Location: Pittsfield New Hampshire

Archer Family of Fall River, MA

ARCHER (Fall River family). Through much of the nineteenth century the name opening this article was a most highly esteemed and respected one at Fall River, made so by the lives of the late Jason H. Archer, M. D., of the medical profession, and his son, the late John Jason Archer, Esq., for years one of the learned members of the Fall River bar. The home at least for a time of this Fall River Archer family was in the nearby town of Wrentham, in Norfolk county, where lived Amos Archer, father of Dr. Jason H. Archer and grandfather of the late John Jason Archer, Esq. While the Wrentham vital records do not show the Archers among the town’s early inhabitants the Archers as a family were here in Massachusetts in its early Colonial period. One Samuel Archer (name spelled in the early Essex county records Arehard) was living in Salem as early as 1630, as on Oct, 19th of that year he took the freeman’s oath there. He was born between 1602 and 1615, and was a carpenter. He was a member of the First Church before 1636; was constable of the town in 1657; and marshal from 1654 until his decease. He died in December, 1667. His wife Susanna survived him, and married (second) Richard Hutchinson in October, 1668. His children, born in Salem, Mass., were: Hannah,...

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Biography of Alvin W. Sanders

Alvin W. Sanders, one of the leading merchants of Pittsfield, was born in this town, October 5, 1850, son of William and Adeline (Reynolds) Sanders. His grandfather, Samuel Sanders, who was a resident of Strafford, N.H., followed shoemaking and farming throughout the active period of his life, and died at the age of seventy years. Samuel’s wife, whose maiden name was Betsey Cater, lived to be eighty years old. She was the mother of nine children, all now deceased, of whom William was the youngest. William Sanders was born in Strafford, and reared upon a farm. He learned the shoemaker’s trade, and afterward worked at it, and also conducted a good farm in Pittsfield. In politics he was a Democrat. He married for his first wife Abiagail Sanders, widow of William Sanders, of Strafford; and by that union there were five children, of whom the only survivor is Betsey. His second marriage was contracted with Adeline, daughter of John Reynolds, of Strafford; and she became the mother of five children, four of whom are living-Alvin W., Martin, Clara, and George. Martin wedded Eva Noyes, of Barnet, Vt.; and Clara is the wife of Benjamin Rollins, of Concord, N.H., and has two children-Florence and Bertha. Mrs. William Sanders, who is seventy-two years old, is residing at the homestead in this town. Alvin W. Sanders acquired his education in the schools...

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Biography of William Tasker

William Tasker, one of the prominent residents of Contoocook, was born August 21, 1852, in Pittsfield, this county, son of William and Mary (Lougee) Tasker. The grandfather, Joseph Tasker, and his brothers, John and Paul, removing from Newington, near Portsmouth, were the first settlers of Barnstead. Paul Tasker died leaving no family. Joseph followed the trade of shoemaker. He married Sally True, of Pittsfield, at which place they both died, he about the year 1878, and she in 1884. His son, the Rev. Joseph O. Tasker, is a Congregational minister at Short Falls, Epsom township, this county. William Tasker, Sr., another son of Joseph, born in Barnstead, Belknap County, was also a shoemaker. He was a resident of Pittsfield, where he died in 1859, at the age of forty, leaving one son, the subject of this sketch. William Tasker passed his boyhood in Pittsfield, receiving his education in the academy, and working in a store during his vacations, his father’s home being in the village. He yet owns this place, where his mother still lives. Subsequently he worked in the gristmill of Weeks Brothers, until it was burned in 1880. He then came to Contoocook, and worked for a year and a half as miller in the Pittsfield, and bought an ice business, and conducted it for five years. In 1883 he was chosen Selectman, and in the following...

