JUSTIN M. LEAVITT was 17 years, 8 months and 12 days old when he enlisted in his hometown of Buxton, Maine on Dec. 19th, 1863. On his enlistment paper, he wrote "about eighteen years" for his age, and his father Alvah signed the consent form to allow his only son to join the army. From there, he was sent to Portland, Maine, where he would be mustered in for three years with the First Maine Heavy Artillery Regiment.
Originally the 18th Maine Infantry, the regiment had converted over to an artillery unit, and was in the process of recruiting more men to fill their ranks. The soldiers were then shipped to Washington, DC, where they would be trained in both artillery and infantry instruction, and serve in the defense of the capital, until otherwise needed.
The need for these troops came in the spring of 1864, when Gen. Grant began his Overland Campaign in Virginia, and sent the Army of the Potomac to Spotsylvania Court House. On May 19th, the 1st ME Heavy Art., along with four other artillery regiments converted to infantry, entered the fight at the Harris Farm.
Justin would be one of over 500 men in the regiment who fell that day, the majority of them wounded. He received a gunshot wound in his left leg that fractured his tibia. Caught under fire in the field, he had to wait until after dusk for help to reach him and get him to an aid station. They concluded that his leg would need to be amputated, and he was shipped with others to Lincoln Hospital in Washington, DC, a three day trip. Despite the pain, he continually begged for surgeons not to take his leg, and they eventually complied with his plea.
He spent four months in the DC hospital before being sent back to Maine, where his care continued, until discharged from service on the 4th of Apr, 1865.
Upon returning home to Buxton, he entered the Gorham Seminary school, and would also teach school during the months not in class. In 1871, he was appointed mail agent on the Portland & Rochester Railroad, which was later expanded to reach Nashua, NH and Worcester, MA. He was transferred to the Boston & Troy mail line (Hoosac Tunnel route) in Jan. 1878, and was promoted to head clerk.
In August of 1882, he ran for the office of Registrar of Deeds in York County and won the position. He resigned from his railroad job to accept this new line of work on the 1st of Jan., 1883. He held the job for twenty years.
Prior to 1890, he and wife Ella had moved from Buxton to Alfred, Maine and, before 1909, were residing in Kennebunkport. Justin was the owner of the "Stone Haven" summer hotel at Cape Porpoise (it burned in 1931, a couple of weeks before his death), and several islands (Milk, Savin, Bush, and part of Folly) offshore.
In 1902, the governor appointed him state liquor commissioner, a job he held until 1911. He was director of the Fidelity Trust Co. in Portland, and had served as commissioner of the Kennebunk and Wells Water District for twelve years.
He was a member of the Knights Templar and was a 32nd degree Mason, having been a member for over 60 years. He was also a member of the John H. Came G.A.R. Post in Buxton, Society of the Army of the Potomac, and the Third Army Corps Union.
He was the son of Alvah and Margaret McArthur (Libby) Leavitt, and had been born in Limington on 7 Apr 1846, moving to Buxton when seven years old. His ancestry can be found in The Descendants of Thomas Leavitt, pg 102.
First Maine Heavy Artillery Monthly Return: May 1864 (Family Search)
Biddeford Daily Journal, Fri., 1 May 1931, pg 1
Biddeford Weekly Journal, Fri., 17 Jan 1908, pg 7
Men of progress; biographical sketches and portraits of leaders in business and professional life in and of the state of Maine, pg 247 (Internet Archive)
Sanford Tribune and Advocate, Thurs, 7 May 1931, pg 1
The First Maine Heavy Artillery, by Shaw and House (1903): Leavitt on pg 358; 445
Promoted to Lieut. Colonel in April 1963, CHARLES SCOTT LEAVITT had been serving in the US Army since April 1942, working in the Army Transportation and logistics field. The US Dep't of Veteran Affairs lists his service time as "4/12/1942 to 9/30/1970".
