Hinds Thru the Years


Camp Patch
Camp Director - Herbert "Skipper" Patrick
1932 Camp Staff
Andy Anderson Swimming & Lifesaving Instructor
John Baker Nature Study Director
Mrs. John Baker Librarian
John O. Cartland
Howard Chase  
William Clopp Jr. Asst. Swimming Instructor
Caspar Cowan Scoutcraft Instructor
Irving Ellingwood
Dorothy Fillmore Camp Nurse
Winthrop T. Frazee
William Furtwengler Assistant Athletic Coach
Albert Haggas Scoutcraft Instructor
John Hanley  
Nathaniel Haskell Scoutcraft Instructor
Robert Hormell Scoutcraft Instructor
Merrill Luthe Scoutcraft Instructor
Norman L. Matthews Craftwork Director
Kenneth McCartney Hike Master
Mrs. Kenneth McCartney Camp Mother
Orman Moulton
Rex Murdock Canoeing Instructor
Albert Norton Assistant Camp Director
John A. Norton
"Skipper" Herbert L. Patrick Camp Director
Mrs. Herbert Patrick Camp Mother
John Presnell Scoutcraft Instructor
Oliver Sanborn Jr. Bugler
Morton R. Seavy Waterfront Director
Arthur Sprague Athletics Instructor
Donald Welch Scoutcraft Instructor
1932 Camp Hinds staff specifics

The 1932 staff  photo, complete with all the names, has come down to us thanks to Merrill Luthe, who photographed a wonderful set of pictures of camp life during his years on the staff, complete with captions.  If not for Merrill’s work we would know nothing about much of what Camp Hinds was like in its early years.

Who is doing the same this year?

The six young men in the upper right of the 1932 staff photo were friends, all Eagle Scouts, and all were destined for significant lives.  They were probably campers at Hinds in the opening year (1927) or soon after and by 1932 they were in their late teens, serving in camp as “Junior Officers” on the staff. Staff members were addressed as “uncle”.

Robert Hormell graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1939, then did three years of surgical and orthopedic training in the Boston area. With the outbreak of World War II he entered the Army as an orthopedic surgeon with a lot of training and little experience. After basic training he was sent to New Caledonia (a South Pacific island) where he served in a field hospital for 3 ½ years ( think M*A*S*H  without the humor), patching up the men who were wounded at places like Guadalcanal and Okinawa. After the war he went into private practice as an orthopedic surgeon and instructor in orthopedics and retired at age 72.

Nate Haskell Graduated from Peabody Law School in 1934 and went to work as a Portland attorney, remaining active with his firm until his death at age 91. He was a member of the Maine legislature from 1943 to 1951, then elected to the State Senate. In 1953 he was chosen as president of the senate and served as Governor for one day, between the terms of the two elected governors. He then became a probate court judge in Cumberland County.

Johnny Presnell graduated from Portland High School , graduated from Bowdoin College where he was a member of the ROTC and was hen selected to attend West Point from which he graduated, was commissioned a second lieutenant and when World War began he was stationed  on the Bataan peninsula in the Philippine Islands. The Japanese forces invaded and captured most of the American troops there, forcing them to march almost 60 miles to a prison camp in stifling heat with no water or food and brutal treatment. Johnny survived the march and was held as a prisoner of war under inhuman conditions for almost three years. At the end of 1944 he and his fellow prisoners were marched onto unmarked prison ships which were attacked by Allied forces. In that attack Johnny was killed.

Caspar Cowan graduated from Bowdoin College and Harvard Law School, and became an attorney in Portland. He was an accomplished skier (Deering High School had an active ski club or team in the 1930s) so on his entry into the Army in WWII he was assigned to the Tenth Mountain Division, the ski troops. (Between Maine and New Hampshire we now have the Tenth Mountain Division highway).  In northern Italy, as a staff sergeant, he led his squad in an attack, deflected a hand grenade, and shot nine machine gunners. He was awarded the Bronze Star and given a battlefield commission as a 2nd Lieutenant.  After the war he returned to his law practice and took part in many community organizations, from Barbershop Quartet singing to mountain climbing and later serving, in retirement, at the Wayside Soup Kitchen. After he retired he wrote THE book on Maine real estate law, entitled Maine Real Estate Law and Practice. There was no book on Maine real estate law before that. It is now being kept up to date by another author. In later life he wrote a monthly column for attorneys on the use of computers and software by the legal profession.  He died in 2007 at age 91.

Ollie Sanborn, Portland Eagle Scout, was the son of Portland’s 30-year fire chief and was appointed as the camp bugler and therefore the fire warden (his friend Merrill said his equipment consisted of “two buckets and a ladder”.)  After graduating from Portland High School he attended Northeastern Business College. He became the Scoutmaster of  Troop 14 at Woodfords Church. He was a member of the Army Reserve and was called to active duty in August of 1940, as a 2nd Lieutenant assigned to  Fort Benning, GA,  served in the North Africa campaign and was then was transferred to an Armored Division and promoted to Captain. He survived the D Day invasion of France and the battles which followed but was killed in France before the end of July. He is interred in the Normandy American cemetery.

Merrill Luthe graduated from Westbrook High School and NE Business College. He served in the U S Army in World War II, reaching the rank of Captain.  Back in Portland he became the manager of Palmer Spring Company, Portland Mayor, Pine Tree Council president and member of many civic organizations from the Barbershop Quartet to the Mayflower Society (he was descended from John Alden.) He died at 91, but not before handing on to us his scrapbook/photo album containing all that we know about his years at Camp Hinds.

Note: another West Point graduate, Matt Mabe, is working on a book about Johnny Presnell. When doing research in the Portland area a couple of years ago he turned up some interesting facts.  Johnny Presnell’s girl friend was Ann Blanchard of Westbrook, to whom he wrote 28 letters after being sent overseas – she kept those letters all her life. Merrill Luthe, Johnny’s best friend, later married Ann’s sister Jane. Matt Mabe interviewed Ann Blanchard Foote, age 95, shortly before she passed away.

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Page design and layout by:
Dean B. Zaharis
Created: November 13, 2008
Last Update: Maarch 19, 2020
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