Collection: Merrimack and Sullivan Counties New Hampshire Biographies

Biography of Sylvanus W. Bryant

Sylvanus W. Bryant, of Cornish Flat, was born in the town of Cornish, October 23, 1839, son of Sylvanus W. and Sophia (Woodward) Bryant. He comes of a robust, tenacious, and progressive family, representatives of which fought in the French and Indian War, were officers in the Continental army under Washington, and have attained distinction in politics, the army and navy, the learned professions, and the arts and sciences. Among these none have been more widely known and beloved than New England’s poet of nature, the late William Cullen Bryant. Sylvanus W. Bryant traces his genealogy to Stephen Bryant, who came from the west of England in 1643, and settled in the Plymouth Colony at Duxbury, Mass. He married Abigail Shaw, who was born in England, and came to this country with her father, John Shaw, in 1632. William Cullen Bryant belonged to the sixth generation descended from Stephen. Lieutenant John Bryant married the daughter of Stephen Bryant at Plymouth on November 23, 1665. Nothing is known of him prior to that date. His children numbered seven. Samuel, the fourth son, married Joanna Cole, and had seven children, four of whom were born in Plymouth and three in the adjoining town of Plympton. Samuel, Jr., the eldest child, married Tabitha, daughter of Deacon Joseph Ford, of Pembroke, Mass.; and eleven children were born to them. Sylvanus, the fourth child...

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Biography of Hon. Hosea W. Parker

Hon. Hosea W. Parker, of Claremont, N.H., attorney and counsellor at law, was born in Lempster, Sullivan County, May 30, 1833, son of Benjamin and Olive (Nichols) Parker. His father was an esteemed citizen of Lempster, where he held many positions of trust and 1845, leaving three children-Emilie, Hiram, and Hosea W. Emilie L. married Ransom Beckwith (deceased), by whom she had two sons-Walter P. and Hira R., the former a graduate of Tufts College and the present superintendent of the Salem Normal School, the latter a well-known architect, residing in Claremont, N.H. Hiram Parker is a merchant of Lempster, has held different offices in the town, and has been a Representative to the legislature. He ranks among the most prosperous and enterprising farmers in the county, and has for many years been a prominent member of the State Board of Agriculture. Hosea W. Parker acquired his early education in the district school, and at home assisted his brother on the farm until he was eighteen years old. He later attended Tubbs Union Academy, Washington, and the Green Mountain Liberal Institute, South Woodstock, Vt. Entering Tufts College in 1855, he there remained two years, and then began the study of law in the office of Burke & Waite, of Newport. While thus engaged, he taught school in Newport and elsewhere. In 1859 he was admitted to the Sullivan County...

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Biography of William Shaw

William Shaw, a farmer of Pittsfield, was born here, December 25, 1833, son of Smith and Mary Jane (Garland) Shaw. The family is of Scotch origin, and descends from Joseph Shaw, its earliest known ancestor in America. The great-grandfather of William was Caleb Shaw, who was born May 9, 1718. On January 21, 1742, he married Abigail Batchelder, daughter of Deacon John Batchelder. Of their seven children John, the sixth child and second son, and grandfather of William Shaw, was born in Exeter, N.H., July 30, 1751. He learned the machinist’s trade, and followed it in connection with farming. He settled in Pittsfield one hundred years ago, and a portion of his farm of two hundred acres is now owned by William Shaw. He married for his first wife Molly Folsom, daughter of John Folsom, of Exeter; and she died leaving no children. On June 19, 1785, he wedded his first wife’s sister, Betty Folsom, who bore him thirteen children, all now deceased. Smith Shaw, the seventh of his parents’ children, was born in Pittsfield, August 6, 1795. His entire life was passed in his native town; and his active period was spent in the cultivation of a portion of his father’s farm, which he inherited. He was widely known as an industrious and useful citizen. In politics he was a Democrat. He died at the age of seventy-six...

