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Biography of Meserve M. Getchell

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The popular postmaster of Silver City and one of the proprietors of the Idaho Hotel of that place is Mr. Getchell, who was born at Baring, Maine, January 5, 1868. His ancestors were natives of Wales, who emigrated to this country at an early day. His great-great-grandfather, Benjamin Getchell, was born February 4, 1753, married Mehitable Meserve and moved to St. Stephens, New Brunswick. He assisted in the capture of the English schooner Diligence and her armed cutter Tatmagouch July 14, 1775, being a volunteer in Captain John Preble’s company, the colonel of the company being John Allen. The great-grandfather, Joseph Getchell, and his son of the same name, fought in the Revolutionary war and were members of the volunteer crew on the sloop Unity, which, under the command of Captain Jeremiah O’Brien, captured the English armed schooner Margaretta, June 12, 1775.

The grandfather of our subject, Daniel Getchell, was born in St. Stephens, New Brunswick, January 24, 1785, and married Miss Elizabeth Grimmer, who was born May 6, 1806. He died January 10, 1876. Their son, Asher B. Getchell, the father of our subject, was born at St. James Mills, New Brunswick, September 3, 1829. When he was ten years old he removed to Baring, Maine, where he grew to manhood and married Miss Julia F. Smith, a daughter of Dr. S. M. and Mary Ellen (Nickerson) Smith and a descendant of one of the Pilgrims who came over in the Mayflower. Mr. and Mrs. Getchell are still living, as are five of their six children.

The subject of this sketch was educated in the public schools of his native town and spent his boyhood days upon a farm. For several years he followed various lines of business, being employed in a sawmill, then as a clerk in a store and also in a shoe factory at Northwood, New Hampshire. In July 1889, he took up his residence in Silver City, being engaged as a clerk in the drug store and also in the post-office under his uncle, S. T. N. Smith. When the latter purchased the Idaho Hotel, December 1, 1889, Mr. Getchell became clerk in the hotel, holding that position until assuming the duties of postmaster. Although always a stanch Republican, Mr. Getchell’s popularity with all parties was shown by his appointment as postmaster under President Cleveland and his continuance in office under President McKinley.

Under the efficient management of Mr. Getchell the post-office at Silver City now holds rank as a third-class office, and he has made various improvements and changes which add greatly to the convenience and comfort of the public. The assistant postmaster, Asher A. Getchell, is a brother of our subject, and by his accommodating and genial manners has made himself very popular. Both gentlemen have a large circle of friends and are among the most useful and progressive citizens of Silver City.

Mr. Getchell was united in marriage December 27, 1891, to Miss Ida Maud Hays, born in Silver City July 16, 1870, a daughter of Hon. C. M. Hays, district attorney and one of Idaho’s most prominent citizens, whose sketch will be found on another page. They had one child, who died September 3, 1893. Mrs. Getchell passed away August 7, 1897, deeply mourned by all who knew her. She was a woman of amiable disposition and kind heart, devoted to her husband and her home and beloved by every one. December 28, 1898, Mr. Getchell was united in marriage to Miss Mary Elizabeth Hutchinson, daughter of James Hutchinson, of Silver City.

Mr. Getchell is past noble grand of Lodge No. 5, I. O. O. F., at Silver City. He is chairman of the Republican central committee of Owyhee County, and is a leader in his party.

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