Benjamin Chase.

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

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Town of Chester Called the North parish, or freetown, as
much as is Laid out parrish form, shall be sett of as a
Town or parrish. the bounds of s" north Parrish so CalP
are as fols. : — beginning at the North East bound of Ches-
ter upon the head line of Exeter at a birch or maple tree,
being the bounds between Chester and Nottingham ; So
Running South at 29 degrees West, bounding on Exeter
head line five miles to the South East Corner of the Lot
No. 30 ; then west northwest five miles, or so far as to con-
tain all the old hundred acre Lotts ; then north 20 Degrees
east, Five miles to Notting"^ Line ; then on s*^ Lne to the
first bounds.

" We therefore Pray That all the Lands Included in S^



Bounds, ^vitli all the poles and Estates therein Contamed
may be Incorporated into a distinct Parrish from the Town
of Chester, and Invested with the same Powers and Priv-
iledges That Towns in This Province are by Law Intitled
to, and That we may have Liberty To bring in a bill

Petitioners as in Duty bound shall Ever


" And

"March 1st


" Daniel Jorden,
Dauiel Holman,
EUsha Towle,
Jonathan Brown,
Simeon Berry,
iXoah moulton,
"Wadleigh Cram,
Joseph glgiles [Giles],
Daniel Lane,
Ezekiel Lane,
David Lane,
Xathau Moulton,
Josiah Fog-g,
Daniel Clay,
Stephen marden,
Obadiah Griifin,
Moses Sanborn,
Caleb Row,
Robert Page,
John Sweet,
Daniel Robie,
James Clay,
Stephen Wilson,
Jethro Batchelder,
Beuj, Whittier,
Clement Dollof,

Daniel Gordon, iur.,
John Cram,
Alexander Mel,
Stephen Fogg,
Benjamin Smith,
James Fullonton,
Samuel Cram,
John Stevens,
Jonathan Dearborn,
Benia Bean,
Curtis Bean,
Isaac Clifford,
Paul Smith Marston,
Benjamin Prescott,
John Fullonton,
Joim Wells,
John Prescott Downs,
William Todd,
Timothy Clough,
Ezekiel Smith,
David Bean,
Alexander Smith,
Barton Pollard,
David Bean, Jr.,
Xathaniel Ethridge,

The petition was received in the House December 1,
1763 ; an order of notice to be advertised in the " New
Hampshire Gazette." The petitioners had leave to bring
in a bill, April 12, 1764. Passed the House May 4, and
the Council May 9, 1764. Samuel Emerson, Esq., was to
call the first meeting.

The first meeting was held at the house of Benjamin


Bean, innliolclcr, May 29, 1764. Samuel Dudley was
chosen moderator ; Ezeldel Smith, parish clerk ; Benja-
min Whitcher, constable ; Caleb Row, Samuel Dudley and
Eobert Page, selectmen ; Stephen Fogg, Joseph Dudley
and Ezekiel Lane, committee to examine the selectmen's
accounts, and also assessors ; Josiah Fogg, Jonathan Dear-
born, Joseph Dudley, Simon Barry and Clement Dollof,
surveyors of highways; Stephen Thurston, Jona. Dear-
born, Joseph Smith, Curtis Bean, Samuel Fhilbrick and
Daniel Scribner, hawards ; James Fullonton, Nathl. Etli-
redge, Moses Whitcher and Joseph Dudley, tythingmen;
John Swatt, John Stevens, deer inspectors ; Benj. Bean,
Alexander Smith, surveyors of lumber ; John Smith,

" Voted, the Pound be built between Benj. Bean's orch-
ard and the mill.

" Voted, the Selectmen be a Committee to run the Parish

" Voted, that the first monday in march be the Day to
hold the annual meeting in the Parish of Raymond for
time to come."


They had a great deal of trouble about locating and
building a meeting-house, but my limits do not permit me
to go very fully into detail.

January 25, 1768, it was voted " to build a Parish meet-
ing house for tlie public worship of God in said Parish."
Enoch Fogg dissented. They voted to raise £100, and to
set it somewhere near where David Bachelder now lives ;
chose James Moore and Elisha Towle a committee, and
authorized them to purchase land, to build it as big as they
shall think proper, and to pay laborers two shillings and
six pence per day.

