Collection: Merrimack and Sullivan Counties New Hampshire Biographies

Biography of Danford Rice

Danford Rice, late a well-known farmer of Claremont, who died August 4, 1877, was born in this town, December 2, 1805. His grandfather, Ebenezer Rice, who was one of the earliest settlers of Claremont, coming with a little colony of pioneers from Tolland, Conn., bought considerable land in the village, but afterward removed to West Claremont. He was a carpenter by trade, and framed the old Union church at West Claremont. He was a Deacon of the church, and in the absence of a minister he used to read the services. A stanch patriot, he fought for American independence in the Revolution. His death occurred April 24, 1829. His children were: Joseph; Stephen; Ebenezer; and Phebe, who became Mrs. Timothy Grannis. His son Joseph was a prosperous farmer, a man of influence in the town, and one of the leading members of the Union Church. He married Lucy Barron, who was born June 14, 1772. He died April 24, 1829, his wife surviving him until August 28, 1847. They had a large family of children. Minerva, the eldest, born November 30, 1795, married Daniel Bond. Horace was born July 2, 1801. He died in Cambridge, Mass., in 1872. Franklin was born May 2, 1803; and Sanford and Danford, twins, were born December 2, 1805. Sanford was lost in the Mexican War. Phebe Pamelia was born January 18, 1809, and...

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Biography of Abiathar Richards

Abiathar Richards, a retired merchant of Newport, was born here, October 8, 1825, son of Seth and Fanny Richards, of Dedham, Mass. He is descended from Edward Richards, one of the twelve immigrants bearing that surname, who, England to this country at different times in the period between 1630 and 1728, and whose descendants are to-day represented in the learned professions, the arts, commerce, and the general business of the country. Edward Richards, who arrived in 1632, was the sixth of the twelve referred to. With him, a fellow-passenger on the ship “Lion,” was his brother Nathaniel, who afterward joined the party led by the Rev. Mr. Hooker through the wilderness to the valley of the Connecticut, and was among the founders of Hartford. While a resident of Cambridge, Mass., on September 10, 1638, Edward married Susan Hunting. He was afterward one of the sixty-two original proprietors of the town of Dedham, near Boston, where many of his descendants are to be found to-day. He spent the rest of his life in Dedham, and died there in 1684. From Edward the line of descent comes through John (first), John (second), John (third), and Abiathar to the sixth generation, represented by Sylvanus, who in the beginning of this century moved with his family to Newport, N.H., and settled on a large tract of land in the western part of the...

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Biography of Amos Richardson

Amos Richardson, an influential resident of Cornish, was born here, November 27, 1817, son of Amos and Sophia (Cummings) Richardson. He is a descendant of Dr. Amos Richardson, who was a physician of note in Pelham, N.H. Dr. Amos’s son, Joseph, was grandfather of the subject of this sketch. Joseph’s children were: Miriam, Joseph, David, Josiah, Sarah, Mercy, Rebecca, and Amos. Miriam, now deceased, was the wife of Joshua Wyman, of Pelham, and the mother of seven children; Joseph married Polly Hilliard, of Cornish, and had a family of twelve children; David, now deceased, married Sarah Ford, and was the father of seven children; Josiah, who was unmarried, is deceased; Sarah married John Huggins, and is now deceased; Mercy, who married Aaron Hibbard, had no children, and is now deceased; Rebecca, who never married, lived to be eighty-two years of age. Amos Richardson, Sr., a native of Pelham, born in November, 1785, moved to Cornish with his parents when only four years of age. After finishing his education, which was obtained in the town schools, he went to Massachusetts; but after a while, at the urgent request of his parents, he came back to carry on the farm, the present homestead of his son. He was very prominent in the town, and was much interested in town affairs. He was Tax Collector for a number of years, also Selectman;...

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Biography of Oscar F. Richardson

Oscar F. Richardson, a wellknown citizen of Concord, was born at Southbridge, Vt., January 2, 1835, son of Hazen and Zilby (Whitcomb) Richardson. Hazen Richardson was a native of the State of New Hampshire, and was a carpenter by trade. He removed to Whitehall, N.Y., quite early in life, and passed most of his 1860, at the age of about seventy years. He and his wife, Zilby Whitcomb Richardson, had eight children; namely, Delilah, Dequesna, Lillian, Cornelia, Oscar F., Henrietta, Jeffers O., and Alice, of whom Delilah, Dequesna, Lillian, Jeffers O., and Alice are now deceased. Oscar F. Richardson, after being educated in the district schools of Stockbridge, Vt., first found employment in the woollen-mills of that town, where he continued for the next five years. He then went to Massachusetts, where he remained for about two years. At the end of that time he came to Concord, to take charge of the finishing-rooms in the mills of Messrs. B. F. & D. Holden, which have since been incorporated as the Concord Manufacturing Company; and he remained in their employ some seven years. He was subsequently appointed a station agent for the C. & C. Railroad, which position he held for more than six years. He was then employed at the Concord Water Works at West Concord, and was also appointed superintendent of Penacook Park. He was also connected...

