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William Bassett.

History of the town of Richmond, Cheshire County, New Hampshire : from its first settlement, to 1882 online

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Online LibraryWilliam BassettHistory of the town of Richmond, Cheshire County, New Hampshire : from its first settlement, to 1882 → online text (page 1 of 37)
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HISTORY



TOWN OF RICHMOND,



CHESHIRE COUNTY,



NEW HAMPSHIRE,



From its First Settlement, to 1882,



By William B as sett.



BOSTON:

C. W. CALKINS & CO., PRINTERS, 64 FEDERAL ST., COR. FRANKLIN.



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TO

THE SONS AND DAUGHTERS

OF THE

TOWN OF RICHMOND,

WHETHER AT HOME OR ABROAD, WHO RETAIN AN

INHERENT I.OVE FOR THE PLACE

OF THEIR BIRTH

THIS VOLUME IS RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED.



PREFACE.



In presenting this volume to tlie public, it is but proper
to state that the work has grown to greater dimensions
than was at first contemplated ; but the enlargement has
resulted not from the diffuseness in detail of a few special
subjects, but rather from the brief consideration of many
topics claiming attention. More than two years have now
been devoted to the work, and still material which would
add interest to its pages is by no means exhausted. It has
been the design to give more prominence and fullness to
the genealogical than to the historical p'art, as more inter-
est often centres around the lives of individuals and fam-
ilies than can be awakened in the joerusal of town annals
which present quite frequently a painful sameness Im-
portant events which have transpired have not been over-
looked, nor have such matters been ignored as seemed to
change or ellect the social, moral, or political condition of
the people. Of the early settlers, those fiunilies that have
shown the most vitality and the longest residence in the
town have been given the greater space, and also those
connected with the town by birth or residence who have
been instrumental in promoting its general prosperity, or
have been important factors in the development and growth
of the varied interests of our country, have received special
consideration, while those whose sojourn was so brief or
unimportant as scarcely to leave a trace behind, we have
rarely followed in their perigrinations. Aside from the
incompleteness and all inaccuracies which may appear in
the work, the committee chosen to compile and publish
the same believe that more than enough reliable matter



VI. PREFACE.

has been collected to pay for all the expense incurred. To
the citizens of the town, and others interested in the work,
who have aided us, we tender our thanks ; but especial
mention is due the Hon. Isaac W. Hammond, Assistant
Secretary of State, at Concord, and the late John J. Allen,
Esq., for the kindly aid extended in their several offices;
also to Mr. ButTum, Register of Deeds of this County.
The services of Fred. M. Ballou, Esq., of Providence, R. L,
have been most valuable in collecting material relating to
the early settlers from Rhode Island and the adjacent towns,
for which we tender our most grateful acknowledgments.

WILLIAM BASSETT,
ZIMRI BOWEN,
CHARLES W. CONWAY,
ALMON TWITCHELL,

Committee chosen at Annual Meeting, Matcki 1SS2, to
compile and publish the History of Richjnond.

Richmond, July i, 1884.



CONTENTS.



CHAPTER I.
SETTLEMENT AND GRANT OF TOWNSHIP.

Introductory Remarks — Description of the Town — When, Where, and by Whom
Settled — The Original Proprietors — Character of Early Settlers — New Hamp-
shire as a Province — Charte/ of Township — Original Survey and Plan of the
Town — Charter I'orfeited and Renewed — First Town Meeting — Town Officers
— The First Roads Laid Out, Etc. — Cheshire County Formed — Proclamation
Money — Settlement with Town Officers — First Census — About Indians — Rogers
Killed — Wild Beasts — Bear Fights— Bear Hunts— Noted Hunters of the Early
Times — Legends of Olden Times Page i.

CHAPTER H.
WAR OF THE REVOLUTION.