At the annual meeting, March 7, 1768, an attempt was
made to revoke the former vote, which failed.

April 4, 1768, it was voted to revoke the former vote,
and to set it between Benjamin Bean's and the pound.


September 22, 1768, a motion to revoke the vote of
April 4 was negatived, also one to set off the southwest
part of the parish to Chester old town. It was also voted
to sell privileges for pews according to a plan drawn by
Nicholas Gilnian of Exeter, and the proceeds go towards
building a house. A petition was sent to the General As-
sembly to send a committee to locate the house, which was
done, and March 23, 1769; they reported that the westerly
end of lot No. 37, at a place called Sled Hill, would best
accommodate the parish, which report was laid on the

June 17, 1770, Ezekiel Lane moved that it be adopted,
but it was ordered to lie for further consideration.

July 3, 1769, a motion to set it there was negatived. It
was voted to choose a committee to build the house, but
also voted not to act any further on it. The committee
had cut and hewn timber, and March 4, 1771, a committee
was chosen to take care of it.

March 1, 1773, the question was taken respecting paying
for cutting and drawing the timber ; negatived.

April 12, 1753, it was voted, forty-three to fifteen, to set
it as near the centre as may be, on a pitch-pine plain,
at the easterly side of Freetown pond. Nicholas Oilman,
Elisha- Towle and Ezekiel Lane were chosen a committee
to raise it, put in the window frames, underpin and shingle
it. It was to be thirty-five feet wide, forty-five feet long,
and twenty-one feet post, and to be so far done in one year.
The committee were to purchase the land to set it on.
There were fourteen who entered their dissent.

June 6, 1774, voted to revoke all former votes in relation
to setting the meeting-house, and to set it near the dwell-
ing house where Stephen Gale now lives, on the great road.
There were eighteen who dissented against setting it at
that place.

Benjamin Cram, John Dudley and Robert Page were
chosen a committee to build the meeting-house and pur-
chase the land to set it on. Seventy-five pounds was voted
towards building the house and paying the old committee


for cutting, hewing and hauling the timber in 1768. The
frame was to be ready to raise the first of October. There
were twenty dissenters. The frame was raised.

March 6, 1775, a motion was made to remove the meet-
ing-house to some other place ; negatived. Also to set off
a number of inhabitants to the old town ; also negatived.

The house was not finished and January 4, 1779, it w^as
voted to sell the frame to the highest bidder. It was sold,
and the timl)er used for a bridge.

August 29, 1785, it was voted to build a meeting-house.
A committee was chosen to locate it.

September 15, " Voted to Set the meeting house on the
Plain nigh the senter, on the easterly side of the branch on
mr. James Gorge's land, nigh the Road that leads across
Sider fery. So called."

Daniel Norris, Samuel Xay, Matthias Haynes, Calelj
Smith, Benjamin Cram, Levi Swain and Clement Dollof
were chosen a committee. Two acres of land were to be
bought, and the frame put up, boarded, shingled, under-
pinned and clap))oardcd, and the window-frames and doors
put in. The committee were to build as hig as they saw
fit, and have it done by the first day of December, 1786.
The house was set on lot No. 137, near the railroad, and
near Avhere Horatio Page now lives. It was raised June
14, 1786.

June 28, 1786, voted to have pews built and sold, and
appropriate the money to finishing the house.

March 5, 1787, voted that the parish meetings shall for
the future be held in the meeting-house.

The meeting-house stood very near the centre of the
parish, but in rather a by-place and surrounded by woods,
so that some one said that a meeting-house had been found
in the woods.

May 22, 1797, it was voted, fifty-one to thirty-seven, to
remove it on 'to the main road from Deerfield to Poplin.
Four hundred dollars were appropriated towards paying
the expense.

Several ineffectual attempts were made to reconsider the


vote, and protests entered against moving it. A large
team from Raymond and adjoining towns was collected,
and moved it October 18, 1797, to its present site.

August 20, 1798, voted to sell the remaining pew ground,
finish the house, and build porches.

