Captain Eleazar L. Sarsons, a well-known resident of Acworth and a veteran of the Civil War, was born in Lyme, N.H., August 9, 1836, son of Leon and Flora Ella (Prue) Sarsons. His father, who was born in France in the year 1800, emigrated to Canada in 1828, and in 1834 moved to Sheffield, Vt. He was a shoemaker by trade, and followed this handicraft in connection with farming for some time. He later plied his calling in Lyme, N.H., and other places; and in 1871 he came to Acworth, where he spent the rest of his life. He married Flora Ella Prue, who was born in Canada in 1815. They became the parents of ten children, as follows: Mary; Elinore; Eleazar L., the subject of this sketch; Flora, who was born in 1834, and died in Wheelock, Vt., in 1841; Adeline; Marguerite; William H.; George W., who died in Pennsylvania, December 6, 1880; Ella, born in Barre, Vt., in April, 1852; and Charles, who was born in Orange, Vt., in 1860, and died in 1868. Mary Sarsons became the wife of Henry Townes, of Lake Village, N.H. Her husband died July 1, 1896; and she is now residing in Nashua, N.H. Elinore married George W. Newell, of Nashua, and died May 3, 1889. Adeline married John Williams. Marguerite, who married John Clark, died June 28, 1880. William H.,...Read More
Collection: Merrimack and Sullivan Counties New Hampshire Biographies
John W. Severance, a prominent resident of Chichester, Merrimack County, and an ex-member of the New Hampshire legislature, was born February 3, 1822, in Sandwich, Carroll County, which was also the birthplace of his parents, Asa and Rhoda (Webster) Severance. His greatgrandfather, Ephraim Severance, was one of the pioneer farmers of that town, having gone there from Deerfield, N.H. John Severance, son of Ephraim and grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was a lifelong resident of Sandwich. He was an able farmer and possessed considerable mechanical ingenuity, which he applied to various kinds of handicraft. He took a leading part in public affairs as a supporter of the Whig party, and served as Tax Collector for sixteen consecutive years. He married Lydia Jewell, and had twelve children. The only survivor of the family is James M., who resides in Boston. His wife, Adeline Randall, died leaving four children-Eliza, Nancy, Alonzo, and Waldo. John Severance died at the age of seventy-three, but his wife lived to be eighty years old. They were members of the Methodist Episcopal church. Asa Severance, son of John and father of John W. Severance, was reared to agricultural pursuits; and when a young man he bought a farm adjoining the parental homestead. He displayed an ability which foreshadowed a successful future; but his prosperous career was cut short by his death, which occurred at...Read More
Edmund Silver, a thriving farmer of Boscawen, N.H., was born in Bow, this State, September 10, 1834. His parents, Edmund and Sallie (Dow) Silver, who resided in Bow for the greater part of their lives, died when their son Edmund was quite young. They had nine children-Lewis, Laura, Cyrene, Leonard, Gideon, Sullivan, Daniel, Edmund, and George. Lewis died in March, 1897. Daniel is engaged in farming in Salisbury, N.H. George is in Penacook; and the others, except Edmund, the subject of our sketch, are deceased. Edmund Silver received his education in the district schools, remaining at home with his parents until he was seven years of age. He then went to Ware, Mass., where he was employed on a farm; and he was similarly engaged in other towns for a few years, returning subsequently to Bow. At the age of twenty he went to Canterbury, remaining there three and a half years. He then spent three years in Warner, N.H., afterward removing to Webster, in which place he was engaged in farming for about thirty-five years. Subsequently, coming to Boscawen, he purchased his present farm, then known as the Ferrin farm. It contains about sixty-five acres, most of which is under cultivation. Besides general farming he carries on a milk business. He also owns the farm at Webster where he formerly lived, which contains forty-five acres. On November 2,...Read More
Edward Payson Skinner, Jr., a well-known business man of Windsor, Vt., a dealer in fish and groceries, was born in that town, February 8, 1856, son of Edward P., Sr., and Rebecca (Moody) Skinner. His paternal grandfather, John P., was a son of Captain Benjamin and Sarah C. (Manning) Skinner. Captain Benjamin Skinner was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and while he was in the army his wife was left at home to take care of the farm and cattle. He died of spotted fever at fifty years of age; and she, long surviving him, died about fifty years ago, at the age of ninety-two years. They had a family of six children. Parry C. Skinner, a brother of John P., was Deacon of the Baptist church for nearly fifty years, and was a very active and prominent business man; Elizabeth P. Skinner, a sister, married the Rev. Baron Stow, for many years a preacher of the Baptist faith in Boston; Mary Skinner married William Beal, of Boston; Sarah C. married a man by the name of Harris; and Lora, the other sister, married the Rev. Mr. Ely, a Baptist minister who preached in Vermont and New Hampshire. John P. Skinner, who was born in Connecticut, March 10, 1788, was for thirty years proprietor of a stage line along the Connecticut River from Haverhill, N.H., to Hartford, Conn....Read More