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Biography of John Evans Robertson

John Evans Robertson, a wellknown ice dealer of Concord, was born May 9, 1843, in Warner, N.H., son of Harrison D. and Sarah C. (Evans) Robertson, both of Warner. The families of both parents were old residents of Merrimack County, New Hampshire. The maternal ancestors originally came from Newburyport, Mass., where Grandfather Benjamin Evans officiated as Sheriff, being also a prominent business man. John E. Robertson attended the public schools of Warner, and subsequently fitted for college in the academy at Henniker, N.H. However, after leaving school at the age of eighteen, he did not go to college. In 1864 he went to Montreal, and there engaged in the produce business, under the firm name of Buck, Robertson & Co. Six years later, on account of ill health, he returned to Warner, where he conducted a country store until 1874, when he came to Concord. Here he was assistant cashier of the National Savings Bank for eight years. Beginning in 1882 he dealt in coal, wood, and ice until 1888, when he sold out on account of failing health. Three years later he resumed the ice business, which he still carries on. He is a trustee and the assistant treasurer of the National Savings Bank. When the institution went into liquidation in 1877, he was appointed assignee by the court. He is also a trustee of the Guarantee Savings...

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Biography of Charles M. Rolfe

Charles M. Rolfe, a well-known manufacturer of Concord, is a native of this city, born August 18, 1841, son of Nathaniel and Mary J. (Moody) Rolfe. His paternal grandfather, also named Nathaniel, was one of the pioneer settlers of Concord, and came here from Haverhill, Mass. He secured the first water-power operated on the Merrimack River, and carried on a considerable lumbering business besides being engaged in farming. This water-power is still in possession of the family, and has been for the past seventy-five years. Grandfather Rolfe died in 1829, full of years and honor, and left to his sons the valuable water privilege above mentioned, besides a large tract of timber land. Nathaniel Rolfe, Jr., father of Charles M., was also a farmer and lumberman. He carried on a large trade, and furnished lumber for the frames of many of the great mills at Lawrence and Lowell, Mass. He is still living, a hale and hearty man, at the age of eighty-three years. His wife was Miss Mary J. Moody, a daughter of Joseph Moody, of Canterbury. She became the mother of six children-Charles, Joseph, Abial, John, Mary, and Arthur. Mary died at the age of nine years. Joseph was a New Hampshire sharpshooter in the Civil War, and saw much active service. He is now a resident of Minneapolis, Minn., where he deals in real estate and...

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Biographical Sketch of Robert H. Rolfe

Robert H. Rolfe, the courteous and efficient cashier and advertising manager of the Republican Press Association at Concord, N.H., was born here, October 16, 1863, and is the son of Henry Pearson and Mary Rebecca (Sherburne) Rolfe, of this city. In his boyhood he attended the public schools of Concord, and, after graduating from the high school, entered Dartmouth College, where he was graduated in the class of 1884. He then for a short time engaged in the study of law; but, feeling more inclination for a business career, he abandoned the thought of a profession, and entered the employ of the Boston & Lowell Railroad as an accountant. He afterward served the Boston & Maine Railroad in the same capacity. In 1889 he went to North Adams, Mass., as assistant superintendent of the Zylonite Manufacturing New Jersey. He then returned to Concord, and soon after was offered his present position of cashier and advertising manager of the Republican Press Association, which he fills with great acceptance to all concerned. After graduating from college, he entered the New Hampshire National Guard as a private in Company C of the Third Regiment of New Hampshire, and has been rapidly promoted until three years ago he attained the rank of Colonel in the regiment, and has held it ever since. Colonel Rolfe makes a fine officer; and not only is he...

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Biography of Timothy B. Rossiter

Timothy B. Rossiter, one of the wealthiest men in Claremont, was born there, September 18, 1807, son of Sherman and Olive (Baldwin) Rossiter. Sir Edward Rossiter, the founder of the family, with his son and son’s wife, Dr. and Mrs. Bray Rossiter, embarked from Plymouth, England, on the ship “Mary and John,” March 20, 1630, and arrived at Nantasket, Mass., May 30, 1630. They began a settlement at Mattapan, and in the spring of 1636 removed to Windsor, Conn. Sir Edward Rossiter, who was chosen in London in 1629 to serve as an assistant to Governor Winthrop, died soon after his arrival in the colonies. Dr. Bray Rossiter, his son, removed in 1650 to Guilford, Conn., where he became a planter, and purchased in 1651 the Desbourough estate. Dr. Rossiter died September 30, 1672, leaving ten children. Josiah Rossiter, a son of the Doctor, born at Windsor, removed with his father to Guilford. For ten years, between the years 1700 and 1711, he was Assistant Governor in the colony of Connecticut, and for some years Recorder and Justice of the Peace. He had seventeen children. His death occurred January 31, 1716. Theophilus, his son, born February 12, 1696, married Abigail Pierson, November 18, 1725, became the father of fourteen children, and died April 9, 1770. His son, Captain William, who was born February 11, 1740, married Submit Chittenden, February...

