1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/Maine

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13989481922 Encyclopædia Britannica — MaineKenneth Charles Morton Sills

MAINE (see 17.434). The pop. of the state in 1920 was 768,014, in 1910 742,371, an increase of only 3.5%, as compared with 14.9% for the United States in the same period and 6.9% for Maine in the previous decade. There was a significant increase in urban population. The proportion living in places of 2,500 or more was 33.5% in 1900, 35.3% in 1910 and 39% in 1920. In 1910 the rural pop. was 480,123; in 1920, 468,445. The only one of the 16 counties showing a marked increase in rural pop. was Aroostook, which is one of the richest farming regions of New England.

The principal cities of the state, with their pop. of 1920 and rate of increase, were as follows:—

City 1920 1910  Increase 
per cent.

 Portland  69,272   58,571  18.3 
 Lewiston 31,791  26,247  21.1 
 Bangor 25,978  24,803  4.7 
 Biddeford  18,008  17,079  5.4 
 Auburn 16,985  15,064  12.8 
 Bath 14,731  9,396   56.8 
 Augusta 14,114  13,211  6.8 
 Waterville  13,351  11,458  16.5 

Of these cities Bath showed the largest increase, 56.8%, due to the shipbuilding activity in the World War period.

Agriculture.—According to the census of 1920 the number of farms in Maine was 48,227 as compared with 60,016 in 1910 and 59,299 in 1900. In 1920 28.4% of the land area was in farms as compared with 32.9% in 1910. There was, however, a large increase in the value of all farm property: $270,526,733 in 1920 as against $199,271,998 in 1910. A large proportion of the farmers, 94.2%, owned their farms. On Jan. 1 1920 there were 226,997 cows and heifers one year old and over as against 174,794 on April 15 1910. The receipt from sales of dairy products increased from $6,722,779 in 1909 to $15,543,524, or 131.2%, in 1919. Hay still leads other crops: 1,326,289 tons in 1919 as against 1,113,390 in 1909. Potatoes showed a decrease of 10.6% in amount but the value increased 4ll.9% from $10,224,714 in 1909 to $52,339,514 in 1919. Aroostook county has been very prosperous.

Forests and Lumber.—In 1909 an Act was passed by the Legislature creating a Maine Forestry Division, and providing for protection against forest fires therein. The area of this district is estimated at 9,500,000 acres. The forests outside the district contain about 4,500,000 acres. The average yearly cut along the Penobscot alone is more than 150,000,000 ft. b.m. Maine stands second only to New York in the manufacture of pulp and paper, and was first in the year 1916. Two great industries flourish in Maine on account of its rich possession of fine white birch—spool making and the wood novelty business. The International Paper Co. has developed Rumford Falls from a straggling village to a lively progressive town whose pop. has increased from 3,770 in 1900 to 8,576 in 1920. Millinocket, the centre of the Great Northern Paper Co., has also been made among the most progressive of new towns.

Shipbuilding and Fisheries.—The World War revived what was once a great industry in Maine, shipbuilding. Up to 1900 more than half the ocean vessels of the nation were built in Maine, but in 1916 only about 10,000 tons of merchant shipping was launched in the state. In 1917 over 40,000 tons was completed and in 1918 over 80,000 tons. The revival of the industry made Bath a boom town and also affected other coast towns, particularly Rockland, Camden, Belfast and Stockton. Maine lost the first American ship sunk by the Germans, the “William P. Frye,” built and owned by Arthur Sewell & Co., destroyed by the German cruiser “Prinz Eitel Friedrich” Jan. 28 1915. Maine in 1918 appropriated over $30,000 for the protection and development of the fishing industry. The state department maintains 11 fish hatcheries, chiefly for stocking the inland waters of the state with salmon and trout. In 1909 the Labour Bureau in a careful investigation estimated that 400,000 visitors from other states came to Maine annually to fish, hunt or spend their vacations.

