Thursday, November 14, 2019

Marlboro Packard Woodcock (1823-1911)

Portrait from the Boston Globe, June 30, 1907.

  Lifelong Maine native Marlboro Packard Woodcock could count success in multiple fields during a life that extended nearly nine decades. A shipbuilder, bookseller, collector of customs, school agent and town overseer of the poor, Woodcock was elected to one term as mayor of Belfast, Maine, an office that rightly earns him a place here. One of several children born to Theodore and Rebecca (Packard) Woodcock, Marlboro Packard Woodcock was born in Searsmont, Maine on September 11, 1823.
  Woodcock's early life in Searsmont saw him as a student in the public schools, as well as at the Kent's Hill Seminary. He would reside and work upon his family's farm until his early twenties, and also taught school during the winter months in the towns of Washington, Union, and Belfast. By the late 1840s, Woodcock had joined his brother Hartwell in learning the trade of ship-carpentry, work that would take him to Coventry, Kentucky, as well as the Maine towns of Brewer, Thomaston, and Waldoboro. 
  In 1851 Woodcock married Searsmont native Lucy A. Howard (1828-1907), to whom he was wed for over five decades. The couple would have at least three children, Hartwell Leon (1852-1929), Frank Ross, and Gertrude M. (1870-1882). Of these children, Hartwell Leon Woodcock is of particular note, as he would gain distinction as an artist that specialized in landscapes and seascapes.
  Following his marriage, Woodcock resided in Belfast where he continued in shipbuilding, being remarked as having "made the moulds for the greater part of the vessels he built." He would become active in city politics and would hold several local offices, including overseer of the poor, town school agent, and from 1867-71 was deputy collector of customs for Belfast. In the 1870s Woodcock served three years on the Belfast board of aldermen, and in 1881 was elected as mayor of Belfast for a one year term. Woodcock's term saw "printed reports of the condition of the municipal affairs" of Belfast published for the first time in local papers, and in 1882 he declined renomination, citing his wanting to return to "private business".
 A decade prior to his election as mayor, Woodcock had purchased the H.G.O. Washburne bookstore in Belfast, a business that also sold wallpaper, stationery and newspapers. This business later underwent a name change to M.P. Woodcock & Son, with Woodcock being joined by his son, Frank Ross. Marlboro P. Woodcock continued with his business operations until his death at age 87 on February 1, 1911, having been ill at his home for several weeks prior. Widowed in 1907, Woodcock was interred alongside his wife Lucy at the Grove Cemetery in Belfast

From the Rockland Courier-Gazette, February 7, 1911.

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