Ezra S Stearns.

Genealogical and family history of the state of New Hampshire : a record of the achievements of her people in the making of a commonwealth and the founding of a nation (Volume 4) online

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married Deborah Twitchell (see Adams VH), Janu-
ary I, 1794, or 1795, and they had ten children; all
born in Harrisville : Cyrus, Milan, Almon, Lovell,
Cshner, Charles Cotesworth, Pinckney, Sally, Lydia
ai i Lois.

(VH) Deacon Almon, son of Bethuel and Deb-
orah Harris, was born at Nelson, New Hampshire,
August 29, 1800. He seems to have learned well
the trade of his father. In 1821, when he was
twenty-one years old, he took a place as a worker
in a woolen mill at Watertown, Massachusetts, and
resided there five years. His next work was in
Marlow, Cheshire county. New Hampshire, where
he built mills for sawing lumber, grinding grain,
carding wool, and dressing cloth. He resided here
until 1832, when he removed to a farm in Win-
chester, Cheshire county. Farming, however, was
not to his taste, and he abandoned it after a three
year trial, and returned to Nelson, and again en-
gaged in the manufacture of woolen goods, and con-
tinued in that business until 1847. The village of
Fisherville was growing rapidly and attracting con-
siderable attention at that time to its water power.
Mr. Harris was one of the manufacturers who
went there, and he bought land and water power
of the Gage family, and erected the Dustin Island
Woolen Mills, near the island made famous by the
exploit of Hannah Dustin many years before. These
mills have been successfully operated by him, his
sons and his grandsons from the time of their
erection until now. They were a material addition
to the village, and have ever since been an im-
portant factor in the prosperity of the village. A
man of Mr. Harris's marked ability in taking the
initiative in erecting and his success in conducting
mills made him the foremost man in. the community
where he dwelt. He was universally respected,
esteemed and trusted, and was often called to attend
to the public affairs of the town. He was select-
man, and later representative of the town of Bos-
cawen in the New Hampshire legislature, 1864-65.
His political faith was Republican. He was a
member of the Congregational Church for forty-
four years, and was for many years one of its
deacons and superintendent of its Sunday school.
He died September, 1876. He married, June 26,
1826, Phoebe, daughter of Ezra Sheldon, of Nel-
son, born March 15, 1801, who survived him until
September 3, 1883. They had three sons: Ezra
Sheldon, born November 27, 1827; Bethuel Edwin,
born May 18, 1829; and Almon Ainger, born De-
cember 29, 1832.

(VIII) Ezra Sheldon, son of Almon and Phoebe
(Sheldon) Harris, was born at Marlow, November
27, 1827. and died March 22, 1893. He was edu-
cated primarily in the schools of Marlow and Nel-
son, and later in the high school of Fisherville,
taught by D. B. Whittier. in the brick school house
on the Boscawen side of the river, and at New
Ipswich Academy, New Hampshire. Wool carding
and cloth dressing were things that he partially



learned in his youth in school vacations about his
father's mill at Nelson, and fully mastered after-
ward at Penacook. After serving a long apprentice-
ship he and his brother were taken into the busi-
ness by their father, and the firm's name became
A. Harris & Sons. After the death of Deacon
Harris in 1876, the sons continued the business
under the name of E. S. Harris & Company, until
1882, when Sheldon bought the interest of his
brother Almon and continued as sole proprietor
until his death in 1893. In a biographical sketch in
Brown's "History of Penacook," the following sum-
mary of his character is found : "Mr. Harris was
a' man of marked ability in his own line of busi-
ness, thoroughly skilled in all its various branches,
and widely known throughout the state in mercan-
tile and manufacturing circles. Under his manage-
ment there were many important improvements
made in the machinery and processes of manufac-
ture, so that he kept the business fully up to the
times, and maintained an enviable reputation for
the goods manufactured at his mills. Mr. Harris
was a man of upright moral character and correct
habits, of a quiet, unostentatious disposition, but
genial and courteous at all times. He had in a
marked degree that desirable quality of mind known
as mental equihbrium. In his relations to the work-
men in his factory, he was liberal, considerate and
just, and was respected and beloved by them to a
greater degree than is usual in such relations. As
a citizen Mr. Harris was universally esteemed by
the whole community, and was called to serve in
various offices in the town, and was honored with
an election as representative of Boscawen in the
state legislature. In his earlier years of residence
in Penacook, Mr. Harris gave some attention to
music. He had a very fine bass voice, and sang
for several years in the choirs of the Baptist and
Congregational churches. He was also a prominent
member of the Fisherville Cornet Band, organized
in 1858, in which he played a tuba. He was one
of the early members of Horace Chase Lodge, No.
72, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and took
much interest in the work of that organization."
In 1890 he built a large and handsome residence
on Tremont street, which he lived but three years to
enjoy. It is now occupied by his widow and three
of his children, and is one of the most attractive
and desirable houses in the village. Mr. Harris
married (first) June 30, i85o, Cassandra A. Greene,
daughter of Nathan B.and Lucy (Carr) Greene, of
Penacook, born April 2, 1837, by whom he had one
daughter, Grace Greene, now the wife of Guy H.
Hubbard; and one son, Robert Lincoln. Mrs. Har-
ris died November 5, 1865, and Mr. Harris married
(second) October 12, 1867, Sarah A. Greene, sister
of his first wife, born June 30, 1844. Of this union
there were three children : Harry Sheldon, born
August 24, 1867 ; Almon Greene, born January 24,
1870; and Lucy Cassandra, born November 3, 1875.
(IX) Almon Greene, youngest son af Ezra Shel-
don and Sarah A. (Greene) Harris, was born in
Boscawen, January 24, 1870, and his residence has
always been in that town. He attended the schools
of his native town until he had prepared for high
school, and then passed the curriculum of the Con-
cord high school, graduating with the class of
1888. He subsequently attended Commer's Com-
mercial College in Boston, where he obtained his
business education. Returning to his home he en-
tered his father's mill and began to learn the busi-
ness, but more of his time was devoted to office
business than to the mechanical processes of the
industry. After the death of Ezra S. Harris, his



