Benjamin Chase.

History of old Chester [N. H.] from 1719 to 1869 online

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Auburn village, called the " West Chester " office. David
Currier, Esq., then David Currier, 3d, procured the estab-
lishment of the office, and was appointed postmaster. The
office was first served with a mail from Anderson's tavern,
on Chester turnpike. Afterwards a mail was carried from
Kingston, serving Hawke, Sandown and West Chester, to
Hooksett. Afterwards, about 1827, the Haverhill and Con-
cord stage ran on the old road. About 1837 there was a


post-office established at Walnut Hill called " East Ches-
ter," and Robert Shirley appointed postmaster. After the
building up of Manchester, about 1843, a stage was run,
and carried a mail through West Chester, Candia, Deerfield,
&c., to New Market, until 1863, when the mail was put on
the cars, and the stage stopped, and Auburn had a daily

There are no postmasters given in the New Hampshire
Register for Candia or Raymond, before 1818. Probably
those offices were established in 1817. Moses Fitts, Fred-
eric Fitts, 1821, and Benjamin Pillsbury from 1822 to
1883, are named as postmasters in Candia. Joseph Blake
is named as postmaster in Raymond from 1818 to 1835.
According to the best information I have been able to ob-
tain, there was a "post-rider" who carried a mail on
horseback from Exeter or Portsmouth, to Concord, passing
through Brentwood, Poplin, Raymond, Candia, South Deer-
field and AUenstown, once a week each way. He also
carried newspapers. There was for a season a post office
at Anderson's, called " Candia Turnpike," and also one on
Candia north road.

About 1830 there was a joint stock company formed, and
a stage run from Dover to Lowell, passing Raymond and
Chester, which carried a mail. About 1734 Stephen Os-
good, of Raymond, having purchased a large share of the
stock, put on a stage from Pittsfield to Chester, connecting
at Chester with the Lowell stage, which would supply Can-
dia with a mail. Tliese stages I think ran three times a
week until the Boston and Maine railroad took the travel,
in 1838 or 1839. After the Manchester and Lawrence
railroad went into operation, a stage was run from Chester
to Derry depot, which carried a daily mail, and the Haver-
hill stage ran into Manchester, and finally ceased. For a
long time after stages ran and mails were established,
newspapers were carried by a post-rider. About 1808 or '9
one James Tallant, of Concord, rode post from Concord to
Chester, and perhaps farther, and carried the " New Hamp-
shire Patriot " and " Concord Gazette " in his saddle-bag s


but whether both papers could agree to be in one end, I do
not know. After Tallant, my brothers, Moses and John,
had papers come by stage, and carried them on horseback
through Candia, Deerfield, &c., to Exeter ; and my father,
B. P. Chase, carried them through the Long Meadows to
the Neck.




Nov. 11, 1647.

" It being one chief j)oint of that old deluder, Satan, to
keep men from the knowledge of the Scriptures, as in for-
mer times by keeping them in an unknown tongue ; so in
these latter times, by persuading from the use of tongues,
that so at least the true sense and meaning of the original
might be clouded by false glosses of saint-seeming deceivers ;
that learning may not be buried in the grave of our fathers,
in the church and commonwealth, the Lord assisting our
endeavors : —

" It is therefore ordered, that every township in the juris-
diction, after the Lord hath increased them to the number
of fifty householders, shall then forthwith a})point one
within their town to teach all children as shall resort to
him, to write and read, whose wages shall be paid either by
the parents or masters of such children ; or by the inhabi-
tants in general, by way of supply, as the major part of
those that ordered the prudentials of the town shall ap-
point ; provided those that send their children be not
oppressed by paying much more than they can have them
taught for in other towns.

And it is further ordered, that where any town shall in-
crease to the number of one hundred families, or house-
holders, they shall set up a Grammar school, the master
thereof being able to instruct youth so far as they may be
fitted for the University : provided, that if any town neg-
lect the performance hereof above one year, that every such
town shall pay £5 to the next school, till they shall per-
form this order."


An act passed in 1714 proTided,

" That for building and repairing meeting-houses, minis-
ters' houses, school-houses, and allowing a salary to a
schoolmaster of each town within their province, the select-
men in their respective towns shall raise money by an equal
rate and assessment upon the inhabitants, in the same man-
ner as in the present act directed for the maintenance of
the minister ; and every town within this province shall,
from and after the publication hereof, provide a schoolmaster
for the supply of the town."

