Notable Citizens of Searsport's Past
by Charlene Knox Farris
Searsport's Sam Houston (1753 - 1835)
Samuel Houston was an ancestor of the more famous Sam Houston of Texas fame and a true American hero in
his own right. Born in Londonderry, New Hampshire, he came with his father, Samuel Houston, Sr., to
build a cabin in the Moose Point area and become one of the first settlers of Searsport , then part of East
Houston enlisted in the Continental Army and was chosen by George Washington to be a
member of his elite 'Life Guard" , sworn to protect the person, personal effects and battle plans of the
general. Members of the Guard were to be, in Washington's own words, "intelligent, sober, reliable,
handsomely and well built." This gives us an idea of the man Houston was.
As part of General Washington's Life Guard until 1780, Houston saw service at the Crossing of
the Delaware, The Battles of Brandywine and Germantown, wintered at Valley Forge and fought at the
Battle of Monmouth where he distinguished himself in spy missions behind enemy lines and was
promoted to the rank of captain by GeneralWashington on the spot.
Following the Revolutionary War, Captain Samuel Houston married Sarah Boyce, of Londonderry,
and built a farm on the shore approximately one mile east of Moose Point State Park. The couple had
eleven children. Houston served as a Belfast selectman, as captain of he local militia and helped to
establish the first church and library in Belfast.
A brief biography, Searsport's Sam Houston. which tells more about Searsport's most prominent citizen to date
is for sale through theSearsport Historical Society. Proceeds from the sale of the book go to the"Searsport'Sam
Houston Room" located in the society's Coleman House on the Sears lsland Road.
Order the book
Searsport's Sam Houston
Dr. Amelia Clewley Ford ( 1875 - 1942)
Amelia Clewley Ford was born in Searsport in 1875, at the end of the " Age of Sail". Through both
sides of her family, she was related to ten of Searsport's sea captains and spent the first two years of her
life living on her father, Captain Alfred Blanchard Ford's (1842-1878),ship. Her mother, Charlotte Lucy
Butman Ford , was the daughter of Captain William Butman . Amelia had one brother, Alfred, one year
younger than she.
Tragically Amelia's father died at sea when she was two years old. Her mother brought her
children to live with their grandparents for a time, later moving into the cottage that Captain Ford had built
for them on the shore just west of the Kobb Road in Searsport. Amelia, seeing the life her mother had,
must have vowed to grow up to be able to support herself for she went on to earn her bachelors, masters
and even her doctorate degree in history. She taught at Milwaukee-Downer College for 31 years,
becoming the head of the history department there. She was a beloved teacher, known for her exacting
requirements, challenging teaching methods and enthusiastic exuberance. Her frequent talks before the
whole college were very popular and known for their happy endings.
Dr. Ford was also a writer, and had begun writing a history of the town of Searsport for the town's
centennial in retirement. A copy of the pages she had written can be found in the Penobscot Marine
Museum library. Amelia Clewley succeeded in life perhaps even beyond her own dreams. Few women of
her time earned a Ph.D. or chaired a college history department. She was a citizen the town of Searsport
can be proud of, a woman truly ahead of her time.
Amelia Ford at Milwakee-Downer