1884 numbers of the Bay state monthlyBe the first and subjects of first 10 volumes and List of por.

The Granite monthly, a New Hampshire magazine, devoted to literature, history, and state progress (Volume 53) online

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The late Walter E. Tolles.

Alary E. Chase of Moline. She survives
him, with their two children, W. Edwin
Tolles of Detroit. Mich., and Mabel E.
Tolles, of Moline, and two grandchildren,
Walter and Margaret Tolles. He is also
survived by two sisters, Mrs. Evelyn
Drury and Mrs. Mabel T. Hare, both of
Manchester. His business ability, active
public spirit, genial good fellowship and
great capacity for friendship are com-
mented upon by the press of Moline, the
limes of that city saying: "He was a
finished gentleman and leaves a lasting
impress of his personality on the com-


Sullivan H. McCollester, D. D., dis-
tinguished as clergyman, educator and
author, was born in Marlboro, Dec. 18, 1826,
the son of Silas and Achsah (Holman)
McCollester, and died at the Eliot hospi-
tal in Keene on May 22. He was educat-
ed at Norwich University, where he re-
ceived the degrees of A. B. in 1850 and
A. M. in 1853, and later studied at the
Harvard Divinity School. St. Lawrence
University gave him the honorary degree
of D. D. and Buchtel College, that of
Litt. D. In youth he was the principal of
academies at Walpole, Swanzey and
Westmoreland, but in 1853 was ordained
to the Universalist ministry and after that
divided his time between pastorates at
Westmoreland, West Chesterfield, Nashua,
Bellows Falls, Vt., and Dover, and served
as principal of Westbrook, Me., Semi-
nary and as president of Buchtel College.
Since 1885 he had given his time to
travel, authorship, missionary labor and
school supervision, visiting many foreign
countries and writing numerous books
and magazine and newspaper articles.
He was a life member of the board of
trustees of the Universalist state conven-
tion and for several years its president.
A Republican in politics, he represented
the town of Marlboro in the Legislature
of 1889. Doctor McCollester is survived
by one son, Lee S. McCollester, D. D.,
dean of the Crane Theological school.
One who knew the elder Doctor McColles-
ter well charaterizes him as "an able man,
strong in mind, strong in will, strong in
sympathy, without deceit or hypocrisy. A
strong builder in mental and spiritual


Rev. William Benjamin Tyng Smith
died February 6 at his home in Charles-
town. The son of Rev. Henry Sumner
and Mary (Hilliard) Smith, he was born
in Claremont, March 9, 1842, and prepar-
ed at Kimball Union academy for Dart-
mouth College, from which institution he
was graduated with Phi Beta Kappa rank
with the class of 1866. At college he was
a member of Kappa Kappa Kappa. He
studied theology at the General Seminary
in New York City and succeeded his
father as rector of Union Church, West
Claremont, in June, 1872. Subsequent
parishes were Sanbornville, Woodsville,
Keene, Tilton and Charlestown. He was
a director and vice-president of the



Connecticut River National Bank of
Charlestown. His wife, who was Nellie
S. Baker of Charlestown, survives him.

famous as a vigorous and effective stump
speaker. He married November, 1871,
Susan J. Libby. Theiir children are


John Barzillia Nash, born at Windham,
Me., May 17, 1848, the son of Barzillia
and Lovina (Hick) Nash, died at his
home in Conway after a brief illness on
June 14. He attended Gorham, Me., Acad-
emy, studied law. was admitted to the
!;.• in 1878 and since that date has prac-

Charles R. Clark, born in Plymouth,
December 28. 1842. died November '7, 1920,
in Montezuma, Iowa, where he had prac-
tised law for 42 years. He was educated
at New Hampton Institution and Kimball
Union Academy and in early life was a
school teacher in New Hampshire, Massa-

The late John B. Nash.

