The first settler in the town was William Barker, a native of Westboro, Mass., who located in what is now Westhill, in Troy. He came on in 1761, selected the place for his future home, and came back again in 1762, and commenced a clearing. He seems not to have done much from that time until 1764, however, when he again came on from Massachusetts, enlarged his clearing, built a log house, and made arrangements for bringing on his family, which he accordingly did that autumn, arriving here on the 17th of September. Soon after, Isaac McAlister, who had previously built a log house on the farm now owned by Ansel Nye, brought his family on, consisting of his wife -a sister of Mrs. Brown-and four children. This was the first settlement made within the present limits of the town. These two families, consisting of eleven persons, were all the inhabitants residing in the township during the winter of 1764-’65. In 1765 Amos Fife located in the part of the town subsequently set off to Troy. Benjamin Tucker and his wife and seven children settled on the place subsequently owned by Tarbell & Whitney. Daniel Goodenow and his wife and four or five children, from Marlboro, Mass., and Abel Woodward and family, also located where the village now is. No settlers are known to have come in during 1766, but in 1767 the census returns show the town to have had a population of ninety-three souls, as follows: nine unmarried men between the ages of sixteen and sixty; sixteen married men, between the ages of sixteen and sixty; twenty-five males under sixteen years of age; one over sixty; twenty-six unmarried females; and sixteen married females. In 1770 the town had the following list of settlers, all of
whom, except the five marked with a star, having families :
Benjamin Tucker, Jr.,
The first town meeting was held March 11, 1777, when Thomas Riggs was chosen moderator; David Wheeler, clerk; Captain James Lewis, treasurer; Captain James Lewis, Lieutenant Eliphalet Stone, and Richard Tozer, selectmen; Abel Woodward, constable; Daniel Cutting, William Tines’, Phineas Parks, and Theodore Mann, surveyors; Silas Fife and Jedediah Taintor, tythingmen; David Denfor and Samuel Bishop, deer reeves; Richard Roberts, Eliphalet Stone, David Wheeler, and Reuben Ward, hog reeves; James Lewis, David Wheeler, Thomas Riggs, Oliver Wright, and Benoni Robens, committee of safety; and Richard Atwell, Jedediah Taintor, Jonathan Goodenow, and Thaddeus Hastings, fence viewers. Up to the incorporation of the town, in 1775, the public interests were controlled by the proprietors. After that they continued to hold meetings from time to time until 1801, when, having discharged all their debts, etc., their papers were delivered over to the town, and their organization was dissolved. The first saw-mill was built by Daniel Harrington, in 1767, at the junction of the brooks, south of the school-house, in District No. 4. In the autumn of that year, also, the first two framed houses were built. The first of these was erected by Jedediah Maynard, on the farm now owned by Ivory E. Gates and is the eastern half of Mr. Gates’s house. The second was that of Abijah Tucker, and was located on the site. of the Congregational meeting house. A short time after this, Joseph Collins built a saw and grist-mill in the northern part of the town, on Richardson brook, near the bridge east of the place where Stillman Richardson now lives. This was the first grist-mill erected in town. Not far from this time, also, Abijah Tucker built a saw and grist-mill on the site of the mill now owned by the Monadnock Blanket Company. The erection of these two mills did much toward advancing the settlement of the town. The hotel, or inn, was kept by Benjamin Tucker, in 1769. The first store was opened by Joseph Sweetser, in 1792. The first physician was Dr. Justus Perry, who settled here in 1786.