Thorndike, Maine

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Thorndike is a town in Waldo County, Maine, United States. The town was named after Israel Thorndike, a landowner.[1] The population was 712 at the 2000 census.



According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 25.3 square miles (65.5 km²), all of it land.


As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 712 people, 279 households, and 201 families residing in the town. The population density was 28.2 people per square mile (10.9/km²). There were 337 housing units at an average density of 13.3/sq mi (5.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 99.02% White, 0.14% African American, 0.28% Native American, 0.28% Asian, and 0.28% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.28% of the population.

There were 279 households out of which 33.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.5% were married couples living together, 8.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.6% were non-families. 19.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 2.89.

In the town the population was spread out with 24.7% under the age of 18, 8.1% from 18 to 24, 29.2% from 25 to 44, 26.7% from 45 to 64, and 11.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 102.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.6 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $26,786, and the median income for a family was $29,479. Males had a median income of $24,375 versus $24,018 for females. The per capita income for the town was $13,090. About 14.9% of families and 17.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.6% of those under age 18 and 26.3% of those age 65 or over.


In 1873 John True Gordon, after a family dispute, killed his brother, sister-in-law and their daughter while they slept, with an ax. He then set the farmhouse on fire and began saving the furniture. A farm worker also living in the home, woke to the smell of smoke, raising an alarm. 2 young family members escaped to the neighbors, as the surrounding farms turned out to help put out the fire.

John True Gordon was quickly arrested and held for trial. One of the biggest that Waldo County had ever seen. After offering little defense he was convicted and sentenced to be hanged with the Smuttynose Island Murderer Louis H.F. Wagner on the gallows of the Maine State Prison at Thomaston.

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