William F. Wadleigh, a farmer of Webster, is a native of Laconia, born January 24, 1837, son of Nathaniel R. and Polly H. (Ray) Wadleigh. The father, who was a prominent farmer of Laconia, and was born in 1802, died in 1854. The mother, born March 4, 1806, died in 1870. They had eight children, namely: Mary, now deceased, who was the wife of William Barrett, of Nashua, N.H.; Eliza, deceased, who was the wife of William Thompson, of Barrington, N.H.; Isaac, who married Abbie Davis, now deceased, and lives in Ludlow, Vt.; Almira, deceased, who married James Filgate, of Laconia; Catherine, who is the widow of Amos B. Tibbetts, and lives in Barrington, N.H.; Chase, who married Mary Foss, and resides in Hastings, Minn.; William F., the subject of this article; and Horace, who married Hettie Haywood, and lives in Ludlow, Vt.
At the early age of eleven years William F. Wadleigh went to Gilford, N.H., and worked out on the different farms until twenty-one years old, when he tried his fortunes in Lawrence, Mass. Here he was employed for eight years in the soap factory of L. Beach & Son. After his first marriage Mr. Wadleigh removed from Lawrence to Laconia; and four years later he entered on his present farm of five hundred acres in Webster, where he has since lived. He carries on general farming, and raises stock of all kinds. Outside his agricultural occupations he is interested in the Merrimack Fire Insurance Company, of which he is a director. In politics he favors the Prohibition party. He has been Road Surveyor, and he was Selectman from 1887 to 1889.
On August 6, 1861, Mr. Wadleigh married Abbie Proctor, of Derry, N.H. Born July 31, 1828, she died October 5, 1886. Her children were: Allen B., born November 23, 1863, who died October 10, 1864; one who died in infancy; Charles C., born September 16, 1867, who died October 14, 1889; and Anna P., born October 11, 1868, who died August 6, 1894. Anna married Luther C. Putney, of Webster, who now makes his home with Mr. Wadleigh; and they have one child, Winnifred Maud, born October 2, 1893. Mr. Wadleigh contracted a second marriage May 19, 1888, with Mrs. Mary Calef Bean, the widow of John C. Bean, and a daughter of Garland and Maria T. (Fitz) Calef. Her father, who was a farmer and a resident of Boscawen, died in this township at the age of ninety. Mrs. Wadleigh was born March 26, 1842. She is a member of the Baptist church at Warner. Mr. Wadleigh is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church at Webster, and Webster, and is one of the best known of Webster’s townspeople.