CAPE ELIZABETH — William Barnes Jordan Jr., 88, a former Cape Elizabeth resident and local historian, died July 11 in Portland.

He was born in Portland on June 1, 1927, the son of William B. and Martha W. (Weeks) Jordan.

He was educated in Cape Elizabeth public schools, and graduated from Cape Elizabeth High School in the class of 1945. He later earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history from the University of Maine.

Jordan was a teacher, antiquarian, historian and bibliophile. After teaching in Maine high schools for six years, he went on to serve as a professor of history at Westbrook College from 1959-1987 and in the continuing education division of the University of Southern Maine for 18 years.

Jordan authored “A History of Cape Elizabeth, Maine,” in addition to various articles in the field of local history.

He was active in numerous organizations, serving as a life member and trustee of the Maine Historical Society, a member of the Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati, a life member of the Maine Old Cemetery Association, a member of the Maine Society of Colonial Wars, a member of the Maine Charitable Mechanic Association, a life member of the Piscataqua Pioneers, a member of the Unitarian-Universalist Historical Society and a member of the Maine Society of Mayflower Descendants.

Jordan was also a member of the First Parish Unitarian Church in Portland, where he served as president, Standing Committee member and church historian.

He is survived by his children, Nathaniel W. Jordan, Elizabeth A. Redmon, Sarah Jordan Thompson, Susannah W. Jordan and Constance Jordan; his sister, Nancy Deery; and his grandchildren.

A memorial visitation was held July 15 at the Hobbs Hospitality Center, in South Portland.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Maine Historical Society, 489 Congress St., Portland, ME 04101 or at

Sidebar Elements