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History of the Water Works of Keene, New Hampshire

The matter of supplying Keene with an adequate water supply was agitated at an early date. In 1861 a charter was granted for the purpose, the estimated cost of the proposed works being $40,000.00. Much opposition was met with, however, on the part of some tax payers, which, combined with the troubles of the war, put the matter off. In 1866 the subject again came up, though it was not until August, 1868, that the vote was finally carried. A committee was appointed to act immediately, consisting of Samuel A. Gerould, Edward Joslyn, Thomas H. Leverett, Daniel H. Holbrook and George W. Ball, all of whom, except Mr. Leverett, are living. This committee was instructed to obtain land, right of way, make contracts, etc. It was decided to build the reservoir on Charles Wrights farm, utilizing Goose pond, about fifty acres, lying on the right side of the old road leading to Surry, about three miles north of and 152 feet above the city. Contracts for pipe, etc., were let within a month, and everything put in active operation. A solid granite gate-house was built at the outlet of the pond, and an earthen dam with a center wall of stone and cement constructed, and the whole was completed in 1869, about a year from the date of beginning. It was found, however, that the supply was scarcely adequate for all occasions, so in 1873 another reservoir, of about five acres, was built on Beach hill, three-quarters of a mile east of the city. Goose pond reservoir, or Spring lake, as it is more politely called, has an area...

History of Manufactures of Keene, New Hampshire

Cheshire county, with perhaps a few towns in the northerly portion of Worcester county, Mass., adjacent thereto, may be regarded as the birthplace of wooden-ware manufacturing, and until 1860 it was noted as the principal center of that class of manufacture, and it is yet quite a prominent industry of the vicinity, though the business, as it has extended, has gone largely to other places where timber is more plentiful. It is said that the first wooden-pails made by machinery were manufactured at Keene, by Jehiel Wilson, who now resides at South Keene. The manufacture of clothes-pins by machinery is said to have originated in Rindge, or Winchendon, Mass., and forty years ago was confined almost exclusively to a few towns in that immediate vicinity. The machinery then used was of the most primitive nature, consisting only of the hand lathe, in which the pins were turned by the ” gouge and chisel,” applied by the dextrous hand of the workman, and a few circular saws used in preparation of the timber and in cutting the slots. At that time the product of a shop employing half a dozen operatives would be about sixty gross per day; but soon after this the introduction of special machinery began to increase the facilities of production, and to-day the output of a like number of operatives would be at least five times as great as in 1845. With improved facilities and increasing demand, a larger number of manufactories sprung up in different parts of the county, until at onetime, from 18S5 to 1865, perhaps forty or fifty might have been enumerated, with...

Biography of Dr. Daniel Adams

Dr. Daniel Adams, son of Dr. Joseph Adams, was born at Lincoln, Mass., in 1768, and died in Keene, N. H., August 22, 1830. He had three brothers and five sisters, one of the former of whom, Dr. Joseph Adams, returned, at the breaking out of the war, to Cornwall, England, the home of his ancestors, where he practiced his profession during life, and where his descendants still live. The other members of Dr. Adamss family settled in and about Boston. A sister, Mrs. Wheeler, occupied the homestead in Lincoln, Mass., which still remains in her family. Dr. Adams received a liberal education. His tastes led him to the choice of the medical profession. His studies were pursued in Boston, Mass. He received his medical degree June 6, 1788, and in that year, shortly after marrying Mrs. Sarah Apdaile, daughter of Benjamin Goldthwaite, of Boston, he came to reside in Keene, where, while practicing his profession, he cleared portions of his land, planted an orchard, and made and adorned a home. It is mentioned in the early records of Keene that “he was the first to introduce the sugar-maple as a shade tree.” In his chosen profession, to which he was devoted, he became distinguished, as many yet remember. He received from Dartmouth college a diploma for a. Latin dissertation on medicine. Later, in July 1811, he had the honor to be elected fellow of the New Hampshire Medical Society and received the diploma. He was the second postmaster in Keene, in 1799. He was a prominent mason and an active member of Rising Sun Lodge, of Keene. In...

