Person:Lydia Wardwell (3)

Lydia Wardwell
b.11 JAN 1812 Saco, York, ME
m. 15 DEC 1804
  1. Simon Wardwell1805 - 1902
  2. Eliza Ann Wardwell1807 - BET 1892 AND 1902
  3. John Smith Wardwell1809 - 1884
  4. Lydia Wardwell1812 - BEF 1892
  5. Albert Wardwell1812 - 1859
  6. Sarah Jane Wardwell1813 - 1881
  7. George Henry Wardwell1816 - 1834
  8. Gideon Church Wardwell1818 - 1893
m. 5 OCT 1844
  1. Arthur Wardwell Clapp1845 -
Facts and Events
Name Lydia Wardwell
Gender Female
Birth[1] 11 JAN 1812 Saco, York, ME
Marriage 5 OCT 1844 Dorchester, Suffolk, MAto James Harris Clapp
Death[2] BEF 1892 Dorchester, Suffolk, MA
Burial? South Church Cemetery, Andover, MA

" In 1877 a charitable group of ladies began to talk earnestly about building a home" for the indigent and homeless women of Biddeford and Saco, Maine." The next year they incorporated the Biddeford and Saco Old Ladies Home and raised the first funds for the project by holding a Fourth of July lawn party, complete with bands, gypsy tents, and Chinese lanterns. During the next dozen years, Mrs . Eliphalet Nott, Mrs Susan Goodale, and many other public minded women struggled to give embodiment to the idea. Ofttimes in the face of ridicule they put on fairs, operettas, and concerts to earn money. By giving each parish a place of the board of managers, they enlisted the aid of church people. One anonymous spindle-teacher donated her life's savings, $300, to the organization. Although the officers sometimes became discouraged, large bequests from Cornelius Sweeter and brush maker, William Neal, heartened them. Finally, in 1886, Lydia Clapp of Dorchester, Massachusetts, left a trust fund and a Middle Street lot in memory of her father, Eliakim Wardwell. The group acted quickly to erect a building and changed the name to Wardwell Home. John Locke, ever willing to further humanitarian causes, drew the plans for the structure with the assistance of a Portland architect. Two well-known citizens contributed $500 each, and York Manufacturing Company gave $150 at the last minute. Work on the three stories brick structure began in June, 1899. Two months before the dedication, the society held a gala bazaar in the unfurnished home to raise additional money. The memorable event featured food sales, concerts, a variety of chance games, and an art gallery of oil portraits collected from the best homes of the two cities. During the week-long affair,thousands turned out to see the new edifice and add $1700 to the funds. On May 13, 1890, The Wardwell House opened amid speeches and prayers and the planting of an historical capsule under the foundation. Any woman over sixty, once admitted by the board of managers, could reside there for the rest of her life if she paid the $100 entrance fee and signed over her property to the institution. The townsfolk continued to help the home long after the dedication. Prominent men and women served as officers,while residents from every class thronged to the anual pound parties, bringing gifts ranging from sheets and dishes to apple pies and bananas. These social occasions became an institution in themselves and the Wardwell Home rapidly became a monument to the ingenuity and faith of a group of women, who had an ideal and wouldn't give up until they saw it realized." At the present time THE WARDWELL is a senior Citizen apartment complex maintaining the philosophy of serving the older members of the community with dignity. " -This article was taken from the Courier Spring Business review, February 24, 1994, page 13.

  1. First book of records of the town of Pepperellborough, now the city of Saco Portland, Me.: Thurston Print, 1896,.
  2. William Wardwell of Andover With an Informal Collection of His Descendants through the 8th Generation, Majorie Wardwell Otten 2002.