Collection: History of Cheshire County New Hampshire

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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Biographical Sketch of Samuel Dinsmoor Jr.

Samuel Dinsmoor, Jr., was admitted to the bar in 1819, but was not enrolled as an attorney at Keene until 1823. He was the son of Gov. Samuel Dinsmoor, and was born May 8, 1799. He graduated from Dartmouth college in 1815, and was associated with Gen. James Miller in the practice of law in Arkansas. In 1826 and 1827, and in 1829 and 1830, he was clerk of the senate, and postmaster several years, at one time cashier of Ashuelot bank. and later its president. In 1849, 1850 and 1851 he was governor of New Hampshire. He died February 24,...

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Biography of Francis Augustus Faulkner

Francis Augustus Faulkner, second son of Francis Faulkner and Eliza Stevens, was born in the homestead, on West street, in Keene, February 12, 1825. He early showed a decided inclination for books and study. and after attending the public schools in old Keene academy, he, in 1841, went to Philip Exeter academy to finish his preparation for college. He graduated from Harvard university in the class of 1846, standing high in that class, which numbered such able men as Hon. George F. Hoar, Prof. F. J. Child, Prof. George M. Lane and Dr. Calvin Ellis. The common-place books which he kept while at Exeter and Cambridge, in which he preserved such quotations and extracts is he judged would be useful in the future, and his letters and essays during these years show that, it that early age, he had made choice of the legal profession and was systematically fitting himself to enter it. During the year 3847 he studied law with Hon, Phinehas Handerson, at Keene, and the following year was spent by him it the Harvard Law school. He was admitted to the Cheshire bar in September, 1849, and immediately formed a, partnership with Hon. William P. Wheeler, under the firm name of Wheeler & Faulkner. For nearly thirty years this firm enjoyed a remarkably extensive and successful practice, being engaged in nearly every case of importance tried...

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Biographical Sketch of C. F. Rowell

C. F. Rowell, born in Goshen, N. H., came to Keene in 1851, and worked as a carriage painter, in the employ of French Bros., twenty-one years. He traversed the entire state of New Hampshire as correspondent for the New Hampshire Patriot, at which occupation he spent three years. He was station agent for Connecticut River & Ashuelot R. R., from June 1877, until June 1884, and since then has been agent for the recovery of lost freight on the Cheshire R. R. He was sergeant-at-arms of the New Hampshire house, under J. A. Weston, and has been twice Democratic candidate for state treasurer. He was a member of the Keene board of education for six years. He married Evaline Dodge, in 1855, and has two daughters, Jennie M. and Nellie...

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Biographical Sketch of Jeremiah Pratt

Jeremiah Pratt, a native of Massachusetts, was an early settler in Winchester, N. H., married Sarah, daughter of Robert Newton, and reared seven children. Jeremiah, Jr., married Lucy, daughter of William and Lucy Richford, and had born to him nine children, five of whom are living. Robert W., the youngest son of Jeremiah, Jr., married Ruby W., daughter of Jacob and Ruby (Prindall) Moody, of Northfield, Mass., and resides in Keene, on Washington street. Their children are Mrs. Hattie E. Parks, Mrs. Abbie A. Conan, and Charles...

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Biography of Gen. James Wilson Jr.

Gen. James Wilson, Jr., who inherited not only the practice but the great talents of his honored father, was born in Peterborough, March 18, 1797. His early years were passed in his native town. His educational advantages were such as were obtained in a country town at that time. He had the misfortune to lose his mother at the early age of eight years. In 1807, young Wilson was sent to the New Ipswich academy, and in 1808 to the Atkinson academy. In 7813, he attended the Phillips academy, in Exeter, for a part of the year. Our country was at that time involved in the second war with Great Britain. Young Wilson desired very greatly to enlist in the army. He was full of the military spirit and heroism of his Scotch-Irish ancestry, and longed for active service; but his father would not consent to it. Chagrined and mortified, he left his academy and went to the North Factory, in Peterborough, and hired himself out as a common hand. He continued to work in the mill until the peace of 1815 was declared. That put an end to the war and, for a time, to the manufacture of cotton at the North Factory. James then went to work on his fathers farm; but, when his father removed to Keene, he decided to resume his studies and picked up...

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Biographical Sketch of James 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 Adin Holbrook

Adin Holbrook, who served in the Revolutionary war and was at the battle of Bennington, was born in Wrentham, Mass., March 22, 1752. He came to Keene about 1777, built a sawmill in the western part of the town, and about 1780 settled upon the farm now owned by his grandson, W. H. Holbrook, on road 6. He married Hannah Day, reared five children-two sons and three daughters.and died in 1843. He and his son Adin. Jr., built an oilmill on this farm. Enos, the second son of Adin, was also a noted millwright and was born on the homestead. He married Mary Kendall, of Athol, Mass., who bore him four children, two of whom are living, Mary A. and W. H. His wife died in 1867, and his death occurred in 1876. The house now standing upon the farm was built by Adin, Jr, in...

