History of the Industry of Hinsdale, NH
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The Hinsdale Savings bank, located a Hinsdale village, was incorporated in June, 1874, with C. J. Amidon. president, Edward Stebbins, vice-president, George S. Wilder, secretary, and George Wellman, treasurer, which list of officers is still retained. This bank has a solid financial basis, and is doing a constantly increasing business.
Haile, Frost & Co.’s woolen mills, located at the village, were first built and run by Ripley & Harrington, using only one set of machinery. Subsequently they were run by Mr. Ripley alone, then by Ripley & Todd, and next by Haile & Todd, who sold to the present firm. This firm has made, many improvements and additions, so that the mill is 500 x 40 feet and contains twelve complete sets of woolen machinery, operated by water-power, with steam as an auxiliary. They employ 275 hands in the manufacture of suitings, cloakings, beavers and cashmerettes.
The Brightwood Mills, located at the village, in the manufacture of tissue and toilet papers, were built in 1873 by the Fisk & Hopkins Paper Co. At the death of Mr. Hopkins, in 1877, the name of the mills were changed to their present name, with Mr. Fisk sole owner, and Mr. C. B. Hopkins manager. The aggregate length of the buildings is over 25o feet, with an average width of thirty-seven feet. Mr. Fisk employs fifteen hands.
The Hinsdale Mills, located at Hinsdale village, were originally built by Robertson & Hunt, in 1848, though they have since been twice destroyed by fire and once by a boiler explosion. Robertson & Hunt operated the mills six or eight years, then they were run by George Robertson about fifteen years, and by him in company with his son for the next ten years, when they came into the hands of the present firm, G. & G. A. Robertson & Co. They employ about twenty operatives and turn out about $100,000.00 worth of tissue and toilet paper per annum.
The Hinsdale Woolen Mills, are located at Hinsdale village. In 1859 a part of the present mills were built by Boyden & Bishop and were occupied by them until May, 1862, when C. J. Amidon became a partner, under the firm name of Boyden, Bishop & Amidon. This firm continued until the death of Mr. Bishop, in March, 1864, when the remaining members of the firm continued the business till the death of Mr. Boyden, in November, 1871. From that time until 1880, Mr. Amidon was the sole proprietor, and then took his son into partnership, the firm being C. J. Amidon & Son. The main building is 110 x 44 feet, with an “L” 30 x 30 feet, three stories in height. The main dye-house is 30 x 80 feet, while there is another dye-house, picking-room, etc. The mill has five sets of woolen machinery and gives employment to seventy operatives in the manufacture of cashmerettes and flannels.
Newhall & Stebbins’s machine shop, located at Hinsdale village, manufactures the Granite State field and lawn mowers, the Ellis reversible plows, and do an extensive general machine business. In May, 1843, Cyrus Newhall, the senior member of the firm and pioneer machinist of the town, commenced the machinist business here, employing, until 185 r, from one to four men. He then formed a co-partnership with John B. Merrill, which was continued until 1856, when Lorenzo Stebbins, who had been an apprentice under Mr. Newhall, purchased Mr. Merrill’s share in the business. In 1861 they made their first Granite State mower, which has since been constantly growing in popularity. They now employ fifteen men.
Holman & Merriman’s machine shop is also located at the village. The firm was organized in 1865. and manufactures jack and bench screws, waterwheels, mill machinery, and are also largely engaged in repairing manufacturer’s machinery, giving employment to ten hands.
The Eagle Iron Foundry, Charles D. Merriman, proprietor, located at Hinsdale village, manufactures general machinery and mill castings. and does a general custom business in light and heavy castings, employing six hands.
John W. Battle’s carriage shop is at Hinsdale village, where he has been located over forty years. He manufactures light and heavy carriages, wagons and sleighs, and does a general repair business. In the second story of the building is the paint shop of Norton E. Pratt, who does the carriage painting.
The Hunter Company, general publishers and dealers in books, periodicals, stationery, etc., was incorporated in March, 1883, with D. Leonard, of Brattlboro, president, J. W. Jeffords, vice-president, and Henry E. Hunter, secretary and treasurer.
The Jennings & Griffin Manufacturing Company, located at Hinsdale village, is engaged in the manufacture of chisels, drawing-knives, and other edge tools, employing twenty men, and turning out about twenty-five dozen pieces per day. The business was established in’ 1848, by Phiny Merrill, with George S. Wilder, manager, who continued thus until 1858, when Mr. Wilder became his partner. In 1866 the firm became Wilder & Thompson, and in 1868 Wilder became sole owner, and in 1870 R. H. Hopkins became his partner. In 1872 he again became sole owner, and in 1882 the present firm was organized.
H.. H. Bardwell’s factory for manufacturing moldings, window-frames, dye-tubs, vats, shipping-boxes, brackets, etc., located at the lower end of Main street, gives employment to four hands.
E. & N Warden commenced the manufacture of factory, laundry, and family soap in 1870, near the depot, on the site of the Fisk soap works. In 1872 they removed to their present location on the Connecticut river, at the foot of “Swift Water,” a name familiar to boatmen when the river was navigated by flat boats and rafts. This location is about half a mile above the confluence of the Ashuelot with the Connecticut, and once an important station. The “Boatman’; Tavern,” a public house for many years, is located here, and is now used as a farm house by these brothers.