Collection: History of Cheshire County New Hampshire

Early Settlement of Marlboro, New Hampshire

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,...

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Biographical Sketch of Benjamin Thatcher

Benjamin Thatcher, one of the early settlers of the town, subsequently removed to Swanzey, where he died. Benjamin, Jr., born here, made the town his home until twenty-one years of age, then removed to Keene, and finally to Swanzey, where he passed the remainder of his days His son George, born in Keene, has spent most of his life in Marlboro, and now resides on School...

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History of Manufactures of Keene, New Hampshire

Cheshire county, with perhaps a few towns in the northerly portion of Worcester county, Mass., adjacent thereto, may be regarded as the birthplace of wooden-ware manufacturing, and until 1860 it was noted as the principal center of that class of manufacture, and it is yet quite a prominent industry of the vicinity, though the business, as it has extended, has gone largely to other places where timber is more plentiful. It is said that the first wooden-pails made by machinery were manufactured at Keene, by Jehiel Wilson, who now resides at South Keene. The manufacture of clothes-pins by machinery is said to have originated in Rindge, or Winchendon, Mass., and forty years ago was confined almost exclusively to a few towns in that immediate vicinity. The machinery then used was of the most primitive nature, consisting only of the hand lathe, in which the pins were turned by the ” gouge and chisel,” applied by the dextrous hand of the workman, and a few circular saws used in preparation of the timber and in cutting the slots. At that time the product of a shop employing half a dozen operatives would be about sixty gross per day; but soon after this the introduction of special machinery began to increase the facilities of production, and to-day the output of a like number of operatives would be at least five times...

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History of the Banks of Keene, New Hampshire

Cheshire National Bank.-The Cheshire Bank was chartered with a capital of one hundred thousand dollars, by the state of New Hampshire in 180„ for a period of twenty years, or till 1824,-then till 1844,-and again till 1864, inclusive. The original corporators were judge Daniel Newcomb, Noah Cooke, Esq., and Elijah Dunbar, Esq. John G. Bond, Judge Newcombs sonin-law, procured most of the stock subscriptions, among which are the names of Samuel and Nathan Appleton, Eben Francis, Stephen Salsbury, John Bellows, Josiah Knapp and several others of Boston, Daniel Newcomb, John G. Bond, William Lamson, Moses Johnson, Alexander Ralston, Stephen Harrington, Eben Stearns, Joseph Hayward, and Foster and Luther Alexander of Cheshire county, with fifty-five others on the list. The first building for the bank was of brick, two stories high, and was taken down in 1847, to make way for the Cheshire railroads passenger station. Daniel Newcomb was president from 1804 to 1811. when he resigned, and in the “war period,” soon after, the bank struggled against insolvency till November, 1813, when Samuel Grant was chosen president, and Nathaniel Dana, cashier, in place of Arba Cady (who was elected February, 1806, and whose predecessor was E. Dunbar,) and a revival of credit and business secured. Mr. Grant was president till July, 1829, and Salma Hale, his successor, till March, 1842, at which time Levi Chamberlain was made president, and...

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History of Industry in Marlboro, New Hampshire

The Frost Free Library.-The town has a fine public library, founded by Rufus S. Frost, in 1865, who donated $15.000.00 for the purpose. Of this amount $7,000.00 were devoted to the erection of a substantial granite building, $3,000.00 more were used in the purchase of books, and the remainder placed at interest, the revenue therefrom to be used in sustaining the library and in the purchase of new books, The Cheshire Blanket Co., whose mills are located at the village, was organized in the spring of 1873, the proprietors being C. O. Whitney and AV. H. Clark. Their main building is a wood structure 72×65 feet, two stories in height, and contains five sets of machinery. Their. No. 2 mill is of wood. 40×45 feet, two stories, and has two sets of machinery. They have also two store-houses, of wood, and a picker and boiler house, of brick. They use both steam and water-power, employ ninety hands in the manufacture of blankets and satinet goods, turning out $150,000.00 worth per annum. The Monadnock Blanket Co., located at the village, was incorporated in 1869, with a capital of $20,000.00, which, about five years later, was increased to $30,000.00. The first officers were W. H. Wilkinson, president; S. S. Wilkinson, clerk and treasurer; and Charles Shrigley, superintendent; They purchased of Thurston & Wilkinson the stone mill erected for a saw and...

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Biography of Dr. Daniel Adams

Dr. Daniel Adams, son of Dr. Joseph Adams, was born at Lincoln, Mass., in 1768, and died in Keene, N. H., August 22, 1830. He had three brothers and five sisters, one of the former of whom, Dr. Joseph Adams, returned, at the breaking out of the war, to Cornwall, England, the home of his ancestors, where he practiced his profession during life, and where his descendants still live. The other members of Dr. Adamss family settled in and about Boston. A sister, Mrs. Wheeler, occupied the homestead in Lincoln, Mass., which still remains in her family. Dr. Adams received a liberal education. His tastes led him to the choice of the medical profession. His studies were pursued in Boston, Mass. He received his medical degree June 6, 1788, and in that year, shortly after marrying Mrs. Sarah Apdaile, daughter of Benjamin Goldthwaite, of Boston, he came to reside in Keene, where, while practicing his profession, he cleared portions of his land, planted an orchard, and made and adorned a home. It is mentioned in the early records of Keene that “he was the first to introduce the sugar-maple as a shade tree.” In his chosen profession, to which he was devoted, he became distinguished, as many yet remember. He received from Dartmouth college a diploma for a. Latin dissertation on medicine. Later, in July 1811, he had the...

