Albert S. Wait, of Newport, the oldest lawyer in active practice in Sullivan County, was born in Chester, Windsor County, Vt., April 14, 1821, son of Daniel and Cynthia (Reed) Wait. His grandfather, John Wait, was among the early settlers of Mason, N.H. John moved to Weston, Vt., and was a sturdy farmer of that Green Mountain town and a highly respected member of the community. He died in Weston at a good old age. His children were: James, John Sumner, Daniel Amos, Lucinda, and Mrs. Davis. Daniel Wait, who followed the trade of blacksmith, was a Brigadier-general in the State militia and in his last years a Justice of the Peace. He first settled in Chester and afterward in the village of Saxton’s River, Rockingham, Vt. He was grand juror of the town of Rockingham, which is an office peculiar Vermont. A man of good judgment, he had the esteem of his fellow-townsmen. In religion he was a Universalist. He was a Democrat in politics, and one of two men in Chester village who voted for Andrew Jackson. He died in 1856 or 1857, at the age of seventy. His wife, who belonged to the Methodist Episcopal church, died when ninety-two years of age. Their children were: Martha E. Spaulding, who lives in West Springfield, Mass.; Sarah A. Spaulding, now deceased; Otis F. R., who was a prominent...Read More
Location: Alstead New Hampshire
1. Amos2 Wood, son of Joshua1 and Esther (Esty) Wood, was b. in Keene, June 16, 1794; d. Wilton, June 12, 1873; was a farmer and lived in Keene, Walpole and Wilton. He was a Deacon in the Congregational church of Walpole. He m. (1), Sept. 23, 1817, Fanny Seward, b. Sullivan, Nov. 13, 1794, d. Walpole, Sept. 19, 1848; dau. of Dea. Josiah and Sarah (Osgood) Seward of S. He m. (2), Mar 20, 1850. Pamelia Wightman, b. Walpole (?), 1795, d. there, Nov. 16, 1854; dau. of Israel and Frances (Allen) Wightman; m. (3), Apr. 16, 1858, Mrs. Lucinda (Gould) Kent of Nashua. b. Henniker, Dec. 22, 1807, widow of Abel Willard Kent, and dau. of Benjamin and Abigail (Clark) Gould. Ch. b. Keene: Amos Seward3, b. Dec. 5, 1817, was a baggage master on the Cheshire R. R. There had been a train wrecked and some broken, derailed cars were left near the track. He wished to show the spectacle to a friend who was riding with him, and, opening the side door a little, he cautiously put out his head to see where he was, but just in time to be hit by the derailed car, from the effects of which accident he died very soon after, Apr. 24, 1856. He m., Jan. 6, 1841, Roxana Seward, b. Sullivan, May 22, 1821, dau. of Abijah...Read More
Benjamin1 Willis, who d. at Keene, Mar. 22, 1820, aged 80, was probably the father of Benjamin2, 1, of Sullivan. 1. Benjamin2 Willis, son of Benjamin1, was a farmer and res. Keene and Sullivan; d. in Sullivan, Aug. 26, 1837, aged 75; m. Mar. 17, 1785, Annis Briggs b. Norton, Mass., Sept. 25, 1759, d. Sullivan, Jan. 22, 1831; dau. of Elisha and Mary Briggs of Keene. Ch. b. Keene: Mary3 (christened Polly), b. Mar. 17, 1785; m. John Newman (q. v.) Sarah3, b. 1789; m. Robert. Hall (q. v.) Annis3, b. May 25, 1794. Asenath3, b. unk.; d. Keene, unm., June 10, 1824. Fanny3, b. Dec. 6, 1798. 2. Annis3 Willis, dau. of Benjamin2, 1, m. Justus Chapin, b. Alstead, Mar. 31, 1790, d. there, Sept. 20, 1869, son of Justus and Martha (Taylor) Chapin. They lived in Gilsum and Alstead and she d. in Alstead, Mar. 13, 1867. She had six ch.: Martha Taylor4 Chapin, b. Gilsum, Aug. 18, 1816, d. Marlow, May 29, 1878; m. Mar. 11, 1852, Ephraim Pratt Evardon, b. Winchester, Oct. 21, 1798, d. Alstead, Jan. 15, 1867, son of John and Rebecca (Pratt) Evardon. Res. Gilsum, and had: Martha Ann5 Evardon, b. Jan. 17, 1854; m. June 6, 1871, Edgar Cyrus Farnum, b. Marlow, July 4, 1848, son of Heman and Lusylvia (Lowell) Farnum. Res. Marlow. Ch.: Rosa Belle6 Farnum, b. Marlow,...Read More
ALSTEAD, with an area of 24,756 acres, lies in the extreme northern part of the county, in 43° 6′ of north latitude, and longitude 4° 48′ east from Washington,* bounded north by Sullivan county, east by Marlow, south by Gilsum and Surry, and west by Walpole and a part of Sullivan county. The territory now lying within its limits was originally granted by Gov. Benning Wentworth, probably in 1761. He at that time granted charters for seventy-eight townships, lying on both sides of the Connecticut, principally for the purpose of establishing a claim to the territory in the then unsettled certainty of the colony’s western boundary line, and among them was, undoubtedly, this township. The new town was given a name evolved from its own infantile state, namely, ” New Town.” These words, however, from first being wedded by a hyphen, in course of time, with clipped edges, coalesced into plain ” Newton.” But, neither as ” New Town,” ” New-town” or “Newton,” did, the infant exist long enough to awake to self-consciousness; for the proprietors failed to comply with the requirements of their charter deed, hence lost all title to the land-thus perished the infant. On the 6th of August, 1763, Governor Wentworth issued a charter, granting the present Alstead to Samuel Chase and seventy associates, of which the following is a copy. We print this in full;...Read More
