Horace H. Annas


Horace H. Annas was born July 8, 1860 at the family farm on Blake Hill in Bethel, ME, the son of Jacob and Hannah (Cushman) Annas. His great grandfather, Solomon Annas {c.1742-c.1831} moved to Bethel, ME from Warner, NH before 1800 and settled upon the farm know later as the Micajah Blake homestead. It appears that during his residence at Bethel, Solomon adopted of the spelling of his name to "Annas" a variation that exists today with many of his descendants in Maine. To make matters even more complicated the burial records of Woodlawn Cemetery at Westbrook, Maine, where Horace is buried, spell the name Annis.

The following essay was written by Horace Annas' granddaughter, Virginia Potter (born 1929 and daughter of Herman and Elsie {Annis} Potter), for her English class and lends insight into the life and times of her grandfather.

Many thanks to AFA member, Shawn Richard Annis of Amherst, MA for contributing this work for the Annis Family Archives.

My Grandfather Theme

Horace H. Annas


My Grandfather

On the morning of July 8, 1860, excitement was settling in the dark red farm house on Blake Hill in Bethel. The cries of a new-born babe could be heard all through the household. They were the cries of Horace H. Annas who was the center of attraction at that important moment. Horace was the son of Jacob and Annie Annas and the first of three children.

Unfortunately, at the time of Horace's birth, the conditions of the country were far from excellent. The Civil War was raging while President Lincoln was vainly trying to abolish slavery. However, the affairs of the government and country did not effect Horace.

In the days of Horace's birth, the horse and buggy was the most modern type of transportation. It was in an old buggy, drawn by a tired horse, that Horace was taken to the doctor's house. It was in the same buggy, drawn by the same horse, that he went to Sunday-school and to the little red school-house. As he grew older, Horace learned to look forward with much excitement to a long ride in the rickety old buggy to the annual County Fair.

Horace was not a boy who possessed fantastic dreams for the future. He enjoyed living on the small farm with its half dozen cows and huge white work-horses. It was fun to go into Bethel on Saturday night or any night desired for groceries. Since there were not many neighbors, Horace played with his brother and sister most of the time. Horace had many friends who looked forward to a visit at the farm.

Horace was born to very kind and interesting parents. They loved their son and guided him constantly on the road of life. They gave him everything they could and tried their best to make him happy. Of course, in the days of Horace's boyhood discipline was extremely strict, but his parents were among the kindest and most generous in the country.

One of Horace's most obvious hobbies was his carpentry. He was excellently skilled at carpenter work, and he preferred upholstering which was a sub-division of carpentry. Horace repaired and upholstered a great deal of the furniture in his own room. Although he did not realize it at the time, upholstering was to become very important to him later on in life.

Another hobby which was recognized by many of Horace's friends was his beautiful flower gardens, which he planted and took care of himself, even when he was still a young boy. His flowers were beautiful and won many prizes and compliments for him. This hobby, too, would become an important factor in Horace's life. Horace learned from these hobbies that he would like one or both of them to be his life work., because of the pleasure he got out of doing such work. It was work of which he could be very proud and of course everyone likes to have some quality to show off.

Horace, with all the other Bethel boys. attended the little wooden school in Bethel. He was a friend to everyone, but like everyone else he had his schoolboy enemies. Horace was not a genius, as one might say. He was an average student.

After finishing elementary school, he went to attend Kents Hill high school, Kents Hill, Maine. Here he found new friends, not forgetting old ones however. He also found new interests, but still clung to his old favorite hobbies. It was here, at Kents Hill, that Horace learned how to get along with people and how to express himself freely. He learned that one must stand up for himself or else be trampled down. Last, but certainly not least, Horace learned that "life is not a bowl of cherries"; that one cannot avoid some hardships. He also learned that although one possesses many articles or qualities, one always wants more.

After leaving Kents Hill, Horace taught school for several years until he had throat trouble.

Horace Annas was not tall, dark, and handsome, but he was tall, dark, and fairly nice looking young man. Although he was not much of a "woman's man", at the age of thirty-three he fell in love with a pretty girl named Lizzie Brackett. He courted Lizzie for two years and in 1895 Lizzie and Horace were united in marriage. Lizzie and Horace were a happy couple and they adopted a baby boy called Frank to brighten their household on Mason Street, Bethel. On the day of November 9, 1903, a tiny baby girl was born to a woman, who died soon after the baby's birth. Horace and Lizzie adopted this baby girl, whose name was Elsie.

Elsie and Frank grew up together and were loved by their devoted parents.