i6o6



NEW HAMPSHIRE.



heirs incorporated the business as the Dustin Island
Woolen Mills, of which Almon G. Harris became
treasurer, and since that time the office department
and the hnancial management of the concern have
been in his hands. He is treasurer of the Pena-
cook Electric Light Company, director in the Con-
cord State Fair Association, in the Eastern Fire
Insurance Company, and the State Security and
Accident Company. In politics he is a Republican,
and has given due attention to local public matters
and has served several years on the boand of select-
men of Boscawen, and in other public places. He
was elected a representative from Boscawen to the
New Hampsbire legislature in 1903 and again in
1905. Mr. Harris was made a member of Horace
Chase Lodge, No. 'J2, Ancient Free and Accepted
Masons, of which he is a past master, and in
1905 was appointed deputy grand master of the
fourth Masonic district. He is also a member of
Trinity Royal Arch Chapter, No. 2, of Concord;
Horace Chase Council, No. 4, Royal and Select
Masters, of Concord; Mount Horeb Commandery,
Knights Templar, of Concord ; and Edward A.
Raymond , Consistory, of Nashua. He received the
thirty-second degree of the Scottish Rite. He is a
charter member of the Union Club of Penacook ;
member of the Wonolancet Club of Concord; and
the New Hampshire Club of Boston. For several
years he has been a prominent member of the
Patrons of Husbandry. In religious matters he
affiliates with the Congregational church. He
possesses a fine voice, and has for years sung in
choirs and quartette clubs.

(II) John, sixth son of Henry Adams, came to
Boston from England, with his wife and daughter,
and settled in Cambridge. They had eight children.

(III) John, fourth child of John Adams, was
born in Menotomy (now Arlington), May i, 1655,
settled in Framingham. He married Hannah Brent,
and they had three children.

(IV) John, eldest child of John and Hannah
(Brent) Adams, was born at Framingham, March
12, 1684, and resided on the "homestead" in Fram-
ingham. He was- chosen deacon in 1726. He mar-
ried Elizabeth Goddard, of Roxbury, June 27, 1706,
and they were the parents of nine children.

(V) Joseph, eighth child of John and Elizabeth
(Goddard) Adams, born in Framingham, August
12, 1728, removed to Dublin, New Hampshire, and
resided there. He married three times. His first
wife was Prudence Pratt, youngest daughter of
David Pratt, of Framingham. He was the father
of thirteen children.

(VI) Sarah, seventh child of Joseph and Pru-
dence (Pratt) Adams, was born in Framingham,
and baptized May 26, 1754. She married Abel
Twitchell, a soldier of the revolution, who died at
Harrisville, New Hampshire, March 8, 1837. They
were the parents of eight children.

(VII) Deborah, second child of x\bel and Sarah
(Adams) Twitchell, born in Sherborn, August 14,
1776, died October 30, 1855, married Bethuel Harris,
of Medway, January i, 1795. (See Harris VI).



Sufficient data has not been obtained
HARRIS to connect this branch with the

family of either Thomas or John Har-
his, from one of whom it probably sprang.