Charles Eastman Staniels, a prominent life insurance agent of Concord, N.H., was born in Lowell, Mass., December 27, 1844, son of Edward L. and Ruth Bradley (Eastman) Staniels. The father, born in Chichester, N.H., for many years was interested in the drug business, successively in Lowell and Boston, Mass. Toward the latter part of his life he removed to Roxbury, Mass., then a suburb of Boston, and died there at the age of sixty-five years. He was twice married. By his first wife there were three children, all of whom are now dead. His second marriage was made with Ruth Bradley Eastman, now over eighty-five years old, whose only child is the subject of this sketch. A daughter of General Isaac Eastman, of Concord, N.H., she is a direct descendant, in the sixth generation, of Captain Ebenezer Eastman, the first settler of Concord, and of Captain Edward Johnson, the historian of Woburn, Mass., one of the commissioners appointed by the General Court of Massachusetts Bay Colony to fix the northern boundary of that colony in 1652. In 1833 a large boulder was discovered at the entrance of Lake Winnepesaukee at Weirs, N.H., bearing the initials of Governor John Endicott, with those of the commissioners, Captain Edward Johnson and Captain Symon Willard, which had remained unnoticed and subject to elemental conditions for one hundred and eighty-one years. The State of...Read More
John W. Staples, M.D., a prominent physician of Franklin Falls, N.H., and a native of Wells, Me., was born January 25, 1855. His parents, John and Ann (Wells) Staples, also natives of Wells, belonged to families that had lived in that town for a number of generations. John Staples, who was a farmer, spent his life in the place of his birth, and died in 1879. His wife had died in 1877. They had four children, one of whom died in infancy. The others were: Albert, who died when nine years old; Moses, a farmer in Wells; and John W., the subject of this article. John W. Staples received his early education by attending the district schools in the winter season. In the summer he worked on the farm. He afterward went for two terms to private schools; and when fifteen years old he entered South Berwick Academy in Maine, graduating in the class of 1872. On leaving the academy, he became a student of Dartmouth College, and there graduated in 1876. 1880, receiving his degree when twenty-five years old. In that year he began practice in Franklin Falls, where he has since been located. He has also an office in Tilton, N.H. The Doctor was married January 25, 1882, to Miss Martha L. Kimball, daughter of Ezra S. and Elizabeth (Colburn) Kimball, both of Haverhill, N.H. They have...Read More
Charles F. M. Stark, a wellknown resident of Dunbarton, Merrimack County, was born in this town, February 18, 1848, son of John and Caroline J. (Morris) Stark. He is a great-great-grandson of General John Stark, the famous victor of Bennington. John Stark, the father, was a lawyer, who practised his profession in Galena, Ill., and in New York City. He died in Washington, D.C., at the age of forty-two years. His wife, Caroline, was the youngest daughter of Thomas Morris, and a grand-daughter of Robert Morris, signer of the Declaration of Independence and first Secretary of State of the United States. Charles F. M. Stark was a student at St. Paul’s School in Concord. After leaving school, he resided for a number of years in New York City, and for a time was interested in insurance in New York and Boston. He finally returned to the family homestead in Dunbarton, where he has since resided, it having become his property through inheritance. The house was built by his great-grandfather, Major Caleb Stark, a son of General John Stark, and who did good service to his county in the Revolutionary War. It was built after the model of an English manor house, and is a quaint and interesting piece of architecture. Every room it contains is replete with historic memories. Heirlooms and relics both of the Stark and Morris families...Read More
