Collection: Merrimack and Sullivan Counties New Hampshire Biographies

Biography of William Tasker

William Tasker, one of the prominent residents of Contoocook, was born August 21, 1852, in Pittsfield, this county, son of William and Mary (Lougee) Tasker. The grandfather, Joseph Tasker, and his brothers, John and Paul, removing from Newington, near Portsmouth, were the first settlers of Barnstead. Paul Tasker died leaving no family. Joseph followed the trade of shoemaker. He married Sally True, of Pittsfield, at which place they both died, he about the year 1878, and she in 1884. His son, the Rev. Joseph O. Tasker, is a Congregational minister at Short Falls, Epsom township, this county. William Tasker, Sr., another son of Joseph, born in Barnstead, Belknap County, was also a shoemaker. He was a resident of Pittsfield, where he died in 1859, at the age of forty, leaving one son, the subject of this sketch. William Tasker passed his boyhood in Pittsfield, receiving his education in the academy, and working in a store during his vacations, his father’s home being in the village. He yet owns this place, where his mother still lives. Subsequently he worked in the gristmill of Weeks Brothers, until it was burned in 1880. He then came to Contoocook, and worked for a year and a half as miller in the Pittsfield, and bought an ice business, and conducted it for five years. In 1883 he was chosen Selectman, and in the following...

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Biography of Nathaniel Tolles, M.D.

Nathaniel Tolles, M.D., was for many years one of the most prominent physicians and surgeons of Claremont. A native of Weathersfield, Vt., he was born September 17, 1805, son of John Tolles. His father, an industrious farmer, moved from Weathersfield to Claremont about the year 1819. His grandfather, Henry Tolles, was a member of Captain William Upham’s company during the Revolutionary War. Young Nathaniel Tolles availed himself of the advantages for obtaining an education offered by the Catholic Seminary in this town, then in charge of the Rev. Daniel Barber. Here he fitted for college, and was about to enter upon his classical course, when a severe illness, resulting from a too close application to study, prevented him from carrying out his purpose. Afterward, for a period, he assisted his father upon the farm in the summer and taught school in the winter. Beginning in 1827 he studied medicine under Dr. James Hall, of Windsor, Vt., for two years. Then for a short time he was under the instruction of Dr. Charles G. Adams, of Keene, N.H. Subsequently he attended lectures at Bowdoin and Dartmouth Universities; and he graduated from the last-named college in November, 1830. Immediately after leaving college, he was appointed resident physician at the South Boston Almshouse, where he remained six months. In September, 1831, he located for practice in Reading, Vt. Unable to consult more...

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Biography of Charles S. Towle

Charles S. Towle, one of Chichester’s representative farmers, was born in this town, October 17, 1854, son of James B. and Sarah (Sherburne) Towle. His grandparents, Jonathan and Sally (Fellows) Towle, who were prosperous farming people of Chichester, had twelve children, of whom Sarah J., Betsey, Mary E., Cynthia, and Olive Jane are living. Sarah J. is the widow of George P. Haines, late of this town, and has five children-Sarah J., George H., Annie M., Albert H., and Alvin M. Betsey is the widow of the late Augustus Leavitt. Mary E. is the wife of Stephen Marston, of Pittsfield, N.H.; and her children are; Angie, Munroe, Sarah, Clara, Addie, Alice, and Adelle. Cynthia married Clark Bennett; and her children are: Clarence, Nettie, Irving, and another whose name is not known. Olive Jane is the wife of Albert Thompson, of Chichester, and has four children-Ida, Arthur, Lillia, and Augustus. Jonathan Towle in his younger years was a cooper by trade. He later gave his attention to agricultural pursuits. In politics he was a Democrat. He was over eighty years old when he died. His wife also lived to a good old age. They were members of the Baptist church. James B. Towle, the second of his parents’ children, was born in Chichester and reared to farm life. He owned a good farm in Chichester. In politics he supported the...

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Biography of Stephen Alden Tracy

Stephen Alden Tracy, a well-known resident of Cornish, was born here, October 31, 1833, son of Stephen and Sarah (Alden) Tracy. The family is one of the oldest in this country, and traces its descent to Lieutenant Thomas Tracy, who came from England in 1636 and settled in Connecticut. Lieutenant Tracy was son of Nathaniel and grandson of Richard Tracy, of Stanway, England. Nathaniel’s eldest brother was made a baronet by King James I. on June 29, 1611, being the thirteenth of the order created by James. The Tracy coat of arms, in the possession of the family, shows the scallop shell (indicating that some ancestor was a Crusader) between two narrow red bands, and a crest surmounted by a shell between two wings of gold, with the motto, “Memoria Pii Æterna.” The line of descent from Lieutenant Tracy is through Thomas, Jr., father of Jeremiah Tracy. Andrew, the next in descent, lived in Lisbon, Conn. He married Ruth Smith, daughter of Captain Elijah Smith, of Barnstable, Mass., and had eleven children. His son Andrew, Jr., born March 17, 1750, who died December 28, 1819, was the first to come to Cornish. This Andrew married Annie Bingham, of Windham, Conn., whose children by him were: Lemuel, Ruth, Lucy, Elias, Stephen, Anna, Andrew, and Jesse. Lemuel, born July 29, 1773, who married Phœbe Parker, had moved to Cornish with his...