ALSTEAD is a handsome post village located in the northwestern part of the town on Cold river. It his two churches (Congregational and Universalist), six or seven stores, several shops or mills of various kinds, and about 100 dwellings. Formerly there was a large amount of paper manufactured here, and from this circumstance the place was called Paper Mill Village, a name which clung to it until about twenty years ago, when the postoffice received the name of Alstead. A point of interest in the vicinity worthy of mention is the “Cocked Hat,” a name given in eminence just east of the village from its singular resemblance to that species of chapeau. Here Cold river and Warren brook unite, it the northern base of this hill. An old bed of one or both of these streams is plainly discernible, however, upon the east and passing around the south and west sides, thirty feet above the present level of the streams. In this dry channel are found numerous large specimens of pot-holes, worn centuries ago, in the solid rock by the old...Read More
Thomas Dinsmore came to Alstead at an early day and settled near the village, upon the farm now owned by John G. Turner. He carried on blacksmithing and farming, reared a large family, and died about 1842. His son, Calvin, born on the old homestead, died here in 1868. He was also a blacksmith and a farmer. Of his large family of twelve children, eight attained a mature age, and five of the six surviving ones reside in the town. John G. is president of the Connecticut River National bank of Charlestown ; Edward resides on Pleasant street, and Thomas resides on road 23. The latter went to Boston when a young man, and was there engaged in the produce business for thirty-two years. Since 1874, however, he has resided in his native town. He has taken an active part in public affairs, and in 1882 was elected to the state senate. Another son, Lemuel W., resides in the...Read More
Thomas R. Prentiss was born in Langdon, N. H., in 1803, and came to Alstead about 1834. He followed mercantile pursuits about ten years, and subsequently engaged in the manufacture of paper. In company with his son, Frederick L., he built a paper-mill upon the site of the one destroyed by fire in 1868, and which was in turn destroyed, in 1881. He died September 27, 1899. Two of his eight children are living, viz.: Lewis M., in Chicago, and Frederick L., in this town. The latter served as a drummer during the late war, and is the present town...Read More
Dea. Noah Vilas, the only child of Peter Vilas, the immigrant and the progenitor of the entire Vilas family in America, came to Alstead in 1779, from Grafton, Mass. He had a family of six sons and two daughters. The first son, Joseph, and one daughter died in infancy. Wm. F. Vilas, PostmasterGeneral in President Cleveland’s cabinet, is a descendant of Dea. Noah...Read More
Samuel Thurston came to Alstead, from Marlboro, N. H., about 1800, locating near where his grandson, Lorenzo G. now resides. He was a schoolteacher and farmer, and died December 23, 1873, aged ninety-eight years, four months and eight days. Three of his five children are now living. Franklin R., in Concord, Joseph. in Keene, and Alden S., in this town. The latter has taught school fifty-five terms and has held the office of selectman, justice of the peace, superintendent of school committee,...Read More
Lieut. Nathaniel Vilas, from Grafton, Mass., fourth son of Dea. Noah, came to Alstead in 1778, locating in the southwestern part of the town. Here he carried on a farm and engaged in the manufacture of boots and shoes, employing in the latter occupation twelve hands. He built the first water works into Boston, bringing the water in logs from Roxbury, Vt. He was twice married, first to Mary Chandler, and second to Lavina Crosby, both of whom bore him twenty children. He was a lieutenant of militia, held several of the town offices, and died in 1853. His son, Cyrus K., was born :ere in 1815, and for the past twenty-five years has been engaged in the drug business. He represented the town in the legislatures of 1845-46 and 1876-77, was a delegate to the Constitutional convention of 1876, has held the office of town treasurer for two or three terms, and has been moderator about eighteen years. Mr. Vilas’s only son is a physician practicing in New York city; one of his daughters. Mrs. A. A. Packard, resides in Springfield, Mass., and the other, Fannie M., is attending school in the same...Read More