After the Baptists had a society they claimed their share
of the house, which created some confusion, and the Con-
gregational society, which had in 1816, procured an act of
incorporation, erected a new house in 1834. They divided
the stock into forty-five shares of twenty-five dollars each.
The old house became much dilapidated, but has been
thoroughly repaired for a town-house and school-room.


June 10, 1764, three hundred pounds, old tenor, was
voted to hire preaching, and the same sum in 1765. It was
also voted that those persons who belong to the Presbytery
shall be eased of their rates. The tax-lists, as far back as
1768, show that there were a number of persons who were
not rated to pay the minister, and probal^ly none were ever
compelled to pay, which shows great toleration for the

There is little to show who were employed for preachers.
In 1766, Samuel Webster, Solomon Moore and Tristram
Oilman are paid for jDreaching. In 1768, Mr. Oilman ; in
1770, Jona. Searles ; 1773, Mr. Webster ; 1774, Mr. Web-
ster, seventeen weeks, £24. Little or no money was
raised during the war.

Oct. 15, 1787, voted to give Mr. Stephen Williams a
call and 'offer him fifty pounds the first year, and add five
pounds each year till it amounts to sixty-five pounds ; one-
third part in beef, pork, corn, or grain. It was voted to
build a parsonage house and barn ; give him the use of the
parsonage lot ; to clear twenty acres of the lot, and give
him twenty cords of wood annually. He did not accept.

Aug. 17, 1790, voted to give Mr. Thos. Moore a call, and
offer him fifty pounds the first year, and add five pounds until


it amounts to sixty pounds yearly ; the use of the parson-
age ; build a house and barn ; clear twenty acres ; and give
him twenty cords of wood yearly. He did not accept.

In 1791, articles of faith and covenant were drawn up,
and twenty-one names are appended ; also the names of
Jonathan and Mary Swain from tlie church in Kensington.
Rev. Nehemiah Ordway preached as stated supply most
of the time from 1793 to 1797.

July 7, 1800, voted, to give Mr. Jonathan Stickney a
call ; offer him two hundred dollars salary ; give him the
income of the parsonage ; build a house and barn ; dig a
well ; and give him twenty cords of wood. They were also
to clear twenty acres of the parsonage. There were
votes passed for making great preparation, and appoint-
ing Wednesday, Oct. 22, for the ordination.

Mr. Stickney's health failed, having consumption, and
the parish voted, Oct. 26, 1807, that the connection be
dissolved according to the result of council.

May 25, 1817, twenty-three were admitted to the church.

June 29, 1817, forty-four >vere admitted ; and ■ it is said
in the church records " that such a time we never saw
before." There is a list of memljers, Oct., 1817, containing
one hundred and forty-four names.
. The following are the subsequent ministers : —

Stephen Bailey, from Oct. 1, 1817, to Oct. 22, 1822 ;
iSeth Farnsworth, Oct. 3, 1824, to 1834 ; Andrew H. Reed,
Kov. 13, 1834, to Oct. 26, 1836 ; Anson Sheldon, June 28,
1837, to Oct. 15, 1839 ; John C. Page, Oct. 6, 1841, to May
T, 1851 ; David Burt, Xov. 5, 1851, to 1855 ; D. B. Brad-
iford, Dec. 4, 1855, to- July 23, 1858 ; George W. Sargent,
Dec. 21, 1859,, to : Jan. 16, 1865 ; E. D. Chapman, Dec. 6,


It is said that the first sermon preached by a Freewill
Baptist minister in Old Chester, was in the meethig-house
in Raymond, by Elder Jeremiah Ballard about 1802, fol-
lowed by Elder Randall sometime afterward. An account


of the organization and division of the church has been given
in the history of Candia. A house of worship was built in
Raymond in 1826. Elder Hiram Holmes was pastor until
1839 ; Elder Tobias Foss, five years, ending in 1853 ;
Elder Joseph FuUonton, the historian of Raymond, from
1853 to the present time, 1869.
Present membership, forty-two.


The legal society was formed Nov. 23, 1841, and was
maintained as an organization until Dec. 30, 1848. During
this period the society worshiped in the town hall.