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Biography of William Cutler True

William Cutler True, for many years one of the most successful farmers of Plainfield, was born May 9, 1834, son of Major Reuben and Hannah (Duncan) True. The first representatives of the True family in America came from England, settling in Salisbury, Mass., going thence to Salisbury, N.H., and from there coming to Plainfield. They were robust and self-reliant, and bore unflinchingly the sacrifices and hardships of the early days. Benjamin True, the grandfather of William C., was a prosperous farmer of Salisbury. His first marriage was contracted with a Sanborn, whose children were: Reuben, Osgood, Hannah, Sarah, Judith, Abigail, and a daughter who became Mrs. Severance, of Andover. The second time he married widow Roberts, who bore him three children-Lydia, Eunice, and Benjamin Kimball. Osgood True married Betsey Morgan, of Plainfield. He was a successful farmer, and had a family of six children. Hannah married Moses Eaton, and became the mother of a large family. Sarah became Mrs. James Severance, of Salisbury. Judith married Stephen Pingree; and one of her sons was Samuel E. Pingree, who became Governor of Vermont, and is still residing at Hartford in that State. Abigail married a Putney, and lived at Hopkinton, N.H. Major Reuben True, born at Plainfield, became a very enterprising and prosperous farmer. He was a man of rare business ability, and was prominently identified with the business and political...

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Biography of Henry Tubbs

Henry Tubbs, a successful dentist practising in Newport, was born in Peterboro, N.H., February 24, 1831, son of Joseph and Azuba (Monroe) Tubbs. The family is traced back to one William Tubbs, who came to the Plymouth Colony from London, England, in 1635. The paternal grandfather of Dr. Tubbs was Captain Joseph Tubbs, of Marlow, N.H., an early settler, a successful farmer, a good citizen, and a Captain in the old State militia. He died at the age of eighty years. Joseph Tubbs, son of Captain Tubbs, in company with Thomas Baker owned the Eagle Mills at Peterboro, N.H., where he manufactured cotton goods, ginghams, etc., from the rough cotton. Successful at first, the firm met with disasters from various causes; and the business was wound up after several years of existence. Joseph Tubbs then turned his May 22, 1859, at the age of seventy years and three months. His wife was a daughter of Dr. Joseph Monroe, of Hillsborough. She died at Hancock, N.H., January 16, 1871, at the age of seventy-five years and eight months. They were both Unitarians. They had six children, of whom three are deceased, namely: Thomas B., who died in 1894, seventy-nine years old; Elijah M. Tubbs, who died in 1881, fifty-eight years old; and Mrs. Sarah W. Merriman, who died at the age of fifty-five years. The others are: Mrs. Maria T....

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Biography of Rev. John Vannevar

Rev. John Vannevar, born in South Malden, now Everett, Mass., on June 23, 1857, was the youngest of three children of Aaron B. and Dorothy G. Vannevar, both of whom were born in Amherst, Mass. He lived in the place of his birth until twelve years of age, when the family moved to Summer Street, Malden. He was educated in the public schools, completing the college course in the Malden High School and graduating in 1876. He then entered Tufts College, graduating with the degree of Bachelor of Divinity in 1880, and taking a post-graduate course of one year. He was ordained to the work of the Christian ministry of the Universalist church in the home church of that faith in Malden on November 23, 1880. Called to the pastorate of the Universalist society in Amesbury in the summer of 1881, he remained there two years, during which period he was married to Gertrude F. Swasey, of Malden. Because of impaired health the winter of 1883 and 1884 was spent in Florida. Soon after returning, he accepted a call to the pastorate of the First Universalist Society of Canton, Mass., where were born a son and a daughter. In the winter of 1887, because of a bronchial affection, a leave of absence was granted him; and he spent a portion of the cold season in Southern California, but was...