(I) Mark A. Harris was born in Sandwich. He
was extensively engaged in agricultural pursuits,
and was a mechanic of merit. He married Betsey
Swain and they had three children: Alvah, El-
bridge, and Isaac, the subject of the next para-
graph.



(II) Isaac, third son of Mark A. and Betsey
(Swain) Harris, was born in Sandwich, and died
in Gilford. He was a farmer. He married Mary
Weeks, daughter of Thomas Bedex Weeks, of
Sandwich. Three children were born of this union :
Mark, who is the subject of the next paragraph;
Filinda, who married Leonard Barton; and Ann,
who married Daniel A. Maxfield.

(III) Mark, eldest child of Isaac and Ivlary
(Weeks) Harris, was born in Sandwich, August
2, 1846. His early years were passed on his father's
farm, and he acquired a practical knowledge of
agricultural operations as he grew to manhood. He
began to farm on his own account in Sandwich,
where he remained until 1891, when he bought a
farm of one hundred acres near Lake Winnipesau-
kee, in Gilford, where he has since resided. He is
a thriving, progressive citizen, and makes his occu-
pation profitable. He is a Baptist and a Democrat.
He married Lucinda Taylor, daughter of Cyrus and
Mary Taylor. They have five children : William
B., born September 3, 1879; Eva W., August 5,
1888; Lewis F., April 4, 1892; Arthur C, June 3,
1899; and Evelyn, April 17, 1903.

(Second Family.)

The Harrises are among New Eng-
H ARRIS land's most distinguished families. In

old England a long line of ancestors
preceded the immigrant, and on this side of the
ocean the system of equality and civil liberty, which
the short-sighted rulers of the mother country
could not suppress, enabled them to expand their
inherent intelligence and thereby gratify their de-
sire to benefit mankind in one form or another.
They early acquired prominence in various fields
of usefulness, and are still to be found in the front
rank of intellectual workers.

(I) John Harris resided in Ottery, St. Mary,
Devonshire.

(II) Thomas, son of John Harris, was baptized
at Ottery, August 26, 1606. (Perhaps John Harris,
head of the third family of this article, was one of
his sons.)

(HI) Thomas (2), son of the preceding Thomas
(i) Harris was baptized in the same place, July 30,
1637, and arrived in Boston about the year 1675.
He belonged to the established church in England,
but shortly after his arrival he united with the
Old South Church, then recently organized, and
retained his membership for the remainder of his
life, which terminated January 8, 1698. The
Christian name of his wife was Rebecca, and he
left but one son.

(IV) Benjamin, son 'of Thomas (2) and Re-
becca Harris, was born in Boston, October 21, 1694,
and died there in his twenty-eighth year, January
25, 1722. He married Sarah Cary, who bore him
a son, Cary.

(V) Cary, son of Benjamin and Sarah (Cary)
Harris, was born in Boston, February 10, 1721. He
engaged in the manufacture of hats, but his busi- .
ness career was necessarily of short duration, as he
died in 1750, prior to his thirtieth birthday. He
married Mehitable Crowell. They had a son, Wil-
liam.

(VI) William, son of Cary and Mehitable
(Crowell) Harris, was born in Boston, July 7, 1747.
Possessing superior intellectual attainments which
had been developed by a careful education, he
accepted at the age of twenty years the mastership
of the public writing school in Charlestown, and
retained it until the suspension of public education
at the breaking-out of the revolutionary war.
Alarmed for the safety of his family, who were



NEW HAMPSHIRE.



