Rev. James Noyes, Superintendent of the New Hampshire Orphans Home, in the town of Franklin, Merrimack County, is a native of Columbia, Coos County, N.H. He was born July 2, 1835, son of Eleazer and Sophronia (Cass) Noyes. His father was a native of Colebrook, N.H.; and he lived there until he removed to a farm in Columbia, where he died in June, 1842. He was a pioneer farmer of the town. His wife was from Lyman, N.H. She married for a second husband William Alexander, and after his death married a Mr. Johnson, also now deceased. She died in August, 1885. The children by her first marriage were five in number: Charles, of Concord, N.H.; James, above named; John Wesley, deceased; Elmira, wife of David Sanborn, of North Woodstock, N.H.; Parker J., of Lancaster, N.H.
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James Noyes received his early education at Newbury Seminary, Vermont. On December 1, 1861, he enlisted in Company C of the Eighth Vermont Infantry, under Colonel Thomas and Captain Foster, and did service in this company in the Gulf Department until transferred from the Eighth Vermont, in 1862, to the Second Louisiana National Guards. Mr. Noyes was appointed Sergeant Major, was promoted to position of First Lieutenant, and afterward became Captain of Company G, later known as the Seventy-fourth U. S. C. I. He remained in active service for four years, and was honorably discharged in October, 1865. Returning to Newbury, Vt., at the close of his military career, he there attended the seminary for post-graduate work; and, entering the Theological School of the Boston University in the fall of 1866, he graduated from the three years’ course in 1869, and at once joined the New Hampshire Conference. He was located at Methuen, Mass., for three years, and was afterward stationed as follows, to wit: at Suncook, Lancaster, Portsmouth, Amesbury, Mass., Milford, N.H., Winchester, Newport, and Franklin Falls, N.H., leaving the pulpit then to take charge of the Orphans’ Home at Franklin, N.H.
On February 19, 1859, Mr. Noyes married Amy E. Scott, of Newbury, Vt., a daughter Rev. Orange Scott and his wife, Mrs. Eliza Dearborn Scott. Her father is dead; and her mother, now ninety-four years of age, resides with the Rev. Mr. Quimby, of Penacook. Mrs. Amy E. S. Noyes died December 4, 1875; and Mr. Noyes married in September, 1876, Miss Fannie M. Barker, of Derry, N.H., daughter of Mr. Benjamin Barker, deceased. There are three children by the first marriage: Fred S., a compositor in the employ of the Methodist Book Concern, New York City; Frank W., engaged in the drygoods business in Franklin, Mass.; and Amy F., a student at the Conservatory of Music in Boston. The only child by the second marriage of Mr. Noyes is Clara L., who is now taking a course at the College of Liberal Arts, Boston University.
The New Hampshire Orphans’ Home, of which Mr. Noyes is the efficient Superintendent, was founded by the Rev. Daniel A. Mack, of Plainfield, Vt., and was established and chartered in October, 1871. The institution is located in the town of Franklin, in the beautiful valley of the Merrimac, eighteen miles from Concord. Here was the boyhood home of Daniel Webster. He became the owner and retained possession while he lived, and he made annual pilgrimages to it after he had become a leading man in the nation. The family mansion still remains as a part of the Home, which also includes a building for the nursery and the farm. The nursery was added to the Home in 1894 at an expense of about sixteen thousand dollars, this sum being covered by subscription during the year. The Orphans’ Home is a private charity and is nonsectarian. More than one hundred homeless children have here received education and kindly loving care during the year just passed, and more than seven hundred in all have thus been cared for since the Home was established. In the school-rooms the common branches and kindergarten studies are taken up. The place is essentially a great farm home, with as little of the “institution” in its management and atmosphere as is consistent with discipline and good order. Mr. Noyes, who began his labors October 1, 1887, has carried on the good work begun by his predecessors in the most admirable manner and to the satisfaction of all interested in the welfare of the little ones in his charge. Mrs. Noyes as matron presides, and the nine years of their service has been a period of great prosperity and usefulness. Mr. Noyes is well known throughout the county, and is much respected as a man whose life has been animated by the most unselfish motives in working for others.