The first board of trustees, appointed Dec. 30, 1848,
were Samuel Poor, Dudley Lane, John C. Dearborn, Joshua
F. Lane, J. M. Fitts, David Griffin and John F. Folsom.
They had been connected with other societies in the main-
tenance of ministers under the circuit system.

In 1849, they erected a commodious house of worship
costing about $1,500, exclusive of a ground story, used as
a store.

The following have been the pastors : —

1847, Rev. A. C. Manson and Rev. Silas Greene ; 1848,
Rev. Mr. Loveland ; 1849, Rev. James Adams ; 1850, Rev.
Mr. Emerson, now in a Southern field ; 1852, Rev. G. W.
Rogers, now deceased ; 1853, Rev. E. Mason ; 1855, Rev.
S. P. Heath ; 1857, Rev. Charles Young ; 1858, Rev. L.
L. Eastman ; 1860, Rev. N. L. Chase ; 1861, Rev. N. M.
Bailey ; 1863, Rev. James Adams ; 1865, Rev. R. J. Don-
elson ; 1867, Rev. G. W. Ruland, its present pastor.

During the year 1868 the house of worship has been
refitted and much improved, and the society has been
blessed with a revival, and quite a number united.

The present membership, over one hundred.



Schools and School-houses.'

There were probably no school-houses previous to the

April 1, 1765, " voted -whether there should be school-
houses built, and it Past in the negative." 1767, <£60 voted
for schooling; 1770, £30; 1771, X35.

March, 1770, it was voted to build four school-houses,
one in each quarter. John Dudley, James Moore, Ezekiel
Lane and Robert Page were chosen a committee " to fix a
place, and say where said houses shall stand, and build
said houses."

In 1781, voted not to raise any money for schools.

In 1766, the selectmen charge for paying James ]\roore
for Daniel True, for schooling and boarding, X9 4s. ; John
Dudley for Nathaniel Stillman, schooling and boarding two
months and a half, 48s. ; Abel Morse for schooling ; 1767,
Abel Morse ; again in 1768 ; again in 1770, for three
months, £4 10s.; Josiah Flagg, six weeks, X2 5s. ; Ezekiel
Lane for boarding him, XI 10s. Dr. Hodgkins taught the
same year. Ezekiel Lane is paid <£12 9s. lOd. for building
a school-house in the southwest part of the parish. Li
1786, Master Melville in the northwest part; Mrs. Nabby
Welch in the southeast and northeast parts ; Master Rob-
inson in the northeast ; and David Lane for boarding Mas-
ter Calfe.

Previous to 1800, the sum generally raised for schools
was £45 ; in 1825, 8300 ; in 1845, by tax and literary
fund, 8600 ; in 1864, 8800.

The first Teachers' Institute was held at Exeter in 1828^
at which Raymond was represented. In 1865, i\\Q town
granted the privilege to individuals to finish the second
story of the town-house (the old meeting-house) for a high



1827. David Pillsbuiy was born in Raymond, but after-
ward lived in Candia, and is claimed as a graduate of

1839. Elbridge Gerry Dudley, tlie son of j^loses Dudley
and Nancy Glidden, was born at Raymond August 13, 1811.
He read law, opened an office in Boston, and has since died.

1840. John Fullonton, the son of Jeremiah Fullonton
and Hannah Dudley, was born at Raymond August 3,
1812. He taught at Parsonsfield, Me., also at Whitestowu,
N. Y,; studied divinity at Whitestown ; was ordained an
evangelist there ; became professor in the above seminary
from 1851 to 1854, and since then at New Hampton, Dart-
mouth conferred the honorary degree of D. D. in 18G2.

1840. Timothy Osgood Norris, the son of James Nor-
ris and jMartha Osgood, was born at Raymond August 13,
1812. He taught at Hampton several years, and now re-
sides in Iowa.

1849. George A. Blake, the son of Joseph Blake,
graduated at Williams College, and Boston Medical College,
in 1852 ; practiced at Walpole, Rollinsford, and Burlington,
Iowa, and was connected with the sanitary service of the
army, and continued till after the close of the war.

