Seldom Dunton

Entering the field of education was Jesse Wentworth Payson, son of Asa and grandson of early Hope settler Ephraim Payson. Of the same family, Noyes Payson Hawes of Union, grandson of Samuel Payson, and two Dunton boys, Alvin and Seldom, all went off to Boston to seek their fortunes. Where they got their further education is not known, but all became quite famous in educational circles. Perhaps we should not underestimate the value of the basic education these boys received in the one room schoolhouse in Hope where teachers like Dr. Moses Dakin, well educated himself, instilled a desire for learning in their young minds.

Seldom and Alvin Dunton, brothers to Abner, Jr. and sons of Chloe Robbins and Abner Dunton, became famous writing masters and authors of Payson, Dunton and Scribner's Combined System of Rapid Penmanship, also published and advertised by Crosby, Nichols and Company, 117 Washington St., Boston, Mass. in 1845. This was described as a "National Series of Copy Books, extensively used in every State of the Union. This series of books is comprised of eleven parts, with copies at the head of each page in a most beautiful style, exactly resembling a copy set by the authors with a pen. A Chirographic chart accompanies the system, rendering it one of the most perfect, complete, methodical systems of Penmanship ever published." Seldom Dunton owned a bookstore in Boston for many years and in later life returned to the area to operate a farm in Union using some of the most up-to-date methods of the times. He was noted for the beautiful animals he exhibited at the fairs. He never married and died in 1890 at age 81 and is buried in Hope Grove Cemetery.

(From History of Hope Maine by Anna Simpson Hardy Pages 94&95)


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