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Biography of John P. Rounsevel

John P. Rounsevel, formerly a well-known wool buyer of Claremont, was born in Unity, N.H., January 2, 1815, son of Royal and Betsey (Sweat) Rounsevel. Rounseville, the original spelling of the name, was changed to the present form by Joseph Rounsevel about the year 1768. In 1749 Thomas Rounseville wrote from Ottery St. Mary to Philip Rounseville, of England, who afterward came to this country. He settled in Freetown, Mass., and was called by the townspeople King Philip. His son Joseph, who, born January 3, 1737, died in 1827, went to Washington, N.H., between 1768 and 1772, from Middleboro, Mass., having previously resided in East Freetown. Joseph was a good farmer, a well-read man, and a Justice of the Peace. He executed the legal business of the town, and represented Washington with other towns in the General Court. His children were: Alden, Charity, Phebe, John, Rosamond, and Royal. Alden married Hannah Wells. Charity married Manasseh Farnsworth in 1784. Phebe never married. John married Rebecca Chamberlain in 1768. Rosamond married Thomas Putnam in 1787. Royal’s children were: Joseph, Minerva, Elle I., Lyman, and John P. Of them Joseph, who was born in 1796, and died December 24, 1858, married Betsey Laughton, who had by him five children-Sarah, Harriet, Holmes, Lyman, and Marinda. Minerva, born in 1799, who married John Stowell, had no children, and died in July, 1848. Elle I.,...

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Biography of Alvin W. Sanders

Alvin W. Sanders, one of the leading merchants of Pittsfield, was born in this town, October 5, 1850, son of William and Adeline (Reynolds) Sanders. His grandfather, Samuel Sanders, who was a resident of Strafford, N.H., followed shoemaking and farming throughout the active period of his life, and died at the age of seventy years. Samuel’s wife, whose maiden name was Betsey Cater, lived to be eighty years old. She was the mother of nine children, all now deceased, of whom William was the youngest. William Sanders was born in Strafford, and reared upon a farm. He learned the shoemaker’s trade, and afterward worked at it, and also conducted a good farm in Pittsfield. In politics he was a Democrat. He married for his first wife Abiagail Sanders, widow of William Sanders, of Strafford; and by that union there were five children, of whom the only survivor is Betsey. His second marriage was contracted with Adeline, daughter of John Reynolds, of Strafford; and she became the mother of five children, four of whom are living-Alvin W., Martin, Clara, and George. Martin wedded Eva Noyes, of Barnet, Vt.; and Clara is the wife of Benjamin Rollins, of Concord, N.H., and has two children-Florence and Bertha. Mrs. William Sanders, who is seventy-two years old, is residing at the homestead in this town. Alvin W. Sanders acquired his education in the schools...

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Biography of Charles S. Rowell

Charles S. Rowell, a farmer and the Postmaster of West Hopkinton, was born June 26, 1857, in the house which he now occupies, son of Isaac and Harriet (Adams) Rowell. This farm was owned by his great-grandfather, who settled here shortly after the Revolutionary War, probably about 1780, and was the birthplace of his grandfather, Moses Rowell, who was born November 29, 1776. Moses lived on the farm both during his father’s lifetime and after his death, when he became its owner. At one time he owned some mills; but after a while he sold them, devoting himself exclusively to the farm. On November 26, 1801, he married Tamesin Eastman, who had eight children-Abram, Benjamin, Elizabeth, Abram, Isaac, Albert G., Achsa, and Roxana. Abram died at the age of seven years, Albert at the age of five, and Achsa in infancy. Isaac Rowell, born April 19, 1813, remained on the farm with his father until he was sixteen years of age. Then he learned the carpenter’s trade, which he afterward followed until his marriage, on which occasion he returned to the farm. He made several additions to the farm, which contained in his time about three hundred acres of land. In 1840, February 20, he married Harriet R. Adams, a daughter of James and Lydia Johnson Adams, of Henniker. They had five children, namely: James A. and Harriet Ella,...

