Location: Hopkinton New Hampshire

Narrative of the Captivity of Nehemiah How

A Narrative of the captivity of Nehemiah How, who was taken by the Indians at the Great Meadow Fort above Fort Dummer, where he was an inhabitant, October 11th, 1745. Giving an account of what he met with in his traveling to Canada, and while he was in prison there. Together with an account of Mr. How’s death at Canada. Exceedingly valuable for the many items of exact intelligence therein recorded, relative to so many of the present inhabitants of New England, through those friends who endured the hardships of captivity in the mountain deserts and the damps of loathsome prisons. Had the author lived to have returned, and published his narrative himself, he doubtless would have made it far more valuable, but he was cut off while a prisoner, by the prison fever, in the fifty-fifth year of his age, after a captivity of one year, seven months, and fifteen days. He died May 25th, 1747, in the hospital at Quebec, after a sickness of about ten days. He was a husband and father, and greatly beloved by all who knew him.

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Biographical Sketch of James Otis Straw

James Otis Straw, a thriving farmer of Hopkinton, was born in this town July 27, 1853, son of William S. and Mary Ann (Flanders) Straw. An account of his ancestry may be found in the sketch of his father, William S. Straw, contained elsewhere in this volume. James Otis Straw spent his early years on his parents’ farm. He was brought up to agricultural pursuits; and in 1890 he purchased his present home, the old Currier farm, containing sixty-five acres, the buildings on which were erected over a hundred years ago. Mr. Straw makes a specialty of dairying, and also pays much attention to breeding highgrade Guernsey stock. He possesses a considerable amount of mechanical skill, and is expert in the use of all kinds of tools. In politics he is a free silver Democrat, but takes no active part in public affairs beyond casting his vote. January 8, 1881, he was united in marriage with Ada Whittemore, daughter of William B. and Nancy Whittemore, of Hopkinton. Mr. and Mrs. Straw have become the parents of two children: Percy W., who was born October 21, 1881, and died at the age of three and a half years; and Clayton Bayard, born April 20, 1885. Mr. Straw is a member of Contoocook Grange, P. of H. He is an enthusiastic sportsman, and is one of the most popular residents of...

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Biography of William S. Straw

William S. Straw, a prosperous farmer of Hopkinton and a son of William and Hannah Straw, was born in the house where he now lives, June 1, 1817. He is descended from William and Mehitable Straw of early Colonial times. Their children were born as follows: William, May 22, 1686; John, July 1, 1688; Samuel, August 13, 1692; and Lawrence, May 13, 1699. Lieutenant Jacob Straw, the grandfather of William S., came from Rowley, Mass., to Hopkinton, some time between 1740 and 1755, while still a young man. He secured fifty acres of land, upon which he erected some small buildings, and then sold the whole to such advantage that he was able later to purchase two hundred acres on Sugar Hill, in the town of Weare. Here again he erected buildings, sold out at a profit, and bought three hundred acres in West Hopkinton, near where William S. Straw now lives. This purchase was made in 1782; and he spent the rest of his life upon the property, putting up large and convenient buildings and making many other improvements. A prosperous farmer, he was able to give each of his sons a farm, besides affording his sons-in-law substantial assistance. His death resulted from a cancer in his seventy-eighth year. He married Betsey (or Lydia) Ordway, of Rumford, later of Concord. They had twelve children, the youngest of whom...

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Biography of Walter Kendall Wadleigh, M.D.

Walter Kendall Wadleigh, M.D., a skilled and popular physician of Hopkinton, N.H., was born April 7, 1864, in the town of Franklin, Merrimack County, N.H., a son of Jonathan P. and Betsey (Thomas) Wadleigh. His father, who died in the prime of manhood, was born and reared in Sanbornton, Belknap County, this State, but spent the larger part of his life in Merrimack County, where he was a large land-holder. Walter K. Wadleigh received his elementary education in Franklin, being graduated from the high school in the class of 1881. Deciding upon a professional career, for which his natural tastes and talents peculiarly fitted him, he began studying medicine with Drs. I. F. Knight and W. W. Sleeper, of Franklin. He subsequently entered Dartmouth Medical College, from which he received his degree in 1886. While in college he taught school a part of the time, thus partially defraying the expense of his education. Soon after receiving his diploma and shortly after the death of the late Dr. Rogers, Dr. Wadleigh located in Hopkinton, and has since met with flattering success as a practitioner, his previous experience in hospital work having doubtless been of much service to him in his labors. He is a member of the Centre District and of the New Hampshire Medical Societies, and is an active worker in each organization. The Doctor is a close student,...