1851. Luther Eastman Shepard, the son of Jesse Sliep-
ard and Mary Robie, was born at Raymond December 28,
1820. He taught from 1852 till 1858 : then read law at
Lowell, Mass., and went into practice there.

1852. Wilson Smith Abbott, the son of David Abbott
and Affa Smith, was born at Raymond July 18, 1826. He
was a teacher from 1852 to 1858 ; was commissioner of
schools, and president of the New Hampshire Board of
Education for 1860 and 1861.

1855. Robert Wallace, the son of John Wallace and
Mary Currier, was born at Raymond in 1827.

1858. Joseph Francis Dudley was born at Raymond
June 11, 1830. (See Candia graduates.)


1859. Calvin Howard Brown, the son of Joseph Brown
and Elvira Howard, was born at Raymond, October 19,
1834. He was a teacher, then read law at Boston, and
went into practice there. He was lost in the wreck of the
steamer Melville, on the way to Hilton Head, South
Carolina, January T, 1865, aged thirty.

1860. John Peaslee Brown, the son of Jonathan Brown
and Hannah Heath, was born at Raymond, October 12,
1833. He was a teacher from 1860 to 1862, then studied
medicine ; graduated at Harvard JMcdical School, and is
now assistant surgeon in the insane asylum at Concord.

1861. David Henry Brown, the son of Joseph Brown
and Elvira Howard, was born at Raymond, August 17,
1836. He taught from 1861 to 1864 ; was clerk in the
U. S. quartermaster's department at Nashville, Tennessee ;
is now with Taggard & Thompson, publishers, Boston.

1862. Oilman Henry Tucker, the son of Henry Tucker
and Nancy Dudley, was born at Raymond, January 20,
1836. He read law, was on the staff of the Governor of
New Hampshire two years, and then went into the school-
book business at Boston.

1863. Daniel Norris Lane, the son of Daniel Norris
Lane and Hannah Lane, was born at Raymond, September
25, 1834. He was principal of the high school at Wey-
mouth, Mass.

1864. John Woodbury Scribner, the son of John Scrib-
ner and Betsey Dearborn Page, was born at Raymond,
March 7, 1840.

James W. Brown was a senior at Dartmouth ; died De-
cember 22, 1864, aged twenty-three.

Abbie Scriljner, daughter of Daniel Scribner and Ann
Laugford, graduated at Holyoke Seminary in 1863, mar-
ried Dr. James F. Brown, February, 1863.


Dr. Francis Hodgkins came to Raymond about 1770, and
held various offices in town. He married a daughter of
Capt. Joseph True, of Chester. He died October 8, 1812.


Dr. Benjamin Page was in Chester in 1778, and in 1786,
but at some time lived in Raymond, on No. 122, 0. H.,
and returned to Chester, where he lived until 1793.

Dr. John Pillsbury practiced from 1798 to 1804, and
went to Candia.

Dr. Phineas Trull, from 1805 to 1809 ; went to New

Dr. .Thomas K. Merrill, from 1820 ^to 1823 ; went to
Booth Bay, Maine.

Dr. Stephen Gale, from 1824 to 1846.

Dr. Stephen Brown, 1829, one year ; went to Deerfield.

Dr. Theodore Wells, son of Rev. Nathaniel Wells, 1829 ;
afterwards settled as a minister at Barrington.

Dr. Peter Y. Fry, 1846 to 1855, went to Oyster Bay,
Long Island.

Dr. John 0. ]5aynes, eclectic, 1848 to 1857 ; lived in the
Langford district ; went to Deerfield.

Dr. True M. Gould, 1855 ; still in practice.

Dr. David Brown, botanic.

Dr. Moses L. Magoon, a native of Raymond, is a dentist.


Freetown mill was built previous to 1728, when the lots
were laid out, and a road cut out from Exeter to near the
mill, on which the lots are bounded, which was laid out by
the selectmen of Chester, August 21, 1752.

September 20, 1732, Chester voted that there shall be a
horse-path or cart-path cleared from this meeting-house to
the centre of the north parish.

