Local historian Douglas Hodgkin has written another biography — this time about a member of his own family. His great-grandfather, a farmer, local civic leader and Androscoggin County politician, is the subject of “Elwin E. Additon: Progressive Farmer and Politician.”

Additon (1864-1942) owned a farm in Leeds and held many offices in town government, including school board, moderator and selectman. When his buildings burned in 1921, he moved to Auburn on the North River Road.

He was active in the local Grange in both communities, held offices at the county (Pomona) level and served as treasurer of the Maine State Grange for 37 years. He was also a member of the board of the Maine State Fair in Lewiston. These organizations were founded, in part, to encourage farmers to adopt progressive practices that would enable them to shift from self-sufficient farms to compete in a market economy.

Additon was identified as a progressive Republican of the Theodore Roosevelt wing of the party. The description of his political career as a member of the Maine House of Representatives and as a candidate for Androscoggin County offices taps into the phenomena of the politics of the first third of the 20th century.

In his research, Hodgkin used family materials and albums, newspapers, Leeds Historical Society resources, Grange records housed at University of Maine and government documents. Hodgkin, the author of several books on local history, is the author of “Dear Parent: A Biography and Letters of Edward Little.”

The 184-page Additon book is available for $10 plus tax from the Androscoggin Historical Society at the county building in Auburn, or directly from the author by contacting him at dhodgkin@bates.edu.

Portrait of Elwin E. and Mary Additon with their first daughter, Louise.

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