Location: Concord New Hampshire

Biography of Hon. Gardner Batchelder Emmons

Hon. Gardner Batchelder Emmons, a successful business man of Concord, N.H., who is now serving his first term as a State Senator, was born in Bristol, Grafton County, this State, February 18, 1847, son of Horace M. and Maria (Batchelder) Emmons. The paternal ancestors have been identified with the history of Bristol, N.H., for at least one hundred and fifty years; while the Batchelders have been inhabitants of Reading, Mass., about two hundred and fifty years. Gardner B. Emmons attended the public schools of Bristol in his boyhood, and completed his course of study in New Hampton Institute at the age of eighteen years. For the first two years of his active career he was employed in a provision store in Bristol, coming thereafter to Concord. He subsequently established himself in business in Tilton, N.H. Returning to Concord in 1871, he has since been engaged in the meat provision business in this city. He is half-owner in the Concord Coal Company, a Director in the Concord Street Railway Company, a Trustee Miles City, Custer County, Mont. In politics Mr. Emmons is a stanch Republican. He has served four years on the Board of Aldermen, and in 1889 he was a member of the House of Representatives in the legislature. In the fall of 1896 he was nominated by acclamation for State Senator, and was elected by a larger majority...

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Biography of Moses H. Farnum

Moses H. Farnum, a prominent resident of Concord, was born in Concord, February 3, 1811, son of Moses and Esther (Carter) Farnum. The family is of Welsh origin. Ralph Farnum, the first of the name in this country, came from Wales and settled in Andover, Mass. He subsequently removed to Concord, N.H.; and his descendants have continued to hold and occupy his original land purchase in that town up to the present time. Ephraim Farnum, son of Ralph and the great-grandfather of Moses H., born on the paternal estate, resided thereon throughout his life. His son, also named Ephraim, was born on the same estate, passed his life in its cultivation and improvement, and died at the age of ninety-four years. The maiden name of Grandfather Farnum’s wife was Judith Hall. Moses Farnum, son of Ephraim and the father of the subject of this sketch, was also born on the paternal estate, and passed his life there as a farmer. A portion of his house is still standing. He served his town as Selectman for a time, and he attained the age of seventy-one years. The second of his two marriages was contracted with Esther Carter, a sister of his first wife. He reared a family of six children. Moses H. Farnum received his education partly in the district schools and partly in a private school of Concord. He...

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Biography of Alvah Charles Ferrin

Alvah Charles Ferrin, a retired contractor and builder of Concord, who served in the United States Navy during the Civil War, was born in Plymouth, N.H., August 13, 1835, son of Daniel E. and Mary Jane (Durgin) Ferrin. His father was a native of Hebron, N.H.; and his mother was born in Buxton, Me. On the father’s side he is a descendant of Revolutionary patriots. His education, which was begun in the public schools of Lowell, Mass., where 1841, was completed when he was about sixteen years old in Hebron, N.H., to which they went in 1842. He started in life as a farmer. After following that occupation for a short time, he went, in 1853, to Boston, Mass., where he obtained employment as an expressman. Five years later he returned to his native State, and, settling in Concord, learned the mason’s trade. At this he worked as a journeyman until he became a member of the firm of Gately & Ferrin, contractors and builders, with whom he was associated until he undertook to serve in the Civil War. This event occurred August 19, 1864, when he entered the United States Navy at Portsmouth, N.H. In January, 1865, he sailed from the Kittery navy yard on board the United States steamer “Albatross” for Mobile Bay, where the vessel joined the West Gulf squadron, under the command of Commodore Thatcher,...

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Biography of John M. Fletcher

John M. Fletcher, a prominent and successful dentist of the city of Concord, N.H., was born in Canterbury, N.H., July 24, 1832. He is the son of John and Nancy (St. Clair) Fletcher. His grandfather, John Fletcher, Sr., was a native of Dunstable, Mass., born January 25, 1770. He removed to Loudon, N.H., and there spent his remaining years as an agriculturist, dying December 15, 1853. He was fortunate in choosing his partner for life, a lady of high moral worth as well as of great natural ability, a conscientious Christian, a devoted mother, and a loving wife. Her maiden name was Betsey Morrill; and she was born October 2, 1772, in Gilmanton, N.H., and died June 18, 1851. The result of this union was a family of fourteen children, consisting of eight sons and six daughters. Eleven of these he lived to see prosperous and happily located in business. John Fletcher, Jr., the father of the subject of our sketch, was born in Loudon, N.H., March 16, 1795, and chose as his occupation for a livelihood the tilling of the soil and the levelling of the forest. In the year 1822, March 26, he was united in marriage to Miss Nancy St. Clair, October 12, 1799, the youngest daughter of Noah St. Clair. They spent four years in Loudon and Concord, respectively, but finally, in 1826, purchased and...

