Frank R. Woodward, a widely known manufacturer and a prominent resident of Hill, was born in the town of Salisbury, February 9, 1845, son of Daniel S. Woodward, of that place. Ancestors of his Woodward, the first representative of the family in this country, who came here from Ireland in the first half of the last century, and settled in Maine, fought in the war of the Revolution; and his sons, Stephen and Jesse, fought in the second war with England. Daniel Woodward, a son of Jesse, married Dorcas, daughter of Enoch Adams, of Salisbury, who fought in the war of Independence from April, 1775, until its close. In 1848 Daniel moved to Penacook, then called Fisherville, and later to Franklin.
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Frank R. Woodward received his education in the public schools of Franklin and at Noyes Academy. In 1868 he went to Manchester, where he was employed as superintendent of the Forsaith Latch Needle Factory. Two years later he purchased the business, and in 1872 he moved the plant to Hill. In the following year he sold the needle factory in order to engage in the manufacture of glass-cutters and other light hardware. He has continued in this line of business up to the present time, gaining a wide reputation in Europe as well as in this country. The establishment of the factory in Hill has stimulated the other industries of the town, and has been of great benefit in giving employment to many workmen. Other advantages have come through Mr. Woodward’s personal efforts and private beneficences. In 1884 he laid out and graded Pleasant Hill Cemetery, which occupies a beautiful location upon a hill overlooking the village, dedicating it to the memory of his eldest daughter, May, who died May 2, 1884, at the age of thirteen years. Previous to this there had been no cemetery in town worthy of the name, and it is greatly appreciated by the residents. In 1885 he erected in the village a fine block containing a large hall, a store, and a number of tenements. Two years later he was engaged in making a large addition, but before the work was completed the entire structure was burned. Mr. Woodward has also built a system of water-works, with which he supplies water from springs on his property to all the villagers who desire it. Connected with the pipes also are hydrants for protection against fire, and the supply and pressure of water is excellent. When the village church was burned some years since, Mr. Woodward gave the society the lot and foundation for the new edifice, and took charge of its building.
Outside his manufacturing business Mr. Woodward is greatly interested in agricultural pursuits. He owns two farms, one in the village of Hill and one three miles outside. On these farms there is produced large quantities of milk, which is sold readily at the cars. Mr. Woodward is a charter member and the first Overseer of Pemigewasset Grange, No. 107; and he has served as its Master, Secretary, and Lecturer. He is also a member of Merrimack County Pomona Grange, of various Masonic bodies, of the Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias, the Red Men, and the Good Templars. In the Good Templars he is a charter member of Hill Lodge, and for a number of terms has been Chief Templar.
Mr. Woodward has been twice married. The five children of his first marriage are deceased. The present Mrs. Woodward, whose maiden name was Ella E. Hilpert, has one son, Harold A., born April 29, 1888. Mr. Woodward belongs to the Christian Church of Hill, and is a life Director of the society. He has charge of the church property, and has been superintendent of the Sunday-school since it started, nine years ago. In politics he is a Democrat. Keenly alive to all the public interests of his town, he has taken an 1884. As the town is strongly Republican, his election to the legislature was remarkable testimony of the great esteem in which he is held by his townsmen of all parties.