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The Oldest Couple

Before the "Boston Post Cane" promotion, Mr. Grozier announced "The Oldest Couple" contest on February 9, 1903.  Older married couples of the five New England states were asked to send in their photographs with a brief sketch including birth, marriage dates, and children.  The winners would be the husband and wife with the highest combined age.  The prize was a prepaid "Morris Chair" and a "Rocking Chair."  About 40 couples from the State of Maine entered the contest, but lost out to a couple from Orange, Vermont - Mr. & Mrs. Jonathan Tillotson, with a combined age of 188 years.
 
Captain Horace & Eliza Brackett Bodwell of Acton - with a combined age of 171 years entered the following information:
 
Horace Bodwell was born in Acton on October 4, 1816 and was the 7th son of a family of 14 children, he being the 11th child and only surviving member.  He was married to Eliza Brackett on June 4, 1837, at her fathers house by his father, the Hon. John Bodwell.  he received his education at the town schools and academics in Maine and New Hampshire, began teaching at the age of 18, continuing for the next 20 years, never using a rod or rule, being a very poplar teacher with the scholars and parents.  He received the appointment of Justice of the Peace at age 21 and continued in that office until his 80th year, when he retired from business, having a large practice in probate court.  He served as postmaster at Acton for 30 years; held almost every office in town with the gift of his townsmen and represented the district of Acton and Shapleigh in the Maine Legislature.  He is a member of the Maine Board of Agriculture from York County for six years.  He is one of the largest real estate holders in Acton.  Mrs. Bodwell was born September 17, 1817 in Acton and was a member of the Baptist Choir at the age of 10 years, commenced teaching school when 16 years, and continued in summer season until her marriage to Captain Bodwell.  She had full charge of the store and Post Office in her husband's absence.  Captain and Mrs. Bodwell have had eight children, 4 boys and 4 girls, with no break in the family until 60 years of their marriage.  They have 14 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren.  They are living in the same house in Acton for the last 61 years and both are well, hale and hearty, she doing her own housework. 
 
Captain Horace Bodwell died June 15, 1906.
Eliza Brackett Bodwell died October 9, 1906.
Both are buried in the Acton Corner Cemetery, Acton, ME
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