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Daniel J. Sawyer (1824-1909) | Maine Maritime Museum Manuscript Collection Online Catalog

Name: Daniel J. Sawyer (1824-1909)

Historical Note:

Daniel James Sawyer was born on April 2, 1824 to Daniel Jordan Sawyer (1791-1879) and Mary A. Bagley Sawyer (1801-1861) in Jonesport, Maine. He married Emeline B. Glover (1836-1902) on June 5, 1858 in Jonesport. She was the daughter of Willard Daniel Glover (1796-1865) and Emeline Packard Glover (1810-1898). They had no biological children.2, 3 The Sawyers adopted William Franklin (1861-1868) in 1864. William was born to William Dobbins II (1827-1860) and Sarah Kent (1832-after 1900). He was named William Franklin Dobbins at birth, but after the adoption by the Sawyers he was renamed William Franklin Sawyer. Daniel J. and Emeline Sawyer also took in David Dodge Grover (1868-1943) and raised him as their son. He became known as David Dodge Grover Sawyer.8

            Daniel J. Sawyer was educated in Jonesport schools. He assisted his father in boat building and farming in his earlier years. He later became an active merchant and boat builder and then started a business of shipbuilding in Jonesport. In 1874, Daniel J. Sawyer went into partnership with his brother, Edward M. Sawyer. They continued shipbuilding in connection with a large retail mercantile business under the firm name D. J. and E. M. Sawyer. This firm became greatly successful. Their shipyard at Jonesport was active for 16 years “owning and controlling at one time forty-three wooden vessels.”Some vessels built, owned or managed by D. J. Sawyer included the A. J. Dyer (Schooner), Ada Barker (Three-mast schooner), Carrie C. Ware (Three-mast schooner), Clara E. Rogers (Schooner), Drisko (Three-mast schooner), E. M. Sawyer (Schooner),  Florence P. Hall (Schooner), Ida May (Schooner), John S. Case (Three-mast (Schooner), Nillsson (Schooner) and Peiro (Schooner). One of his schooners, the Emeline G. Sawyer, was named after his wife. The cargos of D. J. Sawyer’s schooners sometimes included merchandise for his general store.6  In 1890, the brothers launched their last schooner, D. J. Sawyer (named for Daniel J. Sawyer), as the demand for wooden vessels declined.4

                    Daniel J. Sawyer and Edward M. Sawyer built the Sawyer Building in 1896 located at Sawyer’s Square in Jonesport for $2485. This building replaced their original store and served as a ship’s chandlery, general store and U. S. Custom House/Office.1 Edward B. Sawyer (nephew) was one of the Deputy Collectors of Customs at the location.5

            Daniel J. Sawyer was a significant figure in the growth of Jonesport and general welfare of the town. Sawyer served as a town and municipal officer for Jonesport. He was affiliated with the Republican Party from its birth and was one of the founders in Maine. He was elected in 1871, 1872, 1899 and 1900 as a Maine State Senator.4, 7  Daniel J. Sawyer died in Calais, Maine, on June 10, 1909 of heart failure and is buried at Greenwood Cemetery in Jonesport. Emeline died on July 1, 1902 due to an accidental burning. She is buried in Greenwood Cemetery as well.2, 3

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