Horace LeRoy Choate, a wellknown and respected farmer of Hopkinton, N.H., was born in Henniker, Merrimack County, April 20, 1833, a son of George and Betsey Davis Choate. He is a lineal descendant of one John Choate, who was a son of Robert and Sarah Choate, and was baptized at Groton, Boxford, Colchester, England, June 6, 1624. In 1643 John emigrated to New England, and at the age of nineteen was a resident of Chebacco in Ipswich, Mass. Soon after he bought up shares of common lands allotted to the proprietors on Hog Island (which acquired its name from its resemblance to a hog lying on its back in the water), and in 1690 he was almost the sole owner of its three hundred acres. The earliest deed extant, dated in 1678, was for the site of the present Choate house, the birthplace of the Hon. Rufus Choate, New England’s great jurist and advocate. John Choate was often in disgrace, the records showing that he was frequently before the magistrates, and not always for the offence of some one else. He was tried for stealing apples, but was acquitted; and he was arraigned for lying, but the charge was dismissed. In numerous other cases by the use of his own keen wit he succeeded in evading punishment. He was a natural litigant and lawyer, and his fertility of resource in defence seems to have been transmitted to his descendants with increasing power.
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Thomas Choate, son of the first John, born at Chebacco, Ipswich, Mass., in 1671, resided on Hog Island. A very prominent man, he was familiarly known as Governor Choate; and he served as a Representative to the General Court, to which he was first elected in 1723, for several terms. He was married successively to Miss Mary Varney, Mrs. Mary Calef, and Mrs. Hannah Burnham, and died in 1745. His last wife survived him until 1782. His son Ebenezer, the next in line of descent, was born in 1706, and died in 1766. Ebenezer was an innkeeper, a Notary Public, and the Coroner of the town. In 1730 he married Miss Elizabeth Greenleaf. Their son John, born December 27, 1745, in Newburyport, Mass., married January 8, 1767, Abigail Tyler; and their only child was John Tyler Choate. John Tyler, who was born in Newburyport, July 11, 1768, married Hannah Pearson, also a native of Newburyport, born July 15, 1770. After their marriage they removed to Hopkinton, N.H., locating first near the centre of the town. Afterward they removed to the part in which his grandson, Horace LeRoy, lives. John Tyler subsequently acquired the adjoining farm, where he afterward carried on farming and worked at his trade of blacksmith until his demise on February 20, 1844. Shortly after his widow with her eldest child went to Underhill, Vt., November 14, 1848. Their children were: Susanna, Nabby, John Tyler, Michael, Isaac Newton, Polly, George, Thomas, Ebenezer, Thirza, Benjamin, Aaron, Langdon, and William Pearson. Susanna, born March 2, 1790, married first Amos Johnson, second James Dodge, and died April 6, 1870. Nabby, born October 4, 1791, died in infancy. John Tyler, born October 21, 1792, first married Abiah Stanley. After her death he wedded Mrs. Lydia Powell Lincoln, and died August 18, 1871. Michael, born August 12, 1794, died two days later. Isaac Newton, born June 1, 1795, successively married Amarilla Bostwick and Elizabeth Chamberlain, and died in March, 1870. Polly, born April 6, 1797, died April 1, 1829. George, born January 5, 1799, died September 13, 1888. Thomas, born September 8, 1800, married Harriet Swan, and died March 13, 1885. Ebenezer, born April 15, 1802, who successively married Phebe Hanson Hull and Betsey Harvey, died in April, 1882. Thirza, born November 24, 1803, married Marshall Morse, and died March 28, 1885. Benjamin, born June 16, 1805, married Margaret Stearns, and died March 15, 1858. Aaron, born November 28, 1807, died January 3, 1888. Langdon, born September 7, 1810, married Deborah V. Jones, and is now living in Hamilton, Hancock County, Ill. William Pearson, born February 10, 1812, married Martha Bailey, and died October 29, 1879.
George Choate was a mason and a blacksmith in the village of Henniker for many years. Coming from there to Hopkinton in 1836, he settled on the present homestead farm, where he resided until his death. During the last ten years of his life he was an invalid. He was celebrated as a fifer in the time of the old militia. In his later years, accompanied by the late Jonah Campbell, a famous drummer, he used to furnish music at all public functions. In March, 1832, he married Betsey Davis, who was born March 8, 1808, in Hopkinton, daughter of Abraham and Priscilla (Currier) Davis. She died February 8, 1880, leaving two children-Horace LeRoy and Lizzie Annie. Lizzie Annie, born September 13, 1839, on December 10, 1873, married Nathan S. Smith, of Salem, N.H., and died January 15, 1890, leaving no issue.
Horace LeRoy Choate worked at the mason’s trade in his earlier life. Afterward he was employed in a mill at Manchester, this State, for a time, and then spent a year with his uncle in Illinois. Returning to New Hampshire, he was engaged as a meat dealer in Concord for three or four years. In that period he was also deputy keeper of the Merrimack County jail. He assumed the management of the old home farm in 1859, and has since resided there, successfully engaged in general agriculture. Mr. Choate has been twice married. On December 10, 1863, Mary Mabel Heath, daughter of Christopher and Sarah (Call) Heath, became his wife. She was born June 3, 1835, in Pittsburg, N.H., and died on the homestead, November 1, 1882. On December 10, 1883, the twentieth anniversary of his first marriage, and the tenth anniversary of his sister’s wedding, he married Frances Emma Coomes, a widow, and a daughter of Cyrus and Hannah (Rand) Ford. She was born in Monroe, Me., December 12, 1842, and died August 13, 1890. For the past five years Mr. Choate has had the services of Mrs. Nancy B. Silver, one of the friends of his early life, in the capacity of housekeeper. In politics he is a stanch Democrat, but he has never been an aspirant for official honors. He has always been a devotee of the rod and gun, being as fond of angling as Isaac Walton himself, and as keen a sportsman as ever handled a rifle.