History of the Banks of Keene, New Hampshire

Cheshire National Bank.-The Cheshire Bank was chartered with a capital of one hundred thousand dollars, by the state of New Hampshire in 180„ for a period of twenty years, or till 1824,-then till 1844,-and again till 1864, inclusive. The original corporators were judge Daniel Newcomb, Noah Cooke, Esq., and Elijah Dunbar, Esq. John G. Bond, Judge Newcombs sonin-law, procured most of the stock subscriptions, among which are the names of Samuel and Nathan Appleton, Eben Francis, Stephen Salsbury, John Bellows, Josiah Knapp and several others of Boston, Daniel Newcomb, John G. Bond, William Lamson, Moses Johnson, Alexander Ralston, Stephen Harrington, Eben Stearns, Joseph Hayward, and Foster and Luther Alexander of Cheshire county, with fifty-five others on the list. The first building for the bank was of brick, two stories high, and was taken down in 1847, to make way for the Cheshire railroads passenger station. Daniel Newcomb was president from 1804 to 1811. when he resigned, and in the “war period,” soon after, the bank struggled against insolvency till November, 1813, when Samuel Grant was chosen president, and Nathaniel Dana, cashier, in place of Arba Cady (who was elected February, 1806, and whose predecessor was E. Dunbar,) and a revival of credit and business secured. Mr. Grant was president till July, 1829, and Salma Hale, his successor, till March, 1842, at which time Levi Chamberlain was made president, and steps were taken to reorganize the bank under its amended charter available from 1844 to 1864 inclusive. In this reorganization John Elliot was chosen president,-was succeeded in 1856 by Levi Chamberlain and in 1861 by John Henry Elliot, under whom,...

Biography of David Nims

It has been ascertained by the old records of the proprietors of the town of Keene, that David Nims, the subject of this sketch-was chosen their scribe as early as July 25, 1737. The town of Keene having received a charter, he was elected first town clerk and town treasurer, at the first legal town meeting, held Wednesday, May 2, 1753, and continued to hold office as clerk, treasurer, selectman or moderator, almost every year till 1776. He was honest, courageous, firm and discreet, and consequently a man of great influence in the town, his simple word possessing almost the authority of law. In 1740 he was granted, with others, ten acres of upland, for hazarding his life and estate by living in Keene to bring forward the settling of the place. Later, the proprietors records show-page 166, 1763-a plan and description of a grant to him of 104 acres, which lot is the farm formerly occupied by Matthew, now by Brigham Nims, in Roxbury, that town having been set off from Keene in 1812. He was a farmer and carried on the place now known as the Lucian B. Page farm. The old house in which he lived has been removed this year from Washington street, to make room for a residence, to be erected and occupied by John A- Wright, of the Impervious Package Co. Mrs. Abigail, wife of David Nims, died July 13, 1749, aged eighty years. Her descendants were eighty-one in number.-children. ten, grandchildren, fifty, great-grandchildren, twenty-one. David Nims died July 21. 1303. He had lived highly respected, his death was deeply regretted. His descendants....

City of Keene, New Hampshire

KEENE, as a city, was brought into existence by an act of the legislature, approved July 3, 1873, incorporating the same, subject to the acceptance, by a majority of votes, of the city charter so enacted. In March, 1874, the act was accepted by a vote of 783 to 589. The new government was duly organized May 5, 1874, Hon. Horatio Colony being elected mayor. As previously stated, the entire township was included within the city limits, and is divided into five wards. The city proper, how ever, is the old village of Keene, which President Dwight pronounced ” one of the prettiest in New England.” This then the city of Keene, lies in the charming valley of the Ashuelot, hid among its shade trees, with cliff-crowned hills round about. From the monument on Beech hill, looking west and north, one gets a fine view of the whole valley. The broad meadows and natural parks of scattered elms stretch three miles away, across the river to West hill, which has an altitude of 850 feet. Below are the older and later channels of the riotous Branch, and its four arched bridge. The Catholic cemetery, the race-course, and the Island pond, are on the left. In front are the distant meadows, the amphitheatre of hills, and in the background, the peaks of the Green mountains. On the right are the seven church spires of the shady city, and the turrets of the high school building, court-house, city hall, and more distant jail. Obtruded upon ones notice, also, are the tall chimneys of shops and millsFaulkners, Colonys, Woodburys Mechanics railroad, Beaver,...

