I. The ancestor of the Daniel2 Wilson family came from Tyrone, Ireland, in 1737, with the famous Scotch Irish emigrants. These emigrants were a hardy, industrious, long-lived, honest and sturdy race of people. A great proportion of New Hampshire’s most distinguished sons are found among their descendants. One of these emigrants was James1 Wilson. The history of Peterborough gives his name as WILLIAM. Later researches favor JAMES, but we are not positively sure of the name. Nor do we know who was his wife. They brought with them from Ireland a son, Robert2, and a daughter, Lettuce2. In this country they had at least two more sons, Daniel2 and James2. Robert2 lived in Peterboro’ and was the father of Anne3 (killed by a log falling from a fence upon her, in childhood), Hon. James3, William3, Anne3 (who m. Jeremiah Swan), Mary3 (who m. Gen. John Steele), Hon. John3 of Belfast, Me., (in the U. S. Congress in 1813-1814), Joseph3 and Sarah3 (m. Hon. John Scott Harrison, son of President William Henry Harrison, 9th President of the U. S. and father of Benjamin Harrison, 23rd President of the U. S.) Hon. James3 Wilson of Peterboro and Keene was the father of Gen. James4 Wilson, the well known lawyer and orator of Keene and a member of the 30th and 31st U. S. Congresses; Col. Robert4 Wilson, who was a well...Read More
Location: Harrisville New Hampshire
Abner Smith, from Needham, Mass., came to Dublin, now Harrisville, soon after the Revolution, and lived here until his death, in 1833. His son, Aaron, was born in 1791, and died in 1840. During his life he was engaged in the manufacture of earthen ware, at Pottersville. Aaron, Jr., was born in 1822, and during his early life was engaged with his father in the pottery business. He was one of the selectmen thirteen years, town representative of Dublin seven years, and was county commissioner four years. He occupies the homestead, on road...Read More
Rev. Elijah Willard came here from Fitchburg, Mass., and was pastor of the Baptist church until his death, in 1839. He preached at Pottersville for a period of forty years. During his life he united one hundred and forty-six couples in marriage, and preached a funeral sermon four weeks before his death. His son Levi was horn in 1795, and lived here till his death, in 1860. He married Irene Knight, of Sudbury, Mass., who still survives him, and reared a family of thirteen children. Seven of them, Zophar, Solon, Milton B., David, Benjamin, Mrs. C. H. Nye, and Mrs. M. M. Mason, are living, located in this...Read More
HARRISVILLE lies in the extreme eastern part of the county, in lat. 42° 57′ and long. 4° 59′, bounded north by Nelson and Hancock, the latter in Hillsboro county, east by Hancock and Peterboro, south by Dublin and west by Roxbury and a portion of Marlboro. This is the youngest township in the county, having been incorporated as late as July 2, 1870, its area being made up of territory taken from the southern part of Nelson and northern part of Dublin. The extreme length of the town, east and west, is nearly eight miles, and its greatest width, north and south, from two and a half to three miles, comprising an area of about 10,000 acres, which, to be accurate, is inclosed as follows: Beginning at a stone post, where the present north line of Dublin intersects with the western line of Peterboro, thence extending north 77½° west 2,525 rods, or following the north line of Dublin, to the line of Marlboro; thence northerly on the line of Marlboro and Roxbury to the southwest corner of Nelson, near the head of Woodward pond; thence in a general easterly course, with an offset north 160 rods on the east shore of Breed pond, about 1,784 rods, to the line of Hancock; and thence south 12° 30′ south 480 rods, thence south 79° east 879 rods, thence south 287 rods...Read More
Asa Fisk came to what is now Harrisville, from Rutland, Mass., in 1800 or 1801, and settled on the farm where his grandson, Levi W., now lives, and died there in 1829. His son Parker, eight years of age when he came here with his father, reared six children, only three of whom lived to maturity, and occupied the home farm until his death, in October, 1866. Levi W. married May B. Priest, of Hancock, N. H., who died in 1863, and lives on the old...Read More
HARRISVILLE is a handsome post-village located in the central part of the town, about 1,300 feet above the ocean, thus being, probably, the most elevated ground in New England boasting such extensive manufacturing facilities. Up to 1830 the village went by the name of Twitchell’s Mills, but at that time it was given its present name by Milan Harris, in honor of his family. Aside from its manufactures, the village has ample mercantile facilities, one church (Congregational), postoffice, telegraph office, graded school, etc., and about one hundred dwellings and 500 inhabitants. The village formerly laid on the line between Nelson and Dublin, on lot thirteen range ten, of the latter town. This lot was first settled about 1774, by Abel Twitchel, who built a grist-mill and a saw-mill, immediately after settling, both under one roof. This building was subsequently burned, and soon after rebuilt. At an early date, also, Jason Harris built here a blacksmith and trip-hammer shop. On the same stream, in 1799, Jonas Clark built and put in operation a clothing-mill, or a mill for fulling and dressing cloth. In this mill Mrs. Clark spun linen thread by water-power, a single thread at a time. Mr. Clark sold his mill to James Horsley, in 1804, and removed with his family to Shipton, Canada, where he remained until 1819, then returned to Dublin. A machine for carding wool...Read More
Moses Adams came to what is now Harrisville, from Sherborn, Mass., in 1783 and died here in 1810. His son Moses was born in 1768, and lived here till his death. Moses, son of Moses, was born in 1785, reared a family of six children, and died in 1873. His son Charles W. is a builder in San Francisco, Cal., Frederick M. is a lawyer and stenographer in New York, and his two daughters, Eliza and Emily, reside on the old...Read More
