Collection: Merrimack and Sullivan Counties New Hampshire Biographies

Biography of Osmon B. Way, M.D.

Osmon B. Way, M.D., a leading physician of Claremont, was born in Lempster, N.H., March 22, 1840, son of Gordon Way by his first wife, Abigail Perley Way. His grandfather, George Way, settled in Lempster, removing from the neighborhood of New London. George became one of the town’s most substantial residents. At his death he left a large family. His wife, Sarah Douglas Way, was a descendant of a noted family of Scotland and a relative of the distinguished Stephen A. Douglas. Gordon Way, son of George, went to Claremont in 1844 with his family, and there took up farming, in which he was most successful. Believing that he could not fulfil the duties of public office without allowing them to interfere with his motto, “close application to work,” he refused all appeals from his townspeople to enter into politics and public life. He was a Trustee of the Methodist church. The latter part of his life was passed quietly in the village. There were thirteen children by his first wife, who died in 1848 at the age of fifty. A lady of superior intellect, she was a sister of the wife of the late Dr. A. A. Miner and of the wife of the late Bishop Osmon C. Baker, LL.D. His second wife July 31, 1880, at the age of eighty-two years. His daughter, Eliza M., now deceased,...

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Biography of Newell H. Webster

Newell H. Webster, now a prominent and affluent resident of Helena, Mont., was born November 29, 1836, in Henniker, a son of Jesse and Susan C. (Newell) Webster. An account of his Newell was known as a remarkably bright lad, showing even then the vigor of intellect and strength of character inherited from his mother. After leaving school he learned the tailor’s trade from his father, subsequently spending two years as a clerk in Boston. His health failing, a change of climate was advised; and, little thinking what the future years had in store for him, he bade farewell to his friends, and started westward, arriving in Minnesota early in 1861. At Hastings he joined a party engaged in surveying for a railway, being employed as chain carrier. His investigating turn of mind and natural desire for knowledge caused him to note the transit’s record in a book of his own. Soon after he became expert in the use of the instruments, whereupon the engineer in charge placed him in charge of the transit. When the surveying in that State was completed, he received and accepted a flattering offer of an engagement in the same line of business in Colorado, where he went in 1863. He was subsequently selected to lead an exploring party into Idaho and Montana; and he was at East Bannack, Montana Territory, when the settlement...

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Biography of Dr. Rufus Merrill Weeks

Dr. Rufus Merrill Weeks, who resides in the village of Suncook, and is a well-known dentist in the town of Pembroke, was born in Gilford, N.H., December 15, 1854, son of William and Lizzie (Hutchinson) Weeks. Benjamin Weeks, the grandfather of Dr. Weeks, in his younger days was a farmer. He later learned Gilford. He became prominent in business circles and in public affairs, holding various town offices; and he was connected with the old State militia. In politics he was a Whig. He married, and reared a family of seven children. Of the latter the only survivor is Mrs. Harriet Gilman, who resides in Gilford. Benjamin Weeks and his wife lived to a good old age. He left with a good estate the reputation of an able and successful business man. William Weeks, a native of Gilford and the third-born of his parents’ children, was brought up on a farm. At an early age he displayed a natural aptitude for agricultural pursuits. The active period of his life was spent in tilling the soil of a good farm in Gilford, and he attained prominence as a practical and successful farmer. In politics he acted with the Republican party in his later years. He served as a Selectman for some time, and represented his district in the legislature. His wife, Lizzie, became the mother of eight children, of whom...

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Biography of Daniel L. Moore

Daniel L. Moore, a successful farmer of Loudon, Merrimack County, was born here, June 30, 1843, son of Archelaus and Harriett T. (Lowell) Moore, his parents also being natives of this town. Archelaus Moore, first, the grandfather, lived and died in Loudon, Daniel L., was the first of the name to settle here. Archelaus Moore, second, followed the vocation of his forefathers, and died leaving eight children: Abigail, wife of P. L. French, of East Concord, N.H.; Lydia Amanda, who married Hugh T. Warren, a farmer of Pembroke, N.H.; Jennie, now deceased, who became the wife of James Richardson, a carriage-maker of Pembroke; Monroe A., who died at the age of sixteen; Daniel L., the subject of this brief sketch; Addie, who is the widow of Alfred Dearborn, and resides in Concord, N.H.; Lucian B. and Etta, both of whom died young. Daniel L. Moore spent his youth on the home farm, and was brought up to agricultural life. He married first Mary Lavina Weeks, a daughter of Samuel and Abigail T. (French) Weeks, her father being a farmer and tanner of Gilmanton. After his marriage Mr. Moore carried on the home farm, also raising fruit and dealing to some extent in lumber. He now owns five hundred acres of well-improved land. Mr. Moore is a Democrat, and takes an active part in local politics. In 1891 and 1892...

