Location: Fitzwilliam New Hampshire

Biographical Sketch of Dr. Silas Cummings

Dr. Silas Cummings, son of Thaddeus, was born in Fitzwilliam, October 7, 1803. He studied medicine and received his diploma from Dartmouth college. He began practice in this town about 1826 or 1827, where he continued until his death, June 30, 1882. He was superintendent of schools for many years, and as such labored hard and effectively to elevate the plane of public education. Although a Democrat in a strongly Republican town, he so endeared himself to his townsmen that he was chosen town representative. He was chosen one of a committee to prepare a history of the town, but his death occurred before the work was finished. He was married twice, first, to Harriet Underwood, who bore him several children, of whom one daughter and two sons are now living. His second wife was Eliza Poland, widow of A. D. Simonds, by whom he had one daughter, Mrs. Clara B. J. Rand of this...

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The First Baptist Church, Fitzwilliam, NH

The First Baptist church, located at Fitzwilliam, was organized in 1815, with six or eight members, by Rev. Nathaniel Bowes, of Richmond, Rev. Arnot Allen being the first pastor. The church building, erected in 1842, will seat 250 persons, cost $1,800.00, and is valued, including grounds, etc., at $5,000.00. The society now has sixty-two members, and a Sabbath-school with ninety scholars, with Rev. Andrew Dunn,...

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Biographical Sketch of Edward C. Reed

Edward C. Reed, son of Phinehas, was born here, March 8, 1793, and graduated from Dartmouth college, in 1812. He studied law in Troy, N. Y. and settled in Homer, N. Y., in 1816. He was admitted to practice in one court after another, until 1830, when be was admitted to the court of chancery. He was elected to the Twenty-second congress; was district attorney many years, and also judge. He married Amanda Weller, of Pittsfield, Mass., and reared a family of twelve children, four of whom survive...

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The Methodist Episcopal Church, Fitzwilliams NH

The Methodist Episcopal church, organized by Rev. W. Merrill, the present pastor, in 1867, has two branches, one at Howeville, and one at the Depot Their first church building was erected at Howeville, and the one at the Depot in 1878. It will seat 150 persons, cost $1,000.00 and is now valued, including grounds, etc., at $2,000.00. The society has thirty-two members, and a Sabbath-school with 103...

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The Orthodox Congregational Church, Fitzwilliam NH

The Orthodox Congregational church, located at Fitzwilliam village, was organized in 1771. During the autumn and winter of 1768, Rev. Nehemiah Parker supplied the people of Fitzwilliam with preaching. In November, 1770, Rev. Benjamin Brigham, of Marlboro, Mass., who had graduated at Harvard, in 1764, received an invitation to settle here, and in January of the following year, gave an affirmative answer to the call. March 27, 1771, was appointed for his ordination, and on that day the Congregational church was organized, with six members, viz.: Benjamin Brigham, Benjamin Bigelow, John Fassitt, Nathaniel Wilder, Caleb Winch, and James Reed. These services were held at the public house, the church building being in an unfinished state, and thus unfit for the purpose. This building, a wooden structure, stood opposite the present cemetery. A second building was put up in 1816, and was struck by lightning and burned on the night of January 17th, of that year. The next building was put up in 1817, a fourth in 1832, which was burned in January, 1857, and was succeeded by the present edifice. It is a neat structure, capable of seating 400 persons, cost $4,000.00, and is valued, including grounds, etc., at $6,000.00. The society now has 132 members, and a Sabbath-school of 120 pupils, with Rev. John Colby, pastor. Mr. Colby was born in York, Me., October 1, 1821, pursued a...

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Biographical Sketch of Phinehas Reed

Phinehas Reed, a soldier of the Revolution, came to Fitzwilliam, from Westford, Mass., in 1784, built a tannery and conducted the business. His son Charles followed the same trade, and employed a large force of men in the manufacture of shoes, which were sold in the South. About 1838, he met financial reverses, and had to begin life anew. He was a claim agent for about fifteen years after 1850, and died in March, 1866, aged fifty-three years His son, D. H. Reed, was born February 8, 1819, and was brought up on a farm. He enlisted, October 11, 1861, in the 6th N. H. Vols., served three years in the army, and was discharged in 1864. He then engaged in the quarry business with his father, which he has continued up to the present date. He married, in October, 1865, Mary A. Keith, of this town, and has one daughter, Abbie F. He has filled, with honor, various offices of the...