An act passed 1719, provides,

'*That every town within this province having the number
of fifty householders, or upwards, shall be constantly pro-
vided of a schoolmaster to teach children and youth to read
and write. And when any town or towns shall have the
number of one hundred families or householders, there shall
be a grammar school set up, and kept in every such town,
and some discreet person, of good conversation, well in-
structed in the tongues, shall be procured to be master
thereof ; and every such schoolmaster to be suitably encour-
aged, and paid by the inhabitants."

The act empowers the selectmen to employ such masters,
and raise money by way of rate to pay the same, and inflicts
a penalty of twenty pounds for neglecting to settle such
master sis months.

An act passed in 1721, provides,

" That not only each town, but each parish of one hun-
dred families, shall be constantly provided with a grammar

A penalty of twenty pounds is inflicted upon the select-
men for neglecting one month. An act passed January,
1770, recites in the preamble, that the penalties in the fore-
going acts were originally set in paper bills-of-credit, and
not in lawful money, and reducing the penalty to ten pounds-

An act passed Dec, 1805, provided for dividing towns
into districts, and empowered districts to raise money for
building and repairing school-houses, &c.

An act passed Dec. 22, 1808, requires the selectmen to

raise a sum equal to seventy dollars for each dollar of the

town's proportion of the state tax ; and authorizes districts


to hold land. It also requires towns to choose three or
more inspectors or visitors of schools.

An act passed July 6, 1827, requires selectmen to raise
ninety dollars for each dollar of the town's proportion of
the state tax.

At a meetiiifTj of the committee, January 25, 1720-21,

" Voted, That whereas the number of proprietors is
Con . . . and no provision made for a School Master, That
the next proprietor that Shall Forfeit his Lott, the Same
Shall be appropriated for a School."

This provision was made after the first grant of the lai^d,
but before the charter, and there was hardly a permanent
settler there.

The next we find on the records is at an adjourned meet-
ing, April 7th, 1737,

"Voted, to Rais thirty Pounds to Hier a Schoolmaster
this present year.

" Voted, that the Selectmen shall Remove the said
schoolmaster to the scvcrall Parts of the town as shall be

Though there is no evidence that anything had been done
by the town, it is hardly to be supposed that nothing had
been done to educate the children for about eighteen years.
The schools were held at private houses, and although re-
moved to different parts, all the children in town might fol-
low the master into the several quarters.

At an adjourned meeting, November 2d, 1738,

" Voted, That their Shall be twenty Pounds Raised to
Support a School in this town."

At an adjourned meeting, April 8, 1740,

" Voted, that their Shall be a School maintained in the
town this year throughout ; Partly by School masters, and
Partly by School dames, as the Select men Shall Judge best
for the town."

In the warning, March 0th, 1721, is an article

" To act what may appear needful about building a
School house or houses.

" Put to Vote, Whether to build a School house in the
Senter of the town or no. Passed in the negative."

At the annual meetirg, March 25, 1742,


" Voted, That there shall be a school Keept in this town
the year through out, and that the Select men Shall Ee-
move the Said School into the Severall Quarters of Said
town, so that they Shall have their Equal Proportion of the
the Same, according to what Rates they Pay."

They probably refused to build a school-house in the
center, because the school might be kept there all of the

In the warning for a meeting, March 29th, 1744, is an

" To see if the town will build a School house or housen,
or to act and do any thing about Keeping a School, or
Schools, or building a house or housen, as Shall appear
mose for the benefit and advantage of the town.

" Voted to Build School Housen.

" Voted, That a Committee shall be Chosen to Divide the
town into Severall Parts, in order to accomodate School

" Voted, That Capt. Sam" Ingalls, Benjamin Hills, Insin
Jacob Sargent, william Haley and andrew Crage, Sliall be
the Coraitte."

In the warning for the annual meeting, March 28th,
1745, is an article,

" To See if the town will Except of the return of the
Committee that was chosen to Divide the town into parts
for the Conveniancy of building School housen ; or act and
do anvthing that shall be thought needful and nessecery
about a school or schools, and a school-house or housen."

At an adjournment of the meeting, April 4tli,
" Voted, that the Committee's Return that was Chosen
to Divide the town into parts. In order to accomedate School
housen, be Excepted.

" The Persons under named Decents against the fore-
going Vote, .... John Robie, Sam" Bartlet, Jonathan
Blunt, Jonathan Moulton, Robert Runells, Enoch Colby,
David Crage, Isaac Foss, Page Bachelder, Benjamin Bach-
elder, Sam" Powell, Francis Towl, Ebenezer Dearborn,
Junr., Benjamin Hills."

