Teaching was a career path for three sons of deacon Josiah T. Stetson

Teaching was a career path for three sons of deacon Josiah T. Stetson

Here are excerpts from a biographical sketch of Deacon Josiah T. Stetson published in 1897 in Biographical Review—Leading Citizens of Oxford and Franklin Counties, Maine.

Deacon Josiah T. Stetson is one of the old residents of Sumner, Oxford County, Me., his present home having sheltered him for three-quarters of a century.

Josiah, the third and youngest born son of Captain Hezekiah Stetson, was reared and educated in his native town. Having become accustomed to farm work in early boyhood, he has continuously followed the pursuit of agriculture.

He was married May 18, 1845 to Cynthia A. Cobb. She was a member of the Congregational church at East Sumner, of which her husband has been a Deacon for many years.

The Stetson children attended the public schools of the town with an occasional term at the High School at Buckfield or at Hebron Academy; and all but Ezra, who early developed a taste for manufacturing, taught school.

Walter and Herbert took the course at the State Normal School at Farmington, Me.

J. Walter Stetson taught in the schools of Maine and New Hampshire for about twenty years, and was Principal of the Ash Street Grammar School at Manchester when called to his present position [as a banker].

Ezra Stetson, the second son, went to South Weymouth, Mass., to work in the shoe business….He is now engaged in business for himself as senior partner of the firm of E.H. Stetson & Co., shoe manufacturers.

After graduation Herbert E. Stetson taught for a time in Maine, then accepted the Principalship of Earlville, Ia., High School. He later engaged for some years in mercantile business, but at the urgent solicitation of school officials has resumed teaching.

Charles H. Stetson was graduated at Bowdoin College in 1883. He subsequently taught in the Lewiston High School…. He has since had charge of high schools in Nashville, Tenn., and Ironton, Ohio.

Politically, Deacon Stetson is a stanch Republican….He served for six or eight years as the Town Clerk of Sumner. A friend of education and social progress, he is a member of Union Grange, No. 80, Patrons of Husbandry at East Sumner.

From this we see that the Stetson family was civic-minded and highly valued education. Three of the brothers pursued careers in teaching, and two of them followed their careers to distant locations in the U.S.

Both Herbert and Walter later left the teaching profession for business careers, possibly seeking higher pay to support their large families. 

Ezra's shoe company was very successful. More on that in a future post.