William P. Egglestone, one of the leading agriculturists of Plainfield, Sullivan County, was born in this town, November 5, 1826, son of Colonel Charles and Betsey (Fullum) Egglestone. His maternal great-grandfather, Samuel Williams, moved with his family, in 1759, from Connecticut to New Hampshire, where, having cleared a farm, he cultivated it for the rest of his active period. Samuel married Sarah Lawrence, who was a descendant of John Lawrence, one of the “Mayflower” Pilgrims.
Samuel Egglestone, the paternal grandfather of William P., and a native of Connecticut, Plainfield. He was twice married. His first wife, whose maiden name is unknown, bore him one son, Samuel (second). When he returned home from the war, his wife was dead, and his boy had disappeared without leaving any trace. Many years afterward an account, published by the local newspapers, of how one Samuel Egglestone, an aged farmer, had mowed half an acre of land before breakfast, was extensively copied throughout New England. It was seen by his son, then forty years old, who, thinking that it might be his father, came to Plainfield and met him. Samuel Egglestone (second) married, and had nine children. His father wedded for his second wife Phœbe Williams, daughter of Samuel Williams, of Plainfield. By this union there were four children-Simon, Sibyl, Charles, and Zeruah. Simon resided in Vermont, and reared a family. Sibyl became the wife of Charles Livermore, of Hartland, Vt.; and Judge Livermore of that State was one of her sons. Zeruah, who became Mrs. Keyes, resided in the West, and had one son.
Colonel Charles Egglestone, William P. Egglestone’s father, was born and reared in Plainfield. After leaving school, he learned the carpenter’s trade, and later became a well-known contractor and builder. He erected several school-houses, academies, and other public buildings in New Hampshire and Vermont, besides many private residences. The house and farm buildings which are now owned by his son, William P., were erected by him in 1842. He served in the War of 1812, and was later commissioned Colonel of the Fifteenth Regiment, New Hampshire Volunteer Militia. Though not active in political affairs, he served with ability as a member of the Board of Selectmen and in other town offices. In his religious views he was a Congregationalist. Colonel Charles Egglestone died June 25, 1858. His wife, Betsey, whom he married in 1812, was born in Fitzwilliam, N.H. She became the mother of nine children, born as follows: Lorenzo, October 30, 1812; Lucinda, August 11, 1815; Francis F., August 6, 1817; Mary Ann, June 27, 1820; Sarah, April 23, 1822; William P., the subject of this sketch; Ai, November 16, 1829; Henry, March 4, 1832; and Helen M., October 23, 1835. Lorenzo, who is no longer living, was a machinist and followed that calling in Cambridge and Boston, Mass. He married Elizabeth Lamarau, of Rochester, N. Y., and had a family of six children. Lucinda married Raymond Page, of Springfield, Vt., and had two children. Francis F. went to Chicago, and engaged in manufacturing furniture. He married Fanny Laughton, and had a family of nine children, of whom the survivors are two sons, now carrying on the business established by their father. Mary Ann married S. F. Redfield, a tailor of Claremont, N.H., and had seven children. Sarah married Daniel Kenyon, a farmer of Claremont, and had four children, two of whom are living. Ai served in the Civil War as a member of the Sixth Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteers, and afterward settled in Bloomington, Ill., where he died. He married Speedy B. Farrington, of Claremont, N.H., and was the father of three children, one of whom is living. Henry was engaged in the furniture business in Chicago. He married Isabella Laughton, who bore him four children, three of whom are living. Helen M. became the wife of George T. Avery, a prosperous farmer of Plainfield, and had one son, who is still living. Mrs. Charles Egglestone died May 1, 1868.
William P. Egglestone began his education in the common schools of Plainfield, and completed Hartland, Vt. When a young man he learned the cabinet-maker’s trade in Boston. From Boston he went to Iowa, and later settled in Chicago, where he followed his trade for a number of years. When paying a visit to his parents, his father died. He was then prevailed upon by his mother to take charge of the farm, and he has since remained at the homestead. He has a large and productive farm, which affords him ample opportunity for the raising of superior crops. He also has a dairy. For twenty years he was engaged in the manufacture of caskets; and he was an undertaker until 1890, when he gave up the business on account of failing health. Mr. Egglestone has acceptably served the community in some of the town offices. He attends the Congregational church.
Mr. Egglestone married Caroline V. Seaver, who was born in Gardiner, Me., April 20, 1830. Mrs. Egglestone’s parents, John and Catherine (Dill) Seaver, died when she was very young. She is the mother of four children, namely: Charles, born August 25, 1860; Leonora K., born March 20, 1863; Addie L., born December 30, 1865; and Florida F., born September 16, 1868. Charles has always resided with his parents, and assists in carrying on the farm. He married Elizabeth Davis, who was born in England, July 14, 1871, daughter of Evan Davis; and she is the mother of one son, William Edward, born April 4, 1896. Leonora K. married Lindsley L. Walker, a native of Reading, Vt., and now a blacksmith of Hanover, N.H. Addie L. is the wife of Fred A. Cowen, a merchant in Lebanon, N.H. Florida F. married George W. Hodges, a maker of fine tools for the Waltham Watch Company, and resides in Waltham, Mass. She has one son, Forrest E., born May 30, 1895.