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Biography of Charles H. Morrill

Charles H. Morrill, a prosperous farmer and lumber manufacturer of Pittsfield, was born in this town, January 14, 1829, son of Jacob and Mary (Hoyt) Morrill. His paternal great-grandfather, who was a native of Salisbury, Mass., settled in Brentwood, N.H., and resided upon a farm in that town for the rest of his life. His grandparents, Jonathan and Betsey (Gordon) Morrill, were natives of Brentwood. Jonathan Morrill was for many years engaged in agricultural pursuits in his native town, and his last days were spent in Pittsfield. He lived to be sixty-nine years old, and his wife died at sixty-seven. They were the parents of five children-Amos, Betsey, Hannah G., Jacob, and Louise -none of whom are living. Jacob Morrill, Charles H. Morrill’s father, was born in Brentwood in 1802. At an early age he adopted agriculture as an occupation. When twenty-two years old he went to Northwood, N.H., where he resided for some time. In 1828 he bought a farm of sixty-five acres located in Pittsfield, and cultivated it for the rest of his active period. His wife, Mary, who was a native of Northwood, became the mother of four children, of whom Charles H., Hezekiah B., and John C. are living. Hezekiah married Abigail Saunders, of Strafford, N.H.; and his children are: Clarence and Abbie L. John C. married Mary J. Kensington, a native of Maine. Jacob...

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Biography of John J. Jenness

John J. Jenness, a well-to-do farmer of Pittsfield, was born in this town, April 13, 1829, son of John and Ann P. (Tilton) Jenness. The family, which is of English origin, was first represented in America by three brothers who were early settlers of Rye Beach, N.H. John Jenness (first), grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was born at Rye Beach, and reared to agricultural pursuits. When a young man, he settled in Pittsfield, and was afterward engaged in tilling the soil in this town until his death, which occurred when he was forty-four years old. He rendered substantial aid in building the first Congregational church in Pittsfield, and contributed generously toward its support while he lived. In politics he was a Democrat. He married a lady named Page, and with her reared a family of three children, none of whom are living. John Jenness (second), the father of John J. Jenness, was born in Pittsfield. The active period of his life was devoted to the cultivation of a farm in this town. An industrious and successful farmer, he acquired considerable property. Politically, he acted with the Democratic party, and for many years he was prominent in the public affairs of Pittsfield. He served with ability as Town Clerk, Moderator, and Selectman; and he represented Pittsfield in the legislature. At his death he had attained the age of...

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Biography of J. F. Merrill, M.D.

J. F. Merrill, M.D., a well-known physician of Franklin Falls, Merrimack County, was born in Gilmanton, N.H., June 5, 1856, son of Jacob D. and Sarah (Sanborn) Merrill. His parents are farming people of Gilmanton. Their six children are all living, and are as follows: Ida, who is the wife of Alonzo Caverly, and resides in Lynn, Mass.; George and Frederick, who are engaged in shoe manufacturing in Lynn, Mass., under the firm name of Merrill Brothers; Charles, who still remains with his parents; Addie, who is the wife of George Blanchard, and a resident of Lynn; and J. F., the subject of this sketch. After acquiring a fair amount of elementary knowledge in the common schools of Gilmanton, the subject of this sketch completed his general studies under a private tutor. He then studied medicine for about four years with Dr. Young, of Pittsfield, preparatory to entering Dartmouth Medical College, where he attended a course of lectures. He was subsequently graduated at the University of Vermont, receiving his degree of Doctor of Medicine from that institution, August 19, 1886. After graduating, he bought out the practice of Dr. J. P. Elkins, of New London, N. H., in which town he remained nearly nine years. He came to Franklin Falls in 1894, and has since been successfully engaged in the practice of his profession here. On January 1, 1879,...

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Biography of Charles H. Courser

Charles H. Courser, a retired business man of Henniker, was born in Boscawen, now Webster, N.H., May 19, 1827, son of John and Keziah (Shepard) Courser. The first ancestors of the family were English. His grandfather, John Courser, was a resident of Merrimack County. The father passed the greater part of his life in Boscawen, and died there at the age of ninety-two years. The mother, who was a daughter of John Shepard, a native of Derry, N.H., lived to be eighty-two. Of her children the only survivor is Charles H. Charles H. Courser passed his boyhood in attending school and assisting upon the farm. When about seventeen years old he was apprenticed to the trade of carpenter and millwright. After serving for three years he was employed as a journeyman carpenter and millwright in Boscawen. In 1853 he came to Henniker, and, securing the site of an old privilege, erected a saw and grist mill, and conducted them for fourteen years. He then sold them, and erected in Newport, N.H., another mill, which he sold before it was completed. Soon after, in Pittsfield, N.H., he bought a mill which he rebuilt and operated for nine years, but still resided in Henniker. When his former mill in this town was subsequently offered for sale, he and his son, Fitz H. Courser, bought the property, built a saw-mill upon the...

