Alvah B. Chellis, a leading farmer of Plainfield and the senior partner in the well-known firm, Chellis & Stickney, was born here, January 27, 1841, son, of John Pettengill and Lucinda (Bean) Chellis. The first representative of the family in this country came from Wales in 1636. His son John, born in Kingston, N.H., was the great-great-grandfather of Alvah B. Chellis. John’s son Thomas, born in Kingston about the year 1750, was in the Revolution together with all his brothers, and fought at Bunker Hill.
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The grandfather, Thomas Chellis, Jr., who was born at Salisbury, this State, March 24, 1785, died February 19, 1849. He and his father were the first of the family to settle in Plainfield. He was a farmer on an extensive scale, and a drover of cattle and dealer in horses. He was very wealthy, and very active in town affairs. He was in the legislature, was Selectman for many years, and he served in various other important offices. In religious belief he was a Congregationalist and a liberal supporter of the Congregational church. His wife, in maidenhood Abigail Morgan, daughter of Nathaniel and Miriam (Pettengill) Morgan, bore him nine children-Abigail, John P., Enoch F., Betsey M., Miriam, Otis H., Mary E., Sarah, and Andrew J. Abigail, born April 30, 1810, married Isaac Sawyer, of Salisbury, N.H., a breeder of Merino sheep on an extensive scale. Enoch F., born August 8, 1815, who was a prosperous farmer Cornish, N.H., married Mrs. Sarah Chase, and had one daughter, Marian V. Betsey, born November 9, 1817, died August 6, 1834. Miriam, born June 26, 1819, who died August 19, 1880, was unmarried. Otis H., who, born May 15, 1821, died June 30, 1894, was a farmer, carpenter, and merchant, and was for a short time in the fruit business in New Jersey. He successively married Martha P. Kinsman and Betsey M. Sargent. The latter bore him four children-Martha M., Frank O., Eloise, and Kate M. His sister, Mary E., born August 23, 1823, died April 19, 1884, unmarried. Sarah, born June 22, 1825, died August 17, 1837. Andrew J., born September 13, 1828, who was a very prosperous and prominent resident of Plainfield, died October 15, 1878.
John P. Chellis, father of Alvah B., was born December 26, 1812. After finishing his education at Kimball Union Academy, he taught school for about twelve winters. Thereafter, throughout the remainder of his life, he was engaged in farming, giving special attention to sheep-raising, and acquiring a handsome fortune. He was active as a citizen, and was chosen to fill the offices of Selectman, Town Treasurer, and Town Clerk. He was also State Senator for a time, and was High Sheriff of Sullivan County for nearly ten years. His wife, Lucinda, a daughter of Samuel and Betsey (Smith) Bean, was born August 31, 1816. Their children were: Alvah B. and Mary L. Chellis. Mary, who was born January 29, 1846, graduated from Kimball Union Academy, and then taught school for some years, principally in Lebanon and Newport, being very successful, and considered a fine disciplinarian. Both the parents died in 1888.
Alvah B. Chellis also taught school for many years, and, like his father and sister, was a skilful and successful instructor. Besides teaching he served in the capacity of clerk for the Provost Marshal at West Lebanon in 1863 and 1864. His home has always been here, on the farm formerly owned by his father, and of which he has had the management during the greater part of his life. He carries on general farming, and formerly raised large numbers of sheep. The store at Meriden, conducted by Chellis & Stickney, is very prosperous, and has a growing business. The post-office has been located there since the present firm started in business. Mr. Chellis has taken an active part in all questions of importance that have come before the town, both in his private capacity and that of Selectman. He has taken much interest in the public schools, and has repeatedly served on the School Board. In Masonry Mr. Chellis is Sir Knight, having membership in Franklin Lodge of Lebanon, and in Sullivan Commandery of Claremont. In these bodies he is very popular, and has held all the offices. His religious views agree with the creed of the Congregational church, and he is a generous supporter of the church society. He is fond of music, and has a fine voice; but he sings only for the pleasure of his family and immediate friends.
On October 13, 1870, Mr. Chellis married Harriet L. Rossiter, of Windsor, Vt., daughter of Chittenden and Charlotte (Converse) Rossiter. Mr. Rossiter was born in Claremont, March 22, 1817, and died May 8, 1892. Mrs. Rossiter, who is a daughter of a clergyman, and was born December 27, 1817, is still living at Windsor, Vt., in the home which has been hers for over fifty years. She is in good health, and her mental faculties are undimmed. Mr. and Mrs. Chellis have been the parents of two sons-James Bean and Converse Alvah. James, born May 16, 1879, April 20, 1891. Converse, born at Plainfield, March 22, 1884, is attending school. As he has manifested a marked talent for music, he will probably pursue a course of musical training.