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Biographical Sketch of John E. Fisher

John E. Fisher was born near St. Johns, N. B., in 1525, on Darling’s Island, which was the property of his grandfather, Captain Darling. His father, Richard, was a blacksmith, and removed to Boston about 1825, and ten years later moved to Quincey, Mass. He was one of the first four abolitionists in the town. His son John served seven years apprenticeship at stone cutting, working on the Boston custom-house. He had worked on government work in Boston about fifteen years before the Rebellion began. About three days after the firing on Fort Sumpter, he was placed in charge of the fortifications at Fort Warren in Boston harbor, where he superintended construction and repairs throughout the war. In 1865 he came to Fitzwilliam to superintend the work in a granite quarry, and has resided here since. He engaged in the quarry business for himself in 1866, which he still continues, in the firm of Fisher & Newton. He married twice, first, Mary Wilcox, of Pawtucket, R. I., who died about three months thereafter, and second, Lucy U. Upham, of Salem, Mass., who bore him three children, all of whom died in...

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Biographical Sketch of Silas Morse

Silas Morse came here from Holliston, Mass., with his parents, who settled on a farm near where Samuel Payne now lives, over a hundred years ago. After the death of his father he traded the farm owned by him for one in Sullivan, which he afterwards sold, and moved with his son, Ira L., to Gilsum. He finally returned to this town, where he died January 13, 1859, at the age of eighty-two years. His son, Ira L., was born in Sullivan, came to this town March 28, 1861, and resides on road...

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Military of Fitzwilliam NH

During the late war Fitzwilliam furnished 168 men for the service, 162 of whom were volunteers or substitutes for enrolled men not drafted. Of the thirty drafted men, twenty-two were excused for disability, one emigrated to Canada, one was excused as alien, four served, and two furnished substitutes, Of the total number furnished, forty-four were killed or died of disease while in the service. The total amount of money furnished by the town was $29, 933.37, of which $1,500.00 was reimbursed by the state, and $886.00 by the United States, leaving a net expense of...

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Biographical Sketch of General James Reed

General James Reed was the only one of the proprietors of Fitzwilliam, named in the charter of 1773, who located here. He organized three com. panies for the Revolutionary war, and was one of the three colonels from New Hampshire, who fought at Bunker Hill. He continued with the army until he was afflicted with blindness, when he returned to Fitzwilliam, but after. wards removed to Fitchburg, Mass., where he...

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Biographical Sketch of Isaac Davis

Isaac Davis, a native of Royalston, Vt., and brought up at Princeton, Mass., came here March 11, 1839. He is a blacksmith by trade, and, in 1877, invented the compound force cartridge, which he patented the same year. It is intended for shooting long distances, and the principal has been acted upon for heavy ordinances for piercing iron-clad vessels. By dividing the charge of powder great accumulative force is...

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Biographical Sketch of Oren Brooks

Oren Brooks, a native of Putney. Vt., moved with his parents to Massachussets while he was a child. He married Julia A. Wright, of Boston, who bore him twelve children. He moved to this town in 1848, where his two youngest were born, and died here in 1876, surviving his wife sixteen years. Two sons, George W. and Amos W., served in the civil war, the latter dying in the service. George W. is a merchant in West Swanzey, and the only son living. Three daughters, Serepta, wife of Dea. Alva S. Clark, Louisa P., wife of Franklin Whitcomb, living in Troy, and Mrs. Hattie L. Lawton, of Athol, Mass., constitute the surviving members of the...

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Biographical Sketch of David Forristall

David Forristall was born in Holliston, Mass., in 1780, and came to this town with his father when a child. His father, one of the early settlers, came first, cleared some land, and built a log house, and then moved his two children, Daniel and Jessie, here. His son, Thomas, was born here, and still lives in the house his father built over a hundred years...

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Biographical Sketch of Timothy Ellis

Timothy Ellis was born in that part of Keene which is now Roxbury, about 130 years ago, upon the place where William Ellis now lives. Samuel son of Timothy. was born there, where he lived until he was about thirty years of age. He then moved to Stockbridge, Vt., where he remained four years, and then he came to Fitzwilliam, where he died in 1826. George W., son of Samuel, was born in Keene, came to this town in 1814, and lives on road 15, corner of...

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