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Biography of Aaron Hammond

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Aaron Hammond built here about 1785. He drew the boards for his house from Swanzey, and split and shaved his own shingles and clap boards, some of which were found sound and bright seventy years after. This house was removed some years ago, to be the sugar house, owned by Mr. T. T. Clark. Mr. Hammond served the town as moderator, and was selectman four years. He was the ancestor of all the Gilsum Hammonds. This has always been one of the leading families of the place, and though mostly scattered at present, those who have gone to other places have maintained the reputation of the family elsewhere. Aaron Hammond, Jr., lived here with his father till his death, at the early age of thirty-four. His widow was well known as a tailoress for many years, and was highly esteemed. Rachel Hammond, daughter of Aaron, was the only child in Gilsum who was born blind. Her mother took unwearied pains to instruct her, so that she learned to knit and sew. Hearing others read, she would repeat the words after them, and called it reading. In this way she read the Bible through in course more than once. But for her blindness she would have been a woman of more than common activity and influence. John, son of Aaron, was born in Swanzey, June 26, 1773, built his house in Gilsum, in 1796, and married Deborah White, May 9, 1797. He reared a family of four children, as follows: John, Deborah, Phila, and Mary. He served the town four years as moderator, was selectman fourteen years, and represented Gilsum and Surry three years in the legislature. He was also justice of the peace and coroner for the county. He was a noted school-master for many years, taught singing, and was leader in the choir, and played the bass viol. He died March 20, 1830. His son, John, Jr., was born April 4, 1799, married Fannie W. Day, February 24, 1824, and has had born to him four children, as follows : John E. W., Fannie M., Aaron D., and Leroy E. He has served the town as select. man, was twice elected to the legislature, and has also been a justice of the peace. He now resides with his son, Aaron D. The latter was born February 13, 1831, has been moderator sixteen years, selectman nine years, rep. resented the town two years in the legislature, and is a justice of the peace. He is now engaged in the mercantile business in this town. He married Mary A Chandler, March 10, 1864.


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