History of William Fogg

(There is a bronze plaque in a rock on the front lawn of William Fogg’s house, which is now at #120 Old Road in Eliot).  The plaque reads as follows:

“The Home of Wm. Fogg, Historian and Genealogist Born Dec. 5, 1790 and died Sept. 13, 1859.”

William Fogg began work on building this home in 1819.  It was not finished until a few year later. During his younger years, the schooling was not the best and William did not get a good education up to the time he was 11 years old.  His father, John Fogg, realized this and gave the town a piece of land to build a school in the #5 district suitable for the number of children in the area. Plans were made and the school was built on the left side of the property by the home of Mr. John Fogg.  It was finished in the spring of 1804.

William finally got his education.  He attended #5 school, other finishing schools, finished college and became a successful school teacher.  He was also one of the founders of the “Eliot Academy”.

He became a town clerk, selectman, representative of the town and was sent to the State Legislature.  At one time, he was a senator. He was also Eliot Postmaster for 30 years, from 1817 to 1847, which he operated from his home that is today #120 Old Road.

His historical accomplishments of Kittery and the genealogy work of Kittery families was said to be more work than anyone had ever accomplished.

He was a member of the “Eliot Social Library” which was a private library started by Gen. Andrew Pepperell Fernald.  This library was later transferred to Eliot in the home of Wm. Fogg and he was voted as librarian by the Society in 1817.  Sometime around 1830/35, the library closed down.

Among other things, he was a member of the Eliot Congregational Church and became a member of the “Eliot Anti-slavery Society” in 1844.

On June 16, 1821, he married Betsy Deed Hill.  They had four children. This was the 7th generation of the Fogg family in America.  One of his children, John Samuel Hill Fogg, went to #5 school, the Eliot Academy, Berwick Academy and college.  He became a medical doctor, but never did practice in Eliot. He was a fine genealogist like his father, a collector of famous people’s signatures as well as historical papers and documents.

Upon the death of William Fogg, father of John H. Fogg, John submitted a plan to the town of Eliot to build a public library in his honor.  This was accomplished and the library was dedicated May 21, 1907 and named the “William Fogg Library”. The library was designed by C. Howard Walker, a Boston, Massachusetts architect.