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Biography of Frank W. Foster

Frank W. Foster, a leading farmer and dairyman of Hill, was born in the town of Bristol, N.H., September 20, 1859. His father, Wilson Foster, was born in Alexandria, N.H.; and Wilson’s father, Joseph Foster, was a farmer well known in Bristol for many years. From Bristol Joseph removed to Merrimack, where he spent the latter part of his life, dying at the age of eighty years. His wife, in maidenhood Lydia Pattee, became the mother of nine children. Of these Wilson, the youngest son, was educated in the public schools, and followed farming in Bristol for sixteen years. He then sold his property in that town, came to Hill, and there purchased a farm, upon which he has since made substantial improvements, including the erection of a house. He married Harriet Kelley, daughter of Alfred Kelley, of Hill; and their children are: Martha A., Ellen F., Emma, Frank W., and Hadley J. Martha is married, lives in Bristol, and has one son, Everett; Emma, now deceased, married George Ballou, and had four children-Oscar, Grace M., Herbert, and Hattie; Ellen is now Mrs. Errol Morse; Hadley married Annie Little, and has one child. Mr. Frank Foster grew to manhood on his father’s farm. Interested in farming from his youth, he adopted it as his occupation, and has prosperously followed it since. On his farm of about two hundred and...

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Biography of Frank De Forrest Baker

Frank De Forrest Baker, a well-known farmer and lumber dealer of Plainfield, belongs to a family that came of English yeomanry stock, and has been known for centuries in England for industry, sturdiness, and reliability. The name denotes the occupation of the founder of the family. In the fifteenth century the Bakers possessed considerable property in the north of England, and were known as being thrifty, industrious, and very tenacious of their rights. In 1650 there were many of the name at Aylesbury, County of Bucks, who became followers of George Fox, the Quaker, and with him suffered imprisonment by order of Cromwell. Mr. Baker directly traces his ancestry to Jeffry Baker. Jeffry’s son Joseph, who was born June 18, 1655, came to America and settled in Connecticut. Joseph’s son, Joseph, Jr., born April 13, 1678, was twice married, first to Hannah Pomeroy, who had by him two sons, Joseph and Samuel. His second marriage was made with Abigail Bissell, who bore him nine children; namely, John, Hannah, Jacob, Abigail, Ebenezer, Daniel, Heman, Titus, and Abigail (second). In the third generation down was Heman, born April 27, 1719, who married Lois Gilbert, November 24, 1747. They had nine children-Heman, Anna, Deborah, John, Oliver, Abigail, Lois, Delight, and Lydia. Oliver Baker, in the fourth generation, who was born at Tolland, Conn., October 5, 1755, and received a medical education, purchased...

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Biographical Sketch of William James Chandler

William James Chandler, whose life was profitably spent as a farmer in Langdon and the immediate vicinity, was born March 10, 1832, in Alstead, Cheshire County, son of James, Jr., and Sophia (Tuttle) Chandler. The grandfather, James Chandler, Sr., spent his life in Alstead, where he followed the occupation of a farmer. He married, and had a large family of children. When he died, he was the oldest Mason in New Hampshire. James Chandler, Jr., born in Alstead, September 20, 1801, besides farming was also engaged in the hotel business; and he was prosperous in both. The first of his three marriages was contracted with Sophia Tuttle; his second, with her Nancy; and his third, with Mary Stowell Tuttle, the widow of their brother. There were two children by the first union-William James Chandler; and a daughter that died in childhood. William James Chandler received a good practical education in the common school. Shortly after leaving school he went to work at farming, and continued to pursue that occupation throughout the rest of his life, which was chiefly spent in Langdon. He was one who enjoyed life thoroughly, and his quick wit and humorous sayings gave pleasure to all about him. At the same time, a man of sterling worth, he was held in high esteem by his neighbors. While he did not desire or seek office, he never...

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Biography of Hon. Daniel Webster, LL.D.,

Hon. Daniel Webster, LL.D. “With rarest gifts of heart and head From manliest stock inherited, New England’s stateliest type of man.” Born on January 18, 1782, in Salisbury, N.H., Daniel Webster was the younger son of Captain Ebenezer Webster by his second wife, Abigail Eastman. His father was a son of Ebenezer second, grandson of Ebenezer first, and great-grandson of Thomas Webster, of Ormsby, Norfolk County, England, who was an early settler in Hampton, N.H. Captain Ebenezer Webster is said to have inherited from his mother, Mrs. Susannah B. Webster, who was a descendant of the Rev. Stephen Bachiler and “a woman of uncommon strength of understanding,” some of his most prominent mental and physical traits. He has been characterized as a “perfect example of a strong-minded, unlettered man, of sound common-sense, correct judgment, and tenacious memory.” He commanded a company in the Revolution, and later in life was a Colonel in the State militia. A farmer by occupation, he also held the office of “side justice” in the Court of Common Pleas. By his first wife he had five children, namely: two that died young, Susannah, David, and Joseph; and by his second five, as follows: Mehitable, Abigail, Ezekiel, Daniel, and Sarah. In 1783 Captain Webster removed from the homestead where the early years of his married life had been spent to Elms Farm, as later known, in...