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Biography of Nathaniel S. Drake

Nathaniel S. Drake, the treasurer and superintendent of the Drake & Sanborn Shoe Company, of Pittsfield, was born here, September 16, 1851, in the house he now occupies on Main Street, son of James and Betsey (Seavey) Drake. His genealogy is traced to Robert Drake, born in the County of Devon, England, in 1580, who came to New England with a family before 1643. Robert was one of the grantees and first settlers of Exeter. He removed in 1651 to Hampton, “where he owned and left considerable estate.” Much respected throughout his life, his death on January 14, 1668, was mourned as a loss to the community. Abraham Drake, son of Robert, was born in England in 1621. His son, Abraham Drake (second), by his wife, Jane, was born December 29, 1654. This Abraham married Sarah Hobbs, and died May 20, 1714. Abraham Drake (third), son of Abraham (second), born in December, 1688, died April 13, 1767. He married Theodate Roby, whose son, Simon, born October 4, 1730, married Judith Perkins, and died March 16, 1801. Major James Drake, it is stated, was of middle stature, well proportioned, of a fine figure, and possessed great physical strength and powers of endurance. A description of his person strongly resembles that which is given of England’s famous admiral, Sir Francis Drake. This resemblance extended also to his mental and moral traits;...

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Biography of Fred H. Fellows

Fred H. Fellows, one of Chichester’s representative men, was born in this town, December 18, 1859, son of John and Ursula M. (Webster) Fellows. His grandfather, John Fellows (first), learned the blacksmith’s trade in Chichester, and followed it in this town during the active portion of his life. John owned a small farm, which he also cultivated industriously. In politics he was a Democrat, and he served as a Selectman and in other town offices. He married Betsey Page, who bore him eight children, six of whom are living; namely, James B., Esther, Elizabeth J., Louisa, Frank J., and Octave. James B. married for his first wife Betsey Webster, who died leaving one son, Frank. For his second wife he married Lydia Severance, and by this union has one daughter, Hattie. Esther Fellows became the wife of George M. Warren, of Chichester; and her children are: Edwin, Charles, John, and James. Elizabeth J. married James W. Smith, of this town; and her children are: Mabel, Arvilla, and Dora. Louisa married for her first husband a Mr. Hill, by whom she had one child. By her present husband, Abraham Drake, she has had no children. Frank J. married Lizzie Upton, and has three children-Grace, Walter, and Nettie. Octave married Ann Barton, of Pittsfield, and has two sons-George and David. John Fellows (first) was for many years a Deacon of the...

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Biography of Albion H. French, M.D.

Albion H. French, M.D., a wellknown physician of Pittsfield, was born in Gilmanton N.H., March 27, 1847, son of Thomas H. and Sarah Ann (Brown) French. His great-grandfather, Ezekiel French, an Englishman, who was a pioneer of either Loudon or Hampton, N.H., spent his last days in Loudon, where he owned a farm. The second of Ezekiel’s two marriages was contracted with Sallie Smith. His son John was a native of Loudon. When a young man, John settled in Gilmanton, where he became a wealthy farmer, and died at the age of seventy-five years. He married Lucy T. Prescott, who lived to the advanced age of ninety-three or ninety-four years. She reared five children, of whom Thomas H., Albion H. French’s father, was the eldest. Of these children the survivors are: Ann M., the widow of William Brackett, late of Epsom, N.H.; and Warren B. The other two sons, John O. and Samuel P., were graduates of Dartmouth College and physicians. In the latter part of his life the father was a Republican. Both he and his wife were members of the Congregational church. Thomas H. French was born in Gilmanton in 1815. In early manhood he engaged in agriculture with a determination to succeed. He was rapidly becoming prosperous when he died, in the prime of life, aged thirty-seven years. He held a Captain’s commission in the State...