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Biography of Daniel B. Sanborn

Daniel B. Sanborn, a successful farmer of East Concord, Merrimack County, was born in Webster, N.H., April 12, 1840, son of Daniel and Sally (Batchelder) Sanborn. Mr. Sanborn’s grandfather, Tristam Sanborn, came to Webster with his wife and her parents, and took up land on what is now known as Sanborn and Clough’s Hill. He lived to be quite an old man, and remained in this place until his death. He had a large family of children, of whom Daniel, father of the subject of this sketch, was the youngest but one. Daniel Sanborn moved to Canterbury when his son Daniel B. was but an infant. He bought a farm there, but later came to East Concord, and spent his last days here, dying at the age of seventy-two years. During his early life he worked for a time as a stone cutter, but subsequently devoted himself to farming. While living in Canterbury he served as Selectman. His wife, Sally Batchelder Sanborn, was a daughter of Samuel Batchelder, of Northwood, N.H. Their family consisted of four children, including the subject of this sketch: Ann is the wife of Charles L. Brown, and resides in Concord; Frank, the youngest son, married Hattie Blanchard, and has two sons; Mary Etta is unmarried. Daniel B. Sanborn, the eldest child of his parents, received his education in the district schools of Canterbury and...

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Biography of Charles Gilman Sanders

Charles Gilman Sanders, an enterprising lumber manufacturer of Chichester, was born in this town, April 30, 1824, son of Elijah and Olive (Philbrick) Sanders. His grandfather, Robert Sanders, followed the sea from the age of seventeen until he was sixty years old. Robert was engaged in both the foreign and coast trade; and during the War of 1812 he served upon a privateering vessel, which was fitted out at Portsmouth, N.H., by Captain Chase. His last days were passed in Epsom, N.H.; and he died at the age of sixty-four years. He voted with the Whig party in politics, and in his religious views was a Congregationalist. He married a Miss Foss, who lived to be seventy-eight years old; and she reared six sons and two daughters. Elijah Sanders, born in Epsom in 1799, learned both tanning and shoemaking, and afterward followed those trades in Chichester for fifty years. He was an energetic and industrious man. His wife, Olive, was a daughter of Perkins Philbrick, a native of Rye, N.H., who moved from that town to Epsom, where he passed the rest of his life. She became the mother of two sons: Charles G., the subject of this sketch; and George S., who is no longer living. George S. Sanders married for his first wife Elizabeth Baxter, of Bridgewater, Mass. By that union there is one son, Charles H....

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Biographical Sketch of David Sargent

David Sargent, a well-known farmer and cattle dealer of Dunbarton, Merrimack County, N.H., was born in this town in 1833, son of Eliphalet R. and Lydia (Wells) Sargent. His paternal grandfather, Thomas, was a native of Goffstown, N.H., in which place, also, he died. He was a farmer by occupation. Eliphalet R. Sargent was born in Goffstown, Hillsborough County, N.H. He acquired a common-school education in his native town, after which he engaged in farming during the rest of his active life. In politics he was a Republican; and he served as Selectman and as Representative to the legislature two years, besides filling other Lydia Wells Sargent, reared nine children. Mr. Sargent died at the age of eighty-two years. David Sargent, who was the next to the youngest of his parents’ four sons, was educated in the schools of Dunbarton and Derry, N.H. He then went to work on the farm, where he still remains. His enterprising spirit has led him to engage in the manufacture of lumber, and he has also dealt extensively in cattle. Some time ago he made a tour through the West, visiting Salt Lake City and many other important places, including some in California. Mr. Sargent married Mary Ann, daughter of John and Mehitable (Smith) Woodburn, of Londonderry, N.H.; and they have reared five children, namely: Fred D. Sargent, born February 5, 1858; Mary...

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Biography of Walter Sargent

Walter Sargent, of Elm Farm, in the town of Warner, N.H., is well known as one of the most skilful, progressive, and successful agriculturists of Merrimack County. He was born December 25, 1837, in Warner Lower Village, a son of Abner and Martha J. (Morrill) Sargent. He is of English antecedents, tracing his lineage back to Richard Sargent, an English naval officer, whose son William, born in England in 1602, was the emigrant ancestor. He came to New England at an early period, taking with him a family of daughters, who had been left motherless by the death of his first wife, Judith Perkins, and was one of the twelve men who began a settlement at Ipswich, Mass., in 1633. He subsequently helped form settlements in Newbury, Mass., and Hampton, N.H.; and in 1640 he removed to Salisbury, Mass., becoming one of the eighteen original proprietors of that part of Essex County now included within the limits of Amesbury. His second wife, Elizabeth, bore him two sons-Thomas and William. He received several grants of land, and in 1667 was one of the Selectmen of the town. He continued his residence in Amesbury until his death in 1675. The line was continued through his son Thomas, who was born June 11, 1643, and married Rachel Barnes. Their son, Thomas, Jr., born November 15, 1676, was the father of Stephen Sargent,...

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