George W. S. Dow, an enterprising box manufacturer of Henniker and the Chairman of the Board of Selectmen, was born in this town, March 9, 1841, son of Jonathan and Anna P. (Peaslee) Dow. Jonathan Dow, Sr., who was a son of David Dow, of Weare, N.H., settled in Henniker at the beginning of the present century. On December 23, 1807, he married Sally Plummer, a native of this town. Jonathan Dow, Jr., the father of George W. S., born in Henniker, December 5, 1814, became a prosperous farmer and a successful lumberman, and resided here until his death, which occurred February 5, 1873. His wife Anna, whom he married September 29, 1836, was a Weare, Hillsborough County. She became the mother of five children, namely: Ann Maria, who married John Garland; George W. S., the subject of this sketch; Jackson P.; John F.; and Mary E.
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George W. S. Dow resided at home and assisted upon the farm until he was twenty-one years old. He then began work by the day for Hiram Davis, with whom he remained one year. He next entered the employ of Horace Gibson, a mackerel kit manufacturer, and some years later became a partner in the business. In 1890, after the death of his partner, he bought of John Gutterson a box-mill located near the kit factory, and has since been engaged in manufacturing shoe cases. The mill privilege he owns was first utilized as far back as 1766, when Silas Barnes began the construction of a dam, and completed it in 1773. In 1774 a saw-mill was erected here by Barnes, who later sold it to Captain Timothy Gibson. The latter built a permanent dam, put in stones, and ran a saw and grist mill, with Eben Howe as the first miller. Since Timothy Gibson’s time the mills have been owned by Daniel Kimball, William M. Davis, Lieutenant Joel Howe, Captain James Yaulding, Micah Howe, Oliver Jacobs, Adams & Silver, Joseph P. Dow, and John Gutterson. About 1820 Timothy Sprague erected a carding-mill close by Mr. Dow’s lower mill, so that the same millrace served for both. Sprague sold it to Morrison & Woods, from whom it passed in turn to Luther Hathorn, S. Little, Silas Barnes, Sylvanus Sumner, Jacob Lancaster, John Niel, and Hiram M. Davis. Davis converted it into a powder keg manufactory in 1852, and some years later sold it to Horace Gibson. Here, in company with Gibson and William Abbott, Mr. Dow, its present owner, manufactured large quantities of mackerel kits. Mr. Dow makes shoe boxes, which he ships by the carload to various factories. He uses annually from one hundred thousand to one hundred and eighty thousand feet of lumber, which he cuts and saws himself. He also saws building material, all the pieces of which are marked and numbered and ready to put together. In politics he is a Democrat. He was a Representative to the legislature in 1880 and 1881, during which time he served upon the Committee on the Normal School. He is a prominent figure in the district, county, and State conventions, is Chairman of the Town Committee, and has been a Selectman for the past nine years, being at the present time the Chairman of the Board. That his public services are duly appreciated is indicated by the fact that Henniker contains a Republican majority of from twenty-five to seventy-five votes.
On November 9, 1862, Mr. Dow was united in marriage with Mary L. Hoyt, daughter of Nathan Hoyt, a cooper by trade. She is a native of Bradford, N.H., but has resided in this town for the greater part of her life. Mr. and Mrs. Dow are the parents of seven children; namely, George H., William E., Charles H., Orrin H., Fred D., Blanche M., and Percy D. Mr. Dow has filled all of the principal chairs in Crescent Lodge, I. O. O. F., and has been a member of the Grand Lodge of New Hampshire. Mrs. Dow is a member of the Lodge of the Daughters of Rebecca.