 1770. When a lad he
went to live with Thomas Penneman, a farmer of Washington, N. H., where he remained until he was twenty-one years
of age. in 1803 Simeon, at the suggestion of his brother Amasa, who had bought the township of land which now forms
the town of Stetson, Me., came to Maine. Amasa's land was too far away from any settlement to suit Simeon, and
he decided to settle in Hampden, then the leading town in that section. Here he kept a store, ran a saw-mill, and
built vessels which he employed in the West India trade, in all of which he was successful. His death, December
20, 1836, was the result of an accident. He was a man of "strong will, great energy, and tireless industry."
George Stetson, son of Simeon and father of Isaiah K., was born in Hampden, January 25, 1807. He was educated at
Hampden Academy, and after graduating went into the West India goods business with his brother, Reuben, in his
native town. In 1834 he moved to Bangor and engaged in general trade, the firm name being Brown & Stetson.
The next year he went into partnership with Isaiah and Cyrus Emery under the firm name of Emery, Stetson &
Co. They did a large wholesale and importing business, and were also large manufacturers and shippers of lumber.
In 1850 Mr. Emery withdrew, and the business was continued by Stetson & Co. It is believed that this firm were
the first shippers of ice from the Penobscot. In 1858 Mr. Stetson became President of the Market Bank and in 1863
of the First National Bank, which absorbed the Market Bank. Mr. Stetson was very prominent in the affairs of his
city; was in the Legislature in 18623; was principal promoter of the Central Market and Norumbega Hall, of which
corporation he was Director and afterwards President; was chairman of the Board of Commissioners to construct the
Bangor Water Works. He also was leader in the organization of the Union Insurance Co., and of the Bangor Mutual
Fire Insurance Co., and held the Presidency of both companies many years. He devoted much time to the Bangor Cemetery,
of which corporation he was President. In 1845 he married a daughter of Elijah L. Hamlin, who was the Whig candidate
for Governor in 1848 and 1849. Mr. Stetson died June 15, 1891, greatly lamented by the citizens of Bangor, where
he had lived for over half a century.
Charles Stetson, lawyer, who was a member of the Thirty-first Congress from the Bangor District and for many years
one of the leading men in eastern Maine, and Isaiah Stetson, a very prominent business man of Bangor and for four
years Mayor of the city during the Civil War, were sons of Simeon and brothers of George. Charles died March 27,
1883, and Isaiah died June 30, 1880. Like George, they were remarkable for ability, integrity, and great personal
Isaiah Kidder Stetson was born at Bangor, April 3, 1858. He received his early education in the schools of his
native city and was fitted for college at Phillips Academy, Andover. He entered Yale College in 1875 and graduated
in the class of 1879.
After graduation he entered his father's office to assist him in his large business enterprises. He remained here
about one year, and then formed a partnership with his brother, Edwaid, under the firm name of E. & I. K. Stetson.
This firm are at present very extensively engaged in cutting and shipping ice on the Penobscot River, and also
in manufacturing and shipping lumber, they having large mills in that city. Besides running their mills, they are
largely interested in other extensive lumber operations, carrying on also a ship-yard and marine railway. Their
business operations are among the largest of those engaged in the work of cutting timber and manufacturing lumber
on the Penobscot, which for years has been the headquarters of the great lumber industry of Maine, and their reputation
for integrity and business ability is first-class, both at home and abroad. If they succeed in maintaining the
record made by their worthy ancestors, as they now seem in a fair way of doing, they will surely win fame, fortune,
and the highest regard of their fellow-men.
Mr. Stetson is a Director of the First National Bank of Bangor, a Director in the Union Insurance Co., Treasurer
of Hampden Academy, and Treasurer of the Aroostook Construction Co., which is now building the Bangor & Aroostook
Railroad. In August, 1892, he was elected President of the Republican Club of Bangor, and in January, 1893, he
was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel and Aide-de-Camp on Governor Cleaves' staff.
On November 30, 1882, he married Clara C. Sawyer. They have three children, Ruth Wolcott, Irving Gay, and Roger