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Cyrus Runnels, a well-known and highly esteemed citizen of Concord, was born at Mast Yard, in 1832, son of Samuel Runnels. His grandfather, Samuel Runnels, Sr., a native of Boxford, Mass., came early to New Hampshire, where he bought a farm of one hundred and sixty-two acres, and spent the latter part of his life occupied in farming. He was a land surveyor, and assisted greatly in laying out roads and lots in his day. He was also one of the Home Guard of the War of 1812. At his Anna Hardy Runnels, he reared four children-Samuel, Lois, Priscilla, and Anna, all of whom have now passed away. Samuel Runnels, Jr., was educated in the district schools and became a farmer. He secured land, and built the house now occupied by his son. He died in 1864, aged sixty-eight. His wife was Anner Abbot Runnels, a daughter of Ezra Abbot, of the old Abbot family of this place. She was the mother of seven children, of whom two died young. The others are: Cyrus, Louisa J., Emily, Almira, and Anner A.
After Cyrus Runnels received his elementary education in the district schools, he pursued higher courses at the Hancock Literary and Scientific School, at Penacook Academy, at Hopkinton, and at Professor Hall Roberts’s select school in Concord. He also graduated in the class of 1855 of the Chandler Scientific School of Hanover. In early life Mr. Runnels taught school for four winters in New Hampshire and later for one winter in Iowa. He worked at his profession of civil engineering in Iowa for nine years, doing local service in 1862 at the Adjutantgeneral’s office in Clinton of that State. In 1864 Mr. Runnels returned to New Hampshire and took the farm, but still continued to carry on his work of surveying. He became at once identified with the social and civil interests of the town. He has been for six years Assessor, for three years Selectman, for three years a member of the Council, and he has been a Justice of the Peace for more than ten years.
During his residence in Iowa, Mr. Runnels was a member of the Presbyterian church, serving the society as a Deacon and Elder. Since his return to New Hampshire he has joined the West Congregational Church of Concord, and is one of its Deacons. In politics he is a Republican, and he cast his first Presidential vote for General Grant in 1868.