Joseph Warren Ham, a wellknown farmer of Canterbury, N.H., was born in this town, June 18, 1820, son of Joseph and Susan (Sargent) Ham. His grandfather, Joseph Ham, was born in Portsmouth, but came to Canterbury with three brothers in 1783. He settled on a farm near where the subject of this sketch now lives, and spent the rest of his life here.
His son Joseph, a man of force and high integrity, was a carpenter by trade, although he devoted himself to the pursuit of agriculture. Soon after his marriage he came into possession of the home farm where Mr. Ham is now living; and he died here, after a long and useful life, at the age of ninety-three years, February 24, 1882. His wife, Susan Sargent, of Canterbury, a gentle and refined woman of good education, died December 6, 1875. They had five children. The eldest, Betsey Page, born November 11, 1815, married Charles C. Burnham, and died February 8, 1892. Thomas, the eldest son, born February 23, 1817, married Mary Elizabeth Smith, and is living in Lakeport, N.H., where for many years he has been President of the Lakeport Savings Bank. Joseph Warren, the subject of this sketch, was the third child and second son born to his parents. Charles. Henry, born January 22, 1831, married to Emeline A. Hines, lives in New York City, where he serves as a member of the Board of United States General Appraisers, a court of appeals for customs cases in all the ports of 1886, a third edition of which is now in press. The youngest of the family is Maria Gerrish, whose education was begun in one of the district schools of her native town, and completed in the Tilton Academy. She was a brilliant girl, and is an extraordinarily clever woman; but she never has married, and lives still, in the prime of life, with her brother, Joseph Warren, at the old homestead.
Joseph Warren Ham received a good common-school education in Canterbury, which was enlarged by a reflective temperament and studious habits. He spent his early life upon the farm, and then went to Lawrence, Mass., where he engaged in civil engineering for ten years. At the end of this time he returned to Canterbury, and settled on the homestead farm in April, 1861. September 16, 1864, he enlisted in Company D, Eighteenth New Hampshire Infantry, under Colonel Livermore and Captain Greenough. He was in the engagements at Port Stedman and in three engagements at Petersburg, Va. He was discharged June 17, 1865, when he returned to Canterbury and re-engaged in farming, which he still follows. His farm at present consists of one hundred and forty acres of good land; and the buildings, which were old, have been completely restored. Owing to ill health and advancing age he has not been able to work for several years; but he employs labor, and superintends the men in his service.
He has held the office of Postmaster in Uplands for a number of years. In politics Mr. Ham is a Republican. He is a member of the G. A. R., Laconia Post, No. 37, at Laconia. He was married on November 29, 1849, to Mary Jane Barker, the daughter of Gardner T. and Martha Barker, of Canterbury. They had one child-Belle Maria, born September 26, 1858, who died July 1, 1863. Mrs. Mary J. B. Ham died August 1, 1881.