Hon. Ezra Scollay Stearns, Secretary of the State of New Hampshire since 1891, came to that office superabundantly qualified to meet its most exacting requirements. He was born in Rindge, N.H., September 1, 1838, son of Samuel and Mary Fitch (Moore) Stearns, his father being a native of Brattleboro, Vt., and his mother of Sharon, N.H. Through his mother he is connected with the Fitch family, several members of which were men of distinction during the Colonial period. The family was of Scotch-Irish origin; and the city of Fitchburg, Mass., was named in honor of John Fitch, a descendant in the fourth generation of the original American ancestor. The Stearns family is of English origin. Daniel Stearns, grandfather of Ezra S., at first a resident of Cambridge, Mass., moved subsequently to Vermont. He served in Colonel Nixon’s regiment from 1777 until the close of the Revolutionary War. Ezra Scollay Stearns acquired the rudiments of his education in the public schools of Rindge. He then followed an advanced course of study at the Chester Institute at Chester, N.J., where he remained as a teacher for some time after his graduation. He subsequently became connected with publishing houses in Boston, New York, and Philadelphia; and at one time he was manager and editor of a newspaper in Fitchburg, Mass. After his return to his native State he became prominently identified with...Read More
Albert Stevens, a farmer of Concord, was born at Canterbury, N.H., January 24, 1833, and is a representative of the third generation of the Stevens family born in this town. His paternal grandfather, whose name, it is believed, was Simeon Stevens, was a farmer and lifelong resident of Canterbury. He attained an advanced age, and was the father of six sons and four daughters. Three of the sons-Moses, John, and Thomas -went West, and settled in Princeton, Ill., where they grew prosperous and married. John Stevens had a son who became extremely wealthy, and two of the sons of Simeon Stevens became members of Congress. Jesse Stevens, father of Albert, remained in his native town when his brothers went West, and in course of time became one of its leading citizens. Early in life he began to teach, and he followed that occupation for some years. He lived to be sixty-one years old, and at the time of his death had been Selectman of the town for many years. He married Abigail Sherborne, of Epsom; and they had seven children-Harriet, Mary A., Sylvester, Caroline, Susan T., Nancy, and Albert. Mary is the wife of Rufus Virgin, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this work; Sylvester lives in East Concord; Caroline, who is the widow of Stephen Clark, resides at Littleton, Mass.; Nancy, who lives in Concord, is the...Read More
Solomon Stone was born in Plainfield, November 6, 1811, and died January 12, 1892. His wife, born in Cornish, June 11, 1813, still lives in Plainfield, enjoying good health and able to do nearly all her own work without assistance. Mr. Chadbourne’s mother, Sally Cady, was born in Cornish, August 29, 1790, and died December 16, 1864. Grandfather Cady was the first of the name to come to Cornish. He was born in 1743; and his wife was Hannah Hutchins, born in 1746. Grandfather Cady rode from Connecticut by marked trails. For a riding whip he had a willow stick; and when he alighted from his horse in Cornish he stuck the whip into the ground by his future home, and there has always been a willow-tree there since. When he came here, he brought with him a silver 1750. Mr. Chadbourne received at his birth from his grandfather Cady a silver dollar bearing the date of...Read More
George Henry Stowell, a wholesale and retail dealer in hardware and one of the wealthiest citizens of Claremont, was born in Cornish, N.H., October 28, 1835. His father, Amasa Stowell, came to Cornish from Hartland, Vt. He died when our subject was a young boy. He had ten children, of whom five are living, namely: Evaline, who married G. W. Hewey; Sylvester, who is engaged in agriculture in East Unity, N.H.; Joseph, who is in the harness and livery and carriage business at Lawrence, owns three livery stables, and raises fast stock; Austin, who is in business with Joseph; and George H., the subject of this sketch. Carrie, who married Calvin Adams, is recently deceased. George H. Stowell received a commonschool education in his native town. In 1854 he embarked in the business of making monuments and headstones at Springfield, Vt. He came in 1860 to Claremont, where he purchased the marble business of J. A. & J. F. Davis. This he conducted until February, 1864, when he bought the hardware business of Levi Brown, and began to carry it on in his own name on the site of his present store. Starting with a small capital, he has by energy and ability built up what is claimed to be the largest wholesale and retail business in this part of the State, and amassed one of the largest fortunes...Read More