1607



domiciled in the immediate vicinity of the hill
soon to be made famous as the scene of the lirsi
decisive battle for the cause of national independence,
he removed them to Chocksec, now Sterling, Massa-
chusetts, and joined a regiment of patriots as cap-
tain and paymaster. He died while in the Conti-
nental service, October 30, 1778, and was buried
with military honors. in describing the buried
tiight of the young schoolmaster, Dr. Nathaniel L.
Frothingham writes as follows: "Just before the
Battle of Bunker Hill, when his son Thaddeus was
not quite seven years old, with a few necessary
articles of clothing, such as they could easily carry,
they set out for the interior, Thaddeus with his
twin sisters, and the father and mother each carry-
ing a child in their arms. By the burning of
Charlestown he not only lost his occupation, but
also a new house which he had erected and fur-
nished with the savings of several years, thus find-
ing himself reduced from a state of competency to a
condition of poverty." He obtained temporary em-
ployment as a teacher in some of the country towns,
but it was unprohtable and uncertain, owing to the
general depression caused by the war, and he at
length accepted a commission in the army. While
on a visit to his family at Cbockset he was seized
with a violent attack of fever which proved fatal,
and he left them in indigent circumstances. Wil-
liam Harris married Rebekah Mason, daughter of
Hon. Thaddeus Mason, originally of Charlestown,
and afterwards of Cambridge. Mr. Mason served
both the commonwealth and Middlesex county in
various positions of responsibility and trust,
notably as clerk of the court of sessions and that
of common pleas, retaining the latter office for a
period of lifty-four years. He was graduated from
Harvard with the class of 1728. He, too, suffered
severely by the burning of Charlestown, losing an
elegant mansion as well as other valuable property,
and, with many others, he took refuge in Cam-
bridge. His death occurred in 1802, at the advanced
age of ninety-five years. Rebekah (Mason) Harris
was the mother of five children. She married for
her second husband Samuel Wait, of Alalden, who
was able to provide a comfortable home for her-
self and younger children, and she died February
2, 1801. (Possibly Thomas Harris, mentioned later
in this article, was one of the sons).

(VH) Rev. Thaddeus Mason, eldest child and
son of William and Rebekah (Mason) Harris, was
born in Charlestown, July 7, 1768. The untimely
death of his father practically threw him upon his
own resources at the age of ten years, and he
accepted any honorable employment that was
offered him. In 1779 he attracted the attention of
Dr. Ebenezer Morse, a former minister who had
been forced to abandon preaching on account of
being suspected of Toryism, and was residing in
Boylston, Massachusetts, supporting himself by
practicing medicine and preparing boys for college.
This generous and sympathetic man gave hini a
place in his study beside his own son, directing
his collegiate preparations without remuneration,
and young Flarris supported himself by stripping ash
and walnut clefts for the manufacture of brooms,
and the making of axe-handles and other imple-
ments. His cherished idea of going to college was
relinquished for a time, owing to the objection of
his mother, who advised him to learn a trade in-
stead, but an accident cut short his mechanical
career and he was at length enabled, through the
assistance of interested friends, to gratify his ambi-
tion, entering Harvard College in July. 1783. For
a time he resided at the home of Professor Wil-



liams, but later a waitcrship in the commons hall
entitled him to free board, and he was graduated
with the class of 1787 in company with John Quincy
Adams, afterwards president of the United btates,
Judge Putnam, Judge Cranch and several other
men of note. Upon leaving college he became a
teacher in a school at Worcester, Massachusetts,
and while residing there was offered the position
of private secretary to General Washington, but
was prevented from accepting that honorable ap-
pointment by an attack ot Small pox. During his
junior year at college he united with Rev. TimoUiy
Hilliard's church in Cambridge. After his re-
covery from the malady just mentioned he decided
to enter the ministry, and at the suggestion of
President Willard returned to Harvard for the pur-
pose of pursuing his theological studies. He was
"approbated to preach" by the Cambridge Associ-
ation in June, 1789, prior to his twenty-first birth-
day, and after laboring in Brookline, Massachusetts,
for a time, was in 1793 ordained to the pastorate of
the church in Dorchester, which he retained for a
period of forty-three years, resigning in 1836. Two
years later he united with the First Church in Bos-
ton, whither he removed from Dorchester, and his
death occurred there on Sunday morning, April 3,
1842, at the age of seventy-three years, eight months
and twenty-seven days. He received the degree of
Master of Arts at Harvard in course (1790), de-
livering the valedictory oration in Latin at com-
mencement ; was appointed librarian of Harvard in
1791, and was made a Doctor of Divinity by his
alma mater in 1813. In 1810 he visited Europe.
During his pastorate in Dorchester he could not
have spent many idle hours as he labored in many
fields of usefulness outside of his profession, de-
voting much time to public education and to several
learned societies, with which he was connected, and
also to literary work. His best known publication
is entitled "The Natural History of the Bible." He
was one of the founders of the Antiquarian Society,
a member of the Massachusetts and New York
Historical societies, the American Academy of Arts
and Sciences, the Humane, Massachusetts Bible,
American Peace, the ]\Iassachusetts Historical
societies, and a corresponding member of
the Georgia Historical Society and the Archaelogi-
cal Society of Athens, Greece. For a number of
years he officiated as chaplain and secretary of the
Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, Ancient Free and
Accepted Masons, which presented him with a
silver vase in 1S16.

