In 1774-5 Joseph North
represented the plantation of Gardinerstown in the Provincial Congress.
"He was the leading man of the plantation and an ardent, uncompromising
whig, and the people generally joined him."1 He was commissioned
February 14, 1776, colonel of the second regiment of the militia in Lincoln
county. In 1780 he removed to the fort settlement in Hallowell, and settled
on lot number eight, west side, which he acquired in right of his wife.
This lot extended in width from Market square to store number four Bridge's
block, north of Bridge street. He erected his house at what is now the
corner of Oak and Water street, where the Granite Bank building stands,
making a clearing in the woods for that purpose before any road was laid
out. He was frequently in town office in Hallowell, and was its first
representative in General Court under the State constitution. He was appointed,
in 1788, one of the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas for Lincoln county,
succeeding Judge James Howard, which office he held until the organization
of Kennebec county in 1799, when he was appointed a Judge of the Common
Pleas for that county, with Dummer, Cony and Robbins. He continued in
that office until a new organization of the Judiciary by the establishment
of the Circuit Court of Common Pleas in 1811, remaining on the bench in
Lincoln and Kennebec for twenty-two years. Judge North had a remarkable
floral taste. He introduced into his garden, which extended on Water street
from Oak street to the Franklin House--burned in 1865,--"almost every
flower which would bloom in our climate." This taste continued undiminished
in extreme old age, when he exhibited on a larger scale rich beds of the
rare and variegated flowers which had been a source of much gratification
to him in his younger days. He died April 17, 1825, at the advanced age
of eighty-five years.
Hannah North, the judge's wife, was a remarkable woman.
One who is competent to speak of her from a long and intimate acquaintance,
says: " Madam North was a Boston lady of the old school. She had a good
person, a cultivated mind, dignified and graceful manners, and being remarkable
for her powers of conversation was the delight of the social circle. Her
sprightly and spirited remarks, in tones which were music to the ear,
were peculiarly pleasant and animating. Under her direction their house
was the seat of
1History of Gardiner, p. 119.