ticed in Conway. One of the oldest and
best known Democrats in the state. Mr.
Nash was a delegate to the costitutional
convention of 1889, a member of the
House of Representatives in 1891 and
1893, four years solicitor of Carroll coun-
ty, candidate for Congress in 1894 and
1896; president of the Democratic state
convention in the latter year ; delegate to
the Democratic national conventions of
1900 and 1908; United States naval officer
of customs, port of Boston and Charles-
town since 1913 and at the time of his
death. Mr. Nash was widely known

chusetts, Wisconsin and Iowa, until ad-
mitted to the bar of the last named state
in 1878. He was interested in real estate,
industrial, electric light and banking pro-
perties and was closely identified with the
progress of his section. For 52 consecu-
tive years he was superintendent of the
Methodist Sunday school at Montezuma
and was a member of the Masonic lodge
there. He leaves a widow, who was Miss
Marian Hall ; a son, Charles W. Clark,
who was associated with his father in
practice; and a brother, M. J. Clark of
Ames, la.


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O tn







Vol. LIII.

AUGUST, 1921.

No. 8


By Will M. Cressy.

I'll bet you never attended an Old
Hume Week Celebration in your life
did you? How could you city folks
attend an Old Home Week? You
haven't got an Old Home to have
a celebration at. And then you
couldn't hold an Old Home Week
Celebration in a flat anyway ; there
isn't room.

But up there in New Hampshire
it is different. Homes are hard to
get up there ; and harder to get rid
of. So, if you ever do get one, the
chances are that you will alwavs
have it; and then your children will
have it ; or if you haven't any child-
ren, then it will go to your grand-
children. And so the old home
remains in the family, or the family
remains in the old home, forever.

One hundred and thirty two years
ago my great, great grandfather
started out from Warner, New
Hampshire, to make a home for
himself. He, like his descendants
to this day, had no money. His
entire worldly possessions consisted
of a wife, a daughter, a cow, and a
few tools. The three female mem-
bers of the family he left in Warner
and in debt.

He and the tools started north
through the woods to "locate". He
did not know where he should
locate and didn't care. He had the
whole of North America to choose
from. Rut, in order that he might
find his way back again, he carried
a hatchet in his hand and every
hundred feet of so he would whack
a piece of bark off of a tree, thus
leaving a trail to be followed on the
return trip.

In those days that country was
full of Indians; not the kind you see
with Wild West Shows nowadays,
but real tough guys; tommyhawk-
ers, scalpers and burn-at-the-stakers.
So tnat, m building a home, a chap
had to figure on "the opposition."
And in order to strengthen his
chances of keeping his hair on for
cold weather, he would not build his
house down in the fertile valleys,
but find the highest hill he could,
and put his house right on the very
pinnacle of it. Then he would cut
down every tree and brush within
a thousand feet of it, so the Indians
could not ambush him.

As a result these old New Eng-
land farm houses were cheerful af-
fairs, especially in the winter. The
wind would make one jump right
straight from the Arctic Ocean for
the front door. And in the summer
the sun would beat down on them
and the rains would come across the
valley and hit the houses crossways
instead of coming down from above.
'Twas a jovial life.

Well anyway, the G. G. Grandfath-
er of mine went twenty miles north-
ward, and finally found a hill high-
er and steeper than any other, and
on its top he started in building the
new home. As all this happened
one hundred and thirty two years
ago, I do not remember many of
the particulars regarding the erect-
ing of this house; but sometime
along in the Fall of the following
year he got it completed and start-
ed back along his blazed trail to get
the family and come back and move



Upon arriving back in Warner he
found that his family had increased ;
he now had a wife, a daughter, a
cow and a two weeks old boy calf.
So they packed all their belongings
on their backs and started for the
new home, driving the cow and calf
along with them.

The first night they 9lept out un-
der a big pine tree. When they
woke up in the morning there was

This G. G. Grandfather of mine
might have been a good carpenter and
he must have been a good farmer to
ever have dug a good living out of
that rocky bill, but he was a bad his-
torian for about all J have ever been
able to find out about the next few
years was that be traded off his
wedding suit for another gentleman
calf and thus got a pair of oxen
to do bis farm work with.