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Biography of Samuel Smith Page

Samuel Smith Page, who for more than forty years was one of the most esteemed residents of Hopkinton, was born September 30, 1822, in Dunbarton, N.H. He is a descendant of Benjamin Page, who was born in 1640, in Dedbam, fifty-seven miles north-east of London, England. In 1660, on account of religious differences, Benjamin came to America, locating in Haverhill, Mass., where on September 21, 1666, he married Mary Whittier, who belonged to the family from which the poet, John G. Whittier, sprung. Their son, Jeremiah, the eldest of a family of sixteen, born September 14, 1667, was the next ancestor. He married Deborah Hendrick, of Newburyport, Mass., July 2, 1696; and they reared seven children, Caleb and Joshua. He died in 1752. Caleb Page, the next in line of descent, was born August 16, 1705, and died in 1785. He married in 1728 or 1729 Ruth Wallingford, of Boston, who died in 1738. In 1740 he married a widow Carleton, of Newburyport, who weighed three hundred and fifteen pounds. She, together with a huge arm-chair, now in the possession of the Stark family, had to be carried to meeting on an ox sled. In 1749 Caleb Page removed from Haverhill, Mass., to Atkinson, N.H., where he is said to have owned land measuring one mile in opposite directions from the site of the present academy. In 1751 he...

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Biography of Hon. Isaac Darwin Merrill

Hon. Isaac Darwin Merrill, a well-known public man of Contoocook, is a son of Isaac and Mary (Wyman) Merrill, born October 1, 1814, in Hopkinton village, N.H. The father, a native of Hollis, Hillsborough County, born June 15, 1784, was a cooper by trade, and worked in Boston, Portland, and Troy, N.Y. When Isaac D. was about a year old, the family moved from Hopkinton to Hillsborough Bridge, where his father was employed at his trade. Later, more than sixty years ago, he settled in Contoocook, built the house where the subject of this sketch now resides, worked at his trade for some time longer, and died there, September 8, 1883, aged ninety-nine years, two months, and twenty-four days. He is well remembered in the community, among whom he is still spoken of as “Boss Merrill .” He was a man of strong frame and good health, industrious and apt to outdo his coworkers. Shortly before his death he became blind; and his last years were spent quietly at the homestead with his son, Isaac Darwin Merrill. He had three wives, whom he outlived. His first marriage was made with Mary Wyman, of Deering, who died May 31, 1843. She had eight children, six of whom, three sons and three daughters, reached maturity. The eldest, Clarinda, married Joseph L. Upton, of Contoocook, where she died after passing her eightieth...

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Biography of Ebenezer Loveren

Ebenezer Loveren, a practical farmer of Hopkinton, was born here, February 27, 1827, son of Captain Benjamin and Esther (Bartlett) Loveren, his parents being originally from Deering, Hillsborough County. His paternal grandparents were Ebenezer and Eunice (Hadlock) Loveren, who removed from Kensington, N.H., to Deering, where they settled. A separate sketch of Captain Benjamin Loveren appears on another page of this volume. Ebenezer Loveren was the only child of his parents, and was born on the farm where he now lives and where he has spent his life up 1844. It is the place in which Captain Benjamin Loveren passed his last moments. Ebenezer assisted his father on the farm until the death of the latter, when he took charge of the property, which he has since improved. To the original farm has been added one-hundred acres, its present size being three hundred acres. Mr. Loveren owns also a two hundred-acre lot of pasture land in the town of Webster, of which he makes profitable use, besides about three hundred acres in towns near by. Besides carrying on general farming, he does a large trade in milk; and throughout his career he has shown a high degree of business ability in increasing his worldly possessions, having acquired quite a large amount of property in addition to his real estate. Mr. Loveren has never married. He has never cared for...

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Biography of Henry H. Crowell

Henry H. Crowell, a prosperous lumber merchant of Hopkinton, was born in that town, July 9, 1834, son of Albert A. and Lydia (Kimball) Crowell. Joseph Crowell, came from Bradford, Mass., and settled on Beach Hill about one hundred years ago. Albert Crowell, who was born on the aforesaid hill, about fifty years ago settled at Ferrington’s Corner, on the farm where Eli Boutwell now lives. He ran the old saw-mill of the primitive up and down style, doing a custom business; and the mill industry has been in the hands of the Crowell family there ever since. He died at the age of sixty-two. His wife, also a native of Hopkinton, now, at the age of eighty-two, lives with her son. Of their six boys Lewis E. was killed in the Civil War by a shell at Spottsylvania. Three of the others were in the Burden Sharpshooters. Henry H. served two years and nine months. He was in all the battles of the regiment from the second battle of Bull Run. Another of the brothers, O. W. Crowell, is the famous evangelist singer, now travelling, and engaged in that work. The talent for vocal music, which is not wholly confined to this son, was an inheritance from their mother. Henry H. Crowell remained with his father until he was twenty-one, working out in the summers. In 1868 he...