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Biography of John Tyler

John Tyler was well known in Claremont as an inventor and builder. He was a son of John Tyler and a grandson of Benjamin Tyler, both eminent mechanics. Benjamin, who settled in Claremont in the spring of 1776, built the first dam across the Sugar River at West Claremont, and was for many years one of the most public-spirited men in town. The History of Claremont gives the following facts concerning his grandson:- “John Tyler was born in Claremont, March 26, 1818. He learned the trade of millwright, serving an apprenticeship of seven years, and was then for eight years foreman of the shop where he learned his trade in Barre, Vt. West Lebanon in 1850, and for several years did a large business in building mills, sometimes employing fifty men. He returned to Claremont in 1872, where he has since resided. He was engineer and superintendent in building the Sugar River paper-mill, and was a principal stockholder and the President of the company. “Mr. Tyler is the inventor of the Tyler turbine water-wheel, which he had patented in 1856, and which he manufactured for many years. His was the first iron water-wheel made, and nine different patents were subsequently granted him for improvements upon it. These wheels found their way all over the country, some of them also finding their way abroad; and for years they were considered...

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Biography of Frank T. Vaughan

Frank T. Vaughan, one of the younger lawyers of Newport, was born May 4, 1864, in Woodstock, Vt., son of Edwin and Elizabeth L. (Tenney) Vaughan. The father, who graduated at the Albany Law School, New York, followed the legal profession, and at the time of his death was Judge of Probate. Edwin Vaughan commenced his law practice in New York City; but in 1859 he removed to Claremont, N.H., and entered into partnership with Colonel Alexander Gardner. In 1861 he enlisted in the New Hampshire Battalion of the First Rhode Island Volunteer Cavalry, and was afterward transferred to the First New Hampshire Cavalry, with the rank of Captain. He remained in the service throughout the late war, acting at one time as Provost Marshal. Claremont, and was thereafter engaged in his profession until 1869. In that year he was appointed United States Consul to Canada, a post which he efficiently filled for twelve years. Upon his return to Claremont he was made Judge of Probate, and he afterward served as Representative to the State legislature. He was largely interested in educational matters, was liberal in religion, and he was a member in good standing of the A. F. & A. M. He died December 18, 1890. He and his wife had three children. One died in infancy; and Charles Edwin died at the age of twelve years, from...

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Biography of Rufus Virgin

Rufus Virgin, a prosperous farmer and well-known citizen of Concord, was born on the Virgin homestead, where he now resides, January 7, 1818, son of Isaac and Susan (Batchelder) Virgin. He is a descendant of Ebenezer Virgin, second, one of the old proprietors of New Hampshire. The Virgin family has been closely identified with the history of Concord since the town was first settled. Jonathan Virgin, grandfather of Rufus, took up new land here, cleared it, and became the owner of a large farm. He died at about sixty years of age. His wife, in maidenhood Sarah Austin, was the mother of four sons and one daughter. Isaac Virgin was brought up to agricultural pursuits, and received his education in the district school. The school-house was a long distance from the farm; but, not discouraged by that, he was a regular attendant as well as a diligent student. When he came into possession of the farm, which he did previous to the War of 1812, he built a substantial set of buildings, which are standing to-day, but little the worse for the ravages of time. He died June 12, 1870, Susan, was born March 4, 1790, and died in 1876. She was the mother of four children-Susan C., Eliza J., Rufus, and William H. Susan C. married the Rev. Caleb Fales, a Methodist minister, and died not long after...

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Biography of Walter Kendall Wadleigh, M.D.

Walter Kendall Wadleigh, M.D., a skilled and popular physician of Hopkinton, N.H., was born April 7, 1864, in the town of Franklin, Merrimack County, N.H., a son of Jonathan P. and Betsey (Thomas) Wadleigh. His father, who died in the prime of manhood, was born and reared in Sanbornton, Belknap County, this State, but spent the larger part of his life in Merrimack County, where he was a large land-holder. Walter K. Wadleigh received his elementary education in Franklin, being graduated from the high school in the class of 1881. Deciding upon a professional career, for which his natural tastes and talents peculiarly fitted him, he began studying medicine with Drs. I. F. Knight and W. W. Sleeper, of Franklin. He subsequently entered Dartmouth Medical College, from which he received his degree in 1886. While in college he taught school a part of the time, thus partially defraying the expense of his education. Soon after receiving his diploma and shortly after the death of the late Dr. Rogers, Dr. Wadleigh located in Hopkinton, and has since met with flattering success as a practitioner, his previous experience in hospital work having doubtless been of much service to him in his labors. He is a member of the Centre District and of the New Hampshire Medical Societies, and is an active worker in each organization. The Doctor is a close student,...