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Biographical Sketch of Dr. Edward Horatio Foster

Dr. Edward Horatio Foster, formerly a well-known medical practitioner of Concord, was born October 13, 1839, in Canterbury, N.H., son of David M. and Sarah (Bradley) Foster. He is a direct descendant of Reginald Foster, who settled in Ipswich, Mass., in 1635. His grandfather, Asa Foster, served in the French and Indian War, and under General Pepperell was at the capture of Louisburg. During the Revolutionary War Asa was one of General Arnold’s body-guard at the time of the General’s desertion. When he died in Canterbury in 1862, he was ninety-six years old. His son, David M. Foster, a native of Canterbury, followed the occupation of school teacher in his earlier days, and was greatly interested in politics. David’s wife, Sarah, was born in Brunswick, Me. Edward H. Foster attended public and private schools in his native town, and then entered Pittsfield, Mass. He graduated from Bowdoin College, Maine, in 1866. Dr. Foster first located in Bradford, Vt., remaining one year. For three years thereafter he was located in Marblehead, Mass. In July, 1872, after spending a year on the Pacific Coast, he came to Concord, where he practised for the remainder of his life. In politics Dr. Foster voted independently. He was President of Pass Creek Ranch Company, of Wyoming, and also of the Eureka Headache Cure Company, of this city. Dr. Foster was twice married. His first...

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Biography of Charles Gilkey

Charles Gilkey, a prominent resident of Cornish, who was formerly engaged in the gunsmith business, is a native of Plainfield, N.H., born September 29, 1826. Charles Gilkey, his grandfather, born in Connecticut, was the first of the family to come to Plainfield. He came originally as agent of a wealthy Connecticut family, and remained in their employ for some time. After failing in an attempt to buy a farm with the Continental money in which his salary was paid, owing to the depreciated value of that currency then, he succeeded in leasing one from the State for nine hundred and ninety-nine years. This property is still in the possession of the family, subject to an annual rental of six or eight dollars, which is paid to the treasurer of the Episcopal church of the town. Grandfather Gilkey married Lucy Avery, who bore him five children-Jonathan, John, Charles, William, and James. Jonathan married a Miss Spaulding, and lived in Vermont. John married and spent his life in Vermont, working at the trade of ship-carpenter. He had one daughter, who married the Rev. Robert Christie. Charles was drowned when a young man. William died young. James Gilkey, the father of Charles Gilkey, a native of Connecticut, born in September, 1769, came to Cornish when about seven years old. By trade he was a mechanical woodcutter, in which he carried on a...

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Biography of Major Hiram Fifield Gerrish

Major Hiram Fifield Gerrish, of Concord, N.H., the present Deputy State Treasurer, was born in Boscawen, N.H., September 27, 1839. His parents, Calvin and Ann S. (Fifield) Gerrish, were both lifelong residents of Merrimack County. Major Gerrish is a descendant of Colonel Henry Gerrish, one of the early residents of Boscawen, who was an officer during the war of the Revolution, serving as Lieutenant-Colonel in Colonel Stickny’s regiment, and was present at the battles of Bennington and Saratoga. Colonel Gerrish was one of the leading citizens of his town and State, holding many positions of trust and responsibility, being conspicuously identified with public affairs in the early history of Jacob was for many years a well-known, public-spirited citizen of the town and a large land-owner. Calvin Gerrish, the father of Major Gerrish, was a farmer and mechanic, and was at one time prominently connected with the State militia. He died January 31, 1890. Major Gerrish attended the public schools at Franklin, Penacook, and Concord, but at the age of fifteen entered the employ of the Concord Railroad, continuing thus engaged until the breaking out of the war, when he enlisted as a private in Company B of the Second New Hampshire Regiment, then commanded by General Gilman Marston, and was mustered into service in June, 1861. November 3, 1861, he was relieved from duty with his regiment, and placed...

