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Henry McCoy, proprietor of the Bradford Mineral Springs and the Bradford Springs Hotel at Bradford, N.H., entertains each season large numbers of guests from New England and various other sections of the country. Bradford Spring Park is located in the town of Bradford, about a mile from the village of East Washington, and comprises upward of forty acres of land, including Lovewell Lake, which in the summer is alive with gay parties of hotel visitors using the pleasure boats provided for them. The spring was first heard of by the white inhabitants in 1770, when some of them passing that way saw a group of Indians encamped with their sick around the “big medicine water,” as they termed it. The water has since been thoroughly analyzed by Dr. Jackson, the eminent Boston chemist, who found in it carbonate of soda, magnesia, lime, chloride of sodium, potassium, sulphate of lime, oxide of iron, and alumina, sulphur, organic matter, and carbonic acid, an analysis that was sustained in every particular by Dr. Richards, of Poughkeepsie, N.Y. The owners of the spring, having found that the waters issue through a seam in the solid ledge at the rate of thirty-five gallons per minute, have so enclosed the fissure that no outside water can possibly mix with and contaminate the spring water, which is especially useful in the cure of all skin diseases, very efficacious in the cure of catarrh in any form, has been successfully used in very bad cases of rheumatism and malaria, has wonderful effects in cases
In 1881 Mr. McCoy purchased this property, which he has since greatly improved. The old hotel, the Hermitage, was built in 1858; but, it being far too small to accommodate its numerous patrons, the present owner doubled the capacity of the dining-room, added an annex containing twenty-six sleeping-rooms, and built a cottage of four rooms, thus increasing the number of rooms in the hotel to seventy-five. He has also erected the spring-house, a handsome octagonal building, and a bath-house of three rooms, besides making many other substantial improvements. He reorganized the establishment on a strictly temperance plan, and keeps no help that use intoxicants of any kind, making the place an ideal resort for temperance people. Connected with the hotel is an extensive livery, and during the pleasure season he has carriages at the Bradford station on the arrival of the train that leaves Boston, via the Boston & Lowell Railway, at one o’clock P.M. The waters of the spring are in demand in many different parts of the country, and a good business is done in shipping it. Mr. McCoy’s farm of sixty acres, with a dairy of ten cows, insures to guests an abundant supply of fresh vegetables and pure milk and cream.
Mr. McCoy was born July 31, 1829, in Sharon, N.H., a son of Thomas and Lucy (Sanderson) McCoy, and on the paternal side is of Scotch descent. His paternal grandfather, Gilbert McCoy, is said to have been born and reared in Scotland, whence, after learning the weaver’s trade, he emigrated to New England, locating in Londonderry, this State, and subsequently marrying Lucy Stewart, of Peterboro.
Henry McCoy lived on the home farm until of age, when he struck out for himself, his first important step in his onward career being to secure a helpmate. He subsequently engaged in the grocery and provision business for some years in Boston, Mass., after which for twenty-nine years he confined himself entirely to the sale of provisions. In 1881 he bought his present property in Bradford, as above mentioned, but continued his market for another year. His hotel business has since assumed such large proportions that it requires his entire time and attention.
Mr. McCoy married January 8, 1850, Elizabeth Sayward Crane, who was born in Washington, Sullivan County, N.H., a daughter of James and Fanny D. (Sayward) Crane. Her father was a native of Washington, the son of pioneer parents in that town, his father, Joseph Crane, having been born in Milton, Mass., and his mother, Deliverance Mills Crane, having been born in Needham, Mass. Mr. and Mrs. McCoy have had but one child, a daughter, Ella. She married Henry M. Nichols, who was a soldier in the war of the Rebellion. Both are now deceased; but their son, Bertram Henry Nichols, has always lived with his grandparents. He married Belle Strickland; and they have one child, Ella Cora Nichols.
During the late Civil War Mr. McCoy, the subject of this sketch, went South to assist the Christian Commission in caring for the wounded, bringing them home if advisable; and for some time he was in the army hospital at City Point, Va. Mrs. McCoy was one of the Executive Committee for nine years of the Home for Discharged Soldiers in Boston, the sick or wounded soldiers during the war times being sent there from the front to be cared for. Mrs. McCoy rendered most willing service in any needed direction, making, for instance, not to mention many other labors,
Mr. McCoy is a strong Prohibitionist, and Mrs. McCoy has for years been an active worker in the temperance cause. She was for ten years President of the South Boston organization of the W. C. T. U., and Treasurer of the State W. C. T. U., holding that office at the time Mrs. Livermore was President of the State W. C. T. U. In 1885 she organized the W. C. T. U. of Washington, N.H., and has been very active in carrying out the plans for the W. C. T. U. State fairs. Both Mr. and Mrs. McCoy united with the Baptist Church of Peterboro when young, and were afterward connected with the church of that denomination in South Boston, in which he served as Deacon, and had a class of thirty-five young men, also for a time acting as superintendent of the Sunday-school. Both are now members of the Baptist church at East Washington, Mr. McCoy, who has been a church official most of the time since eighteen years old, being Deacon of the church. He is also a member of the church choir, there having been few Sundays since he was thirteen years old when his voice has not been heard with the church singers. He has likewise been quite prominent in the work of the Y. M. C. A., of which he was for some years the President. In his earlier life Mr. McCoy taught school for some years, beginning at the age of seventeen, and being employed in New Boston, Marlboro, Sharon, and Peterboro, N.H.