Condition of Town in 1775 — Richmond Company at Battle of Bunker Hill — Asso-
ciation Test — Second Census ^ Committee of Safety and Inspection — Soldiers in
Winchester and Swansey Companies in 1776 — Town Bounties, 1777 — Captain
Capron's Company for Relief of Ticonderoga — Soldiers in Winchester Company
at Battle of Saratoga — Bounties Paid, 1778 — Soldiers Mustered in at Walpole —
Committee Chosen to Hire Men, 1779 — Quotas for 1780 — Mixed up with Ver-
mont — Continental Men in the Service — Cannon Taken Through Town — Bar-
nard Hix and Eleazer Martin — The Currency — The Price of Articles Fixed —
Town Action on Salt — Readjustment of the Currency — The Town at Close of
the War — The Women of '76 Page 55.

CHAPTER HL

THE NEW HAMPSHIRE GRANTS AND THE
VERMONT CONTROVERSY.

The New Hampshire Grants — The Masonian Line, and the Vermont Controversy —
Time of Annual Meeting Changed — Formation of Constitution of New Hamp-
shire — Adoption of the Federal Constitution — Petition for Justice of the Peace —
Sign-post and Stocks — Petitions for Exemption from Military Duty — Warning
Out of Town — Glebe Lands — Bounties on Wild Animals and Birds. . . Page 82.



Vlll. CONTENTS.

CHAPTER IV.
WAR OF 1812, ROADS, SCHOOLS. ETC.

War of 1812 — Town Action Concerning — Captain Bryant's Company — Soldiers in
other Companies — Drafted Men — Ballou's Poem — The Ashuelot Turnpike —
Qther Roads Laid Out — An Amusing Incident — United States Mail and Ex-
press Routes — Schools and School Teachers — The Town Districted — A Part of
Town Annexed to Troy — A Part annexed to Winchester — Map of Town —
Topography and Geology of the Town — Military Matters — Paupers. . . Page 104.

CHAPTER V.
POST-OFFICES AND POST-MASTERS, ETC. •

Post-offices and Post-masters — Physicians — Professional Men — INIusicians — Band —

— Inns and Inn Keepers — Stores and Store Keepers — Mills and Mill Owners —
Tanneries — Mechanical Industries — Other Industries — Blacksmiths — Carpenters

— Shoemakers — The Old Baptist Meeting House — Burial Places — Times of Sick-
ness — Accidental Deaths — Fires — Town Meetings — Singing Schools — Nahum
Grout — Solomon Atherton — Went to Law — A Great Fracas — A Temperance
House — Shows and Exhibitions Page 152.

CHAPTER VI.

WAR OF THE REBELLION, ECCLESIASTICAL
ORGANIZATION, ETC.

Public Sentiment Regarding the War — Action Taken by the Town — Soldiers in
Various Regiments — List of Those that Died in the Service or were Killed in Bat-
tle — Enrollment of Militia — War Rallies — Religious Organizations — The First
Baptist Church — The Friends Society — The Present Baptist Church — The Uni-
tarian Society — The Universalist Society — The Methodist Church— Attempt to
Form an Orthodox Church — A Retrospective View — The Population and Valua-
tion — The Electoral Votes — Political Parties — Town Officers — Financial Con-
dition of Town Page 208.

CHAPTER VII.
THE GENEALOGY OF FAMILIES.

Abbott — Adams — Ainsworth — Aldrich — Allen — Amadon — Ames — Anderson — Ar-
nold — Atherton — Babcock — Baker — Ball — Ballard — Ballon — Barber — Barden
Barker — Barrus — Barney — Barrett — Bassett — Battles — Beals — Bemis — Bennett —
Benson — Bigelow — Bisbee — Bishop — Black — Blanding — Bliss — Bolles — Boom
— Bowen — Boyce — Brigham — Brittan — Brown — Bryant — Buffum — Bullock —



CONTENTS. IX.