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Biography of John B. Moore

John B. Moore, a prosperous dairy farmer of Plainfield, Sullivan County, N.H., son of Hiram and Ruby (Silloway) Moore, was born in this town, April 9, 1849. His great – grandfather, William Moore, who was a native of County Tyrone, Ireland, emigrated to America early in the eighteenth century, and became one of the first settlers in Pembroke, N.H. He was a Deacon of the Congregational church. James Moore, son of William, was a native of New Hampshire, but passed the greater part of his life in Vermont as a hard-working farmer. He was a noted tenor singer in his day; and for over thirty years he led the choir at the Congregational church in Thetford, Vt. He married, and reared six children, as follows: Ezra, a prosperous farmer in Vermont, who married a Miss Cutting, and reared a family; Cyrus, who followed the sea; Betsey, who married Timothy Knight, a farmer of Thetford, and had five children; Hiram, who resided in Plainfield; Jerusha, who became the wife of Lyman Cook, of Thetford, and had three sons; and Lucinda, who became Mrs. Durgin, and resided in Thetford. Hiram Moore, son of James and father of John B. Moore, was born in Thetford, October 20, 1805. Left fatherless at the age of five years, he was reared and educated in Plainfield; and, when old enough to begin life for himself,...

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Biography of Charles H. Morrill

Charles H. Morrill, a prosperous farmer and lumber manufacturer of Pittsfield, was born in this town, January 14, 1829, son of Jacob and Mary (Hoyt) Morrill. His paternal great-grandfather, who was a native of Salisbury, Mass., settled in Brentwood, N.H., and resided upon a farm in that town for the rest of his life. His grandparents, Jonathan and Betsey (Gordon) Morrill, were natives of Brentwood. Jonathan Morrill was for many years engaged in agricultural pursuits in his native town, and his last days were spent in Pittsfield. He lived to be sixty-nine years old, and his wife died at sixty-seven. They were the parents of five children-Amos, Betsey, Hannah G., Jacob, and Louise -none of whom are living. Jacob Morrill, Charles H. Morrill’s father, was born in Brentwood in 1802. At an early age he adopted agriculture as an occupation. When twenty-two years old he went to Northwood, N.H., where he resided for some time. In 1828 he bought a farm of sixty-five acres located in Pittsfield, and cultivated it for the rest of his active period. His wife, Mary, who was a native of Northwood, became the mother of four children, of whom Charles H., Hezekiah B., and John C. are living. Hezekiah married Abigail Saunders, of Strafford, N.H.; and his children are: Clarence and Abbie L. John C. married Mary J. Kensington, a native of Maine. Jacob...

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Biography of Fred Moulton

Fred Moulton, a leading resident of Plainfield and the proprietor of a large grocery store at Lebanon, was born July 11, 1836, in Plainfield, son of Stephen R. and Sally (Noyes) Moulton. The Moultons have had representatives in Plainfield for four generations, men who have been prominent in the development of the town and closely identified with all the important events in its history. The first of the name to settle here was William, grandfather of Mr. Fred Moulton, who took up land, and cleared a farm, which is still in the possession of his descendants. Known from the first as a man of absolute integrity, he had the respect of his fellow-townsmen. He served in all the important town offices with signal credit. He was twice married, and had in all nine children. The children of his second marriage were: William, who was a farmer in Cicero, N.Y., and recently died; Emery, now a cooper and prosperous farmer of Cicero, N.Y.; Mirrick, now deceased, who was a wealthy farmer of the same place; Samuel C., who was a very prominent citizen of Plainfield, was twice married, had three children, and died in the West; Jane, who became Mrs. William Wright, of New York; and Sally, now the wife of Daniel Noyes, of Plaistow, this State. Stephen R. Moulton, who was born May 8, 1805, became very prominent in...

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Biographical Sketch of Thomas J. Otterson

Thomas J. Otterson, formerly a well-known business man of Allenstown, was born in Hookset, N.H., February 8, 1818, son of William and Betsey (Cofran) Otterson. On the paternal side he descended from William Otterson, a native of Ireland, who was drowned in Lake Champlain during the French and Indian War. William’s son, James Otterson, grandfather of Thomas J., was born in Londonderry, N.H., August 19, 1757. He was the father of twelve children, of whom William (second), father of Thomas J., was the third child. The father, who was born in Hookset, October 30, 1789, reared a family of five children, of whom Thomas J. was the eldest. Reared and educated in Hookset, Thomas James Otterson was engaged in mercantile pursuits in his native town until 1861. Then he moved to Allenstown, and entered the lumber business. He was very successful financially, was prominent in public affairs, and served as Treasurer and Collector in Allenstown for a number of years. Highly respected for his upright character and other estimable January 28, 1893, when he was seventy-five years old, was regretted by all who knew him. He left a good estate. Mr. Otterson married PhÅ“be P. S. Bryant, daughter of Nathan and Delight (Nichols) Bryant. Their only child, Helen P., is now Mrs. Henry H. Edwards, of Allenstown. Mrs. Otterson died at the age of sixty-seven years. Both Mr. and...