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Biography of Frank Willard Grafton, M.D.

Frank Willard Grafton, M.D., a successful medical practitioner of Concord, was born in Gilford, N.H., in 1869, son of James and Mary Jane (Collins) Grafton. The earliest known progenitor of this family, also named James, emigrated from Scotland to America, locating in Cushing, Me., where he cleared a tract of land, and was afterward engaged in farming. He married, and had a large family, of whom Joseph, the eldest child, was the great-grandfather of Frank Willard. Joseph Grafton, born in Cushing, who was also engaged in agricultural pursuits, passing his entire life on the farm, married, and reared a large family. His son, James Grafton, attended the common schools of his native town until he was seventeen years of age. Then he engaged in seafaring, which he had Margaret Davis, and they had a large family. James Grafton, Jr., the father of Frank Willard, after acquiring his education in the public schools of Cushing, went to sea, continuing to make voyages for five years thereafter. He then came to Laconia, N.H., and worked at brickmaking for a year. In 1862 he enlisted in the Third New Hampshire Heavy Artillery, and subsequently served two and one-half years in the Civil War. After receiving his discharge he returned to Bow, where he has since been engaged in farming. He married Mary Jane Collins; and they had two children, of whom Frank...

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Biography of Herman Wells Greene

Herman Wells Greene, formerly a lawyer of considerable note in Hopkinton, was born here, April 11, 1836, son of Herman H. and Ellen Chase (Little) Greene. His only brother died at the age of fourteen years; and his only sister is now the wife of a Mr. Roberts, of Philadelphia, Pa. After receiving his early education in the public schools of Hopkinton and at Pembroke and Gilmanton Academies, he became interested in the legal profession, and read law with George & Foster, of Concord, and later with Beard & Nickerson, of Boston, Mass. On his twenty-first birthday he was admitted to the Suffolk County bar. At first Charles E. Pike, afterward with Ithmar W. Beard and James P. Sullivan. Subsequently, on account of failing health, he returned to his native place, and did not practise for about seven years. On resuming his profession he was for a time associated with Carlos G. Hawthorne. In politics he was an enthusiast, and he held various offices of trust. He was Moderator of the town meeting for over twenty years all together, was Superintendent of Schools for five years, and State Representative in 1881, 1889, and 1891. In 1891 he took an active part in the debates of the legislature, and served on the Judicial and Railroad Committees. He was County Solicitor of Merrimack County five years, during which period he was...

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Biography of Frederick Myron Colby

Frederick Myron Colby, of Warner, as well as all the Colbys of America, is descended from Anthony Colby, one of the Puritan colonists of Boston in 1630, who subsequently settled in Amesbury, Mass., where the house he dwelt in still stands. The second son of his father, Anthony was a lineal descendant of Sir Robert de Colebi, one of King John’s knights in 1199. The family seat was in the County of Norfolk, England. In early times the name was variously spelled Colby, Colebi, Coleby, Colebey, Colebei, Chaulby, Colbye, and Colebeye. The name of two English towns, as well as that of descendants of the family living in their vicinity, is Coleby; but the family estate in Swardest is called Colby Manor. A Danish form is Koldby. The Colby arms are “argent, a chevron engraved between three scallops, sable, the crest a plumed helm and an arm grasping a naked sword. The motto, ‘Vincit amor patriae.'” Anthony Colby, the American settler, had five sons and three daughters. From Thomas Colby, his fourth son, the line of descent was continued through Jacob, Valentine, Levi, Valentine, and Levi O. to Frederick Myron Colby. The following account of Mr. Colby is taken from the Twentieth Century Review for April, 1890 :- “Frederick Myron Colby, the historical romancer and novelist and the most versatile writer in the Granite State, was born in Warner,...

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Biography of George Cook, M.D.