Horace, at the time of his marriage, was in the undertaking business, with another man, in Barrie, Vermont. After leaving the undertaking business, Horace bought an upholstery shop, which he had to give up because of his eyesight. After his eyesight began to fail him, Horace decided to give up his upholstery shop and since he had had an offer to care for the flower gardens at Bethel Inn he accepted that. He started work at the Inn in 1916. This job was a profitable and very satisfactory one. As most men do on a new job, Horace started as a helper and gradually worked up to the top, which was the supervision job. There were only two or three men working at the gardens, therefore, Horace joined with the others and worked hard with them. He also had a flower garden at home from which he got much pleasure in his spare moments. Horace worked at this job steadily for twenty-five years. It was not only a job which called for hard labor, but it brought much pleasure to Horace.

Horace Annas was born a lucky man. He was not born rich, nor was he poor. He had come from an average family and had gone on in life in the same way. He and his beloved family lived a happy normal life, which was full of natural incidents that occur in everyone's family. Perhaps Horace would come home from work with some good news about a raise in pay. Or perhaps it would be some incident which had occurred at the Inn.

Horace's life was made up of mostly successes, although there was one incident which caused much sadness in the heart of his adopted daughter, Elsie. Elsie had gone three years in Gould Academy and during the summer before she was to become a Senior, she worked hard in order to have enough money to graduate and to save some for business school. A few weeks before school was to begin, Elsie was informed by her mother that she was not going back to school and that she was to give up all of her hard-earned money for a reason unknown to her. After a short period of time, Elsie went back to work and earned nearly enough money to go to business school with, but her parents took this away from her also. Finally Elsie decided that it was no use and settled down to working until she married. This was a failure on Horace's part because he would not let Elsie have what was her own, and prevented her happiness.

Horace was a very courteous man and was very well liked by everyone. His personality bubbled out all over. Of course, he was not perfect, but no one is. He had a sincere interest in Bethel and did all he could to serve the town.

Flower gardening was Horace's life work. He enjoyed this work very much and was known all through Bethel for his beautiful flowers, both at home and at the Bethel Inn.

It was during those years which Horace spent working at Bethel Inn, that his influence on me grew day by day. After a trip to Chicago with my folks, we came to live with Horace. This was in 1939. Before then my visits with Horace came about every summer, and they lasted only about one week or two, at the most. I enjoyed visits to Horace's beautiful gardens at the Inn and Horace taught me to admire the lovely works of mother nature. In 1939, after my family and I moved in with Horace, his influence on me became still stronger. I made numerous visits to the Bethel Inn gardens with Horace and watched him work. At home I watched him tend his gorgeous tulips and rose bushes. Soon after Horace stopped his work at Bethel Inn in 1940, his influence on me decreased a great deal.

In was in 1940 that Horace's physical appearance began to change. His face became thin and more wrinkled than ever. His hands were shaky and thin, and his shoulders were rounded from years of bending over his flower beds. His eyes were slowly becoming weaker. He had always worn glasses, but now they did not help very much. His voice, which had bothered him for many years, had become low and husky.

Ever since Horace was old enough to go to Sunday School or Church, he had attended the Methodist Church. As he grew older, he was taught by his parents to attend church regularly, which he did until his health prohibited it.

During Horace's last years, he kept up his work at Bethel Inn. When, in 1938, his eyesight became weak, Horace had to stop working at the Inn and retire, although he kept his gardens in full bloom at his home on Mason Street. Since his wife had died about fifteen years before his retirement, Horace has only himself to support. He rented the upstairs part of his home and also sold some of his flowers at various times. The tulips which Horace grew were gorgeous and extremely colorful, and many of his neighbors and many passers-by purchased them. In these two ways Horace supported himself satisfactorily.

This was the way in which Horace lived his life, until one day in 1941 when that peaceful element known as death came to Horace's home and took him away. Horace had always been well liked by all of his neighbors and the people of Bethel.

In these last few words I have concluded a account of Horace H. Annas who was not a rich man nor a famous man, but simply one of the average citizens of Bethel, Maine, and America.

The End

At the bottom of Virginia's nine page theme paper her teacher wrote the following:

"You have written well and with good use of mechanics. Neat."

Virginia received an "A-" on her work.

More about Horace H. Annas:

Although Virginia writes that "Horace was the son of Jacob and Annie Annas and the first of three children", the records show that he was actually the third child. Jacob and Hannah (Cushman) Annis had four children:

Lovina Augusta Annas, born 31 May 1853, married C. H. Barker and resided at Grafton, ME in 1895.

Calvin Howe Annas, born 26 Aug 1855, married 23 Nov 1881 to Jennie L. Stewart at Lawrence, MA and resided at Greenville, NH in 1920.

Horace H. Annas, born 8 Jul 1860, married Lizzie Brackett and died at Bethel, ME in 1941.

Fred Jacob Annas, born 3 Aug 1864, died as an infant on 1 Nov 1864.

Horace's lineage is: Jacob Annas (1827-?), Benjamin Annis (1782-?), Solomon Annas (c.1742-c.1831), Daniel Annis (1711-1790), Abraham Annis (1668-1738), Cormac Annis (1638-1717)

Annis Family Association



The Annis Family in the US and Canada