Dr. Nathan Tenney was a native of Bradford, Mass., born May 23, 1769; came first to Sedgwick when a young man, then to Blue Hill about 1815. He married Mary, daughter of Major David Carleton, of Sedgwick, Aug. 21, 1796. She was born Oct. 23, 1777; died May 9, 1820. He died June 29, 1848, aged seventy-nine years. He practiced medicine; was considered skillful and for many years was the chief doctor in the town.
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The writer well remembers him sitting as erect as a military officer upon his gray horse, jogging along the highway at a measured pace, with saddle bags across his saddle, containing a small but powerful amount of drugs and medicines, of which calomel, jalap and sour drops were component parts.
He was a grave-appearing man, though humorous and witty when occasion called tlhm forth. It is said of him, that when asked by a smith where he thought was a good place for him to locate, he replied in a laconic manner, “in his shop.” At another time, being asked how to serve cucumbers in the best manner for the table, he said: “Peel them, slice them, put them in a dish, sprinkle them with salt and pepper, add vinegar, then give them to your hogs.”
As a country doctor he was called out at all seasons and at all hours of night or day, to attend the sick. He well knew what summer heat, drenching rain, snow-storm and frost meant for one called to endure them. On one occasion it is said a daughter was lamenting because she could not have the pleasure of a sleigh ride. He said to her: “Go out to the woodshed, put your feet in a tub of ice and water and I will come and jingle the bells, and you can imagine the pleasure of a sleigh ride.”
The writer remembers when the good doctor set and splinted his broken arm, how the pain made him faint, but Dr. Tenney went on with the work without apparently the twinge of a muscle or a change of countenance. He has been dead nearly sixty years, and yet his image is before the writer as he narrates this account of him.
His children, also gone, were:
- Polly Tenney, born April 3, 1797; married Capt. Daniel Clough.
- Sophia Tenney, born May 8, 1799; died Oct. 2, 1825.
- John Tenney, born May 3, 1801; died Dec. 17, 1837.
- Rebecca Tenney, born April 26, 1804; died March 12, 1840.
- William Tenney, born Sept. 21, 1806; married Emma Hinckley; died April 17, 1839. See further.
- Jane Tenney, born March 26, 1809; died Aug. 25, 1884, aged seventy-five years.
- Nabby Tenney, born May 10, 1811; died March 17, 1816.
- Julia Ann Tenney, born June 9, 1813; married Aaron P. Emerson, of Orland.
- David Tenney, born Sept. 3, 1815; died Sept. 17, 1825.
William Tenney Family Genealogy
William, the fifth child, married Emma, daughter of Nehemiah and Edith (Wood) Hinckley, Nov. 5, 1833, by whom he had three children:
- William Paris Tenney, born Sept. 11,1834; a bachelor; resides in Boston.
- John Pearl Tenney, born Sept. 11, 1834; a widower; resides in Portland.
- Nehemiah Hinckley Tenney, born May 1838; died Feb. 1885.
William Tenney resided with his father until his death, and there his children were born. His widow and children re-sided there some time after his death; she later married Capt. Judah Chase. Jane Tenney occupied the old house until her death in the ’80’s. Mrs. Caroline Walker, widow of the writer’s half brother, William Walker, resided in the house of her grandfather. Dr. Tenney, and with her aunt, Jane, in the early ’60’s: and there the writer spent several weeks during her occupancy of a part of the house.
After the death of Jane Tenney it was occupied by different parties, and finally sold to Admiral Henderson, of the U. S. N., who changed over the house and place, or began it, but died and his widow completed the work. Mrs. Henderson made an attractive place of it. It occupies a commanding view, and is a beautiful location for a summer residence, the purpose to which it is now put.