January 28, 1795, Dr. Flarris married Mary Dix,
daughter of Dr. Elijah and Dorothy Dix. of Wor-
cester. She was a lady of superior intelligence and
unusual force of character. Of this union there
were eight children, five of whom lived to a mature
age, namely: Thaddeus William, M. D., who is re-
ferred to at length in the succeeding paragraph ;
Mary Dorothy, Clarendon, John Alexander and
James Winthrop.

(VIII) Thaddeus William, eldest son of Dr.
Thaddeus ]\Iason and Mary (Dix) Harris, was
born in Dorchester, November 12, 1795. He pursued
his collegiate preparations in Dedham and Bridge-
w^ater, Massachusetts, entered Harvard in his six-
teenth year and took his bachelor's degree in 181 5,
having as classmates Jared Sparks, afterward presi-
dent of that university: Professor Convers Francis,
John Graham Palfrey and Theophilus Parsons. His
preliminary medical studies were directed by Dr.
Amos Holbrook, of Milton, Massachusetts, and after
graduating from the Harvard Medical School in
1820. located for practice in that town. The life



i6o8



NEW HAMPSHIRE.



of a physician was, however, uncongenial to him
and therefore became one of absolute drudgery from
which he longed to escape. Receiving the appoint-
ment of librarian of Harvard in 1831, he eagerly
accepted it and thenceforward his energies were
devoted to the interests of the university, both in
the official capacity, which brought him back to it,
and developing its department of natural sciences.
During his term of service as librarian, which
covered a period of twenty-live years, Dr. Harris
was largely instrumental in increasing the number
of volumes from thirty thousand to sixty-five
thousand, and witnessed the removal of the library
from old Harvard Hall to Gore Hall, its present
repository. His work as librarian led him into
various tields of investigation intimately connected
with it, and among his most important efforts in
this direction was a special study of the early voy-
ages to this country and the settlements along the
coast. He is best known, however, for his unceas-
ing labors in the field of natural history and as the
father of American entomology. As early as 1820
he began his researches relative to botany as applied
to materia medica, and also to entomology and
kindred subjects. The study of the character and
habits of insects was never lost sight of, but was
merely held in abeyance by his official duties and
to be taken up and carried forward at every oppor-
tunity, and his progress in that science remains
to-day as a fitting monument to his memory. His
elaborate entomological collection, now possessed by
the Boston Society of Natural History, represents
the patient labor of many years, and that body, of
which he was a leading member, published his entire
list of papers in its transactions, numbering one
hundred and forty-four. Besides the above he was
a member of the Massachusetts Historical and
Massachusetts Medical societies, the American
Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Society for
the Promotion of Agriculture; a corresponding
member of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Phila-
delphia, of the London Entomological Society; and
an honorary member of the Historical Society of
Pennsylvania. He died in Cambridge, January 16,
1856. He married, in 1824, Catherine Holbrook,
daughter of Dr. Amos Holbrook, of Milton, previ-
ously mentioned. Among the children of this union
was Charles.

(IX) Charles, son of Dr. Thaddeus W. and
Catherine (HolbrooKj Harris, was born in Cam-
bridge, Massachusetts, October 2, 1832. His educa-
tional opportunities were excellent, and having
acquired a knowledge of civil engineering he fol-
lowed that profession in the state of Ohio and in
Boston from 1850 to 1864. For the succeeding
eighteen years he was superintendent of streets for
the city of Boston, and for twenty years following
acted as New England representative of the Barber
Asphalt Paving Company. He has since been living
in retirement, spending his declining years at his
home in Cambridge. In addition to his business
ability, which was eminently superior, he possesses in-
tellectual attainments of a high order, and as a gen-
tleman of culture he occupies a prominent position
in the exclusive social circles of the University City.
He is a thirty-second degree Mason and a member
of the Massachusetts Consistory. His religious be-
lief is in accord with the teachings of Emanuel
Swedenborg, and he is a member of the Church
of the New Jerusalem, Cambridge. He married
Sarah Elizabeth Hovey, and reared two children :
Thaddeus W., who is referred to at length in the
succeeding paragraphs ; and Marion, who became



the wife of Dr. William W. Pearce, and resides in
Waukegan, Illinois.

(Xj Thaddeus William Harris, Ph. D., son of
Charles and Sarah E. (Hovey) Harris, was born
in Cambridge, January 19, 1862. He took his bache-
lor's degree at Harvard University with the class
of 1884, receiving that of Master of Arts in 1885,
and he remained there as instructor some nine years,
taking the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in 1890.
His taste and capacity for educational pursuits were



Online LibraryEzra S StearnsGenealogical and family history of the state of New Hampshire : a record of the achievements of her people in the making of a commonwealth and the founding of a nation (Volume 4) → online text (page 20 of 149)