William Widgery Thomas, Jr. was the founder of New Sweden, ME. He went to Sweden and found the first fifty-one settlers who came to northern Maine with him on July 23, 1870. Many more Swedes followed. In fact, there were so many that arrived that some had to leave to find work elsewhere. The settlers worked hard to establish an agricultural community that eventually thrived. Several other towns developed in neighboring townships with many Swedish citizens: Perham, Woodland, Stockholm, Westmanland, Connor, and Caribou. People from other countries such as Norway, Finland, Canadian, and Denmark settled in the communities as did Acadians and Irish.