AVe have no means of knowing to a certainty into how
many parts the town was divided, or their boundaries ; but
there probably were but three ; for if there had been one at
the Centre, John Robie, Jonathan Blunt, and Ebenezer



Dearborn, Jr., who lived near the Centre, and Benjamin
Bachelder and Robert Runnels, who lived within about
half a mile up street, and others — Jonathan Moulton,
Enoch Colby, and Samuel Bartlett — within a mile below,
would not have dissented. I have conversed with people
who remembered the three. One stood on John Sanborn's,
opposite Moses Webster's home lot No. 21 ; one at Walnut
hill, not far from Robert Shirley's ; and the third at the Long
Meadows, between Samuel Aiken's (Charles C. Grant's)
and David Witherspoon's (the Hardy place). Mrs. Whit-
tier, daughter of Samuel Aiken, recollects this house, or of
hearing her parents tell about it.

In 1746 the select men charge :

Paid unto master Wood

Paid unto Dec" Ebcnczer Derbon, for boarding .
Paid unto Ins*^ Jacob Sargant, for borcling y* master
Paid unto Abel Morse, for bording y* master
Paid unto John Ilaiseltine, for bording the master
Paid unto Andrew Crag, for bording the master
Paid to Capt. Morse, for three days, horse and man, for
going after a Coolmaster ....

1847. Master Wood is paid ....
and Dea. Dearborn, John Ilazeltine, and Andrew
Craige, for boarding

1748. Master Wood is hii-ed again, at

and Capt. Blunt, Joseph Calf and Dea. Dearborn

John Eobie is paid for bringing up the master, time

and expenses

Master Wood, it seems, lived somewhere down country,
and is probably the one who was afterwards Dr
























1749. Paid Doctor Samuel Mooves, for schooling
Paid to the Long meadow Quarter for Schooling




s. d.

The Long Meadows had one-quarter of the money paid
to them. Dr. Moores is said by Eaton (History of Candia,



page 91) to have come from Hampstead.
Candia Corner.


1750. Paid to m"" Heury Herring, for Schooliug .
Paid to m"" Jolm Ilickey, for Schooling

Paid to M"" Samuel Moores, for Schooling .

for a Journey to newbury after a Schoolmaster
for time and expeuce hireing School master

1751. Paid to m' John Hickey, for schooling
Paid to m"' James Dresser, for schooling
Paid to m"" nehemiah mc neal, for schooling

Paid to Xathauiel Blasdell, for hording the masters
for three Days, man and horse, after a School

master . . .

for one day of a man and two hoi'ses, bringing up
the master from Bradford ....
for time and Expense hireing School masters
for time and expense making up "with School

settled at


s. d.











4 10

2 00
1 10

1 GO

In 1752 Master McXeil is paid £lo4. Deacon Hasel-
ton, Andrew Craig, Enocli Colbj, Peter Dearborn, Mr.
Carr, Deaoon Dearborn, Mr. Knowles and Mr. Basford
are paid for boarding. It seems that this year, though
they had no school-house, tliey had a school in the north

In 1753 Mi\ Hazclton and Mr. McXcele were tlie mas-
ters, and Deacon Dearborn, Mr. Craige, Jacob Chase and
Jolm Knowles boarded.

In 1754 " master Heseltine, master mcfarson and mas-
ter mcneal, at the Longmeadows," were masters, and Dea-
con Dearborn, Jacob Chase and Thomas Haseltine boarded.

In 1755, " Paid to mr. Hessard, for teaching school,
<£132 ; To mr. Boies, for teachimg school, .£28." Captain
Blunt, Charles Moore, William Tolford and Bradley Carr
boarded, and William Graham and Patten, at the Long

At the animal meeting March, 17-18,

" Voted, To Raise two Hundred Pounds, old tenor, the
present year for Schooling and other necessary town


" Voted, That Each Quarter of the town as it is Divided
Shall Share theyr Ef|uell Proportion of the money Raised
for Schooling, appropriated to that use and no other.

" Voted, That the town Defend and Secure the Select-
men from any Damage they may come at, for not Provid-
ing a Gramcr School."

In a warning for a town meeting, June 21, 1756, is an

'' To See What the town Will Do Concerning Hicring a
Gramer School master for the year 1756 ; It being an
Express from the Court by the Grand Juryman to the
present Selectmen.

