Augusta k. Christie
Christie Cochran, Washburn
(Information found at the Presque Isle Library, Lewiston-Auburn Herald,
UMPI's oral history project and Women of Maine's Project, The New England Telephone and Telegraph Directory
for Aroostook County - January 1931 - 1932 and the The Aroostook (New England) Telephone and Telegraph -Bell System Directory October 1959.)
Also, check out kalloch.org/augusta_kalloch_christie.htm for more information.
Augusta K. Christie was born in Ashland, Maine, October 28, 1887, the daughter of Rufus G and Martha Jan (Chandler) Kalloch. After her elementary she was a student at Presque Isle High School as well as the Aroostook State Normal School in Presque Isle. Augusta K. Christie was from a relatively large family from Ashland and put herself through Presque Isle High School, living in a room she rented for $.75 a week. Her family assisted her by supplying food and wood for her room and her mother made all her clothes including her graduation dress. During school vacations she worked hours at a local store for the top wage of $3 per week. Her salary ranged from $6 to $10 weekly. One school she taught at was in the Ashland area and several of her siblings were her students. She began her college education at Aroostook State Normal School (now UMPI) in 1906 and finished in 1907. She taught school in Northern Aroostook for five years. Later she attended Beal Business College in Bangor majoring in business, bookkeeping and secretarial courses.
As an adult her interests in education included some alumni activities including dedication of Park Hall at UMPI in 1969 which was a new dormitory for girls in honor of Reverend G.M. Park. With encouragement from Dr. Clifford O.T. Wieden, president of Aroostook State College (now UMPI), she proposed a bill, which secured a multi-purpose building, which included an auditorium and gymnasium. This building was later named Wieden Hall. She also dedicated the groundbreaking ceremonies for the new Administrative building at the Northern Maine Vocational Technical Institute, which would bear her name. She introduced the bill in 1961 which brought the Institute into being, and during her final year in the Maine Senate (1963) she introduced a second bill securing sufficient funds to state full operation of the Institute with 44 students.
The development of the Northern Maine Vocational Technical Institute was of great interest to Mrs. Christie and in 1970 she was honored for her efforts on behalf of the Institute when a building on the campus was named for her. The building would house both administration offices and the business education classrooms. The A.K. Chrisite Building is now known as the "Christie Complex", housing the majority of NMCC programs, and it remains the heart of the campus, serving the majority of student needs as well as educational issues and classes. She was "humbled and honored" by having this building named for her, but it was noted as a "fitting testament to her untiring hard work in the school's establishment." She was also one of th edais to hand out the diplomas to the first 28 graduates in 1965. She was known by the school at NMCC as "The Mother of the School" and was highly involved in a bill during the 100th Legislature which secured 51 buildings and 80 plus acres of land from the General Services Administration who had taken over the former Presque Isle Air Force Base after its closure.
She married Walter R. Christie on August 23, 1928 after the death of his first wife. She became the stepparent of two foster children - Thelma and Philip A. Christie. Her and her husband Walter R. lived in the large white house (still standing) on the corner of Church and Second Streets, diagonal to the church and across from the Post Office. Later, she lived in a home located at 27 Second St (still standing and under recent 2014 renovations) directly next to the Post Office. After her teaching career and her education at Beal College, Agusuta worked as a stenographer and bookkeeper for Smith and Hoyt of Presque Isle, Maine. She also handled the office at a potato brokerage office, while her brother William was employed as business manager for Walter R. Christie. After meeting and marrying Mr. Christie, she worked for the next 19 years as housewife and mother.
Augusta was the president of the Maine W.C.T.U. (Women's Christian Temperance Union) for a period of twenty years. She was a member of the Maine House of Representatives (96th to 99th legislature), a Maine State Senator from 1961-1963; Chairman of the Liquor Control Commission, president, C. of C. legislative action committee; Chairman of Aroostook Legilative Delegation, Chairman of the Central Aroostook Chapter of the American Red Cross from 1956-1957 and area director in 1961.
While serving in the Legislature and the Senate, she was involved in various activities including land development, concealed weapons and gun control. Mrs. Christie strongly opposed disarmament and was an outspoken critic of communism. She was quoted as saying, " Communism is a godless ideaology and if the people of American do not wake up quickly, we shall be at the mercy of communist nations who will take over completely."
She was a charter member and active member of the Bethany Baptist Church located on the corners of Second and Church Streets. She was a member of the Sunday School teaching staff and a 63-year member of the choir. She was also a strong supporter of the Mission Society of the church, publicity chairman and served two terms on its Prudential Committee. She was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Victoria Society of Maine Women, the Business and Professional Women's Club, and the President of the Presque Isle Historical.Society. She was also a member of the Presque Isle Garden and Pierian Clubs, the City Women's Club as well as the Legislative Committee of the Presque Isle Chamber of Commerce. She was recognized for her civic concern and in 1972 she received the Presque Isle Community Service Award. She served the Presque Isle area during World War II as a member of the Red Cross and was a volunteer known as the "Gray Ladies". The title was due to the color of their uniforms. Later, in 1969, she was active in the Red Cross, both as a volunteer, recruiter for other volunteers and President of the Aroostook Chapter.
Augusta K. Christie died on January 22, 1981 at the age of 93, leaving an outstanding record as a representatve of the people and a person keenly interested in the civic affairs of Presque Isle and Aroostook County as well as the State of Maine. From the headlines concerning her political career, she was dubbed "The Gracious Lady of Aroostook" and she did her County proud.
She is buried at the Fairmount Cemetary on the Houlton Road in Presque Isle.
Miscellaneous information about the Christie Family from a 1932 phone book:
A K Christie's office on Allen Street Phone 361 ring 3
Potato house on Caribou Rd Brenan Siding phone 412 ring 4
Residence Caribou Road phone 342 ring 2 Residence Second St phone 261 ring 2
Centerline Road Farm homestead phone 409 ring 2
Walter R. Christie farm homestead on Centerline Road - There's almost no vestige of that farm now. It was on the right before one takes the sharpish left turn to head for Easton.
Mrs. A.K. Christie 27 Second Street - 91541
Easton Road Phone 409 ring 3
Augusta K Christie was also part of the Oral History Project and was interviewed in 1975 by Harriet Tilley. The recordings can be obtained at the UMPI Library by looking at "Aroostook County Oral History Project" File MC-004 #2920 and "Women in Maine - Collections" - MC068
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