1778 - 1832
Birth 05 May 1778 Waldoboro, Lincoln, Maine, USA Gender Male Died 15 Dec 1832 Waldoboro, Lincoln, Maine, USA Person ID I150 La Famille Last Modified 28 Feb 2013
Father MINK, Johann Paul, b. 1753, Waldoboro, Lincoln, Maine, USA , d. 07 Jul 1839, Waldoboro, Lincoln, Maine, USA Relationship Natural Mother GROSS, Mary Elizabeth, b. Abt 1748, Waldoboro, Lincoln, Maine, USA , d. UNKNOWN, Waldoboro, Lincoln, Maine, USA Relationship Natural Family ID F2 Group Sheet
Family SERGUS, Mary, b. 1781, Waldoboro, Lincoln, Maine, USA , d. 16 Sep 1850, Waldoboro, Lincoln, Maine, USA Children 1. Mink, Elizabeth, b. 28 Feb 1800 2. Mink, Valentine, b. 18 Feb 1801 3. Mink, Charles, b. 14 Nov 1802 4. Mink, Eliza, b. 10 Aug 1805 5. Mink, Isaac, b. 13 Oct 1806, d. 01 Feb 1894 6. MINK, Sabra Jane, b. 05 May 1809, Waldoboro, Lincoln, Maine, USA , d. 07 Jul 1882, Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, USA 7. Mink, Edward Charles, b. 13 Nov 1811, Waldoboro, Lincoln, Maine, USA , d. 19 Nov 1899, Waldoboro, Lincoln, Maine, USA 8. Mink, Alden, b. 27 Sep 1813 9. Mink, Sarah, b. 17 Nov 1817 10. Mink, Lydia Elizabeth, b. 05 Jun 1819 11. Mink, Alexander Eliakiam, b. 1822 12. Mink, Lucretia, b. 27 Sep 1825 Family ID F1 Group Sheet
Event Map Event Birth - 05 May 1778 - Waldoboro, Lincoln, Maine, USA Died - 15 Dec 1832 - Waldoboro, Lincoln, Maine, USA = Link to Google Maps = Link to Google Earth
"The following from "History of Old Broad Bay and Waldoboro", by Jasper J. Stahl . "
The prince of all Broad Bay wizards, and one who, to a large degree and over many years, stood in an especially intimate relationship to the Evil One, was a member of this same Mink family. It is to this congenial camaraderie between man and Devil that we owe the richest single item in our local folklore, which for rather obvious reasons I have entitled:
The Faust Saga of Old Broad Bay
The Faust legend is one of the favorite themes of old German folklore. During the seventeenth century, the strange and unaccountable doings of Doctor Faustus were the subject of many folk tales and a favorite theme in the folk books of the period. In the eighteenth century Goethe made use of the theme in his "Faust", one of the major creations in world literature. In its simplest form this legend is the tale of a man who made a pact with the Devil, whereunder the Evil One agreed to provide the man during his lifetime with everything that his heart desired, and the man agreed on his part at the end of his life to forfeit his soul to the Devil.
Broad Bay, too, had its Faust, though not a Faust who was a great spiritual leader to whom the Evil One showed and offered all the kingdoms of this world provided the man would fall down and worship him; nor a Faust who was a great scholar, the range and magnitude of whose wishes were such as even to tax the ingenuity of Satan to fulfill. This Broad Bay Faust was "Uncle Faltin* Mink" (1778-1832), a lazy, whimsical individual with a keen appreciation of the funny.
He was much like the Doctor Faustus of the folk books, whose fun in living was largely derived from the jokes and pranks he could play on friends and acquaintances, and on the success he might achieve in constantly outwitting those whose intent it was to thwart him in his easy and lazy modes of living.
Uncle Faltin had a double claim to fame, for he was the seventh son of a seventh son.
Uncle Faltin was of the third generation of Minks and lived deep in the wooded recesses of East Waldoborough, about one and one half miles in on the old road leading by the farm of Clyde Sukeforth. Uncle Faltin made his pact with the Devil as did Faust, but in so doing he did not seek the kingdoms of this world, rather the power to enable him to get along easily and pleasantly, to play weird pranks on his friends, and to bewilder and confound those who for any reason sought to circumvent him. As the seventh son of a seventh son, Uncle Faltin possessed considerable of the black art in his own right. To this the Devil freely added such power as was needed to enable his apostle to gratify his simple wishes, and in return Uncle Faltin agreed on death to surrender his soul to the Evil One.
Many tales connect themselves with Uncle Faltin's doings. Some of these have been related to me by one who received them direct from an acquaintance and eyewitnesses.** The directness of such evidence lends a weird realism to the activities of this local Faust. These eyewitnesses were present at scenes where Uncle Faltin's occult powers were much in evidence. These were often brought into play at country dances where Uncle Faltin's violin*** furnished the tunes. His power was such that by altering the mood of his music, he could convert a merry dance into an ugly brawl and thus create a spectacle highly amusing to himself.
