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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There has been an effort to create a universal language. We have heard of
Volapuk. And recently there was a convention in Boston in the interests of Es-
peranto. Whatever is done, or not done in that line, it is certain that music —
the language of the angels — is universal in its concept, and all understand and
appreciate it.

The hymns are international, inter-racial, and inter-religious. Hence music
is a great unifying force. Every hymn book of every denomination contains
hymns from all the great nations, and by hymnologists of varying religious sects.
What book would be complete without Luther's, "A Mighty Fortress is Our
God," Wesley's "A Charge to Keep I Have," Toplady's "Rock of Ages," Watts'
"Alas! and Did My Saviour Bleed," Perronet's "All Hail the Power of Jesus'
Name," Heber's "From Greenland's Icy Mountains," Ray Palmer's "My Faith
Looks Up to Thee," Cardinal Newman's, "Lead Kindly Light," and Harriet
Beecher Stowe's, "Still, Still with Thee?" Thus as we sing the hymns of vary-
ing ages and various denominations, the churches in their prayers and their
hymnody are quite one. Shall not these forces thus bring the religious sects into
greater unity and harmony?

The Rev. W. H. Getchell spoke as follows on the theme, "The Religious Ele-
ment in New Hampshire."



464 THE GRANITE MONTHLY

An examination of the fascinating history of New England reveals the fact
that its early settlers possessed in large measure the spirit of adventure, courage,
determination, fortitude, and love of freedom. Combined with these splendi(
qualities, each of which is well worthy the most careful attention of every thought-
ful person, those sturdy pioneers were also imbued with the religious element;
an element which appeared in, and helped to shape and control all of their plans
for the welfare and extension of the Colony.

Denied in their native land the right to worship God according to the dic-
tates of their own conscience, the Pilgrims fled first to Holland, hoping to have it
that country freedom to worship God. and not finding it there, they came to the
New World to establish for themselves and their descendants religious freedom.

William Cullen Bryant spoke of the forefathers of New England as, —
"The Pilgrim bands who crossed the sea to keep
Their Sabbaths in the eye of God alone,
In His wide temple of the Wilderness."

The famous Mayflower Compact, written and signed on shipboard before
they landed at Plymouth, shows the religious element in the Pilgrims, and wa«
the foundation upon which they established their laws for the government of the
Massachusetts Bay Colony ; thus verifying the law that. "It is the first per-
manent settlers of any land who impress themselves and their character on the
future. Powerful influences may, in later years, produce important modifications ;
but it is early influence which is farthest reaching, and is generally decisive."

On Nov. 7, 1629, what is now the State of New Hampshire was separatee
from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Tn 1734. one of the towns in Merrimacl
County was settled by a company of Massachusetts people. Scarcely were the)
settled in their new homes when they took steps to establish a school, and re-
solved to secure, "Some suitable man, and a Christian learned" to preach the
gospel. The original stock was good, and the formative influences of the towr
were Christian. Its collegiate and professional record contains more than 15(
names, among which are those of two missionaries, six journalists, twenty-one
lawyers and forty-two ministers.

Did time permit, other instances might be cited showing the power of the
religious element of New Hampshire's early settlers on the history of our well be-
loved "Granite State."

In times past this religious element may have been somewhat intolerant and
narrow in its views; but at the present time it has become wonderfully broad-
ened and tolerant so that all shades of religious belief are found within the
borders of the State.

The combined religious element of the State exerts a strong influence for
right laws, and good government ; and shall continue to do so, as long as it stands
firmly based on the "Law of the Lord," though differing somewhat on the inter-
pretation of various parts of that Law. The religious element in the history of
Pittsfield will doubtless be spoken of in the historical address on "Old Home
Day," therefore I will not touch upon it at this time.

I desire and pray for the welfare and upbuilding of New Hampshire in
everything that is pure, ennobling, educational and Christian ; and trust that the
exercises of this day, and of this week may tend to firmly establish this people in
the ways of righteousness.

The Rev. W. Scott made the closing address.

