William Tasker, one of the prominent residents of Contoocook, was born August 21, 1852, in Pittsfield, this county, son of William and Mary (Lougee) Tasker. The grandfather, Joseph Tasker, and his brothers, John and Paul, removing from Newington, near Portsmouth, were the first settlers of Barnstead. Paul Tasker died leaving no family. Joseph followed the trade of shoemaker. He married Sally True, of Pittsfield, at which place they both died, he about the year 1878, and she in 1884. His son, the Rev. Joseph O. Tasker, is a Congregational minister at Short Falls, Epsom township, this county. William Tasker, Sr., another son of Joseph, born in Barnstead, Belknap County, was also a shoemaker. He was a resident of Pittsfield, where he died in 1859, at the age of forty, leaving one son, the subject of this sketch.
William Tasker passed his boyhood in Pittsfield, receiving his education in the academy, and working in a store during his vacations, his father’s home being in the village. He yet owns this place, where his mother still lives. Subsequently he worked in the gristmill of Weeks Brothers, until it was burned in 1880. He then came to Contoocook, and worked for a year and a half as miller in the Pittsfield, and bought an ice business, and conducted it for five years. In 1883 he was chosen Selectman, and in the following year he was made Chairman of the Board. Among several matters of importance dealt with by the Board in the five years during which he was a member, the most noteworthy was, perhaps, the opening of a system of sewerage in Pittsfield. In 1887, July 1, he was appointed by the County Commissioners superintendent of the Merrimack County Farm at North Boscawen. At that time the farm, which contains four hundred and eighty-three acres of land, was also the location of the House of Correction. This institution had one hundred and seventy-five inmates, of whom over forty were insane, all being under the charge of the superintendent and his wife. He filled this office efficiently, making such improvements on the farm as to cause it to be regarded as a model for its kind until 1895, when a change in the administration of the county resulted in his removal. On April 1 of the same year he and Mr. Rand formed the firm of Rand & Tasker, which has since been in business in Contoocook. Keeping a stock valued at fourteen thousand dollars, they have a very satisfactory trade.
On November 30, 1882, Mr. Tasker married Bertha L. Osgood, daughter of Abram B. and Lucy (Sargent) Osgood, who was born at Loudon, N.H. Mrs. Tasker was in charge of the house while on the County Farm, and to her efficient management is largely due the success of Mr. Tasker’s administration of that institution. She had been to some extent fitted for her arduous task, as from the age of sixteen, when her mother died, until her marriage, she was her father’s housekeeper. Mr. and Mrs. Tasker have three children, namely: Ethel Frances, born May 15, 1884; William Martin, born September 12, 1887; and Lucy Bertha, born August 1, 1892. Mrs. Tasker is a member of the Free Will Baptist Church of Pittsfield. Both Mr. and Mrs. Tasker are members of Contoocook Grange, P. of H.