Bump — Butterfield — Buxton — Capron — Cargill — Carkin — Carpenter — Carroll

— Carter — Cass — Chase — Chapman — Cheever — Cheeney — Church — Clark —
Clapp — Colburn — Cole — Combs — Conway — Cooley — Cook — Corey — Corliss —
Crane — Crossman — Cressey — Crooker — Cummings — Cumstock — Curtis — Dand-
ley — Daniels — Darling — Davenport — Day — Dexter — Dillingham — Dingman —
Dodge — Doolittle — Ellis — Ellor — Emerson — Erskine — Estas — Evans — Fisher —
Flint — Frazier — Freeman — French — Fuller — Gage — Garnsey — Gaskill — Gay

— Gleason — Goddard — Goodwin — Goodnow — Goodnough — Graves — Grant —
Green — Grout — Grover — Guild — Hamilton — Hammond — Hale — Handy —
Harkness — Harris — Hayward — Herrick — Hews — Hills — Hill — Hix — Hol-
brook — Howe — Howard — Hubbard — Huntley — Hunting — Hunt — Ingalls —
Ingersoll — Jessop — Jillson — Johnson — Jittem — Josslin — Kelton — Kenney —
Kingsley — Kinsman — Kimpton — Knap — Lawrence — Lester — Lyon — Man — Martin —
Mason — Meader — Mellin — Merrifield — Miller — Mowry — Mullen — Munroe —
Naromore — Nason — Nelson — Newell — Newton — Norwood — Nourse — Nutting

— Ormsby — Page — Paine — Palmer — Parker — Parkhurst — Patch — Perry —
Peck — Peters — Phillips — Pickering — Piper — Potter — Powers — Prescott — Put-
ney — Ramsdall — Randall — Rawson — Raymer — Razee — Raynolds — Read —
Rich — Rice — Robinson — Roper — Russell — Saben — Salisbury — Scott — Smead

— Shafter — Smith — Southvvick — Spaulding — Spencer — Sprague — Starkey —
Streeter — St. Clair — Stoddard — Swan — Sweet — Swift — Sweetzer — Taf t — Tay-
lor — Temple — Tenney — Thayer — Threshire — Thompson — Thornton — Thurber

— Tillson — Torrey — Truesdall — Tucker — Tuttle — Twitchell — Tyler — Wakefield
Wallace — Walker — Ward — Ware — Warren — Weatherhead — Weeks — Westcoat

— Wheaton — Wheeler — White — Wilson — Whipple — Whitcomb — Whitaker —
Whittemore — Whitman — Whitmore — Whitney — Wing — Williams — Willoby —
Wis wall — Woodbury — Woodward — Wooley — Work — Wright — Young — Yates.

Page 255.



CHAPTER VIII.
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES.

Nathaniel Aldrich — Sylvefter Aldrich — Orrin Munroe Allen — Jonathan Atherton —
Lemuel Atherton — James Ballou, jr. — Rev. Robert Bartlett — Job Bisbee — Phebe
Bowen — Jedediah Buffum — Capt. Oliver Capron — Daniel Cass — Orison B. Curtis
— Kendall Fisher— Eliza Ballou Garfield — John Martin — Wilderness Martin —
Joseph and Benjamin Newell — Loren Pickering — Timothy Pickering — Jonathan
Rawson — Alonzo Rawson — Col. Henry Starkey — Moses Tyler — Jarvis Weeks —
Hon. Joseph Weeks — James Harrison Cass — Daniel, the Nig — Nancy Linty —
Hannah Man — Ruth Ormsby — Penelope Phillips — Rachel Jillson — Aldis Boyce.
Page 539.

CHAPTER IX.

LONGEVITY. FIRST SETTLERS, ETC.

List of Persons who were Born in Richmond, or have Resided Therein, who have
lived Seventy Years and Upwards — The first Settlers and some of their Suc-
cessors — Conclusion Page 555.



X. CONTENTS.



APPENDIX.

School Districts, Nos. 9, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16 — Thayer's and Scott's Mills — Biographical
and Genealogical, Hosea B. Aldrich — Denzel S. Rice — D. Richardson Randall
— Buffum Allen — William Bassett — Jonathan Garnsey — Samuel Atherton —
Henry B. Swan — Charles A. Crooker — Silas B. Boyce — William Buffum —
James Lovett — Nelson Rawson — John M. Sawyer — Marriages omitted — Finis.



ILLUSTRATIONS.



Portrait of Author Frontispiece.