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Biographical Sketch of Phineas Farrar

Phineas Farrar, son of Josiah and Hannah Farrar, was born in Sudbury, Mass., came to Marlboro in 1768, and died here at the age of ninety-four years. His son William, a native of the town, died at the age of eighty-one years. Calvin, son of William, resides on road...

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City of Keene, New Hampshire

KEENE, as a city, was brought into existence by an act of the legislature, approved July 3, 1873, incorporating the same, subject to the acceptance, by a majority of votes, of the city charter so enacted. In March, 1874, the act was accepted by a vote of 783 to 589. The new government was duly organized May 5, 1874, Hon. Horatio Colony being elected mayor. As previously stated, the entire township was included within the city limits, and is divided into five wards. The city proper, how ever, is the old village of Keene, which President Dwight pronounced ” one of the prettiest in New England.” This then the city of Keene, lies in the charming valley of the Ashuelot, hid among its shade trees, with cliff-crowned hills round about. From the monument on Beech hill, looking west and north, one gets a fine view of the whole valley. The broad meadows and natural parks of scattered elms stretch three miles away, across the river to West hill, which has an altitude of 850 feet. Below are the older and later channels of the riotous Branch, and its four arched bridge. The Catholic cemetery, the race-course, and the Island pond, are on the left. In front are the distant meadows, the amphitheatre of hills, and in the background, the peaks of the Green mountains. On the right are the...

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Town of Marlboro, New Hampshire

MARLBORO is a handsome post village, located in the northwestern part of the town. It has, aside from its many private residences, three churches, (Congregational, Universalist and Methodist) one hotel, two general stores, a hardware store, furniture store, shoe store, grocery, barber shop, confectionery store, a town hall, Odd Fellows hall, a foundry and machine shop, pail factory, two box factories. toy manufactory, three saw-mills, a grist-mill, yarn manufactory, knob manufactory, two blanket factories, two woolen mills, two blacksmith shops, two wheelwright shops, three cobbler shops, a livery stable and meat market. MARLBORO DEPOT (p. o.) is a small village and station on the Cheshire railroad in the southwestern part of the...

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Biography of David Nims

It has been ascertained by the old records of the proprietors of the town of Keene, that David Nims, the subject of this sketch-was chosen their scribe as early as July 25, 1737. The town of Keene having received a charter, he was elected first town clerk and town treasurer, at the first legal town meeting, held Wednesday, May 2, 1753, and continued to hold office as clerk, treasurer, selectman or moderator, almost every year till 1776. He was honest, courageous, firm and discreet, and consequently a man of great influence in the town, his simple word possessing almost the authority of law. In 1740 he was granted, with others, ten acres of upland, for hazarding his life and estate by living in Keene to bring forward the settling of the place. Later, the proprietors records show-page 166, 1763-a plan and description of a grant to him of 104 acres, which lot is the farm formerly occupied by Matthew, now by Brigham Nims, in Roxbury, that town having been set off from Keene in 1812. He was a farmer and carried on the place now known as the Lucian B. Page farm. The old house in which he lived has been removed this year from Washington street, to make room for a residence, to be erected and occupied by John A- Wright, of the Impervious Package Co. Mrs. Abigail,...

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Biography of John Colony

John Colony, son of a nobleman, was born in Kilkenny, Ireland, in 1730, and came to Boston when he was sixteen years of age. He had with him a bag of gold which was subsequently stolen from him, leaving him but four cents. After paying the toll to Charleston he had two cents left and had had no breakfast. He, however, obtained a half cord of wood to saw, thus enabling him to buy himself something to eat. He prospered, being willing to do any kind of work he could get to do. He came to Keene in 1761, and rented the farm now owned by his great-grandaughter, Martha M. Woodward, on road 19. He rented the farm for five years, but soon bought it and resided here until his death. He served in the Revolutionary war, married Militiah Fisher, of Wrentham, Mass., and had born to him four children, as follows: Timothy, Josiah, Militiah, and Hannah. He died June 24, 1797, and his widow died Tune 16, 1810. Timothy was born on this farm April 5, 1764, married Sarah Dwinell, of Keene, who bore him seven children-six sons and one daughter. He died here August 29, 1836, and his widow died April 27, 1853. John, son of Timothy, then became possessor of the farm. He was born June 24, 1795, married Almira Keyes, and reared four children, three...

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Biographical Sketch of Charles Ryan

Charles Ryan was born in Boston. Mass., and was left an orphan at the age of about three years, or about the time he was brought to this town. He lived here until twenty-one years of age, when he went to Massachusetts and remained about twenty-one years, then came back to Marlboro. He married Arvilla Farrar, and occupies the farm upon which she was...

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Biographical Sketch of Hezekiah Munsell

Hezekiah Munsell, who was at the battle of Bunker Hill, married Irene Byssell, and reared eleven children. Elisha, his seventh son, served in the war -of 1812, married twice, first, Polly Hurd, second, Lucy C. Sibley, and had born to him twelve children. Six are now living, and his widow resides in...

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Biographical Sketch of Thomas H. Leaverett

Thomas H. Leaverett, son of Thomas, was born in Windsor, Vt., February 12, 1806, attended Captain Partridges Military school, and came to Keene in 1836. He married twice, first, Harriet B. Nelson, who bore him one daughter, Sarah D., who is the wife of Reuben A. Tuthid, and resides in Boston. He married for his second wife, Abbey Barnes, of Marlboro, and had born to him one daughter, Kate F., who resides in New York city. Mr. Leaverette was cashier of the Ashuelot National bank, of Keene, from 1836 to 1869. He was quite a noted farmer, and died November 22, 1882. His widow still resides in...

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