" Voted, That the present Selectmen (viz.), John Robie,
And'"' Craige and Jacob Basford, Shall take Care, and if
they can. Provide a Grammcr Scliool master for the town,
So as to fuliil and answer the Intents of tiie Law ; and if
they cannot obtain one, then they are fully impowered to
address the Court In behalf of, and in favor of, the town on
that account, and at the Charge of s'' Town."

In the warning for the annual meeting March 30, 1758,
are articles,

" 2'^ To See if the town Will Vote that all the people
within three Quarters of a mile from the old meeting-house
in Chester Shall have their proportion of the scliooling at
that place according to the taxes they pay, and chuse their
own School master or mistress, as they shall See Cause.

'• 8''. To see if the Town will Raise Such a Sum of money
as they shall judge Needful for schooling ; and to see if the
Town vrill give Every Division their Proportion of the
money so Raised, and every Quarter to be obliged to Put
Said money to said use ; and that the Quarter may Chuse
their own master or mistress as they Shall Judge Needful.

" 9"'. To see if the town will vote that Charming fare, so
called, sliall Have their Proportion of schooling.

10'"^'. To see if the town will vote that the North Parish,
called Freetown, shall have their proportion of Schooling.

12'^. To see if the Town will Vote that the Society about
Jacob Basford's Shall Have the Schooling made up to them
which was omitted the year past, 1757.

" Relating to the second article in the warninfj of said
meeting. Put to Vote, past in the Negative.

" Relating to the Third artikill in the warning of said
meeting, It was put to Vote and past in the Negative.


" Eclating to the ninth and tenth artikells in the warning
of this meeting, It is Voted that the Inhabitants of the
North parisli, so called, and the Inhabitants of Charming-
fare, so called, shall have Their proportion of schooling
amongst them, according to the whole tax they Pay towards

" Relating to the twelfth artikell in the warning, put to
Vote, past in the Negative."

A meeting was called the second day of May, 1758,

" 1^. To See if What money the town will Raise this
present year for the use of Schooling.

" 3. To See if the Town will allow the north part of the
Town by Cornet Lane's, and the Inhabitants Round about, a
Larger Share of the School this year for their not having
had their part of the School for live or six years past,
Except one month the Last year.

" -1. To See if the town will allow the north East part of
the Town by Jacob Basford's, and the Inhabitants their-
about, any thing this year, they not having their part of the
Schooling Last year.

" Relating to the Second artikell in the Warning of this
meeting on account of Schooling,

'• Put to Vote Whether to Raise any Certain Sum of
money for that End; and,

" Voted, That the Selectmen Raise for the use of school-
ing the present year, the sum of six Hundred Pound, old

" 3. Voted, That that part of the Town near Cornet
Lane's shall have their part of the Schooling for the present
year, according to what they Pay towards that Rate.

" 4. Voted, That the north East part of the Town about
Jacob Basford's, shall have forty two Pounds, old tenor.
Paid to them this year Towards Schooling more than their
proportion, they not Having any the year past."

In the warning for a town meeting, March 29, 1759, was
an article,

" 4*\ To See if the Town will Vote off the middle of the
Town, three Quarters of a mile Each way from the old
meeting house, with Respect to the school; or further, if
the Town shall think it best ; and the Rest of the Town,
Each and Every part of it, may have their Equal part of
the money that is Raised, or their equal proportion of the
school the year Ensuing."


At the meeting it was

" Voted, That for Conveniency of schooling Three Quar-
ters of a mile Round the old meeting house shall have the
Priviledge of sending to School there ; and the other parts
of the Town Shall Have the Liljerty of Joining together for
Conveniency in the several parts of the same ; and Every one
of Said Parts shall Have their Equal proportion, according
ta what money they Pay Towards the schooling this year ;
Provided, they Lay it out in Schooling this year."

In the warning for the annual meeting, March 27, 1760,
" 2. To see what method the Town Shall think proper
The year Ensuing With Respect to the schools."

" Voted, To leave it to the selectmen."

In the warning for the annual meeting, March 26, 1761,

was an article,

" 5. To See if the Town will Vote To build a school house
Near Thomas Worthen's, in this town, and another a] tout
Francis Towl's, and their Shall be a school Keiit Eight
months in a year, four months in Each of them school
houses yearly ; or to act and Do what shall then be Thought
needful. Raise money for the out-parts of the town accord-
ingly as shall be needful."

" 5'y. Upon the fifth article, Put to vote Whether to Build
School Houses or not ; Past in the Negative."

