Hubbard Alonzo Barton, of Newport, a member of the present firm of editors and publishers of the New Hampshire Argus and Spectator, was born in Croydon, N.H., May 12, 1842, son of Caleb L. and Bethiah (Tuck) Barton. The Bartons are descended from English emigrants who came to the country previous to 1640. They have embraced many who have become distinguished in the learned professions and in other vocations in life. The great-great-grandfather of the subject of this sketch was killed at the battle of Bunker Hill, and he was a near relative of General Barton of Revolutionary fame. The great-grandfather, Benjamin Barton, Jr., who was born in Sutton, Mass., in 1755, also fought for American independence at Bunker Hill, Bennington, West Point, and New York City. He married Mehitable Frye in 1779, removed to Croydon in March, 1784, and there in turn served in all the offices within the gift of his adopted town. His son John, an extensive landholder and a successful farmer, was distinguished for his common sense. Caleb L. Barton, a native of Croydon, N.H., born February 5, 1815, was one of the most successful and substantial farmers of that town. He has now retired from active business, and lives at East Village, Croydon. In religion he is a Universalist. A Democrat in politics, he has been Selectman and has served in minor offices. His three children, Mrs. Ethan Smith, Sullivan Barton, of Croydon, and Hubbard A., are all living.
Hubbard Alonzo Barton was partly educated in the common schools. He was also taught in private by the late John Cooper, a man of extensive learning and a well-known instructor. Early in life he began to contribute to the press both in prose and verse. Afterward all the time he could spare from his farm occupations was devoted to study. He served as Superintendent of the Schools of Croydon for seven years in succession, during which period the work done by these institutions was very satisfactory. In April, 1879, he and W. W. Prescott purchased from Henry G. Carleton and Matthew Harvey the New Hampshire Argus and Spectator, a Democratic paper established in 1823 by Mr. Barton’s great-uncle, Cyrus Barton, who in his day exercised a wide influence in the political affairs of the State; and he has since been its senior editor and proprietor. The firm is now Barton & Wheeler, the latter having purchased Mr. Prescott’s interest in the fall of 1880. Since Mr. Barton became connected with the paper, it has been enlarged several times, new and improved printing machinery introduced, and the circulation of the paper greatly increased. The following, from the Portsmouth Daily Times, in January, 1897, shows the estimation in which the paper is held: “The New Hampshire Argus and Spectator, published at Newport, this State, comes to us in enlarged size and improved form and in a brand-new dress. It has been changed from an eight-column folio to a sixteen-column quarto-a change which all its patrons will acknowledge is an improvement when they get used to Sullivan County, as evidenced by the large outlay its proprietors have felt justified in incurring to make their previously good paper better than ever.”
The following poem from the pen of Mr. Barton, which appeared in the Granite Monthly, is a sample of his composition in verse:-
My native town, I love thee,
Thy hills and fields revere;
The God that rules above thee
Has shed his blessings here.
Thy hills and mountains teeming
With nature’s rich display,
Thy grand old forests dreaming,
Have pictures bright and gay.
I fain with thee would tarry,
Because thou art so true;
Thou seem’st to me a fairy,
Bedecked with heaven’s blue.
On April 27, 1882, Mr. Barton married Miss Ella L. Wilmarth, daughter of the late Jonathan M. Wilmarth, a prominent and wellknown resident of Newport. He has one child, Henry Wilmarth Barton, born September 16, 1890. Mr. Barton is an attendant of the Congregational church. In politics he is a Democrat. He has taken an active part in Masonic matters, and is a member of Mount Vernon Lodge, No. 15, A. F. & A. M.; of the Chapter of the Tabernacle, No. 19, Royal Arch Masons, and High Priest of the same for two years; and of Sullivan Commandery, K. T. He has also membership in Newport Lodge, No. 42, K. of P.; in the Granite State Club; and he is a Trustee of the Richard Free Library. Besides writing for his own paper, he is the correspondent of the New York Herald for Sullivan County.