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Biography of Walter Scott Davis

Walter Scott Davis, a millowner, manufacturer, and inventor, a successful business man of Hopkinton, Merrimack County, N.H., was born in the adjacent town of Warner, July 29, 1834, a son of Nathaniel A. and Mary (Clough) Davis. His paternal ancestry he traces as follows: Captain Francis Davis, called “the pioneer,” was born in Amesbury, Mass., October 26, 1723. He was the son of Francis, second, and Joanna Davis, the former the son of Francis, first, who, it is said, was the son of Philip, the immigrant progenitor. Philip Davis, when twelve years old, left Southampton, England, April 24, 1638, in the ship “Confidence” of London, bound for New England. He was servant to John Binson, husbandman, of Caversham, Oxfordshire (or, as Savage thought, of William Illsley ). Little else is known about Philip Davis, or Davies, as the name is spelled in the passenger list printed in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register, vol. ii. Francis Davis, said to have been his son, took the oath of allegiance and fidelity at Amesbury, December 20, 1677. Captain Francis Davis, the pioneer, married Elizabeth, daughter of Jonathan and Sarah Ferrin, and had ten children-Gertrude, Zebulon, Jeremiah, Wells, Ichabod, Francis, Elizabeth, Aquila, Paine, and Nathan. He located in what is known as Davisville in the town of Warner among the earliest settlers, and may be said to have been the foremost...

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Biography of Moses Eaton Dodge

Moses Eaton Dodge, late a prosperous and highly respected farmer of Hopkinton, N.H., was born September 20, 1828, son of Henry and Susan (Eaton) Dodge. His parents, after their marriage, settled on the present Dodge farm, which has been in the possession of the family for seventy-five years. He was educated in the common schools, and early became engaged in farming and lumbering, in both of which occupations he was successful, and in the latter of which he did an extensive business, often employing about forty men. He was a man of quiet habits, a great reader, and an intelligent and useful citizen, respected by his fellow-townsmen. He served as Town Assessor; and he was a charter member of Union Grange, in which he also held office. In politics he was a Democrat. January 29, 1861, he married Abbie A., daughter of Charles and Phœbe (Hill) Weeks, of Hopkinton, by whom he had one son, Henry. Mr. Dodge died December 16, 1889, and was buried in the old Stumpfield district cemetery, where his parents rest. Mrs. Moses Dodge, who survives her husband, and resides on the old farm, is a lady of education and refinement, and an excellent conversationalist. She is somewhat of an invalid, being afflicted with rheumatism, which necessitates her constant use of a wheel chair. Still, she views life serenely, and spends her quiet, leisurely days...

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Biographical Sketch of Cyrus F. Dustin

Cyrus F. Dustin, a respected farmer and lumberman of Hopkinton, was born in this town, January 25, 1853, son of Daniel P. and Sarah A. (Barnard) Dustin. He has resided here since his birth. In 1891 he married Miss Nellie S. Spalding, daughter of Dustin A. and Samantha S. (Putney) Spalding. Mr. Dustin is prominent in town affairs, and in 1896 was elected Representative to the legislature. He has the best interests of the town at heart, and can always be depended upon to perform his full duty as a citizen and as a representative of the...

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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 James Madison Connor

James Madison Connor, a successful and enterprising farmer of Hopkinton, was born in Henniker, N.H., August 21, 1828, son of James and Lydia (Kimball) Connor. His great-grandfather, David Connor, or O’Connor, and two brothers, all natives of Ireland, were the first settlers of the name in the district. The brothers settled in Exeter, near Lake Winnepesaukee. David, who took up his residence in Henniker, was a Revolutionary soldier. His son James, grandfather of James M., and who was later in life called Captain James, was born in Henniker. The Christian name of his wife was Dorcas. When the subject of this sketch was three years old, his parents came to the south part of Hopkinton; and the father died there at the age of fifty-eight, having been an invalid for some time. The mother survived him for years, living to be seventy-five, and dying at her son’s farm. Their children were: Isaac K., Harlowe, Lydia, and James Madison. Isaac is a mill-owner and carpenter in Warner, N.H. Harlowe is a carpenter, and lives in Lancaster, N.H. Lydia is the widow of Enoch Danforth, and lives in Hopkinton, near Stumpfield. James Madison Connor learned the carpenter’s trade, and followed it for several years. Afterward he purchased the small farm on which his sister now lives, reconstructed the buildings, and engaged in farming. The added responsibility of caring for his invalid...

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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 Horace Childs

Horace Childs, a pioneer railroad bridge builder in New England, is a prominent resident of Henniker, Merrimack County, N.H. He was born in this town, August 10, 1807, son of Solomon, Jr., and Mary (Long) Childs. He is a lineal descendant of William Childs or Child, a brother of Ephraim Child, who emigrated from England, and settled in Watertown, Mass., in 1630. The family, which was a notable one in England, sustained the dignity of a coat of arms. William Child was made a freeman at Watertown in 1634, and became a landowner there. His son John was conspicuous in the public affairs of Watertown. He died at the age of forty years. The third in this line was John Childs, Jr., son of John and Mary (Warren) Child; and the fourth, his son Jonathan, born in Watertown in 1696, who settled in Grafton, Mass., where he died in 1787, in the ninety-second year of his age. From the “Genealogy of the Child, Childs, and Childe Families,” by Elias Child, published in 1881, chapter viii., relating to the Watertown branch, we learn that Jonathan Child married in 1729 Abigail Parker, and had eight children, the eldest, Josiah, born in 1730, the youngest, Joseph, born in 1753. Ruth, born in 1740, and the sixth, Solomon, born January 31, 1744. The same record of Jonathan Child’s family is in the History...

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