Emerson Smith came to Alstead, from Hollis, N. H., about 1800, being formerly a resident of Maine, and a carpenter by trade. His son, Ralph E., was born at Hollis in 1791. He learned the clothier’s trade and carried on the business here for a number of years. He married Bia, daughter of Esq Moses Hale, reared eight children, and died in 1854, aged sixty-three yea. Of his three sons, two are living, Moses H., in Nebraska, and George H., to Harrisonville, both of whom served in the late war. Two daughters of Ralph E. are living, Maria L. Woodward, in Petersham, Mass., and Mary U. (Mrs. John Kingsbury) in Surry. Esq. Hale, mentioned above, was a land surveyor and spent a large portion of his life surveying lands in Cheshire and Sullivan counties. He was a justice of the peace many years, town representative, state senator, member of the governor’s council, and served as a captain in the Revolutionary war. He was a native of Haverhill, Mass., born December 8, 1754, and died January 16, 1827. He married Abigail, daughter of Richard Page, September 8, 1778, who bore him five...Read More
Thomas Wood, of English descent, came from Brookfield, Mass., to Alstead in March, 1780. He married Molly Taylor, of Hopkinton, Mass., by whom he had seven sons and three daughters. He took an active part in the Revolution and was at the battles of Bunker Hill and White Plains. His sons were Thomas, Samuel, John, Benjamin, Joseph, William and James. Edwin, son of Benjamin, Jr., was born while his parents were in Orange, Grafton, Co., but was brought to Alstead in childhood and has since resided here, being now, at the age of seventy-two years, the only male descendant of Thomas Wood residing in the...Read More
Sylvester Partridge came to Alstead, from Londonderry, Mass., in 1783, locating in the northern part of the town. He was then about twenty-one years of age, and soon after married, though his wife lived but a short time. He then married Mrs. Rachel Fay, who bore him three children. By his third wife he had four children. His only son, by his second wife; Capt Theron, was the father of Alfred W. and James S. Partridge, who now reside here. Two other grandsons of Sylvester, Alva W. and Edward M. Smith, also reside here, and also a granddaughter, Mrs. Melissa Joslin. Alva W. occupies the old homestead. Edward M. is an attorney, located at Alstead village. During the spotted fever epidemic of 1812-14, four of Sylvester’s children died and were buried on the same day. Theron Partridge died February 6, 1858, aged sixty-nine...Read More
Samuel Chandler, from Enfield, Mass., came to this town with his two brothers, Joel and Zebulon, in 1767. Samuel located in the southwestern part of the town, was one of the first selectmen, and died in 1784. His son James, born here in 1771, died in 1857. James bore an active part in town affairs, holding the office of selectman, justice of the peace, etc. His son Lyman now resides here, an ex-town clerk. Nathan, son of Joel, married Esther Marvin and reared three children, Samuel, Polly, and John M. He died in 1824. His widow became the wife of Alexander Murphy. Samuel has been engaged in the shoe trade at Alstead and other places about forty years. He married Mary L. Kilburn in 1841, and has four children. Austin N., Herbert E., Emma E., and Charles...Read More
Abraham Browne, with his sons, Abraham, Jr., Nathaniel and Oliver, came from Grafton, Mass., and located just northeast of Warren Pond, about 1775. Oliver, with his father, located where Alonzo M. Fogg now lives, Nathaniel, where James A. Browne now resides, and Abraham, Js., upon the hill to the north. Abraham, Sr., died in r808. Abraham, Jr., married Lucy Golding, of Grafton, Mass., by whom he reared ten children ; was a respected citizen, and died at the age of eighty-two years. Dea. Nathaniel Browne married Molly Gee, of Marlow, had four sons and two daughters, represented the town, and filled various town offices. Oliver removed to Surry. Abijah, son of Abraham, Jr., married Sarah, daughter of Simeon Shephard, and reared several children, of whom Tames A., the youngest is the only one now living. He has been a justice of the peace about ten years, and a selectman three years. He married Martha A. Raney, May 10, 1846, and has no children. Gardner Shepard Browne, son of Abijah, born Sept. 12, 1810, graduated at Dartmouth in 1834, and was for many years a Congregational clergyman, was also a teacher, and for the last twenty-five years of his life practiced medicine in Hartford, Conn. He died in Chicago. December 29, r876. The other two children of Abijah, Lucy B. and Nancy G, married and resided outside the...Read More
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