Four Corners, looking South from Buffum Hill, opp. Page i

Log-cabin " 9

N. H. State Seal " 14

First Plan of the Town • . " 20

Sectional Plan of the Town " 24

Deacon John Cass' Inn " 30

Indians on the lookout " 42

Black Bear " 45

Fighting Bear " 46

Wolf " 52

Revolutionary Soldier " 55

Battle of Bunker Hill • . . " 59

Trophies of Bennington " 67

Cannon Taken Through Town " 74

Continental Currency " 76

Belles of '76 " 80

Delegates to Convention at Cornish " S3

Vignette of Union " 94

Whipping-post and Stocks " 98

Charge at Lundy's Lane " 108

An Amusing Incident " n8

Stage-coach " 121

Map of the Town • " i34

Grassy Hill and Ballou's Dell opp. " 136

The Old Militia " " i44

Physician's Mortar, etc " 156

Richmond Band " 161

Bar-room "' 162

Wakefield and Widow Howe's Taverns . . . opp. " 164

Selling Groceries " 165

Water-mill " 16S

Blacksmithing " 180

Old Baptist Meeting-house and Union Store . opp. " 184

■Cemetery " 187

Hog Reeve " i99

Fat and Lean Man " -02



Xll.



ILLUSTRATIONS,



Boys in Blue

Lieut. Arlon S. Atherton
Bible



opp.



opp.



Ground Plan of Baptist Meeting-house . .
Middle of the Town and Four Corners . .
Brick Church and Universalist Church . .

Selectmen ;

Representatives to General Court ....

Town Officers, etc

HosEA Ballou

Mrs. Garfield's Early Home

Old Buffum House and Corner Store . . .
Crooker House and Stoke and Holmes House

M. B. Erskine

Lisle Lester

John Newell

Rev. David Pickering

John Parkhurst, Jr opp

Daniel Peters

David Randall opp

Bill Weatherhead

Older Citizens

Mrs. Garfield



Page 209
214
221
224
228

234
248
250

254
282
289

340
378
3S6
42S

451
456
458
462

47-!
516

538

.54^'



EMENDATIONS.



PAGE.


LINE.


49.


22 from


77>


2 '


77.


4


107,


29


108,


12


119,


15


122,


27


122,


29


123,


I '


13I'


bottom


159.


29 from


186,


2 '


211,


41


212,


26


-> T ->


5 '


269,


16


269,


20 '


269,


20 '


270,


17


272,


II '


314.


27


314,


28


318,


8


318,


18


327.


18


335.


14


365.


17


366,


3


366,


29


366,


30


377.


23


384.


21 '



top, for Hadley read Handy.
" for $3,000 and $12,000, read $2,000 and $8,000,

" for $300 read $200.

" for Lewis Whipple read James Whipple.

" for Nathan read Nahum.

" for country read county.

" for seventy dollars read $46.66.

" for twelve read nearly eight.

" for one dollar read one half dollar,

line, for Otis Cass read Luther Cook,
top, for 1856 read 1855.

for 1S84 read 1844.

for Sept. 16 read Sept. 19.

strike out the words " Died at battle of Laurel
Hill, Va."

for Sept. 29 read Sept. 19.

for 1800 read 1799.

for 1807 read 1806.

for 1809 read 1807.

for Erastus read Erasmus.

for Simon read Simeon.

for Sweeter read Streeter.

for Gardner read Barden.

erase W. in the second Benj. W. Bliss.

for 1790 read 1780.

for Barzillai read Joseph.

for Troy, N. Y., read Troy, N. H.

for there died read died in Wis.

before burnt insert partly.

for Penn. read N. Y.

strike out the words " He m. a daughter of
Stephen Martin, of Barton, Vt."

for dr. of Capt. A.bner Aldrich read m. Sarah
Harris.

after father's place read also on the Garnsey farm.



XIV. EMENDATIONS.

PAGE. LINE.

401, 12 from lop, after 1798 I'ead m. Eunice, dr. of Levin Aldrich,
removed to Bethlehem, N. H., where his widow
now resides.

" for Nathaniel read John.

