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Collection: History of Cheshire County New Hampshire

Biography of Godfrey Nims

Godfrey Nims was the first one of the Nims family known in this country, the earliest record extant giving his marriage, in Northampton, Mass., November 28, 1677. His son Ebenezer removed to Deerfield, Mass., a short time previous to 1702, and at the destruction of that town, February 29th, 1703-04, he and Sarah Hoit were among the captives taken and carried to Canada, where they were kept prisoners for about ten years. The Indian chief desired Sarah Holt to marry him, but she declined, promising to marry any one of the captives, and subsequently became the wife of Ebenezer Nims. Ebenezer and Sarah (Hoit) Nims had five sons; the first one was born in Canada. The second son, David,-the subject of this paper,-was born in Deerfield, Mass., March 30, 1716. He was married June 21, 1742, to Abigail Hawks, of Deerfield, and they accompanied tae first settlers in the town of Keene, N. H. They had ten children: David, Jr., born October 29, 1742, married Jemima Carter, of Lancaster, Mass., January 1, 1768, by whom he had ten children; died August 30, 1826. Asahel, born April 30, 1944, died May 15, 1745. Sarah, born May 16, 1746, married Ebenezer Cooke, of Fairlee, Vt., October 25, 1764, by whom he had ten children; she died August 12, 1833. Asahel, born October 11, 1749, died-killed in battle of Bunker Hill-June 17,...

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General History of Keene, New Hampshire

Even at this early date, however, a spirited controversy was in progress between the provinces of Massachusetts and New Hampshire, relative to the position of the boundary line between them (see page 64). The final settlement of this mooted question by King George II., in 1740, left the new township far within the limits of New Hampshire. On the third of October the proprietor held a meeting, to consider this grave subject of, which the following records of proceedings is left: “The proprietors being informed that, by the determination of his majesty in council respecting the controverted bounds between the province of Massachusetts and New Hampshire, they are excluded from the province of the Massachusetts Bay, to which they always supposed themselves to belong ” Therefore, unanimously voted, shat a petition be presented to the Kings most excellent majesty, setting forth our distress estate, and praying that we may be annexed to the said Massachusetts province: “Also unanimously voted, that Thomas Huschinson, Esq., be empowered so present the said petition to his majesty, and to appear fully to act for and in behalf of this town, respecting the subject matter of said petition, according so the best discretion.” Notwithstanding Mr. Hutchinsons visit to the King and his solicitation that the prayer of his majestys subjects be granted, however, the boundary line was surveyed the following year, and it has...

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Biography of Jacob Hart

Jacob Hart, son of Daniel, was born at Reading, Mass., January 19, 1776. During his early childhood, his father bought a farm at Groton, Mass., where he moved with his family. Jacob was one of ten brothers who subsequently became enterprising men, and settled in nearly as many different states. He married Rachel, daughter of Daniel and Elizabeth (Ferrett) Haynes, who was born at Natick, Mass., February 2, 1786. They were married August 7, 1808. He soon after went to Lunenburg, Mass., where he remained untie 1821, when he bought a large farm in the western part of Keene, to which he removed. He had born to him eleven children, five of whom died in infancy. The rest are as follows: Nehemiah, Mary A., Betsey H., Rachel M., Jacob and Frances J. Colonel Nehemiah Hart was born at Natick, Mass., February 3, 1810, and married Miranda, daughter of Caleb and Sarah C. (Pierce) Miller, of Charlestown, N. H., August 25, 1881. He has had born to him eight children, all in Keene, as follows: Henry H., born August 14, 1842; George J., born August 8, 1844, died December 23, 1867; Rosetta M., born August 23, 1846, married Henry M. Staples, June 2, 1868; Francella C., born November 17, 1848, married T. W. Armstrong, October 5, 1881; Julia A., born March 14, 1851; Charles S., born February 7, 1854; Nan...

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Biographical Sketch of Rev. David Darling

Rev. David Darling came to this town, from Wrentham, Mass., about 1785, was a Congregational minister, and settled upon the place where his son Daniel now resides, on road 6. He built the house now occupied by the latter, about a hundred years ago. He reared a family of sixteen children, and died in March. 1836. Daniel, the only child now living, was born on the home farm May 15, 1807, and has always resided...