He was the son of Charles Seth and Hattie F (Guptill) Leavitt, born 30 Oct 1917 in Ontario, Oregon. He died on 22 Mar 1999 in Boise, Idaho, and is buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Ontario, OR. His wife was Catherine Phillips, who he married in 1960. His line, Charles Scott (Charles Seth, Seth E.A., David) looks to be that of David Leavitt (Seth, Joshua, John, Joshua, Josiah, John), who is found in the "Descendants of Josiah Leavitt" genealogy, pg 66. This book, and its two updates, does not have anything researched for David (1814-1862) and progeny.
-- Steve Dow (photo from personal collection)
Find a Grave entry for: Charles Scott Leavitt
FRANK SIMMONS LEAVITT, who would become the professional wrestler and movie actor "Man Mountain Dean", was born in Manhattan, New York on 30 June 1891, the son of John M and Henrietta (Decker) Leavitt. In 1911, at age 19, he joined the U.S. Army, and served for three terms, being honorably discharged in 1920. The above photo was taken while he was serving overseas (between 10/20/1918 and 5/5/1919). He was engaged in wrestling while in Europe, and "Soldier Leavitt" became the heavyweight champion of the US Army. Upon returning home and leaving the military, he continued with his wrestling profession, retiring in 1940. He would also take up movie acting in the 1930's, playing himself in many of the films.
Following his retirement, he moved to Norcross, Georgia, where he died on 29 May 1953. He was buried in the Marietta National Cemetery, Georgia.
-- Steve Dow (from personal collection, purchased in 2017)
Internet Move Database: Film credits for Man Mountain Dean
This is a photo of CHARLES W LEAVITT, one of many post-war pictures collected by the author of the "History of the Sixteenth Regiment, New Hampshire Volunteers", for use in the book, published in 1897. Charles had served as a private in Company K, enlisting from Portsmouth, NH on 18 Sept 1862, and mustered in on 25 Oct '62, to serve nine months. He was mustered out on 20 Aug 1863.
Born ca 1836 in Portland, Maine [Descriptive roll] to Daniel C and Martha W (Morton) Leavitt, he was married to MARY ANN RILEY of Quebec, on 6 Nov 1857 in Portsmouth, NH [NH Marr Rec]. They seem to have divorced (no record yet found of this), as they both remarried. Charles was secondly married to ANNIE M KEENAN, on 2 Oct 1866 in Exeter, NH [NH Marr Rec], and lived in OshKosh, Wisconsin (where his parents had moved), New York City and Chicago, Illinois. He was a widower by 1900, and was soon after admitted to the National Home of Disabled Soldiers. He died in Montgomery, Ohio on 9 July 1915, and was buried in the Dayton National Cemetery.
Charles appears to have only had two children, both with first wife Mary. In the North Cemetery in Portsmouth, NH stands a shared stone for these youngsters, both of them dying while young. LIZZIE A LEAVITT died on 15 Nov 1859, AE 15 mos, 10 das, and CHARLIE LEAVITT died on 24 July 1860.
- written by Steve (photos from personal collection). Note: Charles' ex-wife Mary (Riley) would remarry in 1866, to JOHN T H DOW. They are my 2nd Great Grandparents.
- Townsend, Luther Tracy. History of the Sixteenth Regiment, New Hampshire Volunteers. Washington, DC: Norman T Elliott, 1897 (Page 556 is Leavitt bio)
- Find a Grave entry for: Charles W Leavitt at the Dayton Nat'l Cem
- Noyes, Emily Leavitt. LEAVITT Descendants of Thomas Leavitt, the Immigrant 1616-1696, and Isabella Bland. Concord, NH: Evans Printing Co. c1953. Charles can be found on page 91, under father Daniel (Robert, Jonathan, Jonathan, Thomas, Aretas, Thomas)
A Leavitt Photo archive
Photographs of our Leavitt cousins, and brief write-ups about them