The power of his music was especially felt in his own "breakdowns." These were parties or dances held at his home in East Waldoborough. The old gentleman loved company and frequently invited groups of the younger generation to his home. On these occasions the Evil One would lend his full power and charm to the sounds emanating from Uncle Faltin's strings. The old fellow would play the instrument with complete abandon, and the madness of his music would enter the very blood of the dancers and cause them to sway and whirl in passionate ecstasy, until they collapsed from dizziness and exhaustion. When, in the late hours, the swains would repair to the barn to hitch the horses in the pungs for the journey home, to their amazement they would find the barn and barnyard in a state of dire chaos and confusion--horses wild eyed, lathered with sweat and quivering; horses with tails braided together; horses harnessed to the wrong sleds; horses hitched in with their heads at the whiffletree ends and their tails at the thill ends. While Uncle Faltin's inspired music had been working strange miracles in the house, his accomplice had been working comic effects in the barn. Thus the "breakdowns" would break up amid scenes of mirth and wild confusion.
Uncle Faltin was an exponent of the easy life. He was also a good neighbor who believed in helping those who were confronted by situations involving labor and strain, which he so detested. The story is told how he moved Jack Russell's barn with a rooster and a piece of string. Jack was one of Uncle Faltin's neighbors. In arranging to change the location of his barn, he had dug a cellar, rocked it up, and prepared everything for the major task of moving the structure. To this end he had set the day and invited all his neighbors to a "moving bee." Uncle Faltin chafed at all these laborious preparations and humorously observed that he could move Jack's barn with a piece of string and his rooster. But why with a rooster? Ever since the cock crew nearly two thousand years ago marking the Christ's betrayal by Peter, this bird has been connected with the powers of darkness and has stood in ill repute. True to his word, and on a day when the Russells had all gone to town to insure adequate refreshments for "the bee" on the next day, Uncle Faltin was seen sneaking down the road, in the direction of the Russell farm, with his rooster under his arm and a piece of twine dangling from his pocket. When Jack returned from town, he found to his amazement the barn on its new foundation with all its timbers true and in plumb. What happened in Jack Russell's absence has never been determined with entire exactitude, but the barn was moved!
Uncle Faltin not only used his power in a kindly, humorous way to aid his friends, he also used it in an ironically humorous way to get the better of those who sought to thwart him. The story of the old man's barrel of flour is a case in point. It is related that one day he went to town to get a barrel of flour. There he made his wishes known to the grocer, but since Uncle Faltin's credit was none too good his request was tersely rejected. The old fellow protested and demanded to know the reason why. "I'm not giving flour away to anyone too worthless to work for his bread," replied the grocer.
"But I have the money and I'll pay for the flour," said Uncle Faltin.
"You'll get no flour till I see the money," rejoined the grocer. "Where is it?"
"Why! There it is," said Uncle Faltin, pointing to the barrel head.
The grocer looked and there lying on the barrel were three bright, newly minted silver dollars. The grocer took the money and gave Uncle Faltin the flour and his change. That night when the dealer counted his receipts for the day, he could not find the shining silver dollars. They were not in the till. What he did find were three round, wooden chips of dollar size.
In such a manner did the Evil One go on through life with Uncle Faltin providing for his simple needs and gratifying his craving for fun. But no man lives forever. On his deathbed Uncle Faltin sent for "Aunt Hattie Mink"**** and wanted to transmit his original gift, which was his by virtue of being the seventh son of a seventh son, to her. She rejected it and suggested that he transmit it to his son, Alden. This he stated he could not do, since if it were to retain its potency, it had to be transmitted to a female, and in turn by her to some male in the family line, possibly her son, Elmus. Aunt Hattie, however, rejected the offer flatly, and it has never been known what became of Uncle Faltin's strange power.
The contract with the Devil was faithfully kept. His spirit hovered about Uncle Faltin's deathbed and remained in the house until the old man's remains were underground. His presence was attested by the fact that the Evil One is known to abhor light and to love darkness. From the moment when the old man breathed his last, it was impossible to keep a candle lighted in the house until the remains were buried. Thus it was that in all the land there was no hand that could kindle a flame to light the departure of Uncle Faltin on his strange, dark journey.
* The German proper name Valentin, shortened to Valtin, and then anglicized to Faltin.
** Oral narrative, Mrs. Susan Castner, daughter of Anne Mink Smith (1847-1930).
*** Uncle Faltin's violin is in the present possession of his great-grandnephew, Merle Castner.
**** Mrs. Henry J. Mink.