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Biography of Samuel Smith Page

Samuel Smith Page, who for more than forty years was one of the most esteemed residents of Hopkinton, was born September 30, 1822, in Dunbarton, N.H. He is a descendant of Benjamin Page, who was born in 1640, in Dedbam, fifty-seven miles north-east of London, England. In 1660, on account of religious differences, Benjamin came to America, locating in Haverhill, Mass., where on September 21, 1666, he married Mary Whittier, who belonged to the family from which the poet, John G. Whittier, sprung. Their son, Jeremiah, the eldest of a family of sixteen, born September 14, 1667, was the next ancestor. He married Deborah Hendrick, of Newburyport, Mass., July 2, 1696; and they reared seven children, Caleb and Joshua. He died in 1752. Caleb Page, the next in line of descent, was born August 16, 1705, and died in 1785. He married in 1728 or 1729 Ruth Wallingford, of Boston, who died in 1738. In 1740 he married a widow Carleton, of Newburyport, who weighed three hundred and fifteen pounds. She, together with a huge arm-chair, now in the possession of the Stark family, had to be carried to meeting on an ox sled. In 1749 Caleb Page removed from Haverhill, Mass., to Atkinson, N.H., where he is said to have owned land measuring one mile in opposite directions from the site of the present academy. In 1751 he...

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Biography of Edward Plummer Paige

Edward Plummer Paige, a former legislative Representative of the town of Dunbarton, was born in Bradford, N.H., in 1857, son of Bayard P. and Louisa S. Paige. The father of Edward Plummer, who was born in Dunbarton, subsequently removed to Hopkinton, N.H., where he acquired his education. At the age of fourteen years he returned to Dunbarton, and entered the general merchandise store of his brother Jeremiah as clerk. Three or four years later they moved the business to Bradford, where he continued to work for some time. He next engaged in stove-making, turning out some of the first stoves used in this part of New Hampshire. Later Mr. Paige went to Boston, Mass., where he was associated with the well-known firm, Leach & Gilmore, wholesale dealers in groceries. Messrs. Leach & Gilmore also owned and controlled a line of steamboats running between Boston and Bangor, which was a financially successful undertaking until William K. Vanderbilt put on a steamer in opposition. The cut rates for passengers and freight rendered the enterprise almost profitless, and they were glad to dispose of their interest to Mr. Vanderbilt. Mr. Paige also sold his interest in the grocery, after which he removed to Montreal, Canada, where for thirty years he was successfully engaged in the manufacture of all kinds of farming implements. He then returned to Dunbarton, and remained there during the...

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Biography of Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Cooke Partridge

Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Cooke Partridge, a well-known musician of Claremont and a zealous worker in the cause of temperance, was born in Claremont, daughter of Godfrey and Abigail (Hubbard) Cooke. Her paternal grandfather, Captain John Cooke, of Norton, Mass., was among the first of the minute-men to report at Lexington in response to the alarm of April 19, 1775, for six days’ service. He again enlisted with the rank of Ensign, and was mustered out August 1, 1775. For the third time he enlisted December 8, 1776, in a Rhode Island regiment, under Colonel John Daggett. About the year 1779 he came to Claremont, and bought a large and valuable tract of meadow land and the tavern thereon. This tavern he conducted for years with much success. A family tradition has it that “a bushel of Continental money changed hands when the old tavern was bought.” His daughter, Matilda, married Colonel Josiah Stevens, who was the father of Paran Stevens, a famous hotel man. Paran Stevens received his first lessons in the hotel Godfrey Cooke. The Stevens High School was his gift to the village of Claremont. His daughter married Arthur Henry Fitzroy Paget, a son of General Paget of Waterloo fame. His sister married Samuel Fiske, the donor of the Fiske Free Library in Claremont. Godfrey Cooke and his brother George succeeded their father in the proprietorship of...

