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Joseph Robinson Bodwell was Born

Today in Masonic History Joseph Robinson Bodwell was born in 1818.

Joseph Robinson Bodwell was an American politician.

Bodwell was born on June 18th, 1818 in Methuen, Massachusetts. His family was poor and at the age of eight was sent to live with his brother-in-law. There he worked as a farmhand and learned to become a shoemaker. During the day he attended school and at night he had to earn money to support himself.

In 1838, Bodwell bought a farm with his father. The two men worked the farm for the next decade together. At the same time the younger Bodwell took a job working on a project to improve the Merrimack River at Lawrence, Massachusetts. Because of the nature of the project a large amount of stone was needed. This led to Bodwell getting a job hauling stone from Pelham, New Hampshire. From his work at the quarries, Bodwell learned the stone cutting business.

In 1852, Bodwell opened a quarry in Penobscot Bay. In 1870 he organized the Bodwell and Hallowell granite company. With those two companies he became one of the largest granite producers in the United States.

In 1869, Bodwell was elected the mayor of Hallowell. He also served in the state legislature twice. In 1886, he was nominated by the Republican Party for Governor. He easily won the office in the General election and began his on January 5th, 1887. During his time in office he focused on child welfare and the improvement of labor conditions.

Bodwell passed away in office before serving a full year on December 15th, 1887.

Bodwell was a member of Rockland Lodge No. 79 in Rockland, Maine.

This article provided by Brother Eric C. Steele.