Collection: History of Cheshire County New Hampshire

Fair Grounds And Trotting Park of Keene, NH

The Cheshire County Agricultural Society has grounds here, twenty-six acres in extent, with all the buildings and accessories necessary to a firstclass exhibition, which annually is made. In laying out the grounds the forest trees were permitted to stand along the avenues where the cattle pens are located, so that visitors may view the specimens and be well protected from sun or rain. The grounds are about a mile and a half distant from the cityhall. The Agricultural Society was organized January 16, 1850, when Salma Hale, of Keene, was chosen president; A. B. Hodskins, of Walpole, Edmund Jones, of Marlboro, and Thomas D. Gibbs, of Jaffrey, vice-presidents; T. H. Leverett, of Keene, secretary and treasurer; and Upton Burnap, of Nelson, Thomas H. Adams, of Fitzwilliam, and Charles Watkins, of Walpole, executive committee. The present officers are, George K. Wright, president; Elbridge Kingsbury, secretary; and Joseph A. Abbott, treasurer. In 1875 the Keene Driving Park Association was formed, by a stock company, fifty shares at $100.00 each being sold. A fine half-mile track was made on Main street, near Swanzey plain, with accessory buildings, etc., at a cost of $8,500.00. The first meeting was held thereon on the 3d of July, 1875, when there were eighty-five entries. In 1879 the company sold the park to a company of gentlemen of which M. J. Sherman was president, and F. A....

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History of Education in Keene, New Hampshire

Although Keene is divided into eleven school districts, No. i is the metropolitan, called Union district, and includes the schools of the city proper. The suburban districts partake largely of the characteristics of rural schools. The following table gives a fair idea of the citys buildings and school facilities :- School House Pearl street 72 $ 525 00 1,$-3,500 00 $ 4,025 00 116 School street, old building. 41 400 00 2,000 00 2,400 00 112 School St., new building.. 141 125 00 3,111 00 3,236 00 98 Fuller school 5A 300 00 4,155 00 3,455 00 112 Washington street 40 150 00 2,000 00 I 2,150 00 105 Lincoln street 69 300 03 3,000 00 3,300 00 104 Main street 40 200 00 1,200 00 1,400 00 97 High school 104 6,100 00 50,000 00 56,100 00 379 Church street 46 Center street 71 Total 434 $8,100 00 $68,966 00 1$77,066 00 1240 Personal property 3,000 00 Total value of Dists prop. $80,066 00 The High-school building on Winter street, one of the finest buildings in the city, was completed in 1876. It is ninety-one feet long and sixty-one feet wide, and is flanked in front by a projecting tower twenty-one feet and eleven inches wide. From a foundation of solid granite it rises to a height of eighty feet, and reaches, with the tower, an altitude of...

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Military History of Keene, New Hampshire

During the period of the Revolution, Keene performed her part faithfully. In 1773 the foot company of Keene numbered 126, under command of Col.. Josiah Willard. The alarm list, numbering forty-five, seems to have been made up of the older men, including many of the original settlers; the selectmen of Keene, David Nims. Eliphalet Briggs, Jr., and Benjamin Hall, reported the following census for Keene : Unmarried men, from sixteen to sixty 65. Married men, from sixteen to sixty 96 Boys, sixteen years and under : 140• Men, sixty years and upwards : 1, Females, unmarried 217 Females, married 105. Widows 10 Male Slave : 1 Total 645 In 1774 the town made preparations for war by the purchase of ” 200 lbs of good gun powder, 400 lbs. of lead, and 1,200 flints,” raising “twenty-four pounds, lawful money” for that purpose. October 17th of that year, Capt. Isaac Wyman and Lieut. Timothy Ellis were chosen delegates to the county congress, at Walpole. The battle of Lexington was fought on the loth of April, 1775. The news reached Keene soon after, and Captain Dorman, in command of the militia, with the advice of Captain Wyman, ” sent expresses to every part of the town,, notifying the inhabitants to meet, forthwith, on the green.” Upon their meeting in the afternoon the citizens voted unanimously to raise a body of men...

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Early Settlement of Keene, New Hampshire

Up to the winter of 1736 no person had remained in the town during that season. Those who came in the summer to clear their lands brought their provisions with them, and erected temporary huts to shelter them from the weather. But during that summer, Nathan Blake and Seth Heaton, from Wrentham, and William Smeed, from Deerfield, made preparation to pass the winter in the wilderness. Their house was at the south end of Main street. Their stock consisted of a yoke of oxen and a pair of horses, one of the latter belonging to Heaton and the others to Blake. During the winter Blakes horse was drowned in Beaver brook while drawing logs to the saw-mill which had been erected the previous year. In the beginning of February their provisions gave out, and Heaton was sent to Northfield for a new supply, but was unable to make his way back through the snow. The others, when they saw he failed to return, turned the cattle loose where they might have access to the hay, and started for Massachusetts on snow-shoes. When they returned in the spring they found their cattle safe, but very, hungry and glad to see them. In 1740, however, there were in the town the following landowners – Rev. Jacob Bacon, Josiah Fisher, Joseph Fisher, Nathan Blake, William Smeed. Seth Heaton, Joseph Ellis, Ebenezer Nims,...