George Cook, M.D., a prominent physician of Concord, was born at Dover, this State, November 16, 1848, son of Solomon and Susan Ann (Hayes) Cook. His early education was obtained in the Concord High School and in Franklin Academy. In 1865 he began to read medicine with Drs. Charles P. Gage and Granville P. Conn, of Concord. Also he attended a course of lectures on medicine at Burlington, Vt., and two courses at the School of Medicine of Dartmouth College. After graduating from the last-named school in 1869, he immediately began the practice of his profession in Henniker, N.H., where he remained for a year. During the next five years, from 1870 to 1875, he was at Hillsborough, this State, and while there won for himself wide recognition as an able and skilful practitioner. In 1872 he had charge of seventeen cases of small-pox. He was made Superintendent of Schools at Hillsborough in 1874. In May of the following year he came to Concord, where he has since resided. Dr. Cook is a member of the Centre District Medical Society, and in 1882 was its president. He is also a member of the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States, of the American Medical Association, and of the New Hampshire State Medical Society. In 1890 he was senior delegate of the last-named society to Dartmouth College, and delivered...

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Biography of Horace LeRoy Choate

Horace LeRoy Choate, a wellknown and respected farmer of Hopkinton, N.H., was born in Henniker, Merrimack County, April 20, 1833, a son of George and Betsey Davis Choate. He is a lineal descendant of one John Choate, who was a son of Robert and Sarah Choate, and was baptized at Groton, Boxford, Colchester, England, June 6, 1624. In 1643 John emigrated to New England, and at the age of nineteen was a resident of Chebacco in Ipswich, Mass. Soon after he bought up shares of common lands allotted to the proprietors on Hog Island (which acquired its name from its resemblance to a hog lying on its back in the water), and in 1690 he was almost the sole owner of its three hundred acres. The earliest deed extant, dated in 1678, was for the site of the present Choate house, the birthplace of the Hon. Rufus Choate, New England’s great jurist and advocate. John Choate was often in disgrace, the records showing that he was frequently before the magistrates, and not always for the offence of some one else. He was tried for stealing apples, but was acquitted; and he was arraigned for lying, but the charge was dismissed. In numerous other cases by the use of his own keen wit he succeeded in evading punishment. He was a natural litigant and lawyer, and his fertility of resource...

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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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Biography of William Leavitt Bennett

William Leavitt Bennett, a prominent resident of Andover, was born in the town of Loudon, this State, January 16, 1837. His grandfather, Jeremiah Bennett, formerly of Kingston, accompanied Clough, journeyed from there to Loudon, carrying his luggage and implements on a hand-barrow. Having chosen a tract of timbered land favorably situated, he felled a few trees, and built a log hut. He had been a reed-maker by trade; but, after coming to Loudon, he devoted himself to clearing his land and to tilling the soil. He gradually placed it under cultivation; and, when he died, at the ripe age of ninety-five years, he could look with pride on a well-improved farm, won from a wilderness through his own industry and courage. His wife’s name before marriage was Alice Courrier. Their son Amos grew up on the farm, and was from boyhood trained to agricultural pursuits, in which he was engaged throughout the rest of his life. A man of thrift and industry, he increased the tillage area of the farm. His wife, who was christened Nancy Batchelder, became the mother of four sons and one daughter-Lucretia N., William L., Jeremiah F., True H., and Joseph Clark. True fought in the late war with the Ninth New Hampshire Cavalry, and lost his life in the service. Jeremiah lives in Rockford, Ill.; and Joseph Clark resides at Oelwein, Ia. William Leavitt...

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Biography of Curtis White

Curtis White, a retired carpenter of Concord, was born at Bow, N.H., April 4, 1861, son of Daniel White, of that place. The grandfather, Isaac White, who was an early settler of Bow, went there from Pembroke, and converted a grant of land into a good farm home for himself and his family. Daniel, the youngest son, was a blacksmith and stone worker. He purchased a farm opposite his father’s, and there carried on stone work as well as some farming. His death occurred March 16, 1825, after a lingering and painful illness, in the course of which he was obliged to undergo several and painful surgical operations. He married Mary Carter, daughter of Moses Carter, of the old Concord family of that name. They had three children besides Curtis. William, the eldest, died in October, 1826. Their daughter, Mary Ann, is also deceased; and the second son, Daniel C., is a practising dentist in Alton, Ill. Curtis White, who was the second-born of his parents’ children, followed various lines of business throughout his active period. After leaving the district school, he worked at farming for a time. He also did some black-smithing and carpentry, and for a while he was employed in a saw and grist mill. For many years Mr. White was a carpenter in Concord, and for about ten years he was engaged in carriage-building in...

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