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Biography of William F. Wadleigh

William F. Wadleigh, a farmer of Webster, is a native of Laconia, born January 24, 1837, son of Nathaniel R. and Polly H. (Ray) Wadleigh. The father, who was a prominent farmer of Laconia, and was born in 1802, died in 1854. The mother, born March 4, 1806, died in 1870. They had eight children, namely: Mary, now deceased, who was the wife of William Barrett, of Nashua, N.H.; Eliza, deceased, who was the wife of William Thompson, of Barrington, N.H.; Isaac, who married Abbie Davis, now deceased, and lives in Ludlow, Vt.; Almira, deceased, who married James Filgate, of Laconia; Catherine, who is the widow of Amos B. Tibbetts, and lives in Barrington, N.H.; Chase, who married Mary Foss, and resides in Hastings, Minn.; William F., the subject of this article; and Horace, who married Hettie Haywood, and lives in Ludlow, Vt. At the early age of eleven years William F. Wadleigh went to Gilford, N.H., and worked out on the different farms until twenty-one years old, when he tried his fortunes in Lawrence, Mass. Here he was employed for eight years in the soap factory of L. Beach & Son. After his first marriage Mr. Wadleigh removed from Lawrence to Laconia; and four years later he entered on his present farm of five hundred acres in Webster, where he has since lived. He carries on general farming,...

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Biography of Albert S. Wait

Albert S. Wait, of Newport, the oldest lawyer in active practice in Sullivan County, was born in Chester, Windsor County, Vt., April 14, 1821, son of Daniel and Cynthia (Reed) Wait. His grandfather, John Wait, was among the early settlers of Mason, N.H. John moved to Weston, Vt., and was a sturdy farmer of that Green Mountain town and a highly respected member of the community. He died in Weston at a good old age. His children were: James, John Sumner, Daniel Amos, Lucinda, and Mrs. Davis. Daniel Wait, who followed the trade of blacksmith, was a Brigadier-general in the State militia and in his last years a Justice of the Peace. He first settled in Chester and afterward in the village of Saxton’s River, Rockingham, Vt. He was grand juror of the town of Rockingham, which is an office peculiar Vermont. A man of good judgment, he had the esteem of his fellow-townsmen. In religion he was a Universalist. He was a Democrat in politics, and one of two men in Chester village who voted for Andrew Jackson. He died in 1856 or 1857, at the age of seventy. His wife, who belonged to the Methodist Episcopal church, died when ninety-two years of age. Their children were: Martha E. Spaulding, who lives in West Springfield, Mass.; Sarah A. Spaulding, now deceased; Otis F. R., who was a prominent...

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Biography of George Wallingford

George Wallingford, a prosperous business man of Claremont in the last generation, was born in Dublin, N.H., July 17, 1808, son of Ebenezer and Mary (Hildreth) Wallingford. The first ancestor, Nicholas Wallingford, settled in Bradford, Mass., in 1672. David Wallingford, of the third generation descended from Nicholas, was a Lieutenant in the Revolutionary War. Born September 25, 1744, he went to the war from Hollis, N.H., was a minute-man, served in four companies under Captains Dow, Towns, Emerson, and Goss, and took part in the battles of Bunker Hill and Bennington. His son Ebenezer, who was born October 5, 1780, came to Claremont about seventy years ago. By his wife, Mary, who was born in Dublin, Ebenezer became the father of eight children, as follows: Elvira, born August 24, 1804, who died October 5, 1884; Mary, born August 10, 1806, who died March 1, 1870; George, born July 17, 1808, who died July 18, 1863; Sarah, born May 27, 1810, who died March 10, 1894; Philander, born June 6, 1812, who became a Methodist minister, and died August 6, 1887; Elizabeth, born September 8, 1814, who died May 5, 1836; Frances, born September 23, 1816, who died August 14, 1848; and Catharine, born February 1, 1819. At the age of nineteen years George Wallingford came to Claremont, and there resided throughout the rest of his life. While he was...

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Biography of Irving Allison Watson, M.D.

Irving Allison Watson, M.D., of Concord, born at Salisbury, this State, September 6, 1849, is a son of Porter Baldwin, born at Corinth, Vt., July 13, 1825, and Luvia E. (Ladd) Watson; grandson of Ithamar Watson, born at Weare, N.H., September 17, 1784; and great-grandson of Caleb Watson, born at Hampstead, N.H., December 6, 1760, who was a soldier in the Revolution. Having received his preliminary education in the common schools of New Hampshire and at the Newbury (Vt.) Seminary and Collegiate Institute, he commenced the study of medicine in 1868 with Dr. Cochrane, of Newbury, Vt., and continued it successively with his uncle, Dr. H. L. Watson, and Dr. A. B. Crosby, of New York. Then he attended lectures at Dartmouth Medical College and at the medical department of the University of Vermont, graduating a Doctor of Medicine from the latter institution in 1871. Afterward, in 1885, Dartmouth College conferred on him the degree of Master of Arts. Immediately after graduating in medicine, Dr. Watson commenced practice at Groveton (Northumberland), N.H., where he remained ten years. In that period he was Superintendent of Schools for some years, in 1879 and 1881 he was in the State legislature, and he was surgeon to the Grand Trunk Railway. In the legislature he was largely instrumental in securing the passage of the act creating the State Board of Health. Of this...

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