The Evangelical Congregational church of Harrisville was organized September 22, 1840, by a council composed of clergymen and delegates from the following towns: Swanzey, Troy, Antrim. New Ipswich. and Warwick, Mass., with thirty-one members, the first pastor being Rev. Otis C. Whiton. Their church building was erected in 1840-43, a brick structure capable of seating 350 persons, cost $4,000.00, and is now valued, including grounds, at $5,000.00. The society has fifty-one members, with Rev. George H. Dunlap, pastor. There have been added to the original thirty-one members 189 others, making a total of 220, of which 169 have been removed by death and otherwise, leaving now a membership of fifty-one, resident and nonresident. The church was organized through the instrumentality of the Harrises, there being fourteen charter members of this name. Bethuel Harris and his sons erected a brick vestry, in which evening meetings were to be held before a church was organized, and when finished the first meeting held therein was for organizing a church. Bethuel Harris gave one-half the money for the erection of the present edifice, and Milan donated the organ, employed at, organist, and made other liberal contributions from time to...Read More
William Barker came from Acton, Mass., and located in Nelson, in 1780. He was a soldier under General Washington, in the French and Indian war, and, with two of his sons, served in the Revolution, and was at the battle of Concord. His son Thaddeus, who came here with his father, had a family of eleven children, and died in 1843. His son Chauncey, the only child now living, was born in 1809, and has lived forty-six years on the place he now occupies. William Barker was town clerk and town representative for many years. Thaddeus also took an active part in town affairs, and held nearly all the offices. The family has always been one of the leading ones of the...Read More
The Baptist church and society, located at Pottersville, was organized by Elder Ballou and his son, Maturin, at the house of John Muzzey, December 7, 1785, with thirty members, the Rev. Maturin Ballou being the first pastor. In 1829 the church was re-organized and now has about seventy members. The church building was originally built in 1997, was re-modeled in 1830, and was removed and again re-modeled in 1844. It will seat 175 persons and is valued at $2,500.00. The Sabbath-school has sixty scholars, with C. Albert Seaver,...Read More
James Bemis, from Weston, Mass., settled in Dublin in 1793, where he died December 15, 1832, aged seventy-five years. He married first Hannah Frost, of Marlboro, by whom he had one son, Jonathan. He next married Lois Walker, of Sudbury. Mass., in 1786. His children were Hannah, James, Lois, Thomas, Josiah, Betsey, Eli and Mercy. James Bemis was a soldier of the Revolution, enlisting when a boy of eighteen, and reached headquarters just before the battle of Bunker Hill. His son Thomas, born in 1793, married first Sally Williams, and second Anna Knight, of Sudbury, Mass. His children were Sally, Elbridge G., Elizabeth J., George W., and Samuel Dana. He died at...Read More
Milan Harris, son of Bethual, was born January 29, 1799. He it was who did so much for the town of Harrisville, giving it its name, serving it as its first representative, etc. He received only a common school education, and before he was twenty-one he worked alternately on the farm and in the custom-shop, carding wool in summer and dressing cloth for customers in the autumn and winter. At the age of twenty-one he taught school in Dublin and Nelson several terms. In 1821 he began the manufacture of woolen goods at Saxton’s River, Vt., and in 1822 began the same business here, which he continued up to September, 1874. He died July 27, 1884. He held several military offices, most of the town offices in Nelson; was a director of the State Foreign and Home Missionary Society, of the Ashuelot Fire Insurance Company, and of the Manchester & Keene railroad. He was also a justice of the peace, and held many positions as delegate, etc., to religious and temperance synods. He represented Nelson in the legislature four or five terms, was two years 1n the state senate, was the first representative from Harrisville, and was also two years in the senate from here. Mr. Harris married Lois, daughter of Nehemiah Wright, for his first wife, May 21, 1822, who died December 19, 1842. Their children were as...Read More
Samuel D. Bemis, son of Thomas, was born February 8, 1833, He has been engaged in farming, and has held the office of selectman, being chairman of the board from 1872 to 1884. He was a member of the state legislature in 1872, and a delegate to the constitutional convention in...Read More
William Yardly came to the northern part of Dublin, which is now a part of Harrisville, from England, in 1776, and located on the farm now owned by his grandson, George. He was a farmer, married Sarah Twitchell, and reared a family of six children. He died in June, 1805. His son William was born here in 1784, married Rhoda Brooks, reared a family of nine children, five of whom are now living, and died in 1858. Two sons, George and John, and one daughter, Mrs. Persia Beals, still reside in...Read More
George Davis was born in Hancock, N. H., in 1816. He learned the carpenter’s trade, which he carried on a few years, was captain of militia there in 1842 and 1843, and owner of a grist-mill, which he operated several years. He married Julia A., daughter 0f Asa Greenwood, of Dublin, in 1840, and moved to Keene in 1844. He was selectman of Harrisville in 1899 and 1880, town clerk and treasurer since 1881, and was chosen representative in...Read More
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