Will M. Cressy

three feet of snow on top of them.
They concluded to stay there and
"picnic" under that tree until the
storm abated ; and it was three days
before they dared to start out
again. Finally they arrived at the
top of their American Alp, and
moved in and started in house-

Years passed by ; (they must have,
for they are not there now ;) and his
family grew ; it grew much ; twelve
sons and daughters came to bless
(or curse) their union. And as the
family grew, the house did the
same. More years passed ; child-
ren grew up and married ; I think
they must have married each other



for there was nobody else lived
around there. Or perhaps they
married Indians. But, anyway,
they must have married somebody,
for there were grandchildren ; and
then there were great grandchild-
ren ; and then there was ME.

And then along about 1900 Gov-
enor Rollins of New Hampshire in-
vented this Old Home thing. And
as our family had about as old an
Old Home as anybody we determin-
ed to have an Old Home Celebra-
tion of our own.

The date was set, along in August,
and weeks were spent in digging up
the names and addresses of the
family ; letters were sent out asking
them all to gather at the Old Home-
stead at Sutton Mills, New Hamp-
shire, on the day of August ;

and to bring all the information and
data they could find about the

And then the great day arrived ;
and then the family began to arrive.
They came in every conceivable
conveyance. They came from
everywhere. One lived just at the
foot of this same old hill yet. In one
hundred and twenty years he had
got nearly half a mile away from
the old homestead. They came from
Gloucester, Maiden. Boston, New
York, Chicago, and from all over
New Hampshire. Nobody knew
anybody. Every new arrival had
to introduce him or herself and tell
just how he or she rung in on this

The chap that lived at the foot of
the hill had the keys to the house
and we went through it. One
hundred and twenty two years old
'at the time, there was not a sign
of decay anywhere. The timbers, a
foot square, hewn out by hand,
still showed the marks of the old
pioneer's broad axe. The laths
were split out of thin strips of
wood, by hand. Every nail in the
house was hammered out by hand
on an anvil. The heads of the larger

nails were as large as silver quarters.
There are bricks enough in the chim-
neys and fireplaces of that old
homestead to build a good size
house. Every sleeping room had a
fireplace in it; eight fireplaces in
all, and most of them big enough to
roll a four foot log into. The
kitchen fireplace and chimney was
twelve feet wide. There were
brick ovens, places to smoke hams,
and a lot of contrivances that I
never did know the use of. And
every thing in as perfect condition
as upon that day over a century
ago when the G. G. Grandfather
moved his family into it.

And then came the dinner;
picnic style, out under the shade
of two big elms that had been
planted after the Indians had passed
away. And, Oh say ! you know you
never can eat a thing out on those

The "City Folks" had all sorts
of potted hams and chicken and
olives and preserves and, well I don't
know what they were, but "all there
was we had." And "The Country
Folks" brought home-made dough-
nuts and cake and pies and pots of
baked beans and honey and apples
and berries. And there we sat on
the grass and ate and drank and
gabbed and picked ants out of the
beans and flies out of the butter
and had the best time that was ever
had since the Pilgrim Fathers
Crossed the Alps in 1776.

And then we had the "MeetinV
"Jimmie" Nelson called the meeting
to order and told what it was all
about and proposed that we, the
lineal descendants of the orginal Asa
Nelson who built this house, should
form a permanant organization to
perpetuate the annual reunion at
the Old Homestead. Motion put
and carried. All descendants sign-
ed the constitution and by-laws
(written on the back of an enve-
lope.) Election of officers, presi-
dent and treasurer and secretary.



