John W. Jefts, a machinist by trade, but who for the past nine years has been successfully engaged in farming in the town of Langdon, was born here, December 4, 1859, son of Alphonso M. and Almira (Clough) Jefts. The genealogy of the Jefts family is traced to England, from which country, on some date between 1620 and 1638, the American progenitor emigrated to Massachusetts, and settled in Billerica. His immediate descendants continued to reside in that State for some years. Jonathan, the greatgrandfather of John W. Jefts, was the first of the name to come to New Hampshire. He settled in the town of Mason, where he afterward died. Hosley Jefts, the grandfather, was born in Mason. In early manhood he settled in Langdon, and afterward became a prosperous farmer and an influential citizen. He married Abigail Green, and they became the parents of seven children; namely, Harriet, Indiana, Caroline, Rockazna, Albert, Alphonso M., and Eli.
Alphonso M. Jefts, born in Antrim, N.H., in March, 1815, was over seventy-six years of age when he died, June 18, 1891. He followed the occupation of a farmer, first in Putney, Vt., which was his home for a number of years. Later he moved to Langdon, where he resided for forty years, and acquired a goodly property. He served his town as Road Surveyor for a score of years. Almira, his wife, who was born in Westmoreland, N.H., December 25, 1815, John Clough, of Stamford, Vt. She bore him nine children, namely: Mason, now deceased, who was a successful farmer of Alstead, N.H., and married Clarista Clark; Maria, who is the wife of Benjamin Wales, a broker in Taunton, Mass., and has two children; Abigail and Harriet, who died young; May P., a graduate of Mount Holyoke College, who is now principal of the Worcester High School, in which city she has taught for fifteen years, making a specialty of languages; Mara A., who is the widow of Lester Sprague, formerly a hardware merchant of Hartford, has one child, May A., now the wife of Chauncey Brainard, of Putney, Vt.; Fred F., now a paper manufacturer in Carthage, N.Y., who married Carrie Adams, of Rockingham, Vt., and has one child, Clyde A.; Charles A., born January 27, 1853, in Putney, who graduated from Fort Edward College, New York, in the class of 1874, and now carries on the old homestead, besides doing a brokerage business; and John W., the subject of this sketch. Mrs. Sprague lives with Charles in Langdon.
John W. Jefts attended the schools of Langdon, Marlow Academy of Marlow, N.H., Cushing Academy, Ashburnham, Mass., and Amherst College, intending to fit himself for the ministry. Finding that his views were not in accord with the profession he had chosen, and that he could not conscientiously carry out its requirements, he went to Gardner, Mass., and learned the trade of machinist, in which he became an expert workman. This failing health subsequently compelled him to abandon; and nine years ago he purchased his present farm in Langdon, and he has since devoted his attention to agriculture. He is a member of the United Order of Workmen. In religion he is an Episcopalian. Mr. Jefts married Miss Harriet E. Simpson, of Langdon who on her father’s side is a cousin of the late General U. S. Grant.