He said :

The committee has invited me to speak briefly on "Religion and the Modern
State." The necessities of the program require that I should merely name




Pittsfield's Views (High Elevation)

From Sunset Farm, Westward (Top)
From Tilton Hill, Westward
From Jenness Hill, Eastward



466 THE GRANITE MONTHLY

certain mutual relations and I shall have in mind our country as a good example
of a modern state. You will recall that this town and the American Republic
began in the same decade.

First, our country recognizes the idea of the Divine Being as fundamental.
The Declaration of Independence, one of the historic documents of the world,
reads ''We hold these truths to be self-evident — that all men are created equal;
that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights ; that among
these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Further on the writers and
signers appeal "to the Supreme Judge for the rectitude of our intentions," and
still further they declare that "with a firm reliance on Divine Providence we
mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor."
Some thinkers base government on the social contract, the utilitarian philosophy,
social necessity or other foundation. The founders of this modern state, the
American Republic, laid as foundation stones the idea of God and the nature
of man.

Second, in the first amendment to the Federal Constitution it was provided
"Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of a religion or pro-
hibiting the free exercise thereof." Thus freedom of worship, the right of each
person to worship God according to his conscience, was guaranteed. The alliance
of church and state which prevailed in Europe and which every student of history
recognizes as the fruitful cause of wars and divisions was outlawed. Much
might be said on this line but time now prevents. This just conception of reli-
gious and political rights has spread to other nations, and is, we believe, destined
to reach the entire world.

Third, if time allowed we might show that religion has been a pioneer in
education, that the modern state in its educational systems owes much to the
religious impulse. Reform and progress also as anti-slavery, temperance and other
humane causes have appealed, and not in vain, to the religious spirit diffused
among the people so that the state has been led to frame enlightened policies
promotive of the public good and the advance of civilization.

Again, religion and the modern state alike have a broad appeal and aim for
world betterment. They are among the universal things which affect all mankind.

At the birth of this nation what might be called a world war broke out for
Great Britain engaged in war with the American colonies, France, Spain, and
Holland, the three, next to Great Britain, leading military and naval powers of
the age. It is a question whether the colonies alone might have won their inde-
pendence. This nation, therefore, is a debtor to the world from the start.
Further it received its religion from Asia, its political thought from Europe with
other inheritances, its population from all nations and races.

Again, the Declaration states "a decent respect to the opinions of mankind"
required its issue. The statesmen who published that immortal document recog-
nized their obligation to the opinion of mankind or world opinion. No nation
stands alone. This view of the founders of the nation has developed. To-day a
world court to give form and power to the opinion of mankind, a league or so-
ciety of nations, a movement for disarmament and world peace are among the
most commanding interests of civilization.

Religion and the modern state must work together in wise and just ways
to hasten the incoming of the Golden Age. Thus may come to pass the ancient
prophecy "and the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with
songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness
and sorrow and sighing shall flee away."

The last selection of the Quartette, "When we come to the end of a perfect
day" was most appropriate.




Pittsfield Views (Moderate Elevation and Valley)

From Hodgdon House, Westward (Top)

From J. H. Jenness Farm, Eastward

From Providence Farm. Eastward

From Barnstead Road and Suncook River



468 THE GRANITK MONTHLY

Old Home Supper.

The Old Home Supper, served in the Opera House on Wednesday evening,
6 p. m., was a memorable occasion, surpassing any similar event ever held in
town. The large auditorium was elaborately decorated. Japanese lanterns elec-
trically illuminated enhanced the beauty of the scene. The table decorations in
charge of Miss Ethel Kimball were especially artistic, the color scheme being
red and white. Earl A. Welch was head-waiter with an effective corps of as-
sistants. The menu reflected credit on John T. Harvey, chairman of the supper
committee and his able aids. The Pittsfield ladies who arranged the supper
deserve special praise. All were interested in the song souvenirs provided by
E. P. Sanderson, president of the Old Home Day Association. Old and new
songs were sung by all present and solos rendered by Mrs. Newman Durell, Mrs.
Ely, accompanist.

At the start of the afterdinner speeches the toastmaster, Mr. Sanderson,
rung the old school hand-bell used in Pittsfield schools seventy-five years ago by
Clara Maxwell, one of the celebrated Pittsfield school teachers of the olden time.
After a few fitting words of welcome by the toastmaster, each speaker was in-
troduced in a pleasant and appreciative fashion.

