About the Author
Phineas F. Ellis was born in Castle Hill, Maine in the late nineteenth century. In order to attend high school, he left home to become a “chore boy” for several families in Ashland, Maine where he graduated from high school as valedictorian. For most of those years, he had the privilege of working for Dr. Hagerthy, a rural country doctor, where he developed skills and talents that were of great value to him throughout his life. After high school, Phin taught grammar school, worked in the woods, and was instrumental in starting the first U.S. Mail Line out of Ashland before joining the U.S. Army during World War I. His political career started shortly after he came home from the war when he was elected third selectman to the town of Castle Hill. He served in the Maine State Legislature from 1935 – 1937 and again in 1947. In 1941, he became the first town manager of Castle Hill where he served until 1956. In 1947, he also assumed the duties as town manager for Mapleton, Maine. As president of the Presque Isle General Hospital Board, Phin played a major role in the establishment of the new Arthur R. Gould Memorial Hospital and in 1956 he accepted the position of hospital administrator. He was a member of the Castle Hill school board for 28 consecutive years. He researched and compiled a complete account of the events surrounding the lynching of Jim Cullen, Maine’s only lynching, and lectured on the subject at Rotary Clubs, Granges, and schools. Phineas F. Ellis died on May 6, 1976.