James Otis Straw, a thriving farmer of Hopkinton, was born in this town July 27, 1853, son of William S. and Mary Ann (Flanders) Straw. An account of his ancestry may be found in the sketch of his father, William S. Straw, contained elsewhere in this volume. James Otis Straw spent his early years on his parents’ farm. He was brought up to agricultural pursuits; and in 1890 he purchased his present home, the old Currier farm, containing sixty-five acres, the buildings on which were erected over a hundred years ago. Mr. Straw makes a specialty of dairying, and also pays much attention to breeding highgrade Guernsey stock. He possesses a considerable amount of mechanical skill, and is expert in the use of all kinds of tools. In politics he is a free silver Democrat, but takes no active part in public affairs beyond casting his vote. January 8, 1881, he was united in marriage with Ada Whittemore, daughter of William B. and Nancy Whittemore, of Hopkinton. Mr. and Mrs. Straw have become the parents of two children: Percy W., who was born October 21, 1881, and died at the age of three and a half years; and Clayton Bayard, born April 20, 1885. Mr. Straw is a member of Contoocook Grange, P. of H. He is an enthusiastic sportsman, and is one of the most popular residents of...Read More
William S. Straw, a prosperous farmer of Hopkinton and a son of William and Hannah Straw, was born in the house where he now lives, June 1, 1817. He is descended from William and Mehitable Straw of early Colonial times. Their children were born as follows: William, May 22, 1686; John, July 1, 1688; Samuel, August 13, 1692; and Lawrence, May 13, 1699. Lieutenant Jacob Straw, the grandfather of William S., came from Rowley, Mass., to Hopkinton, some time between 1740 and 1755, while still a young man. He secured fifty acres of land, upon which he erected some small buildings, and then sold the whole to such advantage that he was able later to purchase two hundred acres on Sugar Hill, in the town of Weare. Here again he erected buildings, sold out at a profit, and bought three hundred acres in West Hopkinton, near where William S. Straw now lives. This purchase was made in 1782; and he spent the rest of his life upon the property, putting up large and convenient buildings and making many other improvements. A prosperous farmer, he was able to give each of his sons a farm, besides affording his sons-in-law substantial assistance. His death resulted from a cancer in his seventy-eighth year. He married Betsey (or Lydia) Ordway, of Rumford, later of Concord. They had twelve children, the youngest of whom...Read More
William Cant Sturoc, “the bard of Sunapee ,” as he is often called, was born November 4, 1822, in a humble, straw-thatched cottage in Arbroath, Scotland, son of Francis Sturoc and his wife, Ann (Cant) Sturoc. Doubtless, the poetic genius has descended to him from his paternal great-grandfather, James Sturoc, who wrote a book of “Hymns and Spiritual Songs,” and died in Panbride in 1750. Other distinguished members of the family were well known in the church. Among these was the Rev. David Sturoc, who was of ready speech and pen, and two generations ago repeatedly entered public debate with the renowned Dr. Wardlow, of Glasgow. Francis, the father of William, was well known as highly cultured and profoundly read, although throughout his life he followed mercantile occupations. Cantsland, an ancient estate in Kincardineshire, now in other hands, was for several hundred years in the possession of the Cants, the mother’s family. James Cant, the maternal grandfather of William C., and a resident St. Cyrus in the same county, was cousin to the famous Immanuel Cant, or Kant, who died in 1804. James had four daughters-Helen, Ann, Margaret, and Jane. His only son, John, died in Bridgeport, Conn. Ann Cant married Francis Sturoc, December 19, 1808, and to them were born ten children. The father died in 1851, aged seventy-seven years, after surviving the mother some years. William Cant,...Read More
George A. Sumner, a popular storekeeper and real estate owner of Hill, was born on the place where he now resides, June 27, 1839, son of George W. and Hannah (Abrams) Sumner. [For the full genealogy of the Sumner family the reader is referred to the account of Governor Increase Sumner, to be found in the General Register.] George Sumner is a direct descendant of Edward Sumner, a Revolutionary patriot, who for a long time would not allow tea to be served on his table, and who was one of the Boston Tea Party. Edward’s son, Nathaniel, by his wife Hannah Bullock Sumner, was also a prominent patriot, and a man of large property and much influence. Nathaniel had a numerous family of children, and gave each of his sons a farm. George, the next in line, married Margaret Lewis. One of his children, who was grandfather of the subject of this sketch, settled in New Boston, N.H. Grandfather Sumner married Lydia Winchester. He bought a farm in Deering, N.H. He was noted in the district for his indomitable courage. George W. Sumner, at the age of nineteen, after having helped his father in clearing the Deering property, left his home and applied himself to learning the clothing business. He came to Hill and engaged in wool carding and cloth dressing, constructing a dam and erecting a mill for...Read More
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