Dr. F. H. Sargent was first called upon. He read letters of regret from
Senator G. H. Moses and Col. J. Frank Drake, and also a letter from John Cram.
Esq., relative to a spirit -visit at the 100th anniversary of the Congregational
Church. The letter follows :

Dr. F. H. Sargent, Pittsfield, N. H.
My dear Doctor :

When I learned the people of Pittsfield were to celebrate their 150th an-
niversary of the first settlement of the town, I desired very much to be there and
see what the folks looked like, and what thev did. The weight of 150 vears and
the infirmities consequent thereto prevent my doing so.

Perhaps you did not know that when the centennial of the old Congregational
Church was celebrated in 1889. I was there for I had to come incog.

It may not be generally known that one or more delegates are sent to the
various centennials and anniversaries to represent those who really lived 100 or
more years ago. When we learned the church centennial was to be celebrated,
I was selected by a unanimous vote to represent the first settlers.

As I cannot be with you at this time, I will tell you about my visit to that
event, and how I found things in Pittsfield at that time. I got my excursion
ticket "good for three days only." In due time 1 reached Pittsfield on the Sun-
cook Valley R. R. Although I had never ridden on the cars, I had received
so minute a description of them from those of my associates who had been dele-
gates to other centennials, that the whole thing seemed quite fami'iar and not so
surprising as might be supposed.

1 had learned that my old residence which I sold to Mr. Joy had been turned
into a hotel, as they call it now — we used to call them taverns But I never
should have known that I had ever lived there from the looks of the interior of
the house. As it was quite dark when I arrived I could see but little of' the
outside of the house or its surroundings. After taking a good w?sh I went into
the dining room for supper and here were some surprises. Instead of a large
pewter platter of cold boiled dish or baked beans placed where every one could
help themselves, everything was handed around by waiters, as ordered by the
guests. I noticed also a dangerous habit that our descendants had gotten into in
the use of forks instead of knives to put the food into the mouth. My mother
instructed me as a boy how to feed myself with a knife and cautioned me not to



PITTSFIELD'S ANNIVERSARY 469

put the fork into my mouth for fear of pricking my tongue. I think I could use
chop sticks as easily as a fork to eat custard pie. I also missed the mug of cider
as I never was a great hand for tea.

After supper, which was a good one, we went out into the office. — we used
to call it the bar-roorm — and I saw a man that I was sure was a descendant of
my good friend Maj. Berry who settled on the top of Catamount where Alex.
Davis now lives. I addressed him as Maj. Berry and when I had introduced
myself as "Squire John Cram" he greeted me warmly and proposed to introduce
me to John Cate French who had written much about me. But I told him that
it was contrary to the rules, that delegates must go to the centennials incog.,
although they were allowed to select one person to whom they were to apply for
any necessary information. Indeed very few people are aware of the presence
of the delegates. I made arrangements with Maj. Berry to show me about in
the morning before the exercises should commence. Although it was raining, we
started. The Major had on a rubber overcoat which I should have found very
convenient when I went around the first of April to assess the taxes. We took
a look at the outside of the hotel and the Major pointed out the old part that I had
built and it began to look natural. We went down the hill to the river where
my old mill used to stand and where I built my first dam by felling trees across
the river and throwing in brush and dirt enough to stop the water so that I
could saw out plank and timber for my permanent dam. O what a beautiful
dam the factory company have built ! In thinking over afterwards the various
improvements that I saw, I still think there is nothing that will be so permanent
as that dam.

The Major and I could not locate the famous corn barn in which the Con-
gregational Society was organized, but he told me that when the present Union
Block was built the well was uncovered which was by my barn yard and which I
"stoned" up with logs, and that water of that well was used in the preparation
of the mortar for that block and for the brick church which was being built
at that time.

We walked down and looked at the old meeting house and I was pleased
to find it in so good state of preservation and I see no reason why it may not be
in existence at the bi-centennial.

