William E. Mudgett, a well-known merchant of Contoocook, son of Calvin H. and Julia (Fisher) Mudgett, was born in Franklin, Merrimack County, September 16, 1855. His great-grandfather came to New Hampshire from Maine, and settled at Holderness. The grandfather, William Mudgett, was born at Holderness, now Ashland. In his young manhood he went to Bristol, where he was subsequently engaged in farming, and died in his ninetieth year. His wife’s maiden name was Huckins. Calvin H., son of William and the father of William E. Mudgett, was formerly a resident of Bristol, where he was engaged in farming and lumbering, owning large tracts of timber land. He now resides in Contoocook, to which he removed seven or eight years ago, after retiring from active business life. His wife, Julia, died eight years ago at Bristol. He has one daughter, Nellie, wife of Henry Eastman, now deceased, who was formerly a farmer of Contoocook.
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William E. Mudgett spent his boyhood at Bristol, where he remained until he was sixteen years of age, attending the New Hampton Institution. At the age of sixteen years he entered Stearns Carpet Store, now kept by the Stewart Company, where he remained for four years as a clerk. He then travelled as a salesman for various Boston houses, visiting the principal cities of the country, and selling to the jobbing trade throughout the Middle, Western, and Southern States. In the course of time he secured a half-interest in the firm, after which he found it necessary to leave the road, and take personal charge of the store. He began business as a store-keeper in April, 1890, succeeding T. B. Richardson. His stock usually amounts to about ten thousand dollars. He ships grain in the shape of bran, meal, gluten, linseed, and middlings, at the rate of one hundred and twenty-five or one hundred and thirty carloads per annum. For thirteen years he has also speculated in cider apples, buying up large quantities all over New England, especially in Connecticut, averaging about two hundred carloads per season. Of late years he has done more business in apples than formerly. He is a stockholder of the New England Fruit Company at Concord, and has supplied the company with a large share of their apples.
Mr. Mudgett was married at Contoocook, September 16, 1876, to Lona Chase, daughter of Thomas and Mary Parsons Chase, of the same place. Mr. Chase was the popular landlord of the old inn at Contoocook, which was also kept by him during the war. He Lona, in his eighty-eighth year. His wife still lives, being now in her eighty-sixth year. Mr. Mudgett’s children are: Nellie May, a graduate of Henniker High School and now a teacher; Lillian J., also a graduate of Henniker High School, class of 1896; and William Chase, a student at Henniker High School. Mrs. Mudgett died February 10, 1897. In politics Mr. Mudgett is a Republican, and he has served on various commissions. He belongs to Kearsarge Lodge, No. 23, and the encampment of the I. O. O. F. at Contoocook, having passed all the chairs of the lodge.