Biography of Samuel Smith Page
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Samuel Smith Page, who for more than forty years was one of the most esteemed residents of Hopkinton, was born September 30, 1822, in Dunbarton, N.H. He is a descendant of Benjamin Page, who was born in 1640, in Dedbam, fifty-seven miles north-east of London, England. In 1660, on account of religious differences, Benjamin came to America, locating in Haverhill, Mass., where on September 21, 1666, he married Mary Whittier, who belonged to the family from which the poet, John G. Whittier, sprung. Their son, Jeremiah, the eldest of a family of sixteen, born September 14, 1667, was the next ancestor. He married Deborah Hendrick, of Newburyport, Mass., July 2, 1696; and they reared seven children, Caleb and Joshua. He died in 1752.
Caleb Page, the next in line of descent, was born August 16, 1705, and died in 1785. He married in 1728 or 1729 Ruth Wallingford, of Boston, who died in 1738. In 1740 he married a widow Carleton, of Newburyport, who weighed three hundred and fifteen pounds. She, together with a huge arm-chair, now in the possession of the Stark family, had to be carried to meeting on an ox sled. In 1749 Caleb Page removed from Haverhill, Mass., to Atkinson, N.H., where he is said to have owned land measuring one mile in opposite directions from the site of the present academy. In 1751 he sold his lands in Atkinson for his wife’s weight in silver dollars, and located in Dunbarton, this county. The country was then infested with Indians; and his daughter Elizabeth, who later became the wife of General John Stark of Revolutionary fame, often stood, musket in hand, as guard at the rude block-house. In 1758 Governor Wentworth appointed Caleb Page Captain of Provincials. The commission given to him on this occasion is copied in full in the History of Dunbarton. Caleb, who is said to have had a noble and benevolent spirit, had ample means to indulge his generous impulses. His money, comprising golden guineas, silver crowns and dollars, was kept in a half-bushel measure under the bed. He owned many slaves. His house was the abode of hospitality and the scene of many a happy gathering. In 1753, previous to receiving his Captain’s commission, the governor sent him as a guide with Colonel Lowell, of Dunbarton, Major Talford, of Chester, and General John Stark, to mark out the road from Stevenstown, now Salisbury, to Coos. He was a firm patriot, and in 1775 was the first delegate from Dunbarton and Bow to the Provincial Congress. His children were: Caleb, Jeremiah, Elizabeth, and Molly. Caleb Page, Jr., who held a Lieutenant’s commission in the French and Indian War, together with his company was ambushed by Indians between Crown Point and Ticonderoga, and killed in the ensuing massacre with several of his men, January 21, 1757. Elizabeth, born in 1736, who died in 1817, married General John Stark, by whom she had eight children; namely, John, Caleb, Archibald, Charles, Ellen, Polly, Sophia, and Frank. Molly married Deacon James Russell, of Bow.
Jeremiah Page, born in August, 1730, died November 29, 1807. In 1745 he bought land in Dunbarton, and from that time until his death was actively identified with local affairs. He served as Justice of the Peace, and did most of the surveying for Hillsborough County. In 1784 he was appointed Judge in the New Hampshire courts. In 1752 he married Sarah Merrill, of Billerica, Mass., who was born in 1732, and died September 5, 1807. Their children were: Caleb, the grandfather of Samuel Smith Page; Sarah, born in Dracut, Mass., December 24, 1754, who married A. Stinson, and died in 1835. Jeremiah, a native of Dunbarton, born in 1756, who died in 1842; Achsah, born September 25, 1759, who died in 1831, and whose successive husbands were first B. Plummer, Esq., who died in 1816, and Captain C. Coffin; Elizabeth, born August 2, 1765, who married William Tenney, and died October 22, 1838; John, born in 1767, who married M. Story in 1810, and died August 14, 1837; and Ruth, born in 1770, who married Dr. S. Sawyer, and died June 27, 1804. Caleb Page, the third bearer of the name, was born in Dracut, Mass., in April, 1751, and died June 3, 1816. His wife, Hannah, bore him seven children, three of the sons being named Caleb, John, and Peter Carleton. Peter Carleton Page, the Samuel S. Page, was born July 1, 1783, and died October 15, 1858. He married Miss Lucy Smith, who was born November 26, 1792, in Hopkinton. They reared three sons; namely, Caleb, Samuel Smith, and George.
Samuel Smith Page received his education in Pembroke, Hopkinton, and New Hampton. Ill health forced him to abandon further study; and at the age of eighteen years he began teaching school in Weston, Mass., where his mathematical ability was well displayed. A pupil relates that when the text-book was completed the young teacher propounded questions that, he said, had baffled Dartmouth professors, the class often spending its energies for a whole week on some of them. After his marriage he bought the Greenough homestead on Dimond Hill on the dividing line between Concord and Hopkinton, and there successfully carried on general farming until his death, which occurred on Thursday, October 22, 1896.
In 1852, June 10, Mr. Page married Miss Ellen Maria Cutter, of Weston, Mass., one of his pupils, who was five years younger than himself. He was a man of great intelligence and force of character, having the courage of his convictions, which he was never unwilling to express or defend. He served several terms as Moderator of Dunbarton, was a member of the Superintending School Committee, and in 1864 and 1865 was one of the Selectmen of Hopkinton. In 1840 he united with the Baptist church of his native town, having been converted during a revival, and for more than half a century after was devoted to the Christian work of that denomination as well as to the broader needs of humanity, his large and loving heart beating in sympathy with those of every sect and clime. Throughout his long illness he was a most patient and cheerful sufferer, trusting serenely in the goodness of the Divine Master. His death was a sad loss, not only to his immediate family, but to the community in which he had so long lived. The only child of Mr. and Mrs. Page was a daughter-Lucie Elizabeth, who is now the wife of Arthur Borden, of Denver, Col., and has one child, Marguerite Borden.