Frank Willard Grafton, M.D., a successful medical practitioner of Concord, was born in Gilford, N.H., in 1869, son of James and Mary Jane (Collins) Grafton. The earliest known progenitor of this family, also named James, emigrated from Scotland to America, locating in Cushing, Me., where he cleared a tract of land, and was afterward engaged in farming. He married, and had a large family, of whom Joseph, the eldest child, was the great-grandfather of Frank Willard.
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Joseph Grafton, born in Cushing, who was also engaged in agricultural pursuits, passing his entire life on the farm, married, and reared a large family. His son, James Grafton, attended the common schools of his native town until he was seventeen years of age. Then he engaged in seafaring, which he had Margaret Davis, and they had a large family.
James Grafton, Jr., the father of Frank Willard, after acquiring his education in the public schools of Cushing, went to sea, continuing to make voyages for five years thereafter. He then came to Laconia, N.H., and worked at brickmaking for a year. In 1862 he enlisted in the Third New Hampshire Heavy Artillery, and subsequently served two and one-half years in the Civil War. After receiving his discharge he returned to Bow, where he has since been engaged in farming. He married Mary Jane Collins; and they had two children, of whom Frank W. is the only survivor. His maternal grandparents were James and Elmirah Collins, of Goffstown, Hillsborough County.
After attending the public schools and receiving private instruction, Frank W. Grafton took a course of study at the Bryant & Stratton Business College in Manchester, N.H. For the two following years he taught school in Bow. Then he took a further course of instruction in a Concord academy. In 1893 he entered the medical department of Dartmouth College, from which institution he was graduated in 1895. Until May, 1896, he remained as house officer in the hospital, when he returned home to Bow. In November, 1896, he began practice in Concord, N.H., in association with the late Dr. E. H. Foster. Since the death of the latter he has followed his profession alone.
On December 19, 1896, be was married to Edith Mathilde MacDowell, daughter of Edward MacDowell, of Champlain, N.Y. Mrs. Grafton is an Episcopalian in religious belief. In politics Dr. Grafton affiliates with the Republican party. He has the distinction of having been the first Republican Town Clerk of Bow, and is otherwise prominent in town affairs. He is identified with Grange No. 189, of Bow, of which he has been an officer; and with the Good Samaritan Lodge, No. 75, I. O. O. F., of Hanover, N.H. He is also a member of the United Order of Pilgrim Fathers and of the Knights of the Ancient Essenic Order.