Biography of Bridgeman Hapgood
Bridgeman Hapgood, the father of Mrs. Mary E. Dickenson, was born in 1800, son of a well-to-do farmer, who built the first frame house in Reading, Vt. He became a successful merchant in Reading, at the same time manufacturing starch in Plymouth and woollen goods at Weathersfield, Vt. At one time he was extensively engaged in farming on the old homestead. He was a Democrat in politics. He has been Postmaster of the town, Justice of the Peace for seventeen years, Town Clerk for ten years, trustee of surplus revenue for five years, and he represented the town in the legislature in 1837-38. For nine years in succession he was Chairman of the Select Council. He has repeatedly been appointed executor of estates. When in the legislature he fought hard to defeat the Bankruptcy Law, which in the passing brought heavy loss to him. Knowing that the law had been passed, he could have saved himself from loss, but was too conscientious. Rather than defraud any one, he met all his liabilities. Claremont in 1853. Here he was engaged in the hardware business until he retired in 1865. He married Laura M. Weston, daughter of Parson Weston. She died in 1860, leaving three children-Edgar L., Elizabeth, and Mary E. Mr. Hapgood died in 1877.
Henry Daniel Dustin, a substantial farmer of Hopkinton, was born here, February 25, 1849, son of Daniel Pierce and Sally (Barnard) Dustin. His grandfather was Ebenezer Dustin, who married Sarah Pierce. The father of Ebenezer probably came from New York to this State. Daniel Dustin, also born in Hopkinton, two years after his marriage settled down on the old homestead, now owned by the Hon. Cyrus F. Dustin, who lives in Contoocook. About sixty years ago he bought the present farm on the Contoocook, containing one hundred and thirty acres, mainly on the bottom lands. Two years before his death he removed to Contoocook with his son Cyrus, where he died April 30, 1880. His widow is still living there, a well-preserved woman, now seventy-seven years old. He introduced Merino sheep from Vermont, and dealt with them in a manner calculated to produce the finest grades of wool. In politics Mr. Dustin was a Republican, while he was indifferent to political distinction. A man of robust and commanding appearance, weighing about two hundred pounds, he was unassuming, honorable, of the strictest integrity, and was well liked by his townsmen.
In his early manhood Henry Daniel Dustin followed the calling of teacher, mainly in Hopkinton. After leaving that profession at the age of thirty-four, he served ably for nine years on the School Board. He was one of the first school officers, and still retains his interest in educational matters. From 1881 to 1886 he served as Selectman. In 1886 he was elected to the legislature, where he was a member of the Committee on Finance. Dairying forms the main feature of his farming. He also pays some attention to stockbreeding, having some Jersey cattle, and other pure-bred stock, as well as some fine samples of the Jersey and Guernsey cross. Mr. Dustin has added to the farm lands until at present they cover two hundred and thirty acres. Other improvements made by him were the erection of new barns and the rebuilding of a part of the residence. He also does some lumbering. In 1871, November 30, Mr. Dustin married Helen M. Tucker, daughter of Deacon David and Mary E. (Straw) Tucker.
For the past seven years a boy, Amos F. Frye, now fifteen years of age, has been a member of the family. Mrs. Dustin’s parents also reside with them. Both Mr. and Mrs. Dustin are members of the Baptist church in Contoocook. They are also connected with Contoocook Grange, Patrons of Husbandry. He is an Odd Fellow of Kearsarge Lodge and Eagle Encampment, in both of which he has taken the highest degrees.