Biography of John Colony

John Colony, son of a nobleman, was born in Kilkenny, Ireland, in 1730, and came to Boston when he was sixteen years of age. He had with him a bag of gold which was subsequently stolen from him, leaving him but four cents. After paying the toll to Charleston he had two cents left and had had no breakfast. He, however, obtained a half cord of wood to saw, thus enabling him to buy himself something to eat. He prospered, being willing to do any kind of work he could get to do. He came to Keene in 1761, and rented the farm now owned by his great-grandaughter, Martha M. Woodward, on road 19. He rented the farm for five years, but soon bought it and resided here until his death. He served in the Revolutionary war, married Militiah Fisher, of Wrentham, Mass., and had born to him four children, as follows: Timothy, Josiah, Militiah, and Hannah. He died June 24, 1797, and his widow died Tune 16, 1810. Timothy was born on this farm April 5, 1764, married Sarah Dwinell, of Keene, who bore him seven children-six sons and one daughter. He died here August 29, 1836, and his widow died April 27, 1853. John, son of Timothy, then became possessor of the farm. He was born June 24, 1795, married Almira Keyes, and reared four children, three of whom are living. Of these, Charles lives in Keene; Sarah married William Spring and lives in Muscatine, Ia.; and Martha M., who lives upon and owns the old farm, married W. H. Woodward. This farm has never been out...

Biographical Sketch of Hezekiah Munsell

Hezekiah Munsell, who was at the battle of Bunker Hill, married Irene Byssell, and reared eleven children. Elisha, his seventh son, served in the war -of 1812, married twice, first, Polly Hurd, second, Lucy C. Sibley, and had born to him twelve children. Six are now living, and his widow resides in...

Biographical Sketch of Thomas H. Leaverett

Thomas H. Leaverett, son of Thomas, was born in Windsor, Vt., February 12, 1806, attended Captain Partridges Military school, and came to Keene in 1836. He married twice, first, Harriet B. Nelson, who bore him one daughter, Sarah D., who is the wife of Reuben A. Tuthid, and resides in Boston. He married for his second wife, Abbey Barnes, of Marlboro, and had born to him one daughter, Kate F., who resides in New York city. Mr. Leaverette was cashier of the Ashuelot National bank, of Keene, from 1836 to 1869. He was quite a noted farmer, and died November 22, 1882. His widow still resides in...

Biography of Godfrey Nims

Godfrey Nims was the first one of the Nims family known in this country, the earliest record extant giving his marriage, in Northampton, Mass., November 28, 1677. His son Ebenezer removed to Deerfield, Mass., a short time previous to 1702, and at the destruction of that town, February 29th, 1703-04, he and Sarah Hoit were among the captives taken and carried to Canada, where they were kept prisoners for about ten years. The Indian chief desired Sarah Holt to marry him, but she declined, promising to marry any one of the captives, and subsequently became the wife of Ebenezer Nims. Ebenezer and Sarah (Hoit) Nims had five sons; the first one was born in Canada. The second son, David,-the subject of this paper,-was born in Deerfield, Mass., March 30, 1716. He was married June 21, 1742, to Abigail Hawks, of Deerfield, and they accompanied tae first settlers in the town of Keene, N. H. They had ten children: David, Jr., born October 29, 1742, married Jemima Carter, of Lancaster, Mass., January 1, 1768, by whom he had ten children; died August 30, 1826. Asahel, born April 30, 1944, died May 15, 1745. Sarah, born May 16, 1746, married Ebenezer Cooke, of Fairlee, Vt., October 25, 1764, by whom he had ten children; she died August 12, 1833. Asahel, born October 11, 1749, died-killed in battle of Bunker Hill-June 17, 1775. Eliakim, born September 1, 1751, married Abigail Briggs, of Keene, February 14, 1778; no children; died March 12, 1846. Zadok, born March 27, 1754, married Betsey Brown, of Leominster, Mass., by whom he had eight children; died January 29,...
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