" for 1877 '"e^d 1873.

" for Wetherlj read Wetherbj.

" after Garnsej place read also on his father's old

farm.

" after Bolles read removed to Whitefield, N. H.

" after Ezekiel Streeter read son of Joseph.

" for Jonas read Abner.

" strike out " young."



401,


15


405.


18


453.


20


465 »


6


481,


2


489.


26


512,


5


515'


I



REMARKS.



Anj person who may notice any errors in this work, or discover
important omissions in the same, is requested to inform the author,
that the same may be corrected in that part of the edition not yet
bound.



EXPLANATORY NOTES.

In the following Genealogy of Families, and elsewhere, will be
found the initial letters F. — S-, which are to be read First Settlers;
the letters L. — R. signify Lot and Range.

When the dash ( — ) occurs between names it is to be read "son
of," as Danvers Martin — Wilderness — John — John, is to be read
Danvers Martin, son of Wilderness Martin, son of John Martin,
who was son of John Martin.

The initial letter b. after a name signifies born ; likewise d. stands
for died, and m. for married; the ist, 2d, etc., which sometimes
precedes the m., indicates the number of times married.



NAMES OF LOCALITIES.

" Guinea " is that part of the town now known as No. Richmond.

"Polecat" embraces substantially that part known as District
No. 4, near Sandy Pond.

"Activity" is the same as District No. 10, in N. E. part of the
town.




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History of Richmond.



CHAPTER I.
SETTLEMENT AND GRANT OF TOWNSHIP,

From 1752 to 1775.

Introductory Remarks — Description of tlje Town — When, Where, and by Wliom
Settled — The Original Proprietors — Character of Early Settlers — New Hamp-
shire as a Province — Charter of Township — Original Survey and Plan of the
Town — Charter Forfeited and Renewed — First Town Meeting — Town Officers
— The First Roads Laid Out, Etc. — Cheshire County Formed — Proclamation
Money — Settlement with Town Officers — First Census — About Indians — Rogers
Killed — Wild Beasts — Bear Fights — Bear Hunts — Noted Hunters of the
Early Times — Legends of Olden Times.

INTRODUCTORY REMARKS.

More than one hundred and thirty years had
ehipsed after the settlement of Plymouth by the Pil-
grims, before any attempt was made to settle the
territory embraced within the limits of Richmond,
indeed but few towns in the county of Cheshire had
been settled ; when the grant of this township was
made in 1752, a few towns in the river valleys had
small settlements therein, Keene dating back to
1736, and Winchester to 1732, and these had been
maintained at great risk to life and property. As a
town, then, Richmond has had a corporate existence
of about one hundred and thirty years, reckoning
from the date of the charter to the time of this writ-
ing, 1882, and as a body politic for the transaction
of town business in 1765, the time when the first



2 HISTORY OF THE

town meeting was held, but seventeen years more
than a century, and during this period we purpose
brieliy to review the more important events that have
transpired within this township, and give some ac-
count of the men and women who have dwelt herein.

A brief examination of the town at the present
time, shows that important changes have taken place,
such changes as engage the attention of the archae-
ologist, in the ruins of nations whose histories have
marked their growth, maturity, and decline. The
town, however, in this regard, is not exceptional in
the list of strictly agricultural towns of New Eng-
land, without railroads and other facilities necessary
for the successful transaction of business.

The town attained its maximum growth in popula-
tion about 1820, when it numbered nearly 1,400 in-
habitants ; the numbers were not greatly diminished
in 1850, when there were 1274, but since that time the
decadence has been more marked and rapid, the last
census giving only 669, a number considerably less
than in the first census taken in 1773, only about ten
years after its first settlement, when there were 745.
The sojourner here of thirty years ago, would now
wander in amazement over these hills and throvigh
these valleys, then dotted by the abodes of an active,
industrious people, but now in man}-^ places repre-
sented only by mounds and excavations, which mark
the spots where once were gathered families of whose
joys and sorrows these alone are the silent witnesses.
That the process of decay cannot much longer con-
tinue is quite certain, and it is more than probable the
time is not far distant when the reflex tide of emi-
gration will again roll over the deserted hills, and
through the waste valleys of the State ; when the



TOWN OF RICHMOND. 3

vast areas of the states and territories of the o:reat
West have been compactly tilled by the landless and
homeless millions of Europe, — or sooner perhaps
the transition may come, — when the beauty of the
scenery, the healthfulness of the climate, and the
cheapness of homes will draw a redundant popula-
tion from over-crowded cities to the now abandoned
homes of the fathers.

