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William Engel Papers

Identifier: SpC MS 0168

Scope and Contents

The collection contains records of William Engel's timberlands business and of the firm of Lowell and Engel. The records are mainly from the logging and lumbering operations carried on by Lowell and Engel in the years after William Engel's death in 1909.

The major part of the collection contains bills and receipts to Engel's companies. Those from 1902-1908 are primarily bills for insurance, taxes, etc., on Engel's many land holdings. The bills and receipts from 1909 on are from the logging and lumbering side of the business and focus on supplies and equipment needed for the various logging camps.

The remainder of the papers contains information about the company's logging operations, including permits and agreements, 1904-1908; stumpage and survey reports, 1902-1911; and tallies of lumber surveyed and rafted, 1910-1911. A small amount of sales information is included in the collection, as well as accounts of Lowell and Engel payroll, 1911-1912, and payroll vouchers, 1913-1914.

A folder of obituaries and Bangor city directory listings for William Engel is included at the end of the collection for the convenience of the user.


  • Creation: 1902-1914
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1904-1912


Restrictions on Access

Kept at Folger Library's offsite storage facility. One week's notice required for retrieval.

Restrictions on Use

Information on literary rights available in repository.

Biographical Note

The collection contains the business records of William Engel and his partner and successor, Waldo P. Lowell.

William Engel was born in Germany in 1850 and came to Bangor, Maine, at age sixteen. He began work as a dealer in dry goods and notions, traveling throughout the eastern part of Maine. He soon attracted the attention of the dry goods firm of S. and J. Adams and was hired by them as a traveling salesman. Engel worked for this firm for eighteen years, traveling through towns in Penobscot, Piscataquis and Aroostook Counties. Following that, he worked for three years for Wheelwright and Clark. All during this time, Engel also invested in timberlands, foreseeing the economic opportunity that the Maine woods would later provide. By 1887, he had formed the firm of Stratton, Gilman & Engel, with I.F. Stratton and Frank Gilman as partners. Gradually the demands of this increasingly successful business led to Engel's devoting full time to his logging and land interests. Mr. Stratton died in 1891 and Mr. Gilman in 1893; Engel then assumed the operation of the entire business. Later the firm name was changed to William Engel & Co.

The firm became very successful and began to manufacture lumber as well. This operation was kept completely separate from the timberlands business, a policy that Mr. Engel followed throughout his business life. The first mill operated by the firm was at Webster, properties being acquired there in 1887. In 1895, Mr. Engel formed a stock company and built a shook and planing mill at Great Works under the name Wing & Engel Co. In 1898 he formed a partnership with Waldo P. Lowell of Bangor under the name Lowell & Engel. A mill was leased at Great Works and later the Hodgkins and Hall mill in East Hampden was purchased and remodeled. Waldo Lowell had general supervision and management of this mill and was regarded as an expert in his field. For a while the Lowell & Engel mills and lumbering operations employed over 1,000 men.

William Engel was also active in politics, serving as a member of the Bangor City Council in 1886 and in the Maine House of Representatives in 1887 and 1889. He was a member of the Maine Senate in 1895 and 1897, and in 1902 was elected mayor of Bangor. In 1896, he campaigned extensively in Maine and Michigan for William McKinley in his first run for the presidency.

William Engel died in 1909. The firm of Lowell & Engel was dissolved in 1912. After the dissolution of the firm, Waldo Lowell organized a lumber mill near Fredericton, New Brunswick, and in 1915 became general manager of the Martinon Lumber Company, a position he kept until his death in 1923.


17 cubic feet (17 boxes)

Language of Materials



The collection contains records of William Engel's timberlands business and of the firm of Lowell & Engel.

Conservation Note

The collection has been re-housed in acid-free folders and boxes. Documents have been surface cleaned as needed and metal fasteners removed.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The payroll and log records of the Lowell & Engel Company were a gift of Mr. Dwight Demeritt, 1995.

Guide to the William Engel Papers
Box And Folder List Available
April 2004
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Raymond H. Fogler Library Special Collections Repository

5729 Raymond H. Fogler Library
University of Maine
Orono ME 04469-5729 United States