Elder John G. Hook, of Concord, N.H., was born in Chichester, this State, February 13, 1820, the son of Jacob Hook. Elder Hook’s grandfather, Francis Hook, was born in Salisbury, Mass. He was a fisherman by occupation, and he also ran a horseback express from his native town to Newburyport. He finally bought a large tract of land in Chichester, and started all his five sons in life with a comfortable farm. Jacob Hook, father of Elder Hook, was the eldest of the family. He was educated in the Salisbury public schools, and was engaged in farming all his life. At the time of his death he was exactly ninety-two years and six months old. He married Hannah Griffin, of Northwood, N.H. Six children were born to him: Esther B.; Asa J.; Mary A.; Elvira, who died at the age of five; John G., the subject of this sketch; and William P.
Elder Hook is the only survivor of this 1839 he started for the Far West. On the way he met some kinsfolk, among them an aunt and several cousins, and stayed with them in the town of Marcellus, N.Y., where he was providentially converted to the Christian religion, largely through the influence of his devoted aunt. Word reached his parents in the East that he had been murdered, and his mother was saved from dying of grief through the timely arrival of a letter from her son.
After his return to Concord he attended some religious meetings conducted by Elder Joshua B. Hines, of Boston, who came here with a mammoth tent, the largest then made in the United States, costing eight hundred dollars. Its maker, James Martin, pitched the tent and cared for it. Those were wonderful meetings, awakening great interest, and people came to them from all parts of the country. Here Elder Hook heard for the first time the Advent doctrine, which he accepted; and, laying aside all else, he went at once to spreading the tidings of the second coming of Christ. Since that time he has devoted his life to this work, and during all these years has never preached for a living. He has travelled over two hundred thousand miles without aid from any missionary society or backing from any church, and has never had a salary or fixed price for his services. He has preached in many of the States and Territories and in the British Provinces, and has been able, with what the Lord has moved others to help him, to pay his own expenses by working in different lines. He has dealt largely in real estate. He bought the land on the hill in Concord where he now lives, and laid out Auburn Street at his own expense. At one time he labored independently in Hawaii. His preaching has extended through fifty-five years. He once held meetings in San Francisco under his tent, three services a day for eighty consecutive days, his audiences being composed of people from many lands and of various nationalities. Later in the same year his tent was destroyed by a storm. A series of revival meetings, held by him in Concord in Phoenix Hall and in Eagle Hall, independently of any of the churches, resulted in the greatest revival that has ever been experienced in this city. It lasted for two months, and Elder Hook baptized one hundred and fifty converts by immersion; and on one occasion four of the Concord clergymen assisted Elder Hook at a river baptism. About two thousand souls have been baptized by Elder Hook, and fourteen of these have become ministers.
Elder Hook married Celinda H. Ingersoll, daughter of Cornelius Ingersoll, who was named by an Indian chief and was the first male white child born in Onondaga County, New York. Elder and Mrs. Hook have two children-Eunice and Alice. Eunice C. is the wife of Captain E. F. Gordon, a veteran of the Civil War and brother of the late Rev. Dr. A. J. Gordon, of Boston. Alice married Abner Blodgett, a relative of Judge Blodgett, of this State.
Elder Hook has never meddled with politics, confining himself to the spreading of the gospel. He has never voted for a governor or a President. He is the maker of a healing balm for all kinds of inflammatory diseases. It is for internal and external application. It is in common use in Concord; and the testimonies are many from lawyers, doctors, ministers, Europe while their flocks suffer at home.