The broken stone of JOHN D LEAVITT, who died on 27 March 1866, at the age of 39 years. It lies in the Churchyard Cemetery in Meredith (see cemetery page).
He was the son of Nehemiah and Nancy (Howe) Leavitt [Descendants of Nehemiah Leavitt v6, pg 41], born about 1826 (age 24 in July 1850 census), and was a farmer in Meredith.
Terrible accident at Meredith
On Tuesday morning, March 13th, 1855, the residents of Meredith gathered at the new town house, to cast their votes for town moderator. Some 800 men had filled the building by 10 o'clock when the eastern end of the floor collapsed, sending 300 bodies falling through a 30 x14 ft gap some 18 feet below. The structure had been built on a hill, so the entrance way was level with the street, and was built up to extend back above the sloping hillside. A rotten center beam had been used in the new construction, causing the collapse once the building was full of voters.
Among the six reported to be fatally injured (with 75-100 others listed with having severe to slight injuries), and not expected to "survive many hours", was John Leavitt, with a leg badly broken. While the papers gave him no hope of survival, as he was "beyond hope of recovery" [Farmer's Cabinet, 22 Mar 1855], he did live on for eleven more years.
He lived on the farm formerly belonging to his father, northeast of the homestead farm of (distantly related) Dudley Leavitt and his heirs. Following the death of Nehemiah in 1850, John began purchasing the rights to the estate from his siblings.
When John, an unmarried man, died in 1866, his heirs sold off the estate to neighbor Arthur E. Leavitt [Belknap County Deeds: Vol 44, pg 155 and 156].
20-year old DANIEL WESTON LEAVITT enlisted on 15 Jan 1864 at Gray, Maine, signing up to serve three years with the newly formed 32nd Maine Infantry Regiment. He was mustered in on 23 March, a private in Company C (raised in Cumberland County). In a hurry to supply fresh troops to the southern battlefields, the unit was only at battalion strength when they shipped off at the end of April. The remaining four companies, which would include Daniel's older brother Libbeus H. Leavitt in Co. H, would join them in a month.
In a few short weeks the regiment would be engaged in the Battle of Spotsylvania, on 12 May 1864. Eleven men were killed or mortally wounded, with 29 wounded, on this day. Private Leavitt was among those wounded - the History of the 32nd Maine, on pg 139-140, lists him in the casualties, but with no further information. The 1890 Raymond, ME Veterans Schedule shows he was wounded in the right forearm.
As seen in the newspaper clipping below, Daniel was sent to the 1st Division Hospital in Alexandria. How long he was an inmate is unknown.
In just half a year, the 32nd Maine Infantry had been decimated, with only a couple hundred soldiers left fit for duty. On the 12th of Dec 1864, all survivors were consolidated with the 31st Maine, Daniel Leavitt included. He was subsequently transferred to the 5th Company, 2nd Battalion, Veteran Reserve Corps on 22 Feb 1865. He stayed in service until 21 Oct 1865, when mustered out.
He was married to Miss Loantha Frank on 29 Sept 1866, in Gray, Maine [Daily Eastern Argus, 13 Oct 1866, pg 3]. They lived in Raymond, Maine through 1890, and had five children there (all recorded in town VR). They would move to Gray, Maine prior to 1900, where they remained until their deaths.
An 1871 map of East Raymond (below) shows where Daniel "D.W.", his father Seth "S", and brother-in-law Aaron "A.T." Barrows had lived.
Daniel was a member of the George F. Shepley G.A.R. Post in Gray, at one time having served as commander [Portland Daily Press, 19 Jan 1897, pg 7].
He was the son of Seth B. and Ann (Libby) Leavitt, born about Nov 1844 [1900 census; or 24 Nov 1842, if age at death was correct] in New Gloucester, ME [as noted in Raymond, ME Town Records; his enlistment says Gray, ME as birth place]. He died from heart disease in Gray on 3 Jan 1907, aged 64 yrs, 1 mo, 10 das. He can be found in the Descendants of Nehemiah Leavitt v6, pg 80/95.
gravestones and their stories
More than just names and dates engraved on a grave stone, a look into the Leavitt families found in our cemetery photographs.