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Keene New Hampshire Proprietor List

In March, 1732, a committee was appointed to lay out house-lots in the townships mentioned, who, in June, made a report of the house-lots in the Upper township. Of these, fifty-four were laid out on what is now the city plain, twenty-seven on each side of the Main street, and the other nine upon the plain on the Swanzey line. They were 160 rods long and eight rods wide, each containing eight acres. This committee, being also authorized to admit settlers, notified all persons who were desirous of taking lots to meet at Concord, Mass., June 26, 1734. A few days previous to the time for holding this meeting, the general court passed the following item: ” Voted, That after the sixty persons [grantees] for each township shall have drawn lots, given bonds, and paid their _15 each according to the order of the court, passed in July, 1732. they forthwith assemble at Concord, Mass., and then and there choose a moderator and proprietors clerk, agree upon rules and methods for the fulfillment of their respective grants, for making further divisions, and attend to any other matters or things necessary for the speedy settlement of said townships.” Upon these several votes the proprietors of Upper Ashuelot entirely depended for titles to their land, as no charter was ever given by Massachusetts. The meeting was held at Concord, according to...

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General History of Gilsum NH

GILSUM lies in the northern-central part of the county, in lat. 43° 1′ and long. 4° 50′. In outline it is similar to that of a carpenter’s square, bounded north by Alstead and Marlow, east by Stoddard and Sullivan, south by Sullivan and Keene, and west by Surry. It was originally granted, under the name of Boyle, to Joseph Osgood and his associates, December 30, 1752. No settlements were made under this grant, through fear of the Indians, until so late a date that the charter was forfeited But notwithstanding this, in March, 1761, Benjamin Bellows bought of Rebecca Blanchard, widow of Joseph Blanchard, of Dunstable, Mass, the “Rights he had in Boyle,” for £67, 10s. ” sterling money.” This deed conveyed twenty-six rights, and also mentions the names of their original owners. Four days after, March 28, 1761, he also bought of Theodore Atkinson, of Portsmouth, for £60, 15s. sterling, twenty-seven rights more. On the 1st of May, 1761, he sold 18,000 acres for £1,350, “lawful money,” to Samuel Gilbert, Esq., Josiah Kilburn, Thomas Sumner, Jonathan Smith and Joseph Mack, all of Connecticut. These five men doubtless sold shares to those who subsequently became associated with them as proprietors of Gilsum, though no record of such sale has yet been found. Thomas Sumner, it ” behalf of himself and other proprietors in the town of Boyle,” petitioned Gov....

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Biographical Sketch of Ziba Mason

Ziba Mason settled at an early date upon the farm now occupied by George F. Wise, where he died about 1845. His son Ziba, born on the old place, died here about 1862, aged sixty-three years. The latter’s son, William M., born on the old homestead, is now a merchant of Marlboro and represented the town in...

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General History of Marlboro, New Hampshire

MARLBORO is a small irregularly outlined township, lying in the central part of the county, in lat. 24° 54 and long. 4° 49′, bounded north by Roxbury, east by Harrisville, Dublin and Jaffrey, south by Troy, and west by Troy, Swanzey and Keene. It was originally granted by the Masonian proprietors, under the name of Monadnock No. 5, to James Morrison, Jr., and thirty-one associates, May 20, 1752. This charter granted to these gentlemen a tract of 20,000 acres, bounded as follows: “Beginning at the northwest corner of the township called North Monadnock No. 3, [Dublin]. thence north 80° west three and a half miles to a beach tree on the west line of Mason’s Patent; thence southerly on that line seven and three-quarter miles and forty rods, to the northwest corner of the township called Monadnock No. 4, [Fitzwilliam]; thence south 80° east about four miles by the north line of said No. 4, to the west line of Monadnock No. 2, [Jaffrey]; and thence north by the needle by Monadnock Nos. 2 and 3, to the bounds began at.” The proprietors met at the house of Joseph Blanchard, in Dunstable, N. H., on the same day the charter was issued and formally accepted the grant, etc. Most of them were residents of Dunstable and Londonderry, and doubtless took the land as a speculation, with no idea of...

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Biographical Sketch of Luther Hemenway

Luther Hemenway was born in Framingham, Mass., in 1787, and came to Marlboro with his parents when but six months old, his mother bearing him with her on horse-back, making their way by the aid of marked trees. He died in Jaffrey in 1872. His son Luther has served the town as selectman six terms and is engaged in a manufacturing...

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Biographical Sketch of John Converse

John Converse, a native of Leicester, Mass., came to Marlboro in 1780 and located about half a mile east of the village. Here he passed his time as a carpenter and joiner, wheelwright and farmer, until his death, about 1850. His son Nelson was born here and has been proprietor of the Converse House for the past twenty years. He is a justice of the peace, was colonel of the 6th N. H. Vols., has been deputy sheriff many years, represented the town in 1855-56, and has been selectman two or three...

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Biographical Sketch of Dr. Samuel A. Richardson

Dr. Samuel A. Richardson was born in Dublin, N. H. He graduated at the Albany Medical college, remained in a hospital one year, and came to Marlboro, July 5, 1855. He remained in practice here until 1862, when he went out with the lath N. H. Vols., and remained in the service until the close of the war. At the time of the surrender of Lee, at Appomatox, the doctor furnished the lunch partaken of by the vanquished and victorious commanders. With this refreshment he managed to furnish some liquor, which he said they drank in silence and with bowed heads. Dr. Richardson died June 19,...

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Biographical Sketch of Isaac Davis

Isaac Davis, the seventh son of a seventh son, and hence called Doctor, immigrated from Massachusetts to Roxbury while that town was still a wilderness, residing there until his death, in 1840. His son Joshua was born there in 1796, and died July 2, 1862, while Joshua’s son, George G., born in Roxbury, August 28, 1842, has been a resident of Marlboro since 1859. He is engaged in mercantile pursuits, has served as state senator from the 14th District, and was in the late war a year and a...

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Biographical Sketch of Levi Gates

Levi Gates came to Marlboro with his father, from Massachusetts, about the year 1805, locating in the southern part of the town. He died about 1860, aged sixty-nine years. His son, Winslow L., is still a resident of the...

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