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Biographical Sketch of Hon. Samuel W. Hale

Hon. Samuel W. Hale, son of Samuel and Saloma (Whitney) Hale, born in Fitchburg, Mass., April 2, 1823. In 1859 he came to Keene and began in a small way the manufacture of chairs, a business which, under skillful management, grew to large proportions. He has also been extensive engaged in other manufactures, and in railroad enterprises, and interested in farming and banking enterprises. In 1850, at the age of twenty-seven, married Amelia M. Hayes, of Dublin, who has borne him two children, William S. and Mary Louise, the former being now connected in business with his father. Mr. Hale has been a member of the Republican party since its organization, and in 1866 was elected to the state legislature. He was member of the governors council in 1869, and was re-elected in 1870; was selected, in 1880, as one of the delegates to the National Republican convention, at Chicago, and on the 12th of September, 1882, was made governor of New Hampshire, an office he has just vacated in favor of Governor Currier. his successor. While Mr. Hale is very reticent concerning such matters, it is well known that he has been instrumental in educating a Congregational clergyman, a missionary, a physician, and a young lady, the latter at Holyoke seminary, in addition to which he gave $12,000.00 towards building a Congregational church in...

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Biographical Sketch of William P. Wheeler

William P. Wheeler, son of Col. Nathaniel Wheeler, was born in Croyden, July 31, 1812. He was educated at Kimball Union academy, studied law at Keene, graduated at Harvard Law school, and was admitted to practice in 1842, settling in Keene. He received the degree of A. M. from Dartmouth college in 1850. For ten years he was county solicitor. In 1855 and 1857 he was candidate for congress. As a lawyer Mr. Wheeler stood high, ranking with the ablest in the state. In preparing a case, in examining witnesses, in arguing before a jury, in preparing a brief, and in arguing before the supreme court he was equally able and distinguished. He was a man of the strictest integrity, and won the confidence of all. He was warm-hearted, generous, hospitable, fluent in speech-often eloquent, sometimes sarcastic and cutting, well read and successful. He died in May,...

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Biographical Sketch of Hon. Thomas Mackie Edwards

Hon. Thomas Mackie Edwards, son of Dr. Thomas Edwards, was born in Providence, in 1795, but was brought to Keene by his parents at an early age. He fitted for college with Rev. John Sabine, of Fitzwilliam, graduated at Dartmouth college, in 1813, read law with Henry Hubbard, of Charlestown, and commenced to practice in Keene. He was postmaster at Keene from 1817 to 1829, and was eight years a member of the state legislature, between the years 18J4 and 1856. In the latter year he was a presidential elector. In 1859 and 1861, he was elected a representative in congress, where he served on important committees, and was distinguished for great industry, strict integrity, and fidelity to the interest of his constituents. He was a thorough scholar, an able lawyer, and a successful financier. He possessed good judgment, great executive ability, much energy and perseverance. In 1845 he became interested in railroads, and was the first president of the Cheshire railroad. In the same year he married Mary H. Fisk. He died May 1,...

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Biographical Sketch of Benjamin Bowker

Benjamin Bowker, a native of Scituate, Mass., served in the Revolutionary war, was at the battle of Bunker Hill, and died in his native place, aged sixty-eight years. His son Elisha married Sarah Spear, of Quincy, Mass. Pierpont F., one of the five children born to them. married Mary Ann, daughter of Elijah and Ruth (Stoddard) Randall, has three children, and resides in...

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Biographical Sketch of Leonard Wellington

Leonard Wellington was born September 12, 1842. He received an academic education, and attended Albany law school, from which he graduated in 1865. He was admitted, that same year, to the Cheshire county bar, and formed a partnership with Dan H. Woodward, which continued until 1877, since which time he has practiced alone. He married Harriet L. Chandler, of Connecticut, in 1870, and has two...

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Biographical Sketch of Charles Wyman

Charles Wyman, a native of Keene, married Mary Ann Ellis, and had born to him four children. Henry, second son of Charles, married Ellen M., daughter of Jesse and Lucinda Grimes, of Keene, and has two children, Frank and Charles. He now resides in this town at No. 3 Grant Street Emily Grimes, sister of Mrs. Henry J. Wyman, married James Wright, who died September 18, 1863, aged forty-five years. She now resides in Keene at No. 3 Grant street. Captain Isaac Wyman was in the Revolutionary war, at the battle of Bunker Hill. and was captain of a company from Keene at the age of nineteen...