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Biography of Barton Skinner

Barton Skinner was born in Westmoreland, N. H., December 19, 1801, and was the seventh of a family of nine children, only one of whom was a girl, and only two of whom survive, aged respectively eighty-two and seventy-eight years. They were a family of remarkable longevity. Barton, who was the first to die, reached the age of sixty-three years, and this age was exceeded by all who have since deceased. Their parents, Timothy and Ruth Warner Skinner, removed from Brookfield, Mass., in 1793 or 94. The nine children were: Warren. born June 2, 1991; Cynthia, born September 10, 1792; Alanson, born May 21, 1794; Avery, born June 9, 1796; Hiram, born June 9, 1798; Dolphus, born May 18, 1800; Barton born December 19, 1801; John L., born February 11, 1803; and Albert G., born June 28, 1807. The first two were born in Brookfield. Mass.; the rest in Westmoreland, N. H. Warren and Dolphus were clergymen, the former residing at Proctorsville, Vt., and the latter for fifty years in and adjacent to Utica, N. Y., where he died October 2, 1869, having earned a wide reputation as editor of the Evangelical Magazine. Cynthia married Hiram Walker, of Mexico, N. Y., where she died February 27. 1872. She was a woman of remarkable powers and purity of character, and was a successful teacher for many years. Mexico was also...

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Biographical Sketch of Hon. Samuel Dinsmoor

Hon. Samuel Dinsmoor was a native of Windham, born July 1, 1766, He was of the Londonderry Scotch-Irish descent, great-grandson of John Dinsmoor, one of the first settlers, grandson of Robert Dinsmoor, and son of William Dinsmoor. He graduated at Dartmouth college in 1789, read law, and settled in Keene, in 1792. As a young man, he was especially interested in military affairs, and organized the Keene Light Infantry, one of the finest drilled and best equipped corps known under the old militia laws. In 1808 he was appointed postmaster. In 1811 he was elected to congress, and distinguished himself by favoring the war with Great Britain. On his return he was appointed collector of the direct tax, and afterwards was judge of probate. In 1821 he was elected a councilor. In 1823 he was the regular nominee for governor, but was defeated by Levi Woodbury, on an independent ticket In 1831, 1832 and 1833, he was elected governor. He died March 15,...

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Biographical Sketch of Philemon Wright

Philemon Wright, a soldier of the war of 1812, married Abigail Bigelow, and reared six children. He came to Keene, from Worcester, Mass., in 1833, and remained here until his death, in 1862. His daughter Mary married Will-. lam Rand, who served two years in the late war. Their three children are, Abbie S., who married John W. Patch, and resides in Boston; Fannie M. and Mary I., who live at...

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Biography of Joseph Perry

Joseph Perry was born in Westminster, Vt., May 30, 1788. His father, Silas Perry, married Catharine Hale (both natives of Massachusetts), in 1783. Silas served in the Revolutionary war, and, in 1800, moved with his family o Keene, locating upon a farm on road 4. Joseph prepared for college in the preparatory schools, and graduated from Dartmouth in 1811. He was the appointed preceptor of the academy connected with this college, where he remained until November, 1816. He then went to New York city and engaged in the business of a private classical and mathematical teacher, for which h had special qualifications. He remained there until 1832, when he received an appointment at Washington, as a clerk in the fourth auditors office. H soon became promoted to a principal clerkship in the Postoffice Department, which he retained until his resignation, in 1841. He then retired to his f in Keene, spending his time in literary occupations and with his farm. H was the first school commissioner appointed by the State executive, Samuel Dinsmore, in Cheshire county, in 1850-51. Having been much enlisted the course of common school education, he was qualified for the task of pioneer in the first rank of educational institutions. Mr. Perry married Lydia, daughter of General Absalom Peters, of Wentworth, N. H., and had born him two sons, Joseph G. and John R. He died...

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Biographical Sketch of Augustus M. Rice

Augustus M. Rice was a soldier in the Rebellion, serving first in the 1st Mass. Cav., second in Co. I, 92d N. Y. Vols.. third in Co. F, Mass. H. A., and fourth in Co. C, 53d Mass. Vols. He was honorably discharged after having been in the army four years and three months. He married Mrs. Julia Foss, daughter of Timothy and Hannah Ellis, of Keene, and now resides in this...

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Biography of Hon. James Wilson Sr.

Hon. James Wilson, Sr., the oldest son of Robert, was born in Peter borough, August 16, 1766. His opportunities for an education were very limited in his native town. He remembered the alarm given at his fathers house April 19, 1775, and the great stir among the farmers as they were getting their weapons ready to march to the scene of action. He remained at home, working with his parents, until the close of the Revolution. His mother -as a lady who appreciated the importance of a good education, and she finally prevailed upon he somewhat reluctant husband to allow their promising son to attend the Phillips academy, Andover, Mass., where he fitted for college. He entered Harvard university in 1785, and graduated in 1789. Among his classmates were Charles Cutts, afterwards a representative in congress, Rev. Dr. Nathaniel Thayer and Rev. Dr. John Thornton Kirkland, afterwards president of the same university. President John Quincy Adams was two classes ahead of him and knew him well. Mr, Wilson maintained an intimate friendship with all these gentlemen. Sixty years after his graduation, when his son James was introduced on the floor of congress, to Ex-President J. Q. Adams, the latter said, ” Your father was the best wrestler in college.” He was, as Mr. Adams said, the best wrestler, and was a strong, well-developed, muscular young man. He received from...

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