Louis Oakes, son of Maine land surveyor and mapper William P. Oakes, graduated from forestry school at the University of Maine, Orono.
In 1898, he began working for Hollingsworth and Whitney, surveying and assessing the company's forest lands west of Greenville. He was superintendent of operations from 1905-1915.
Oakes spent much of the rest of his career as a philanthropist, in part using money his brother Harry earned in mining in Ontario.
Oakes and several partners bought Mt. Kineo from the Maine Central Rail Road and restored the Kineo annex as a hotel. Among his many donations were a new school for Greenville in 1936 and land for the academic building at Foxcroft Academy, where both he and his brother went to school.
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