Location: Cheshire County NH

Biography of Reverend Samuel Goddard

Mr. Samuel Goddard was born at Sutton, Massachusetts, July 6, 1772. We have no information concerning his early life. His opportunities for education are said to have been scanty. After coming to manhood he was for several years in trade with a brother in Royalston, Mass. Here he married his first wife (Abigail Goddard of Athol, a town adjoining Royalston), and here his older children were born.

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Narrative of the Captivity of Frances Noble – Indian Captivities

Narrative of the captivity of Frances Noble, who was, among others, taken by the Indians from Swan Island, in Maine, about the year 1755; compiled by John Kelly, Esq. of Concord, New Hampshire, from the minutes and memoranda of Phinehas Merrill. Esq. of Stratham, in the same state; and by the Former Gen. Tleman communicated for publication to the editors of the Historical Collections of New Hampshire.

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Captivity and Redemption of Mrs. Jemima Howe – Indian Captivities

A particular account of the captivity and redemption of Mrs. Jemima Howe, who was taken prisoner by the Indians at Hinsdale, New Hampshire, on the twenty-seventh of July, 1765, as communicated to Dr. Belknap by the Rev. Bunker Gay. As Messrs. Caleb Howe, Hilkiah Grout, and Benjamin Gaffield, who had been hoeing corn in the meadow, west of the river, were returning home, a little before sunset, to a place called Bridgman’s fort, they were fired upon by twelve Indians, who had ambushed their path. Howe was on horseback, with two young lads, his children, behind him. A ball,...

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Biography of Hon. Ezra Scollay Stearns

Hon. Ezra Scollay Stearns, Secretary of the State of New Hampshire since 1891, came to that office superabundantly qualified to meet its most exacting requirements. He was born in Rindge, N.H., September 1, 1838, son of Samuel and Mary Fitch (Moore) Stearns, his father being a native of Brattleboro, Vt., and his mother of Sharon, N.H. Through his mother he is connected with the Fitch family, several members of which were men of distinction during the Colonial period. The family was of Scotch-Irish origin; and the city of Fitchburg, Mass., was named in honor of John Fitch, a descendant in the fourth generation of the original American ancestor. The Stearns family is of English origin. Daniel Stearns, grandfather of Ezra S., at first a resident of Cambridge, Mass., moved subsequently to Vermont. He served in Colonel Nixon’s regiment from 1777 until the close of the Revolutionary War. Ezra Scollay Stearns acquired the rudiments of his education in the public schools of Rindge. He then followed an advanced course of study at the Chester Institute at Chester, N.J., where he remained as a teacher for some time after his graduation. He subsequently became connected with publishing houses in Boston, New York, and Philadelphia; and at one time he was manager and editor of a newspaper in Fitchburg, Mass. After his return to his native State he became prominently identified with...

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Biography of George Wallingford

George Wallingford, a prosperous business man of Claremont in the last generation, was born in Dublin, N.H., July 17, 1808, son of Ebenezer and Mary (Hildreth) Wallingford. The first ancestor, Nicholas Wallingford, settled in Bradford, Mass., in 1672. David Wallingford, of the third generation descended from Nicholas, was a Lieutenant in the Revolutionary War. Born September 25, 1744, he went to the war from Hollis, N.H., was a minute-man, served in four companies under Captains Dow, Towns, Emerson, and Goss, and took part in the battles of Bunker Hill and Bennington. His son Ebenezer, who was born October 5, 1780, came to Claremont about seventy years ago. By his wife, Mary, who was born in Dublin, Ebenezer became the father of eight children, as follows: Elvira, born August 24, 1804, who died October 5, 1884; Mary, born August 10, 1806, who died March 1, 1870; George, born July 17, 1808, who died July 18, 1863; Sarah, born May 27, 1810, who died March 10, 1894; Philander, born June 6, 1812, who became a Methodist minister, and died August 6, 1887; Elizabeth, born September 8, 1814, who died May 5, 1836; Frances, born September 23, 1816, who died August 14, 1848; and Catharine, born February 1, 1819. At the age of nineteen years George Wallingford came to Claremont, and there resided throughout the rest of his life. While he was...

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Biography of John W. Jefts

John W. Jefts, a machinist by trade, but who for the past nine years has been successfully engaged in farming in the town of Langdon, was born here, December 4, 1859, son of Alphonso M. and Almira (Clough) Jefts. The genealogy of the Jefts family is traced to England, from which country, on some date between 1620 and 1638, the American progenitor emigrated to Massachusetts, and settled in Billerica. His immediate descendants continued to reside in that State for some years. Jonathan, the greatgrandfather of John W. Jefts, was the first of the name to come to New Hampshire. He settled in the town of Mason, where he afterward died. Hosley Jefts, the grandfather, was born in Mason. In early manhood he settled in Langdon, and afterward became a prosperous farmer and an influential citizen. He married Abigail Green, and they became the parents of seven children; namely, Harriet, Indiana, Caroline, Rockazna, Albert, Alphonso M., and Eli. Alphonso M. Jefts, born in Antrim, N.H., in March, 1815, was over seventy-six years of age when he died, June 18, 1891. He followed the occupation of a farmer, first in Putney, Vt., which was his home for a number of years. Later he moved to Langdon, where he resided for forty years, and acquired a goodly property. He served his town as Road Surveyor for a score of years. Almira, his...