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Biography of Stephen C. Pattee

Stephen C. Pattee, one of the most prominent, skilful, and prosperous agriculturists of Merrimack County, New Hampshire, lives in Warner, on a highly improved farm known as Maple Grange, which has been owned and occupied by his family for more than one hundred years. He was born on this ancestral homestead, January 11, 1828, son of Asa Pattee, and is of distinguished English and Colonial stock, tracing his descent from Sir William Pattee, who was physician to Cromwell and King Charles 2nd., and was knighted in 1660. Peter Pattee, son of Sir William, born in 1648 in Lansdown, England, emigrated to America when a young man of twenty-one years, settled first in Virginia, and a few years later removed to Haverhill, Mass. His grandson, Captain Asa Pattee, commanded a company in one of the Colonial wars, about the middle of the eighteenth century, and later received a Captain’s commission from Governor Mcshech Weare. He was the first of the family to settle in Warner, and built the first frame house in the village, it being now known as the Dr. Eaton house. Captain Asa’s son John, grandfather of Stephen C. Pattee, settled at Maple Grange in 1786, taking up the land when it was in its primeval wildness, and was afterward throughout his years of activity engaged in the pioneer labor of clearing and improving. He was an industrious,...

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Biography of Leonard Wood Peabody, M.D.

Leonard Wood Peabody, M.D., of Henniker, one of the oldest medical practitioners in Merrimack County, was born in Newport, Sullivan County, September 13, 1817, son of Ami and Sarah (Johnson) Peabody. He is a descendant of Francis Peabody, who, born in England in 1614, came to New England on board the ship “Planter” in 1635. This ancestor, after residing in Ipswich, Mass., for a while, removed to Hampton in 1638, and in 1651 settled in Topsfield, Mass. From him the line of descent comes through Captain John Peabody, who was born in 1642, Ensign David Peabody, born in 1678, John Peabody, born in 1714, to Jedediah Peabody, born in 1743, who was the grandfather of Leonard W. Jedediah served in the Revolutionary War, and participated in the battle of Bunker Hill. In 1781 he moved his family from Boxford, Mass., to Warner, N.H., where he resided for many years. The maiden name of his wife was Alice Howlet; and their last days were spent in East Lebanon, N.H., where they died at an advanced age. Their children were: Ami, Lydia M., Mary, Moses, Susannah, Thomas, Alice, Andrew, Frederick, Betsey, and John. Of these, one, Alice, who married Eleazar Whitney, remained in Merrimack County. Ami Peabody, born in Boxford, Mass., in 1769, was twelve years old when his parents moved to New Hampshire. When a young man he settled in...

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Biography of Daniel G. Peaslee

Daniel G. Peaslee, a farmer and lumberman of Bradford, residing about three miles west of the village, was born April 4, 1841, in Newbury, Merrimack County. His father, Jonathan Peaslee, a native of Newbury, was a son of Samuel Peaslee, one of the pioneers of the town. Further mention of the Peaslee family may be found in the biography of J. Albert Peaslee. Jonathan Peaslee, who was reared to farming, became a tiller of the soil from choice. When ready to settle in life, he bought a tract of land lying on the Bradford and Newbury line, and built his house near the present residence of Hollis L. Blood. He also built an upright saw-mill, in which he manufactured a large part of the timber cut from his land into lumber. Lumbering and farming formed his chief occupation until his demise at the age of seventy-six years. His first wife, Mary Gillingham Peaslee, a daughter of James and Betsey (Lane) Gillingham, and a sister of both Mrs. Jack Packard, of Concord, and Moody Gillingham, died at the age of forty-nine years. Of her children two died in infancy. The others were: Laurel G., of Newbury; Jefferson G., of Bradford; Joel, who died in infancy; Ellis A., now the wife of Isaac Sanborn, of Dunbarton; Marion, who died in childhood; Daniel G., the subject of this sketch; Alburton, who remained...

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Biography of J. Albert Peaslee

J. Albert Peaslee, an important factor of the agricultural and business community of Bradford, Merrimack County, was born in this town, on the farm that he still owns, December 14, 1845. His father, John Peaslee, a son of Samuel Peaslee, was a lifelong resident of Bradford. He was the Representative of an early settled family in New Hampshire, and one whose descendants are numerous in Hillsborough County, where, in the town of Pelham, they have an annual gathering. John Peaslee settled on the homestead farm now owned by his son, J. Albert, soon after attaining his majority, purchasing at first but ten acres. As time went on he bought other land, made valuable improvements; and at his death, which occurred in March, 1884, at the venerable age of fourscore and four years, he had one of the most valuable and attractive estates in the vicinity. He was twice married. His first wife was Chloe Maxfield, daughter of Richard Maxfield, who once owned the village of Bradford, then called Fishersfield. She died leaving two sons-Oliver, now of Bradford; and William, of Amherst, N.H. -and four daughters, namely: Margaret, wife of Stillman Parkhurst, of Bedford, N.H.; Minda, wife of B. B. Whiting, of Amherst; Hannah, wife of Timothy Morse, of Newbury, this county; and Sally, who died unmarried. He subsequently married Mrs. Betsey Presby Marshall, daughter of James Presby and granddaughter...

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