I attended the exercises in the church but as you have a good report of them
I will not take up your time with a detail but will only speak of the address of
John Cate French. I found out that he was a descendant of Abram French who
bought Rev. Christopher Paige's farm where W. B. Ely now lives. While
hearing him I was transported back a hundred years and it seemed from his
knowledge of the manners and customs of our times as though he must have
been one of our co-temporaries.

Dear Doctor : Pittsfield, the town I founded and for whose prosperity I
worked for forty years, has grown beyond my expectations. The factory, the
railroad and the shoe business have done much for it, but after all, in promot-
ing the comfort and happiness of the people, my old saw-mill did more for Pitts-
field one hundred years ago than these modern improvements do now. The
first settlers needed food, clothing and a shelter. The first two their land and
flocks and herds supplied. For a shelter they could build a log house from
the trunks of trees — for the floor they could split the logs for puncheons
and smooth them with an axe, but to make the roof weather-tight and for the
doors and partitions they must have boards. My saw-mill made these houses
that you see now on the old farms and on these hillsides. Not mere huts suit-
able for wood-choppers, but homes for women and children, which would com-
pare favorably with those in the seaboard towns from which we emigrated.

I found Pittsfield a - wilderness and I left it a civilized community with farms,
roads, schoolhouses and a variety of manufactures. The only thing that made
this possible was my saw-mill.



470 THE GRANITE MONTHLY

The proprietors of Pittsfield were wise when they planted the saw-mill in
the advance of the first settlers for they well knew that without the saw-mill the
pioneer would lapse into barbarism.

But I must bid you good-bye till the next Centennial.

Yours respectfully,

"Squire John Cram."

George E. Foss, Secretary Pennsylvania State Chamber of Commerce, and son
of Deacon Foss of the Pittsfield Baptist Church, spoke of his pleasure in return-
ing home especially at this time, the lasting influence of home and the home town
on character and the fact that the Pittsfield of to-day is a prophecy of the Pitts-
field of tomorrow.

Henry W. Osgood, the oldest of the business men of the town, where for
over fifty years he has been related to its business, educational, religious, and
political life, received an ovation as he spoke of memorable Pittsfield women he
had known. His address follows :

Mr. President and Fellow Citizens: I accept the distinction that has been
applied to me at this time. There is another one that far outnumbers all that
have been offered to the other business men of this town, a "patient listener"
to "old Chestnuts," cracked and cracked again when I've shown to my patrons
the result of my endeavor .to fix upon the photographic plate a "Fac-simile" of
themselves. Hear them, "Oh my what a nose!" "My right eye is as big as a
moon ;" "Mouth askew ;" "Wrinkles and gray hairs, I guess not," and so on and
on and on. My hearers, I am not at this time to tell you about the trials and
triumphs of a business life, but to speak about some godly women who were an
influence for good in their day and generation. Aye "Patterns of every virtue,
every grace." a factor in the history of the one hundred and fifty years of our
town. I speak of one of rare Christian virtue ; she believed in God and kept
his commandments; hers was a religion of cheerfulness, no sober face or down-
cast eye. When babies came to bless her home they were given a welcome such
as only a mother's love can give. She early taught them that prayer of prayers
lisped by baby lips throughout the Protestant world "Now I lay me down to
sleep." She led them to church and the Sunday school. She encouraged them
in manly sports and in all things that would bring strength to the body and the
mind. The Civil War found her prostrate on a bed of pain, yet propped up
with pillows she scraped lint, tore bandages for the boys in blue at the front.
She ever strove to do whatever her strength and hands would allow. Perhaps
this pretty jingle of words might express the sunshine of her life,
"Laugh and the world laughs with you,
Weep and you weep alone,
This sad old earth has need of your mirth,
She has sorrows enough of her own."

Long since she passed away. Engraved on memory's tablet is this inscrip-
tion "Blessed are the pure in heart." My Mother.

Of another, bereft by sudden death of her husband, she was left with four
little ones, two boys, two girls. With a firmness characteristic of our Revolu-
tionary mothers, from whom she was a descendant, she turned her face towards
the rising sun determined to keep her little flock together. For many a day
through sunshine and storm, through heat and cold at the call of yon factory
bell she passed through the gate to her daily toil.

