Elizabeth Carlisle Talpey

Elizabeth6 (Carlisle) Talpey (Daniel Carlisle5, John Carlisle4, Mary Junkins3, Alexander2, Robert1), was born in York, ME on February 16, 1796, the daughter of Lydia (Wilson) and Daniel Carlisle. She was one of eleven children.

In the 1800s, the first water-powered looms ever to run in New England were being built in Dover, NH. Two English men were erecting what was to be known as the Upper Falls Mill of the Dover Cotton Factory. Squire Williams was the agent and Mr. Blackburn was the overseer.

While visiting in Dover, Elizabeth became so interested in the new machines that she was later engaged to set up and operate the first loom set in motion by water power. The first piece of cloth ever made by water power was woven by her. The machine was a crude affair, as compared to those constructed later, and she said that now and then the shuttle would jump off the track and fly right out the window.

The machine was so secret and new that when it was operating, the doors were locked and guarded and the windows were whitewashed. This was so that outsiders could not see the mysterious operation inside and to keep the new process from being stolen by other enterprising businessmen.

Elizabeth worked in that mill until 1811. She was then employed to set up and start the weaving in the new cotton mill in York. Once again, the first piece of cloth ever woven by water poer in ME was woven by Elizabeth. She worked in the York mills until 1815 when the mill went out of business.

On November 25, 1817, Elizabeth married Captain Jonathan A. Talpey of Cape Neddick. They were married by the Reverend Moses Dow, pastor of the First Parish Church of York. Captain Jonathan was a privateer for the United States in the War of 1812 and was captured by the English and spent three years in the Dartmoor Prison in England. After his release, he returned to Cape Neddick where he took over the family farm, which today is the property at 70 Clark Road.

Elizabeth and Jonathan had nine children. She made all the children's clothing and wove the cloth herself. She was known as "Miss Betsey." She was known for the kind acts she did for her neighbors, caring for the sick and helping the poor. She was a member of the Cape Neddick Baptist Church.

Jonathan and Elizabeth spent the rest of their lives on the family farm on Clark Road in Cape Neddick. He died September 11, 1863 and she died January 8, 1891 at the age of 95.

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