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George A. Sumner, a popular storekeeper and real estate owner of Hill, was born on the place where he now resides, June 27, 1839, son of George W. and Hannah (Abrams) Sumner. [For the full genealogy of the Sumner family the reader is referred to the account of Governor Increase Sumner, to be found in the General Register.] George Sumner is a direct descendant of Edward Sumner, a Revolutionary patriot, who for a long time would not allow tea to be served on his table, and who was one of the Boston Tea Party. Edward’s son, Nathaniel, by his wife Hannah Bullock Sumner, was also a prominent patriot, and a man of large property and much influence. Nathaniel had a numerous family of children, and gave each of his sons a farm. George, the next in line, married Margaret Lewis. One of his children, who was grandfather of the subject of this sketch, settled in New Boston, N.H. Grandfather Sumner married Lydia Winchester. He bought a farm in Deering, N.H. He was noted in the district for his indomitable courage.
George W. Sumner, at the age of nineteen, after having helped his father in clearing the Deering property, left his home and applied himself to learning the clothing business. He came to Hill and engaged in wool carding and cloth dressing, constructing a dam and erecting a mill for these purposes. In 1825 he built a fine brick house, which is still one of the most prominent structures in the town. He married Hannah Abrams in 1822; and his children were: Mary, Ellen, Catherine, Jane, George A., and Sarah. Of these George is the only survivor.
George A. Sumner was sent to the public schools of Hill and later to Franklin Academy. At the age of nineteen he bought a grist-mill. After running that for a time, he exchanged it for a general merchandise store. A few years later he bought out Mr. Stackpole, whose business was located in the railroad station, and joined the two stores. About the year 1890 he took in a partner. The business is now conducted under the firm name of Sumner & Foss. Recently, becoming interested in real estate, Mr. Sumner has built a number of tenement-houses for the workmen employed in the needle factory. At one time he was the freight, express, and telegraph agent of the Boston & Maine Railroad.
On April 28, 1868, Mr. Sumner married Angie Montague, of Springfield, Mass. His children are: Annie G. and G. Willis Sumner. The last named is a graduate of Oberlin College, Ohio. Mr. Sumner has been an active man in town affairs, and has held several town offices. He has been Justice of the Peace for twenty-five years, Postmaster for four years, and Town Clerk for six years. He has also filled the offices of Selectman and 1895 he represented the town in the State legislature. A loyal Republican, his first Presidential vote was cast for Abraham Lincoln in 1860. He is a Mason, and takes much interest in the development of the organization. He is a member of the Congregational Church of Hill and a regular attendant on the services.