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Biography of M. Swain Clough

M. Swain Clough, a Selectman of Pittsfield and an ex-member of the New Hampshire legislature, was born in this town, April 6, 1849, son of Benjamin A. and Lydia A. (Sinclair) Clough. His grandfather, William Clough, who was born in Barrington, N.H., came to Pittsfield as a pioneer. He cleared and improved a farm, and was a prominent man in his day. In politics he was a Republican. He married Sarah Swain, who was also a native of Barrington; and they were the parents of nine children, none of whom are living. Of these Benjamin A., father of the subject of this sketch, was the youngest son. Mrs. William Clough lived to the advanced age of ninety-six years. She and her husband were members of the Free Will Baptist church. Benjamin A. Clough, also a native of Pittsfield, was in trade in Barrington in his younger days. Later he settled upon the old homestead, where he tilled the soil successfully until his death, which occurred when he was about fifty-six years old. He was a Republican in politics, and was a member of the Board of Selectmen for some time. In his religious belief he was a Congregationalist. His wife, Lydia, a daughter of Micajah Sinclair, of Stratham, N.H., became the mother of one son, M. Swain, and died at the age of forty-six. The education of M. Swain,...

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Biography of Francis W. Blake

Francis W. Blake, one of Pittsfield’s successful farmers, was born in Hampton Falls, N.H., September 3, 1837, son of Enoch and Lydia (Smith) Blake. The family is of English origin. Its founder, Jasper Blake, who came from England in 1640 and settled at Hampton, N.H., was a relative of Robert Blake, the famous British admiral of that period. The great-grandfather of Francis W. was Jeremiah Blake, son of Joshua. He was a native of Hampton Falls, and a farmer by occupation. He was the father of five children, of whom Enoch (first), the grandfather, was the eldest. Enoch Blake (first) was born in Hampton Falls, and grew to manhood as a farmer in that town. He served in the Revolutionary War under General Stark. In 1787 he moved to Pittsfield, and occupied a part of the farm now owned by his grandson, Francis W. In politics he was a Democrat, and in religious belief he was a Free Will Baptist. At his death he was sixty-nine years old. He married Hannah Eastman, a native of Kensington, N.H. Of their five children who attained maturity Enoch (second) was the eldest. Born in Pittsfield, August 22, 1796, he was engaged in agricultural pursuits during the greater part of his active period, and also followed the trades of carpenter and cooper to some extent. Prosperity rewarded his industry. In politics he supported...

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Biography of Sherburn Josiah Winslow

Sherburn Josiah Winslow, one of the most prominent business men and influential residents of Pittsfield, was born in Nottingham, N.H., March 16, 1834, son of Josiah and Ruth (Tucker) Winslow. By both paternal grandparents, each of whom was a Winslow, he is directly descended from Governor Edward Winslow, who came with the Pilgrims in the “Mayflower.” The grandfather, Elisha Winslow, was a prosperous farmer of Nottingham, and lived to a good old age. He was the father of six children, all now deceased. Josiah Winslow, the second child and the eldest son of Elisha, was born in Nottingham, November 12, 1797. He was reared to farm life, but learned the tanner’s and shoemaker’s trades, which he followed for many years. He finally moved to Pittsfield, and his last days were spent upon the farm in this town. A citizen of more than ordinary worth, he acquired a high reputation for honesty. He was a supporter of the Democratic party, and took a lively interest in local politics. His wife, Ruth, whose father, James Tucker, was born in Salisbury, Mass., April 15, 1766, became the mother of four children, namely: Sally T., deceased; James T., deceased; Sherburn J., the subject of this sketch; and Atilla J., deceased. James T. married Fanny Hall, of Illiana, Ill., and had one son, James Albert. Josiah Winslow died at the age of sixty-six years,...

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Biography of John Henry Prescott

John Henry Prescott. At the close of the Civil war, in which he had played a gallant role as a Union soldier and had attained the rank of captain, Mr. Prescott came out to Kansas and from that time until his death on July 5, 1891, was a notable figure in the life and affairs of Salina and that part of the state. He attained high rank as a lawyer and as a jurist, and was also remarkably successful in business affairs. His name and memory may well be cherished by his descendants and by the people of the entire state. Captain Prescott was born October 14, 1840, at Pittsfield, New Hampshire. He is of old New England stock, and this branch of the Prescott family goes back in American history to the year 1640. His parents were substantial farming people, John and Mary (Clark) Prescott, both natives of New Hampshire. John Henry Prescott was the second in a family of five children and the oldest of the three sons. His early life was spent on his father’s farm, and he completed his literary education at Pittefield Academy. When sixteen years of age he took up the study of law. He was still equipping himself for this profession when the Civil war broke out. On August 10, 1862, Mr. Prescott enlisted as a private in Company F of the...

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