But these hope-inspiring visions of future possibil-
ities are insufficient to counterbalance the weight of
sadness and gloom which rests on those who, after the
lapse of years, revisit the homes of their childhood,
or the graves of their fathers ; to them the changes
are more marked than to those who have witnessed
the transitions around them, and hence have become
accustomed to the mutations continually taking place.
Some of the old homesteads are dimly definable in
the newly-grown forest by the wayside, while others
may be occupied by those of unfamiliar names, and
a few onl}'^ remain on the farms settled by their ances-
tors. Man indeed changes, but the earth remains —
the grand old hills still remain, resting firmly on
their granite bases, and the valleys between still add
beauty to the scene ; the ponds never to be forgotten,
with the rivulets and brooks remain ; the everlast-
ing rocks are still there, bidding defiance to the de-
composing elements of nature, and many of the old
forests scattered here and there present old familiar
outlines. It is indeed the same old town, recogniz-
able by all familiar with its scenery in the olden
time.

The time for the gathering of statistics of the first
settlers has been unreasonably delayed, amounting
almost to criminal neglect. The last of them took



4 HISTORY OF THE

his departure more than fifty years ago, and at the
present time no son or daughter of theirs is now liv-
ing in town, to relate the stories of the olden time,
and but few grandchildren are left to transmit the
traditions of their fathers. The amount that has
been lost we may never know, but it is reasonable to
presume that these pages would be greatly embel-
lished and improved if the early reminiscences, inci-
dents, and anecdotes known to the fathers had been
preserved. Much, however, from the general wreck
has been saved. The recorded items, though few, are
important, and the traditions, though limited, are of
interest. With these the web of history must be
woven, and with the warp and woof in places want-
ing, no fabric can indeed be complete. The tirst
movements in the settlement of towns as in nations
is often buried in obscurity. Such, in part, was the
case here ; we know indeed who the first settlers were,
and mostly from whence they came, but the exact
time of the advent of many is unknown, as also the
prime cause which impelled them to their migration
here is not of course individually known ; but it is
not our purpose at this point to dwell minutely on
causes which may have fostered or retarded the set-
tlement of the town, but rather to present a retro-
spective view of the town during a period in which
events of momentous importance, socially and polit-
ically considered, have transpired, in which the peo-
ple who have dwelt herein have to a greater or less
extent participated, and in presenting this narration
of town affairs it may be found that they are occa-
sionally so intermingled with matters of national con-
cern, that the due consideration of the same would
seem properly to belong to the domain of the gen-



TOWN OF RICHMOND. 5

eral historian. History, however, whether of a town
or of a nation, contains elements essentially the same,
but the former, circumscribed to a narrower compass,
is termed local, and is of special interest only to the
residents of the place and to those whose families are
connected with the events narrated. As the town is
the basis of the state, so is local history the foundation
of general history, both dealing with men, together
with their doings and surroundings ; only the latter
are gleaned from broader fields and embrace longer
periods of time. The writing of either is necessarily
an exhaustive effort to transcribe into a single work
what may be widely scattered, in detached portions,
and often deposited in unknown places. The limits
of the work proposed demand a rigid adherence to
the primary object in view, which is briefly to record
the more important events connected with the town,
together with a genealogy of the families, so far as
'they may be obtained.

In commencing this work we are confronted at the
outset with the fact that the earliest records of the
town contained in the books of the original proprie- v^
tors are gone, — destroyed by fire tradition says,
many years ago ; the last trace of them that appears
was the delivery of them into the hands of Colonel
Josiah Willard, of Winchester, 1796, from whom it



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