Biography of Francis W. Blake
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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 the Democratic party. His last years were passed in retirement, and he lived to the advanced age of ninety-one years. Having been a soldier in the War of 1812, he was in receipt of a government pension at the time of his death. His wife, Lydia, who was a daughter of Josiah Bathsheba Rand Smith, of Chichester, N.H., became the mother of five children, of whom there are living: Jeremiah, Charles, and Francis W. Jeremiah married Lydia A. Tilton, of Loudon, N.H., who died leaving two children-Mary and Ellen. The first of Charles Blake’s three marriages was contracted with Angeline Carter. He has no children living. Francis W. Blake’s mother died at the age of seventy-eight. Both parents were members of the Free Will Baptist church.
After acquiring his education in Pittsfield and Hampton Falls, Francis W. Blake learned the shoemaker’s trade. At the age of twenty-five he moved with his parents to Pittsfield, where he continued to work at his trade for some years. Since then he has been successfully engaged in farming at the homestead. He owns one hundred and twenty-five acres of well-located land, eighty acres of which are under cultivation. He is also quite extensively interested in lumbering.
On June 21, 1866, Mr. Blake wedded Mary Judkins. She is a daughter of Simon B. and Catherine (Hoyt) Judkins, of Kingston, N.H. Mr. Judkins died at the age of sixty-five years. He was well known in Kingston. In politics he acted with the Republican party. In his religious belief he was a Congregationalist; and he was Deacon of the church in that place at the time of his death, having held the office for twenty-two years. Mrs. Blake’s parents had five children, four of whom are living. Her sister Emma is the wife of Joshua Lyford, of Brentwood, N.H., having one son, Henry. Her brother John married Sarah Diamond, of Danville, N.H., and is the father of two children-Clifton and Francis. Lydia B. resides on the homestead in Kingston with her mother. Anna E. married William Brown, of Fremont, N.H., and died leaving one daughter, Katie J. Mr. and Mrs. Blake have four children-Elizabeth F., Emma A., George Enoch, and Edna F. Elizabeth F., who was born June 18, 1867, graduated from New Hampton Institution, and is now teaching school in New Hampton, N.H. Emma A., born September 9, 1869, graduated from the Boston Conservatory of Music in 1891, and is an accomplished music teacher in Boston, where she has a large number of pupils. George Enoch, born July 30, 1878, is attending school in New Hampton; and Edna F. was born June 17, 1888. In politics Mr. Blake is independent. He was a member of the Board of Selectmen for three years, and he was Tax Collector for one year. He is connected with Pittsfield Grange, Patrons of Husbandry. Both he and Mrs. Blake are members of the Free Will Baptist church, and he has been its clerk for twenty years.