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Biography of C. Reed Lewis

C. Reed Lewis, the well-known horse dealer and auctioneer of Unity, was born in Marlow, N.H., July 10, 1837, son of Gilbert and Orrilla H. (Huntley) Lewis. His grandfather, Dudley Lewis, was a prosperous farmer and lifelong resident of Marlow. Gilbert Lewis was born and reared in Marlow. In 1839 he moved to Goshen, where he conducted a store, and remained three years. In 1842 he located in East Unity, and was there engaged in farming for some time. His last days were passed on a farm in Unity Centre, where he died November 16, 1872, aged sixty-two years. His wife, Orrilla, who was born in Duxbury, Vt., daughter of the Rev. Isaiah Huntley, became the mother of three children, namely: C. Reed, the subject of this sketch; Corrinna O., now the wife of Thomas T. Smith, who is a watchmaker, and resides in Canton, Ohio; and Nathan G., who died June 19, 1862, aged seventeen years. Mrs. Gilbert Lewis was eighty-one years old when she died, April 20, 1893. C. Reed Lewis was educated in his native town. At the age of nineteen he went to Decorah, Ia., where he bought a farm, and remained a year. He next went to Oneida, Ill., where he was employed as a farm assistant for the same length of time. After his return to New Hampshire he purchased a farm near...

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Biography of William Hall

William Hall, the enterprising proprietor of Langdon Creamery, Langdon, N.H., and dealer in butter, cream, milk, eggs, chickens, pork, and other farm and dairy products, was born in Claremont, this State, March 23, 1850. He is a son of Jonathan and Caroline L. (Leet) Hall and a descendant of one of the oldest families in Sullivan County. Both his grandfather and his great-grandfather Hall bore the Christian name of Jonathan. Grandfather Hall was born August 25, 1776, in Spencer, Mass., whence he came to Langdon when a young man. He afterward removed to Claremont, where he died in 1854. In his active years he followed the occupations of a farmer, carpenter, and cooper; and he fought in the War of 1812. He married Sally Prouty, whose father was a very influential citizen of Spencer, Mass. She was born in 1779, and died in 1871. They were the parents of eleven children, two sons and nine daughters, Jonathan, third, being the youngest son. Jonathan Hall, third, was born in Langdon, June 19, 1815, and is now living in Keene, N.H. After leaving school, he learned the trade of a shoemaker and later that of a carpenter. Since then he has been variously employed as an architect, inventor, manufacturer, and millwright. Many of the machines built by C. B. Rogers, of Norwich, Conn., were designed by him. He was the builder...

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Biography of Benjamin W. Breed

Benjamin W. Breed, farmer, of Franklin, Merrimack County, N.H., a veteran of the Civil War, who nearly lost his life by a gunshot wound received in battle, was born in Nelson, Cheshire County, February 12, 1830, son of John and Sarah (Blood) Breed. Many of his ancestors and of their near kin were of Massachusetts birth, and were lifelong residents of that State, the family being one of the earliest that settled in Essex County. Dr. Nathaniel Breed, who was a native of Lynn, Mass., was a surgeon’s mate on the staff of General Washington in the Revolution. Dr. Breed’s son John was at the battle of Bunker Hill, which was really fought, as we know, on Breed’s Hill. John Breed spent the greater part of his life in Nelson, N.H., but passed his last years in Sheboygan, Wis. John Breed, son of John and father of Benjamin W., resided in Nelson until 1840, when he removed to Franklin, and settled upon the farm which his son now occupies. He died in 1860. He was twice married; and by his first wife, Rhoda Wheeler, of Nelson, he had four children, none of whom are living. His second wife, Sarah Blood, who was a native of Tyngsboro, Mass., became the mother of five children, as follows: Rhoda, who lives in Franklin Falls, and is the widow of Benjamin H. Holt;...

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Biography of Henri G. Blaisdell

Henri G. Blaisdell, an accomplished musician of Concord, N.H., was born in Dorchester, N.H., October 23, 1850, son of Pettingill and Laurette (Lillis) Blaisdell. He is originally of Scotch descent. His paternal grandfather was Sanborn Blaisdell, who was long a resident, and presumably a native, of Dorchester, in which town he was engaged in farming and where he spent his last years. He married Mehitable Sanborn. Pettingill Blaisdell, father of Henri G., was born in Dorchester in 1824. He received his education in the district schools and subsequently engaged in the business of manufacturing and selling lumber, for many years conducting a large saw-mill on Baker’s River. He was Postmaster of Dorchester for a long time, and still resides on his farm in that town. He and his wife, Laurette Lillis Blaisdell, reared three children-Henri G., Pettingill S., and Ella Mabel. Pettingill S. Blaisdell, a young man of marked musical ability, entered into business with his father and met his death by accident in the mill. Ella Mabel studied music, became a skilled violinist, and travelled extensively throughout the country in company with her brother Henri. She became the wife of Dr. Charles E. Fowler, of Bristol, and died April 19, 1882. Henri G. Blaisdell obtained his general education in the district schools of his native town and at the academies at Wentworth and Keene. When but nine years...

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Genealogy of Cephas Clark

Among the ambitious and adventurous spirits that sought homes in the northern part of Vermont were three sons of Cephas Clark, namely Silas, Samuel, and Cephas, all of whom settled in Glover. The design of this work is to treat from now on of the history of the three sons of Cephas Clark who emigrated to and settled in the northern part of Vermont.

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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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