Moses Greenleaf Monument

GREENLEAF, Moses, author, born in Newbury-port, Massachusetts, in 1778; died in Williamsburg, Maine, 20 March, 1834. Edward, his ancestor, settled in Newburyport in 1635, and Moses, his father, was a captain in the Revolutionary army.

He published "Statistical View of the District of Maine" (Boston, 1816), and "Survey of the State of Maine," with a map, the best made up to that time (Portland, 1829).

His brother, Jonathan, clergyman, born in Newburyport, Massachusetts, 4 September, 1785 ; died in Brooklyn, New York, 24 April, 1865, was licensed to preach in 1814, and was pastor at Wells, Maine, in 1815-'28. He then took charge of the Mariner's Church, Boston, removed to New York in 1833, and edited the "Sailor's Magazine." He was also secretary of the Seamen's friend society, first in Boston and then in New York, till 1841. He organized the Walla-bout Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn in 1843, and was its pastor till his death. Bowdoin gave him the degree of M. A, in 1824, and Princeton that of D. D, in 1863. Dr. Greenleaf published "Sketches of the Ecclesiastical History of Maine" (Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 1821); "History of New York Churches" (New York, 1.846) ; and "Genealogy of the Greenleaf Family" (1854).

Another brother, Simon, jurist, born in Newburyport, 5 December 1783; died in Cambridge, Massachusetts, 6 October, 1853, removed with his father to Maine when a child, and in 1801 began the study of law in New Gloucester, Maine, with Ezekiel Whitman, afterward chief justice of the state. In 1806 he began practice in Standish, but in the same year removed to Gray, where by diligent study he laid the foundation of his subsequent legal learning. He went to Portland in 1818, and in 1820, after the admission of Maine to the Union, and the establishment of a Supreme Court, he became its reporter, holding the office till 1832, when he had reached the foremost rank in the Maine bar. He was appointed royal professor of law in the Harvard law-school in 1833, and in 1846, on the death of Judge Story, was transferred to the Dane professorship. On his resignation in 1848 he was made professor emeritus. During his connection with the law-school he had the direction of its internal affairs, and for many months of each year, during Judge Story's absence in Washington, the entire management and work of instruction devolved on him. Professor Greenleaf was for many years president of the Massachusetts Bible society. Harvard gave him the degree of LL.D., in 1834. The clearness of his style and the correctness of his principles have placed him in the front rank of legal authors. His works are " Origin and Principles of Freemasonry" (Portland, 1820); " Full Collection of Cases, Overruled, Denied, Doubted, or Limited in their Application" (1821 ; 3d ed., by E. Hammond, New York, 1840, afterward expanded to 3 vols.); " Reports of Cases in the Supreme Court of Maine, 1820-'31 " (9 vols., Hallowell and Portland, 1822-'35 ; digest, Portland, 1835; revised ed., 8 vols., Boston, 1852) ; "Treatise on the Law of Evidence," his greatest work (3 vols., 1842-'53; 14th ed., with large additions by Simon Greenleaf Croswell, 1883); " Examination of the Testimony of the Four Evangelists, by the Rules of Evidence administered in Courts of Justice, with an Account of the Trial of Jesus" (1846; London, 1847) ; and an enlarged edition of William Cruise's " Digest of the Laws of England respecting Real Property," adapted to American practice (3 vols., 1849-'50). He also published his inaugural discourse on entering upon his professorship (Boston, 1834), and one on the life and character of Joseph Story (1845.)

Above Information from: Edited Appletons Encyclopedia, Copyright © 2001 Virtualology™


On December 19th, 1822, Master Masons met at Sebec Village to discuss the advisability of establishing a Lodge of Free Masons in that vicinity. Other meetings followed and on October 28, 1823, Piscataquis Lodge No. 44, A. F. & A. M. received its charter from the Grand Lodge of Maine, the first Lodge of Free Masons in Piscataquis County.

At the first election held March 11, 1823, Moses Greenleaf was Worshipful Master.

From 1823 to 1855 Piscataquis Lodge was at Sebec Village, but in 1855 so many of its members resided in Milo, the Grand Lodge gave permission for the removal of the lodge to Milo. The first meeting in Milo was held in what was then called "Temperance Hall"; but later in 1855 they met at a hall on Riverside Street owned by Russell Kittredge.

The Lodge purchased this hall in 1863, but sold it later for $300.00. In 1879 the Lodge met for the first time in their new hall, the second story of Chase's Hall. Here they held their meetings until June 1, 1906. In 1906, they bought part of the second and all of the third story of the Bank Block, holding its first meeting in its new hall July 11, 1906. The Lodge has since purchased the rest of the Bank Block and it is now called the Masonic Block.

The erecting and dedication of a monument at Williamsburg, Maine, in honor of Moses Greenleaf, the first master of Piscataquis Lodge, was the outstanding event of 1947.


According to local lore, Moses Greenleaf is not buried under his headstone, which resides in the Village Cemetery in Brownville. Rather, he is buried next to a large maple tree beside the house across the street from the monument, which was once his home.