History of Vienna - Varney

History of Vienna, Maine from A Gazetteer of State of Maine


George J. Varney

Vienna is the most north-westerly town of Kennebec County, and is marked by considerable hilliness. Gilman Mountain, which extends into the adjoining town of Rome, is the greatest elevation. Granite is the principal rock. The grazing qualities of the town are excellent, and there are several fine farms. There are two mineral springs of some note in town. Vienna is bounded on the east by Rome, on the south by Mount Vernon and Chesterville, (the latter in Franklin County), west by the same town, and north by New Sharon. In and about Vienna are numerous ponds, the largest of which, called Flying Pond, forms a portion of the south-west boundary. A portion of Parker Pond lies in the southern part of the town; Egypt Pond is on the southern border a little west of the last; at the north-west angle is McGurdy Pond; Kimball Pond midway of the northern line, and Boody and Kidder ponds succeed it on the east. A stream fronts Kimball and Boody ponds, running southward, and emptying into Flying Pond, furnishes the chief water-power in the town. On this stream, at Vienna Village, are a shingle-mill, a saw-mill for various lumber, and a grist-mill. Other manufactures of the town are boxes and measures, cooperage, carriages and sleighs, shovel-handles, etc. There is a state-route to Augusta from the village. The nearest railway connection is Maine Central station at Belgrade depot, 12 miles distant.

This township was settled about 1786, the titles being given by Jedediah Prescott of Winthrop, and Nathaniel Whittier, of Readfield, who had purchased it of Massachusetts. As a plantation it was named Goshen. Its incorporation as a town occurred in 1802. The first settlers were Joshua Howland, John Thompson, Patrick Gilbraith, Noah Prescott, and John and William Allen. Following these were Arnold Witheren, James and Robert Cofren, Johnathan Gordon, Jedediah Whittier, Gideon Wells, Elijah Bunker, Daniel Matthews, Benjamin Porter, Timothy White, Caleb Brown and Joshua Moore. The first town meeting was held in that year, -- Noah Prescott being moderator, and Daniel Morrill, clerk. The selectmen chosen were Jacob Graves, James Cofren and Joshua Moore; treasurer, Arnold Witheren; constable and collector, Thomas Lines.

Later notable citizens have been Nathaniel Graves, Oren Dowst, John Marden, John Mooers, Nathaniel Whittier, Andrew Neal, and others. The first child born in town was Briggs Howland. Vienna sent 91 soldiers into the war for the Union, of which number 14 were lost. Jesse Lee, from Virginia, was the first settled minister. There are now in town Free Baptist and Methodist societies, each of whom have a suitable church. Vienna has ten public schoolhouses valued at $1,500. The valuation of estates in 1870 was $200,015. In 1880 it was $167,316. The rate of taxation in 1880 was 23 mills on the dollar. The population in 1870 was 740. According to the census of 1880 it is now 644.



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