March 10, 1748, Chester laid out from the Branch to
Freetown, and others September 22, 1749, May 5, 1750,
July 8, 1751, April, 1757, October 18, 1757, June 12, 1759,
from Freetown to Dudley's Mill ; June 12, 1759, June 13,
1759, from Freetown towards Nottingham ; June 14, 1760,
from Jones pond to No. 39 and the main road. (See
History of Roads in Chester.)

April 11, 1768, a road was laid out from near John Ful-
lonton's, by Stingy mill to Epping line.


June 6, 1770, on Candia line from Jacob Sargent's to
W. Clifford's.

December 25, 1770, from near Ezekiel Lane's, cast,
southeast, on the reserve towards the Todd road.

June 26, 1770, from near Reuben Whittier's, near Ches-
ter line, to the Branch road.

March 4, 1771, from near John Dudley's, northeast to
the road laid out by Candia, near Thomas Critchet's.

May 26, 1772, from near Daniel Lane's, northeast, pass-
ing Lane's mill, the length of No. 116.

October 2, 1772, the Oak Hill road.

March 6, 1775, and March 4, 1776, the Pond road from
Candia line, near William Clifford's, passing William
Smith riealey's and between Robert Wadleigh's house and
barn to the rangeway at the northerly corner of John
Sweat's field, and on the parsonage and school lots, and
the lot of Benjamin Moulton and Henry Trashcr, to the
great road that leads down to Freetown.

July 4, 1783, from the above road, across No. 100 to the
road leading to the meeting-house, by " Sider ferry."

February 4, 1790, from Dr. Page's, No. 122, passing
Nay's on the rangeway to Jones road.

February 14, 1789, the Green road, beginning at Candia
line on the south end of No. 110, east southeast, to the
road laid out March 7, 1785 ; then to run to the west end
of Samuel Nay's, where he now lives. This last probal)ly
■was never built.

November 7, 1792, from near David Lane's, across land
of Samuel Shaw and several lots, to the Jones road. This
is the present road from Lane's to the Centre. Before this
they had probably passed down the reserve on the road
laid out December 25, 1770, to the road laid out from Dr.
Page's, 1790, which must have been traveled before laid
out, as Jonas Clay, and others, lived on or near it. The
Mountain road is mentioned in the return of Oak Hill
road, but I have not seen any return of it.



July 18, 177-i, John Dudley was chosen delegate to
Exeter to choose delegates to the Congress at Philadelphia.

January 6, 1775, John Dudley and Jonathan Swain were
chosen delegates to Exeter to choose delegates to the Con-
gress at Philadelphia, on the 10th of May.

May 5, 1775, John Dudley was chosen delegate to Exeter
the 17th of May, to a convention to adopt and pursue such
measures as may be judged most expedient to preserve the
rights of this and the other colonies.

It was voted to enlist ten ahle-bodied men, fixed with
arms and ammunition, that they may be ready to go against
any violence or invasion, at any time when called for, and
Capt. Elisha Towle was chosen to enlist the men ; and that
they should meet half a day each week, and to allow each
man one shillmg per week, and Capt. Towle two shillings
per week ; Capt. Towle to have, if called for, three pounds
twelve shillings per month, and each man thirty-six shil-
lings ; also to receive three pomids to purchase ammunition,
and fifty pounds to purchase provisions.

July 10, 1775, John Dudley, Jonathan Swain, Benjamin
Whittier, Ezekiel Lane, Benjamin Cram, Robert Page and
Thomas Gordon, were appointed a committee of safety.

May 12, 1777, Daniel Robie, Ithiel Gordon, and Joseph
Dudley were chosen a committee to settle and affix the
price of such goods and articles in said parish, according
to an act of court.

Voted to raise 8600 or .£180, to add to the bounty of
those men who should enlist for three years, and chose a
committee to enlist them.

Feb. 2, 1778, voted to accept the articles of confed-
eration adopted by Congress, except the 4th, 5th and 8th

April 26, 1779, voted to raise two thousand dollars to
hire five men to enlist during the war. Chose Capt. Ben-


jamiii Whittier and Capt. John FuUonton to procure the

Online LibraryBenjamin ChaseHistory of old Chester [N. H.] from 1719 to 1869 → online text (page 56 of 60)