She sent her children to the Sunday school and church. Their names are
on the honor roll of Old Pittsfield Academy. They became worthy citizens.



PITTSFIELD'S ANNIVERSARY



471



One a teacher in the public schools of a neighboring city; one a skilful surgeon
and medical practitioner in a western city ; one interested himself in town af-
fairs, he adopted teaching as a life work. As an instructor he had few equals.
Another became the mother of four boys, one a horseman, his name is known
throughout the length and breath of the land. Two are brilliant lawyers, one
of them a Judge on the Supreme bench. Another, the last but not the least, is
the present governor of a sister state. Is it a wonder that posterity riseth up and
calls her blessed. — Mrs. Thos. Randall.

Of another, by accident of birth, a member of a family well known in the
educational and literary circles of this state. Refinement and grace were in
her face. She had of this world's goods a plenty; she was not unmindful of the
many blessings bestowed upon her by the Maker of us all, so when she spread
the table for her daily meals she laid a plate for the stranger at the gate. Mrs.
(Dr.) R. P. J. Tenney.





Henry W. Osgood
Member ot State Legislature, 1911-13.
Authority on Local Natural History, etc.



John T. Harvey
Chair. Refreshment Com. for 20 years.
Moderator School Meeting 32 terms.



And yet another whose round face and rounder eyes told of sympathy and
love of fellowmen; she was a lover of the flowers of the field and* garden; she
was an expert in raising of Dahlias. Every year she encircled her home with
these beautiful flowers. I see peeking through the garden fence a pair of
youthful, wistful eyes. I see her pluck one of the perfect flowers and with these
words "Wouldn't my little one like a pretty posey to give to mamma?" The
twinkle of the eye and the smile on her lips plainly show a cheerful giver, Mrs.
(Dea.) Wm. C. Adams.

Of one of a musical turn of mind, whose sweet alto voice was heard for
many a year in one of the village choirs, she deemed it a duty which she cheer-
fully performed to use such talents given her by her Lord and Master in His
service. Mrs. Reuben L. French.



472



THE GRANITE MONTHLY



A little way down the street a woman of a slightly stooping figure, when the
cry of distress came she answered its call unhesitatingly ; love and tenderness
beamed from her eyes. Mrs. (Dea.) John L. Thorndike.

And farther down the street, one whose Christian character and works were
in accord with this motto, "As ye would as others would do unto you," beauti-
fully illustrated by her children's gifts to our Public Library and well appointed
Drake Athletic Field. Mrs. (Col.) James Drake.

Of two unselfish ones whose very presence was an inspiration. Did a new
baby come to grace a home, they came with love and tenderness to greet the
little stranger. Was it the angel of death, with ministering hand and words of
sympathy and hope they came — ministering angels they were — they loved their
neighbors as themselves. Mrs. (Dr.) William Proctor, Mrs. Lewis Bunker.

And yet another, whose presence was a very benediction to the community in
which she lived. Mrs. Joseph Harvey.

'Tis said that the sins of the fathers extend even to the third generation ;
the influence of godly rriothers is ever extending and will abide until time is no
more. Sweet is the memory of by-gone days to you who answered the invitation
to come to the homes of your childhood. On the morrow you will return to
battle with the serious problems of life. Listen ! some day, sometime, some day,
we will receive an invitation to a home gathering from which there will be no re-
turning to the cares, the sorrows and disappointments of life. With wisdom may
we direct our ways so that with it will come the joyful anticipation of Jiving in
holy communion with our loved ones in that home where all is Love, Joy and
Peace.

Hon. C. W. Tobey of Manchester, former Speaker of the N. H. House of
Representatives, paid a tribute to Pittsfield for its continuous annual observance
of Old Home Day. He believed that spirit diffused over the country would
carry America safely through its present depression and win a great future.
He emphasized the fundamental value of religion to the individual and the
nations of the world, the Golden Rule a solvent for the hardest problems of the
race.

Arthur Elliot Sproul, for many years a summer resident of Pittsfield, spoke
of the significance of Old Home Week. He emphasized the importance of



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 48 of 57)