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Biddeford Historical Society

Walter A. Gowen, Biddeford, ca. 1922

Contributed by Biddeford Historical Society
MMN Item 35874 Item Details
Walter A. Gowen, Biddeford, ca. 1922
MMN Item 35874 Zoom


Walter A. Gowen, a Civil War veteran, is shown with his car when he was 94 years old.

Gowen was born in Newburyport, Massachusetts. He and his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Charles A. Gowen, moved to Biddeford when he was two.

He enlisted in the Union army in September 1862 and continued to serve as a member of the Northern army until July 1863 when he was discharged.

After the war, he became a fireman with the Portland Saco and Portsmouth Railroad.

While Gowen was engineer of the old "Flying Yankee, No. 102" he ran the Presidential Special carrying James G. Blaine and a group of prominent Maine men to Boston from Portland in two hours and 36 minutes -- a record that stood for many years on the local railroad and in parts of the Country for the same distance.

Gowen was active in G. A. R. circles and a member of Laconia Lodge, 1.F. The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and also the Boston Maine Relief Association.

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