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George Henry Stowell, a wholesale and retail dealer in hardware and one of the wealthiest citizens of Claremont, was born in Cornish, N.H., October 28, 1835. His father, Amasa Stowell, came to Cornish from Hartland, Vt. He died when our subject was a young boy. He had ten children, of whom five are living, namely: Evaline, who married G. W. Hewey; Sylvester, who is engaged in agriculture in East Unity, N.H.; Joseph, who is in the harness and livery and carriage business at Lawrence, owns three livery stables, and raises fast stock; Austin, who is in business with Joseph; and George H., the subject of this sketch. Carrie, who married Calvin Adams, is recently deceased.
George H. Stowell received a commonschool education in his native town. In 1854 he embarked in the business of making monuments and headstones at Springfield, Vt. He came in 1860 to Claremont, where he purchased the marble business of J. A. & J. F. Davis. This he conducted until February, 1864, when he bought the hardware business of Levi Brown, and began to carry it on in his own name on the site of his present store. Starting with a small capital, he has by energy and ability built up what is claimed to be the largest wholesale and retail business in this part of the State, and amassed one of the largest fortunes in the town. In his store, which is spacious and well-ordered, he carries the largest stock to be found in the county. He has a very large trade with stores in adjoining counties. Also conducting an extensive coal business, he has been agent for the Delaware & Hudson Coal Company in this locality for ten years. He has been instrumental in giving Claremont some of her best business blocks and buildings. He erected Stowell’s Block in the rear of his own establishment; is part owner of the Union Block, one of the imposing business structures of the town, erected in 1889; and he has built six or seven fine residences here. His own private residence is one of the most attractive in the town. Financially interested in the People’s National Bank, he has been a Director of it and the Vice-President since it was organized. He has been honored with town and State offices, all of which he has filled with credit to himself and constituents. He was the Claremont legislative Representative in 1872 and 1873; a member of the New Hampshire Senate in 1875 and 1876; a member of the Executive Council from 1881 to 1883; and Aide to Governor Prescott, with the rank of Colonel, from 1887 to 1889. In 1876 and again in 1889 he was a member of the conventions for the revision and amendment of the State Constitution, and he was a delegate to the Republican National Convention to nominate candidates for the Presidency and Vice-Presidency 1884. He was Chief Engineer of the Fire Department of Claremont from 1873 to 1894. Mr. Stowell is a Mason, and for fifteen years was Generalissimo of the Sullivan Commandery.
Mr. Stowell married Sarah E. Field, of Vermont. They have a daughter, Cora E., who, after graduating from Stevens High School, went to Boston to take the elocutionary course of two years at the New England Conservatory of Music. She married George I. Putnam, a graduate of West Point and now the editor of the Advocate, a leading Claremont newspaper. In 1880, overtaxed by his multifarious duties, Mr. Stowell spent some time in European travel for the benefit of his health. Whether considered in the light of a citizen or a business man, he is recognized as an indispensable factor in the progress of the town; and for thirty-five years he has been one of the leading spirits in its history.