Manufactures.—In 1920 there were 16 mills in the state devoted to the manufacture of cotton goods. In 1917 the total value of the product was $29,239,167. In the same year there were 58 woollen-mills employing 8,440 workers. The cotton-mills occupy the large sources of power on the main rivers, while the woollen-mills located on the smaller streams are more scattered. In the 10 years ending with 1920 there have been no unusual developments in manufacturing except for an increasing realization on the part of the people of the value of water-power, and a good deal of political and industrial agitation has arisen on that question. The organization of the state Chamber of Commerce and Agricultural League in 1919 is an important landmark in the industrial history of the state.

Administration and Finance.—Since 1910 there have been adopted 10 amendments to the state constitution. The most important of these provide for the permanent establishment of Augusta as the state capital; for the issuing of bonds for the building and maintenance of state highways; for the issuing of bonds for a state pier and for the limitation of the state debt. The bonded debt of the state increased from only $698,000 in 1909 to $6,273,000 in 1917 and to $8,902,300 on Dec. 31 1920. This increase was largely due to highway construction.

Education.—Maine has enacted much progressive legislation for education; but on account of her large area and scattered rural population the problem of giving educational advantages to all the children is one of unusual difficulty. Much progress has been made by the abandonment of the small, weak school of less than eight pupils and the centralization of schools by the transportation of the children. But transportation in the rigorous winters and over the country roads in the springtime is not easy. The state Department of Education has endeavoured by a wise system of subsidies to build up the rural schools and has provided for such teachers special inducements. Maine had (1920) 228,489 inhabitants between the ages of 5 and 21; and of these 131,313 were enrolled in the elementary schools and 23,291 in the secondary schools, high schools and academies. The state has done much to advance vocational training through legislation that gives assistance to towns for courses in manual training, domestic science and agriculture.

History.—In Jan. 1911 Frederick W. Plaisted was inaugurated governor, the first Democrat to hold that office since 1880. The same month Charles F. Johnson, of Waterville, a Democrat, was chosen U.S. senator; and in Sept. another Democrat, Obadiah Gardner, of Rockland, was appointed senator. This was the first time since the Civil War that the Democrats had held these three major offices. In Sept. 1911 the state voted on the repeal of the prohibitory amendment to the constitution; in an extraordinary vote the amendment was retained by 60,853 votes to 60,095. The surprisingly large vote for repeal was due in large measure to the disgust of the voters at the lax enforcement of the law. It is interesting to note that this large vote against prohibition in the state of Neal Dow came only a few years before the adoption of national prohibition. At the same election a law which applied the direct primary to all candidates for state and county office was passed. In the Nov. election of 1912 Woodrow Wilson won the electoral vote of Maine by reason of the split in the Republican ranks between Taft and Roosevelt. In 1916 the split was healed, and Maine has since that time run true to form as a Republican state. In 1917 the Legislature was much concerned with the question of water-power, and under the leadership of Percival P. Baxter, of Portland (afterwards governor), refused to allow the transmission of power outside of the state. In Sept. 1917 in a referendum woman suffrage was overwhelmingly defeated, 38,838 voting “No” and 20,604 voting “Yes.”

Maine took an active part in the World War, being the first in the Union in the number of volunteers in the army and navy in proportion to population, and the second state to organize a committee of public safety. Up to Dec. 31 1917 over 10,000 men had volunteered. The first drafted man to reach a Federal camp was from Princeton, Maine. Maine was throughout the struggle distinguished for the unity and whole-heartedness of her support, as in the few months after the war she was distinguished for having no radical agitation and no arrests of Reds.

In Jan. 1921 Maine had three governors, Carl E. Milliken until the inauguration of Frederic H. Parkhurst Jan. 6, who served until his sudden death on Jan. 31, when he was automatically and immediately succeeded by Percival P. Baxter, of Portland, the president of the Senate. Governors since 1911: Frederick W. Plaisted, Dem., 1911; William T. Haines, Rep., 1913; Oakley C. Curtis, Dem., 1915; Carl E. Milliken, Rep., 1917; Frederic H. Parkhurst, Rep., 1921; Percival P. Baxter (acting), Rep., 1921.

(K. C. M. S.)