Pictured is an oil portrait of the late Hannah Harrington (Frost) True, painted by artist Amasa (Asa) Hewins.

AUBURN — The Androscoggin Historical Society has recently acquired an oil portrait of the late Hannah Harrington (Frost) True to add to its collection. Mrs. True was the first wife of John Fogg True, inventor of the famous True’s Elixir. The portrait was donated by Phoebe Lowell of Lewiston.

Mrs. True was born on March 20, 1823,  in Norway, Maine, and married John Fogg True on May 3, 1846. She died on Oct. 10, 1861, at the age of 38. She and her husband moved from Dexter to a home on Drummond Street, Auburn, in 1854. That year she won prizes from the Androscoggin County Agricultural Society for her picture frames and woolen hose. The couple’s children were Henrietta Adelaide True, who married Henry Lowell; Abraham Frost True; Blanche Maude True, who married Walter I. Parsons; and Josephine E. True, who died at age 12.

The portrait was painted by artist Amasa (Asa) Hewins, who was born in Sharon, Massachusetts, on July 11, 1795, and died in Florence, Italy, on Aug. 18, 1855. He was living in the Boston area (Dedham) when he painted the portrait. It is probable that he traveled to Auburn and painted the portrait here.

The portrait measures 33-by-40 inches framed in a 2.5-inch wide gold, gilded wood frame. The portrait shows Mrs. True seated with a shawl over her right arm, and her left hand on the book “Rose of Sharon.” The portrait is now hanging in the Clarence E. March Library at the Androscoggin Historical Society.


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