"Jimmie" turned in his expense ac-
count, one dollar and thirteen cents
for stationery and stamps. Collec-
tion taken up to cover said account.
Amount of collection, one dollar and
eighty cents. Amount left in the
treasury, sixty seven cents. Turned
over to Treasurer and Treasurer
bonded to insure Society against

Speeches, and perhaps there
wasn't some speaking; we had law-
yers, doctors, merchants, a minister,

was all covered with bushes so I
didn't see it, and couldn't get out in
time to get "home" ahead of the ball.
I pitched for my team ; first
time in over twenty-five years ;
and I couldn't put my coat on with-
out help for three weeks afterwards.
My father got a base hit, and ran
down to first so hard that when
he got there he couldn't stop until
he ran into a stone wall and barked
his shin and had to be helped back
to "the bleachers" where he "root-

At the Nelson Reunion
Left to right — Frank Nelson, Tom Pillsbury, Eli Shepard (James E.,)
Mrs. Shepard, Mrs. Watts, Frank Cressy, Mrs. James Nelson.

a couple of actors, half a dozen writ-
ers. And then — then came THE
event of the day, a baseball game,
played on the side of a hill so steep
that we had to knock the ball up
the hill in order to ever find it
again. I was the captain of one
team and the Minister was captain
of the other. My oldest player was
eighty two years old and my young-
est five. I made a home run ; that is
it would have been a home run, only
between second and third bases I
fell into an old deserted cellar that

ed" for the rest of the game. The
best man we had on either team was
a manicure girl from Concord.
The game lasted three innings ; if
it had gone another inning there
would never have been another re-
union ; those that had not been kill-
ed would have laughed themselves
to death. The score was twenty
eight to two. And I wouldn't tell
which side had the two either.

And that is what an Old Home
Week Celebration is ; do you wonder
that the idea has spread all over the



country? That every little town
and village each year sets aside one
week on which its children come
from far and near to renew old
memories and meet old friends and
relatives, long forgotten?

So come on you City Folks !
Look up the old home ! Look up
the old friends ! Somewhere up
there in those New England hills
there is an old farm house standing
that your father, your grandfather
or your great-great-great-some-
thing or other once built ; and it
is dollars to doughnuts that the

rest of the Iboys and girls, your
cousins, uncles, aunts, sisters and
brothers are gathering there every
year on Old Home Week and having
the best time that ever was had by
anybody. Now you go up there
next summer and see how glad they
will all be to see you and welcome
you "back home."

In the words of Uncle Josh
Whitcomb, "Come up there in June,
when old nature is at her best;
come up, and let the scarlet runners
chase you back to childhood."

Note — To this account of the first meeting of the Deacon Asa Nelson family on Old Home
Day in Sutton, 11117, it may be added that in 1H1S at the annual meeting it was proposed the
organization purchase the Old Homestead. A committee of three was chosen consisting of James
E. Shepard of New London, Harry R. Cressy of Concord, and George Nelson of Sutton, to confer
with the owner regarding the purchase. In 1919 at the annual meeting, the owner's proposition
was accepted, the money subscribed and deed executed the same year. At the annual
meeting in 1!>20, further money was subscribed to make needed repairs before the annual
reunion of 1920. Word was passed around among the members that a "clean-up" day would
be held and to report at the Old Home w r ith axes, hatchets, rakes and other tools for work.
Twenty reported, two from New York, two from New Jersey, one from Massachusetts, and the
rest from New Hampshire, and the old place was in fine shape for the 1920 reunion.


By Cora S. Day
(Berlin, New Jersey)

Dear golden day, I will not let you go

Adown the years.
Though sombre days that follow, dark with rain.

Bring bitter tears.

In memory's heart I'll fold you. Safe and warm

There you shall stay
To brighten all the years that lie beyond

My golden day.

What though your joy is but a heartache now?

I would not give
One of your golden hours for all the years

That I may live.



By H. H. Metcalf.

As the Old Home Week season
approaches, and hundreds of the
sons and daughters of the old Gran-
ite State, residing outside its borders,
are planning their return, for a brief
period at least, to the scenes of child-
hood and youth, and a renewal of old
acquaintanceship ; and especially in
view of the fact that plans are al-
ready being laid for the formal cele-
bration of the 300th anniversary of
the settlement of the -State at Dover
and Portsmouth, when there will be
a general home coming of New
Hampshire born people from all over
the country, some account of the
first and greatest gathering of the
sons of New Hampshire, ever held
outside the state, and probably ex-
ceeding in magnitude any such
gathering yet held within the state,
may be of interest to Granite Month-
ly readers.

