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Anson is a town in Somerset Countymarker, Mainemarker, United Statesmarker. The population was 2,583 at the 2000 census. It includes the villages of Anson and North Ansonmarker.


This was once territory of the Norridgewockmarker Abenaki Indians. It was first settled in 1772 as Plantation Number One in what would become Somerset County on March 1, 1809. General Benedict Arnold and his troops passed through Anson village in 1775 on their way up the Kennebec River to the ill-fated Battle of Quebecmarker. The town was incorporated on March 1, 1798 as Anson, named after Lord George Anson. On March 20, 1845, North Anson was set off as a separate town, although on March 13, 1855, it reunited with Anson.

With much rich alluvial soil, Anson became an agricultural town. Water power sites around the Carrabassett River helped North Anson develop into a small mill town. In 1859, it had 2 tanneries. It had 2 sawmills and 3 boot and shoe factories in 1886, when the town produced boots, shoes, leather, bricks, lumber, flour and wool rolls. By 1876, North Anson was the northern terminus of the Somerset Railroad, which began at Oaklandmarker in 1872. As Madisonmarker grew into an industrial center with large paper mills, Anson became a residential district for its mill workers.

As of June 14, 2007, the abandoned Pan Am Railways spur was reopened, and the first train ran the length of the line for the first time in twenty years!


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 48.4 square miles (125.3 km²), of which, 47.5 square miles (123.0 km²) of it is land and 0.9 square miles (2.3 km²) of it (1.80%) is water. Anson is drained by the Mill Stream, Gilbert Brook, Carrabassett Rivermarker and Kennebec River.

The town is crossed by U. S. 201A and state routes 16, 43, 148 and 234. It borders the towns of Starksmarker to the south, Industrymarker and New Vineyardmarker to the west, New Portlandmarker and Embdenmarker to the north, and (across the Kennebec River) Madisonmarker to the east.


Madison mills and a bird's-eye view of Anson c.

As of the census of 2000, there were 2,583 people, 1,031 households, and 700 families residing in the town. The population density was 54.4 people per square mile (21.0/km²). There were 1,193 housing units at an average density of 25.1/sq mi (9.7/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 98.34% White, 0.08% Black or African American, 0.50% Native American, 0.04% Asian, and 1.05% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.31% of the population.

There were 1,031 households out of which 33.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.2% were married couples living together, 9.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.1% were non-families. 25.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 2.95.

Madison Street in 1909
In the town the population was spread out with 25.3% under the age of 18, 7.3% from 18 to 24, 29.3% from 25 to 44, 23.3% from 45 to 64, and 14.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 100.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.5 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $26,088, and the median income for a family was $30,888. Males had a median income of $24,335 versus $18,194 for females. The per capita income for the town was $12,691. About 12.1% of families and 20.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.5% of those under age 18 and 16.8% of those age 65 or over.



Further reading

  • History of Anson, Maine (1886)
  • A. J. Coolidge & J. B. Mansfield, A History and Description of New England, 1859; H. O. Houghton & Company, printers; Cambridge, Massachusetts

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