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Biography of Carlton Hurd

Carlton Hurd, a druggist of Newport, and the President of the Sugar River Savings Bank, was born in Newport, October 7, 1842, son of Isaac B. and Emaline (Dow) Hurd. Nathan Hurd, the great-grandfather, came from the State of Connecticut to Newport among the first settlers, taking land on which he passed the rest of his life. Levi, his son, was a tanner and shoemaker, and had one of the first tanneries in the town. Afterward Levi was engaged in farming and shoemaking, and he died at the age of seventy-three. His wife, Anna Bradley Hurd, was born in Haverhill, Mass. They were both members of the Congregational church. Isaac B. Hurd, the father, born June 15, 1815, has spent his life in Newport, chiefly occupied in farming. He was a sturdy and industrious man and a good farmer. He retired from active occupation some time ago, and now lives in the village with his son. In politics he was a Republican, and he was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. His wife, a native of Newport, born in January, 1816, died in January, 1892. He has three children living-Carlton, Nancy, and Elizabeth. Brought up and educated in Newport, Carlton Hurd devoted his early life to farming. At twenty-one he engaged in the drug business for Mr. Howe. Soon after he bought out his employer, since which time...

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Biography of William P. Egglestone

William P. Egglestone, one of the leading agriculturists of Plainfield, Sullivan County, was born in this town, November 5, 1826, son of Colonel Charles and Betsey (Fullum) Egglestone. His maternal great-grandfather, Samuel Williams, moved with his family, in 1759, from Connecticut to New Hampshire, where, having cleared a farm, he cultivated it for the rest of his active period. Samuel married Sarah Lawrence, who was a descendant of John Lawrence, one of the “Mayflower” Pilgrims. Samuel Egglestone, the paternal grandfather of William P., and a native of Connecticut, Plainfield. He was twice married. His first wife, whose maiden name is unknown, bore him one son, Samuel (second). When he returned home from the war, his wife was dead, and his boy had disappeared without leaving any trace. Many years afterward an account, published by the local newspapers, of how one Samuel Egglestone, an aged farmer, had mowed half an acre of land before breakfast, was extensively copied throughout New England. It was seen by his son, then forty years old, who, thinking that it might be his father, came to Plainfield and met him. Samuel Egglestone (second) married, and had nine children. His father wedded for his second wife PhÅ“be Williams, daughter of Samuel Williams, of Plainfield. By this union there were four children-Simon, Sibyl, Charles, and Zeruah. Simon resided in Vermont, and reared a family. Sibyl became the...

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Biography of George H. Savage

George H. Savage, now living in retirement in Henniker village, was born December 25, 1855, in Orford, Grafton County, son of John A. and Maria (Edmester) Savage. His father was born and bred in Grafton County, and his mother in Everett, Mass. When a boy of sixteen, he left home determined to make his own way in the world. Going to Massachusetts, he located in Charlestown, where he began his active career as a peddler of milk and cream. Purchasing his supplies from the large dairies of Hillsborough and Henniker, this county, he had it shipped to a distributor for general merchandise in partnership with Mr. Morgan. Active in local affairs, he was a Selectman and legislative Representative, and was respected to a degree only second to the parish minister. He attended the Unitarian church. His wife Sally, who came from Plaistow, N.H., was born May 28, 1813. She became the mother of five children; namely, Frederick, Darius N., an infant daughter, Joseph Sidney, and Ella. All were natives of Plainfield except Frederick, who was born July 11, 1836, at Grantham, and is a popular and prosperous merchant of Lebanon. Joseph S., born April 13, 1851, is the popular pastor of the Unitarian church at Stow, Mass. Ella, born September 16, 1853, taught school for some time after her graduation from Kimball Academy, and at length married Mr. George...

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