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Biographical Sketch of Daniel W. Biscoe

Daniel W. Biscoe was born at Watertown, Mass., November 17, 1765, was a tanner by occupation, and died at Walpole, N. H., May 16, 1828. Leonard, son of Daniel W., was born at Walpole, June 9, 1800, moved to Keene in 1843, where he was appointed clerk of the court of common pleas and the superior court of judicature. He held that office until December 1857. He was also secretary and agent of the Mutual Fire Insurance company. Mr. Biscoe married Lucy Ann, daughter of James and Miranda Dodge, who was born at Whitestown, N. Y., January 23, 1832. They were married at Boston, December 23, 1852. Their children areas follows: Esther Milicent, born at Keene, April 3, 1855, is now the wife of Edward Young; Anna, born at Keene July 2, 1857, married Edward Young and died September 24, 1881; and Helen Maria, born at Keene, May 7,...

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Biographical Sketch of Samuel Thompson

James and Samuel Thompson came from Londonderry, Mass., and settled within the limits of the present town of Holden, Mass., in 1718. They were Scotch Irish, and both died in 1755. Thomas, son of Samuel, married and settled in Royalston; Mass., in 1769. His wife died and he married again, about 1782, and soon after came to Keene, residing just south of the chairfactory. He reared a family of eight children, six sons,-Thomas, Isaac, Aaron, Daniel, John and Luther,-and two daughters. His son Daniel bought the “Statia farm” about 1823, where he spent the remainder of his life. His children are Mrs. Daniel Ellis, Mrs. Albert E. Nims, and Daniel P. Thompson. of Keene, Mrs. George W. Ellis, of Swanzey, Benjamin F., of Springfield, Mass., William H., of Geneva, Ia., and Mrs. Roland Brewer, of Hartford,...

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Biographical Sketch of Samuel O. Gates

Samuel O. Gates, son of Joel, was born at Hancock, August 5, 1827 and came to Keene in 1851, where he was engaged in mercantile business and in the manufacture of boots and shoes for fifteen years. He has been selectman, city marshall four years, deputy sheriff fifteen years, and still holds the latter position. He was chief of police in 1881, and represented Keene in the legislature in 1864-65. He married Sarah A. Randall, of Keene, June 29, 1854. She died September 14,...

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Biographical Sketch of Ebenezer Bigelow

Ebenezer Bigelow, a native of Winchendon, Mass., moved to Weathersfield. Vt., married Sally Wales, and reared nine children, five of whom are now living. His son Enos married Emily B., daughter of Amos and Lucretia (Buffum) Bennett, has three children, Charles, Marion, and Frederick, and resides in Keene. The father of Mrs. Sally Bigelow served as a captain in the Revolutionary war, and thereafter drew a...

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Biography of Capt. Horace Truman Hanks Pierce

Captain Horace Truman Hanks Pierce, son of Ezekiel Porter Pierce and Susanna Porter, was born at Chesterfield, New Hampshire, February 22, 1822. He was brought up on the homestead farm, and -enjoyed such scholastic advantages as the common school and academy in Chesterfield afforded. He also pursued a partial course at Norwich University, Vt., which, in addition to the usual collegiate and scientific courses of study, imparted instruction in military tactics. Being naturally of a military turn of mind, he gave considerable attention to this branch study while in the university, and in after years turned his martial acquirements to good advantage After leaving the university he was for a time mechanic and manufacturer. Later he became a brick-layer, and follow that vocation, residing with his family in Keene, till the outbreak of the Rebellion, when he was among the first to offer his services in defense of the Union, under the first call for three months volunteers. He raised a company and served with credit as its lieutenant in the 2d N. H. Vols. Infantry At the expiration of his three months service he at once raised a company o three years men in Keene, and was commissioned its captain, the organzation becoming Co. F, of the 5th N. H. Vols. He served through the Peninsular campaign in the spring and summer of 1862; was in command his...

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