Such account is contained in an
octavo volume of 178 pages, publish-
ed by James French, 78 Washington
St.. Boston, and embodying the pro-
ceedings in full at what was denomi-
nated a "Festival of the Sons of New
Hampshire," with the speeches de-
livered and letters read on that oc-
casion, together with a complete list
of the names of those present, said
festival having been held in Boston,
November 9, 1849, and "phono-
graphically" reported by Dr. James
W. Stone, President of the Boston
Reporting Association.

The idea of this festival and re-
union originated with Dr. J. V. C.
Smith, a Boston physician, native of
the town of Conway, who invited
several New Hampshire natives in

the city to meet at his residence on
October 9, when the subject was
considered and a call for a public
meeting issued, at which meeting an
organization was effected with Hon.
Daniel Webster as President and a
list of thirty vice presidents, headed
by Marshall P. Wilder, and numer-
ous committees, Fletcher Webster
being chairman of the Executive
Committee. Horace G. Hutchins a
Boston lawyer, native of Bath, was
named as Chief Marshal, with Dr.
Jabez B. Upharfi, born in Claremont,
and Benjamin P. Cheney, afterward
the noted expressman, native of
Hillsboro, as aids, and a long list of

Invitations were sent out to New
Hampshire born men in Boston and
vicinity and throughout Massa-
chusetts, and many prominent resi-
dents of New Hampshire were also
invited to meet with them, quite a
number availing themselves of the
opportunity. The company met at
the State House in Boston on the
afternoon of November 7, a id, at
three o'clock, a procession was form-
ed, headed by Flagg's Brass Band
and Bond's Cornet Band, which
marched through Park, Tremont,
Court and State Streets, Merchant's
Row, Ann, Blackstone and Haver-
hill Streets, to the hall of the Fitch-
burg Railroad Depot, then the most
commodious assembly room in the
city, where arrangements had been
made to serve a dinner to 1,500
people, tables being set for that num-
ber and all the seats occupied. The
hall was 169 feet long by 76 wide,
and was lighted by gas, which, as the



report says, was "then introduced for
the first time."

Around the hall, upon the walls,
were arranged various appropriate
sketches and mottoes, suggestive of
New Hampshire characteristics and
the progress of her sons. On the
west side was an elevated platform,
occupied by the President and dis-
tinguished guests, while an orchestra
was located directly opposite.

The guests seated upon the plat-
form included, Rev. Dr. Ephraim
Peahody, Hon. Salma Hale, Hon.
Joel Parker, Hon. Thomas M. Ed-
wards, Col. William Schouler,
Charles W. Cutter, Oilman Marston.
Levi Chamherlain, Nathaniel G. Up-
ham. Rev. Samuel R. Lothrop, Rev.
Charles Mason, son of Jeremiah
Mason, Rev. Thomas Worcester,
Rev. Dr. Baron Stowe. Hoi. John
P. Hale, U. S. Senator, and lions.
James Wilson and Amos Tuck, Rep-
resentatives in Congress from New-
Hampshire, William Plummer, Jr.,
son of Ex-Governor Plummer ; John
Kelley of Exeter, of the Governor's
Council, Phineas Handerson, William
Dinsmoor; Ex-Governors Anthony
Colby and Henry Hubbard; Hon.
Levi Woodbury of the U. S. Supreme
Court; Hon. John P. Bigelow, Ma-
yor of Boston; Hon. John J. Gil-
christ of the N. H. Superior Court,
Edmund Parker. W. W. Sti knew
Hon. Penning W. Jenness, Rev. L.
J. Livermore and Col. E. F. Miller.

President Webster called the as-
sembly to order at 5 o'clock and the

Online Library1884 numbers of the Bay state monthlyBe the first and subjects of first 10 volumes and List of porThe Granite monthly, a New Hampshire magazine, devoted to literature, history, and state progress (Volume 53) → online text (page 34 of 57)