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Maine Twin Party Papers

Identifier: SpC MS 1782

Scope and Contents

Collection, 1938-1976, consists of the papers of the Maine Twin Party organization. Includes correspondence, photographs, clippings, scrapbooks, and a film reel documenting their semi-annual parties celebrating twins, and their research benefits. This party started as a small gathering for research, it expanded into a state organization that continued until the mid 1950s.


  • Creation: 1938-1976
  • Creation: 1938-1955 (bulk)


Conditions Governing Access

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

Conditions Governing Use

Rights assessment remains the responsiblity of the researcher.

Biographical Note - Welton P. Farrow

Welton P. Farrow was born in Tryon, Prince Edward Island on December 10, 1898 with his twin brother, Harold J. Farrow. In 1938, after 18 years of living apart, they visited each other in Waterville, Maine, and, at the request of a researcher named D. C. Rife from the University of Ohio, they invited pairs of twins to meet together in order to conduct research on the subjects of twins. This was the start of the Maine Twin Party organization that Welton Farrow was a part of for most of his life in various roles, including president.

Outside of the Maine Twin Party, Welton Farrow started his life at 19 years old as a journeyman carpenter in order to pay his way through school. He owned a bookstore as well as a carpentry business. During the second World War, Welton took up teaching in several high schools in Maine. He was Alderman for his ward in the Waterville City government during the 1950s, and became the City Treasurer and Tax collector for Waterville during the 1960s. He was a member of the city of Waterville's City Planning Board for 15 years, and sold his bookstore in 1962. Welton also organized the North Kennebec Regional Planning Commission during the 1960s.

His personal life included a wife named Vera C. Coffin. He had one daughter, and he passed away in November, 1978.

Biographical Note - Harold J. Farrow

Harold J. Farrow was the twin of Welton P. Farrow. Born in Prince Edward Island on December 10, 1898, Harold was a machinist all of his life, and spent his time making special tools for jobs along with several hobbies.

He lived in Calgary for most of his life, and married a woman named May Ellen Curtis. They had no children. In 1973, he suffered a heart attack that left him physically capable, but mentally effected. He died in 1979

Historical Note - Maine Development Commission

The Maine Development Commission was in charge of issues involving Maine on the topics of publicity, planning, and development. It has since been divided and absorbed by other state organizations.

In context of the twin parties, the Maine Development Commission was responsible for the publicity of the event, and was involved in the process of turning the event into a state organization. The publicity director, Earle Doucette, was heavily involved in the events as he was also a president of the Maine Twin Party for a period of time.

Historical Note - International Twin Association

The International Twin Association (ITA), started in 1932 as a non-profit created to promote the welfare of twins throughout the world. It held conventions throughout the United States, and is still an active organization to this day.

In the context of the Maine Twin Party, ITA invited Welton and Harold Farrow to join their organization, and they became state representives for Maine.

Biographical Note - D. C. Rife

D. C. Rife was a professor of Human Genetics at Ohio State University. He was born in Cederville, Ohio, on January 3, 1901. He was focused on the application of genetics to imporve agricultural yields, and belonged to many scientific societies, and had many awards for his contributions to the fields of genetics, dermatoglyphics, and the study of twins.

Rife was married twice and survivied by his second wife, Marguerite and his son William from his first wife. He died in 1992.

In the context of the Maine Twin Party, D. C. Rife was the primary reason for its existence as it was his urging that created the first event in 1938 for research purposes. His correspondence with Welton Farrow continued throughout the decades, and developed into a friendship where research topics were discussed outside of the topic of twins.

Biographical Note - Franz J. Kallmann

Franz J. Kallmann was born in Germany in 1897, and his career was devoted to the study of the genetic basis of psychiatric disease. His specific contributions to the field include the concept of twin studies in the roles of environment to the development of disease.

Kallmann spent his early life in Germany, and studied under Ernst RĂ¼din who was known for his racist hygiene policies in Nazi Germany. As a Jewish scholar, Kallmann fled to the United States in 1936. However, before he did so in 1935, Kallmann gave a speech calling for the sterialization of non-effected carriers of the relatives of schizophrenia patients. Kallmann died in 1965 in New York where he worked as a researcher in genetics at the New York State Psychiatric Institute and Hospital.

Kallmanns' connection to the Maine Twin Party is in the form of correspondence between him and Welton Farrow. Kallmann attempted to have a survey of his included with the registration blanks, but was unable to as the committee in charge of the event did not vote to do so. Kallmann did attend the second annual twin party in 1939, and was able to survey the twins that attended as well.


1.5 linear feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials



Collection arrived with no discernable arrangement. Cataloger arranged collection in five series by subject. Series I: Correspondence; Series II: Publications; Series III: Promotional Material; Series IV: Photographic Material; Series V: Scrapbooks

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by the Waterville Historical Society in September, 2000.

Guide to the Maine Twin Party Papers
Box And Folder List Available
Bri Ballard
November 2018
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