Joseph Henry Dearborn, one of the leading farmers and influential residents of Pembroke, was born in Deerfield, N.H., April 19, 1849, son of the Hon. Joseph J. and Sarah (Jenness) Dearborn, of Deerfield. His ancestors on the father’s side have for many generations resided in New Hampshire. The first of the Dearborn family of whom there is any authentic knowledge was Godfrey Dearborn, an Englishman, who with his family became an early settler of Boston, Mass. He afterward moved to Exeter, N.H., and was a pioneer farmer in that town. His son, Henry, married Elizabeth Merriam. Samuel Dearborn, the next in line, wedded Mercy Batchelder; and their son, Nathaniel Dearborn, married Mary Batchelder. Edward Dearborn, son of Nathaniel, and great-grandfather of the subject of this sketch, born in 1749, died at Kensington, N.H. He married Susanna Brown, of Kensington; and one of their children was Sewall, grandfather of the subject of this sketch.
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Sewall Dearborn was born February 26, 1773, in Deerfield, N.H. In early manhood he settled upon a farm in Deerfield. Energetic and persevering, he acquired a good estate. In politics he supported the Democratic party. In his religious belief he was a Calvinist Baptist. His death occurred in Deerfield at the age of eighty-one years. He married Sarah Dow, a native of Kensington, and reared a family of five children, none of whom are living. Mrs. Sewall Dearborn lived to the advanced age of ninety-seven years. Joseph J. Dearborn was born in Deerfield, March 8, 1818. When a young man he entered mercantile pursuits in his native town, and carried on a thriving trade for some years. He then went to Bangor, Me., and, after carrying on a hardware business for some time, returned again to Deerfield. His latest enterprise was a shoe manufactory, which he conducted successfully until his retirement. He died in Deerfield, at the age of seventy-two years. An active supporter of the Republican party, he served the town in the capacity of Selectman, was a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives and of the State Senate. He attended the Congregational church, was a man of unusual ability as a business man, and his character and integrity were beyond reproach. The first of his three marriages was contracted with Sarah Jenness, who was a daughter of Thomas Jenness, of Deerfield. She died at the age of forty-nine years. Of her four children the only survivor is Joseph H., the subject of this sketch. For his second wife Joseph J. Dearborn wedded Hannah G. Chadwick, of Deerfield. She bore him two children, neither of whom is living. Mrs. Phœbe Libby McIntire became his third wife.
Joseph Henry Dearborn began his education in Pembroke, and fitted for college at Phillips Exeter Academy. At Harvard University he pursued a classical course, and graduated with the class of 1871. Afterward he was engaged in the dry-goods business in Boston until 1880. Since that year he has followed agriculture in Pembroke. Politically, he acts with the Republican party. He has been a member of the Board of Selectmen. He served on the Board of Education for two years, and he has represented this town in the legislature. For some years past he has been a Trustee of Pembroke Academy.
On November 9, 1880, Mr. Dearborn was united in marriage with Sarah Frances Stevens, daughter of Josiah and H. Ann (Head) Stevens, of Manchester, N.H. Three children have been born of the union; namely, Jenness S., Joseph Jewell, and Sarah Elizabeth. Mr. Dearborn is connected with the