Daniel G. Peaslee, a farmer and lumberman of Bradford, residing about three miles west of the village, was born April 4, 1841, in Newbury, Merrimack County. His father, Jonathan Peaslee, a native of Newbury, was a son of Samuel Peaslee, one of the pioneers of the town. Further mention of the Peaslee family may be found in the biography of J. Albert Peaslee.
Jonathan Peaslee, who was reared to farming, became a tiller of the soil from choice. When ready to settle in life, he bought a tract of land lying on the Bradford and Newbury line, and built his house near the present residence of Hollis L. Blood. He also built an upright saw-mill, in which he manufactured a large part of the timber cut from his land into lumber. Lumbering and farming formed his chief occupation until his demise at the age of seventy-six years. His first wife, Mary Gillingham Peaslee, a daughter of James and Betsey (Lane) Gillingham, and a sister of both Mrs. Jack Packard, of Concord, and Moody Gillingham, died at the age of forty-nine years. Of her children two died in infancy. The others were: Laurel G., of Newbury; Jefferson G., of Bradford; Joel, who died in infancy; Ellis A., now the wife of Isaac Sanborn, of Dunbarton; Marion, who died in childhood; Daniel G., the subject of this sketch; Alburton, who remained on the home farm, never married, and died in 1893; Fanny, the wife of Charles A. Bailey, of Belvoir, Kan.; and Webster, now deceased, who was a farmer in Newbury. Jonathan Peaslee married for his second wife Ablgail Putney, of Bradford, and had three children, namely: Frank, now residing in Bradford village; Fred, also of Bradford village; and George H., a conductor on the northern line of the Boston & Maine Railroad.
Daniel G. Peaslee remained with his father until about sixteen. Then he went to his brother Laurel in Newbury, and was in his employment for two years. From Newbury he returned to the old homestead, and remained there until his marriage. Next year he rented a farm. During the ensuing three years he carried on the farm of his father-in-law, Mr. Ayer. In 1867 he and his brother Alburton purchased his present homestead. At that time less than an acre of the land was cleared; and on it was an old, worn-out upright saw-mill. He repaired the mill and engaged in lumbering. In the course of time a large business in custom sawing compelled him to run the mill night and day. The partnership with his brother continued for ten or twelve years. Since that time Mr. Peaslee has conducted the business alone. His farm, Manchester, Boston, and other cities, making yearly sales often amounting to fifteen hundred dollars. He also cuts a good deal of wood, some years from four hundred to five hundred cords. From three to six men are employed by him.
In 1863, March 13, Mr. Peaslee married Zeroida Ayer, a daughter of Benjamin Ayer, of Newbury. Mr. and Mrs. Peaslee have two children, namely: Minnie B., who has taught school at Melvin’s Mills for the past nine terms; and Emily A., a dressmaker, living at home.
In politics Mr. Peaslee is a straightforward Democrat, and he has served with credit to himself and his constituents in many of the town offices. In 1876 and 1877 he was Selectman; and in 1881 and 1882 he represented Bradford in the State legislature, serving on the Agricultural Committee. In 1882 he was elected Selectman for two years. He declined nomination for the next and succeeding terms until 1888, when he was elected for three years. In this term the town’s bonded debt of nine thousand two hundred dollars was cleared, and a surplus of eight hundred and fifty dollars was left in its treasury. Though repeatedly urged to accept the same office since, Mr. Peaslee has persistently declined. On the adoption of the new school laws he was chosen to fill a vacancy for an unexpired term, and at the end of two years he was reelected for three years. Mr. Peaslee has been Justice of the Peace for about seven years.