Thomas Worthen lived at the old "Friend" Stevens
place a few rods east of where J. M. Elliott now lives ;
Francis Towle lived on the Haverhill road nearly opposite
the road across to Hiram Basford's.

In the warning for a meeting called expressly for the
purpose, Nov. 4, 1760,

" 2. To See if the Town will Vote to secure the Selectmen
from the fine for not Providing for the Town a Gramer
School master the Present year, in as much as they are in
Danger of being Presented ; or to act and Do what then
and their shall be Thought Needful."

At the meeting,

" Relating To the Second artikell, Put to Vote Whether
to Secure the selectmen from the fine fur not Providing a
Gramer School for the Town the Present year, past in the


111 the Trarning for the annual meeting, March 25, 1762,
vvas an article,

" V^. To see vrhat method the Town will take in Respect
to their School houses, whether they will think fitt to Raise
a sum of money of the whole Town to build and Repare
School houses; or what method they will take in that

At the adjourned meeting, May 4, 1762,

" Relating to the sixth and seventh artikells in the warn-
ing of this meeting. They Were Put to Tote and past in
the Negative."

Tlie sixth article was respecting building a pound at

At the annual meeting, March 31, 1763,

" Voted, That it be Left With the selectmen to Inquier
into and see how much is Justly Due to the Xortli Parish,
so Called, for their proportion of the School money Raised
in tliis Town for three years past, and if they have nut had
their sliare then to deliver the Same to them ; Provided
they Lay out the Same for Schooling among themselves ;
and also all the other parts of the Town that have not had
their proportion of the Schooling, nor money as above men-
tioned, shall be Considered, and liave their proportion on
the same Conditions."

At the September term of the Superior Court, 1771,
Andrew Jack, Nathan Webster and John Robie, the select-
men of Chester, were indicted because Chester, having more
than one hundred families, had no grammar school. At the
March terra, 1772, Jack and Webster were tried and lined
XIO, and cost, taxed £1 12s. 4d.

In the warning for the annual meeting March 25, 1773,
there was an article,

" 5^y. To see if the Town will Chuse a Committee to
appoint places Where the school houses shall be Built for
the Town's Servis, and to be Built by the Town."

" Relating to the fifth artikell in the warning about build-
ing school Houses, put to Vote ; Passed in the Negative."

In the warning for a town meeting, June 8, 1775, was an
" 2'y. To see if the Town will Vote that the Selectmen


shall not maintain a Grammer School at present, and make
the Selectmen Secure, so that they shall Come to no Dam-
age or Cost for not Proceeding according to the former

At the meeting it was

" Voted, that tlie Selectmen Drop the Gra'cr school for
the jn-esent.

" Voted, that the Town will secure the Selectmen from
any Cost, Charge, or Damage, They may be Put Too for not
Providing a graraer School for the present as the Law Di-
rects. Jacob Chase Decents against the foregoing vote."

The indictment, and fining the selectmen, had caused
them to have a grammar school, but now the pressure of
the burden of the incipient Revolution caused them to dis-
continue it. •

At the annual meeting, March 28, 177G,

"■Voted, that what money Shall Be Raised in this Town
the present year for the Su])j)ort of Schooling Shall be Laid
out so as to accommodate all parts of the Town as AVcll as
may be.

" Voted, To Raise fifty pound Lawful money for School-
ing the present year."

At the annual meeting, 1777, one hundred pounds were
voted for schooling ; in 1778, two hundred pounds were
voted ; 1779, four hundred pounds ; 1780, twelve hundred
pounds; 1781, voted not to raise any money; 1782, the
article not acted on ; 1783, left with the selectmen ; 1784.
two hundred dollars.

The following list of teachers, their compensation, &c.,
is extracted from the selectmen's accounts in an old book
which I had not found when the other was written :

17;>7. Master Boys, . . . . . . . £5G 00 00

Master How, 255 00 00

1758. iMr. Thos. Boies, 60 00 00

Ensign Qnanton, 67 14 00

Mrs. Sarah Ingalls, 29 00 00

Mr. AVilliani Smith, 42 00 00

Dr. Ordway, 40 00 00

Mr. Boies' widow, 76 00 00

Mrs. Curriour, 33 00 00

Likewise neighbors about Bradbury Carr's, . . 13 11 6



Likewise neig'libors about Beuj. Hill

Online LibraryBenjamin ChaseHistory of old Chester [N. H.] from 1719 to 1869 → online text (page 23 of 60)