Dow - Bessie Clara (Dow) Billings Wheelden (1883-1931)


Dow - Bessie Clara (Dow) Billings Wheelden (1883-1931)

Bessie Clara Dow (1883-1931) was the daughter of Willard Sawyer Dow and Edwina C. (Hodgdon) Dow. She married Alton M. Billings (1876-1922) on January 18, 1902.

Alton and Bessie were third cousins once removed as Alton was the great great grandson of Nathan Dow (1716-1794) and Mary Sarah Flanders (1721-1802) and Bessie was the great great great granddaughter of Nathan and Mary Sarah. Alton M. Billings died on October 28, 1922 in Southwest Harbor. Bessie then married Harry L. Wheelden on October 23, 1926. Bessie Clara (Dow) Billings Wheelden died on January 16, 1931 in Ellsworth, Maine.

Alton and Bessie had three children:

Maurice P. Billings (1903-1981)
Ronald G. Billings (1906-1981)
Edna S. Billings (1904-2001) – Mrs. Perley M. Sprague

Bessie worked in the Addison / Stinson sardine factory and was known as the fastest packer in the factory. (She was not alone in this. Several Southwest Harbor families remember their mothers and grandmothers as having that distinction.) Her daughter Edna packed sardines there too, while going to school, and was also remembered as a champion packer.

Maurice and Ronald Billings both went to college, moved to Massachusetts and became school teachers and later Superintendents of their schools.


“Dow - Bessie Clara (Dow) Billings Wheelden (1883-1931),” Southwest Harbor Public Library Digital Archive, accessed February 20, 2019, 14754