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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compared with those of to-day.

(I) Benjamin Collins, who was possibly a
brother of Robert Collins, is found of record in
Salisbury, Massachusetts, November 5, 1668, when
he was married to Martha Eaton, daughter of John
and 2\Iartha (Sowlandson) Eaton, and granddaugh-
ter of John Eaton, the pioneer of Salisbury and
Haverhill. She was born August 12. 1648, in Salis-
bury. Benjamin Collins was a householder of Salis-
bury in 1677, and died there December 10, 1683.
The inventory of his estate was made January 3,
following, and administration was had on IMarch
25. His widow was married November 4, 1686, in
Salisbury, to Philip, son of Stephen Flanders.
Benjamin Collins' children were: Mary, John,
Samuel, Anna, Benjamin and Ephraim.

(II) Samuel, second son and third child of
Benjamin and ]\Iartha (Eaton) Collins, was born
January 18, 1676, in Salisbury, residing in that
town. He was a soldier in the campaign against



the Indians at Wells, Maine, in 1696, _ and at
Haverhill in 1697-98. He was married in Salis-
bury, j\Iarch 16, 1699, to Sarah White. Their chil-
dren were: Benjamin, Joseph, John (died young),
Merriam, John and Hannah.

(HI) Joseph, second son and child of
Samuel and Sarah (White) Collins, was born June
27, 1702, in Salisbury, and passed his life in that
town. He was married to Hannah Sargent, the
publication of their intentions being made in Ames-
bury, July 13, 1723- ,

(IV) Deacon John, son of Joseph and Hannah
(Sargent) Collins, was born February 14, 1740,
(Recorded in Amesbury.) He died September 11,
1844, in Salisbury, New Hampshire. He settled f^rst
in Kingston, this state, and removed thence, pre-
vious to 1768, to Salisbury, locating south of the
south rangeway. He soon became an' extensive
owner of lands, and was a prominent citizen of
the town, identified with the conduct of public af-
fairs. He was the first deacon of the Congregational
Church, and his life was free from reproach. He
was married, October i, 1761, to Ruth Challis, of
Amesbury, Massachusetts. She was born June 10,
1 741, in Amesbury, and died July 5, 1832, in Salis-
bury. Their children were: Winthrop, Charles,
John, Carteret, Joseph, Enoch, Enos, Sarah, Annie
and Seth C.

(V) Seth C, youngest child of Deacon John
and Ruth (Challis) Collins, was born February
15, 1785, in Salisbury, and died January 25, 1847,
in Springfield, New Hampshire. He cleared up a
farm in that town, and was an industrious and
useful citizen. He was married, October 11, 1807,
to Alarion Sawyer.

(VI) Samuel, son of Seth C. and IMarion
(Sawyer) Collins, was boi'n in Springfield, 1815.
He settled in Bakersfield, Vermont, where he fol-
lowed agriculture in connection with the lumber
business, and he participated quite actively in local
public affairs, holding some of the important town
offices. His latter years were spent in Johnson,
same state, and he died in 1902, at the ripe old age of
eighty-seven years. He married Harriet K. Stone,
and those of his children now living are : Chellis
Oliver, who will be again referred to ; Leonard, who
is a resident of Johnson, and Mary, who became
the wife of George Butler.

вАҐ (VII) Chellis Oliver, son of Samuel and Har-
riet K. (Stone) Collins, was born in Bakersfield,
September 22, 1845. He was educated in the public
schools, and began the activities of life as a cooper.
He subsequently entered mercantile business as a
clerk, and still later took a similar position in a
hotel at Bakersfield. For nearly forty years he
devoted his time and energies exclusively to the
textile industry. Entering the employ of the Andros-
coggin Cotton Mills Corporation at Lewiston, Maine,
in 1869, as "second hand" in the weaving department,
he worked his way forward to the position of over-
seer. He resided in Lewiston some eighteen years.
In 1887 he accepted the position of overseer of
the dressing department in the mills of the Nashua
Manufacturing Company at Nashua, and was em-
ployed in that responsible capacity until his death,
which occurred January 17, 1907. ]Mr. Collins was
far advanced in the Masonic Order, having attained
the thirty-second degree, and was a member of the
various bodies from the Blue Lodge to the con-
sistory. He occupied all of the important chairs in
Knights of Pythias Lodge at Lewiston, and was a
member of the Grand Lodge of INIaine. In his
rehgious belief he was a Baptist. He married Liz-
zie N. Cheney, daughter of John and Katherine

(Morse) Cheney, of Island Fond, Vermont. Mr.
and Mrs. Collins have one son, Ernest, principal
of the high school at Athol, INIassachusetts; and one
daughter, Mrs. Leda M. Buttrick, of Nashua.

The Collins family of this article has
COLLINS been represented in the United States
about one hundred years, and its
members have been patriotic citizens of the republic
where they came to enjoy liberty and have contrib-
uted money and shed blood to sustain it.

(I) Patrick Collins was born in Cork, Ireland,
in 1810, and when but two months old was brought
to America by his parents, who settled in Maine.
He worked on a farm while a lad, and at the age
of sixteen enlisted in the United States army, and
served through two five-year enlistments. After
leaving the military service he went into trade at
Houlton, Maine, and was actively engaged in busi-
ness until his death in 1857. He married Margaret
Staples, who bore him children: i. Thomas A.,
lived in Wisconsin. 2. William A., lived in Wis-
consin. 3. Winfield S., was lieutenant of Company
E, First Maine Cavalry, and was killed at Boydton
Road, October 27, 1864; he had four horses killed
under him during the war. 4. Samuel Abbott, see
forward. 5. Henry C, who lived at Ft. Fairfield,
Maine. 6. Dora, widow of Edwin Davis, of Cam-
bridge, Massachusetts.

(II) Samuel Abbott Collins, son of Patrick
and Margaret (Staples) Collins, was born in Houl-
ton, Maine, December 12, 1845. He was educated
in the public schools and by private tutors. _ At the
age of eighteen, August, 1864, he enlisted in Com-
pany K of the Twentieth Maine Volunteer Infantry,
and served until July, 1865. He was in seven gen-
eral engagements. At the battle of Hatcher's Run
he was wounded in two places by an exploding
shell, which tore his chest, but he did not leave
his company and remained on the field. The day
before the battle of Five Forks he was one of a
detail of skirmishers which was recalled. Know-
ing that a battle was imminent, he and two others
attempted to join their regiment, which they suc-
ceeded in doing, but too late to be marked present
on the company roll. He fell into rank, however,
and participated in the battle and received three
wounds. He was shot below the knee of the right
leg, through the right kneecap, and through the left
leg below the knee. ' His right leg was amputated
above the knee the next day. The report of his
absence with the skirmishers never was corrected,
and he never was given credit in the war records
for that engagement. After the war he worked at
harness making in Houlton until 1869, when he
moved to Gorham, New Hampshire. He carried
on his trade there ten years, and in 1879 removed
to Milan, where he continued in business the fol-
lowing ten years and where he now resides. Dur-
ing these years he also carried on farming, and
lumbering to some extent. Since 1887 he has been
retired. He is a Republican and still votes as he
shot in the war. He was town treasurer of Milan
ten years (1882-92), and chairman of its board of
selectmen in Milan, 1892-1901, and was again
elected chairman of that body in 1907- He repre-
sented Milan in the general court in 1904-05, and
was a member of the convention which nominated
Charles M. Flovd for governor in 1906. He is a
member of Willis Post, Grand Army of the Repub-
lic, of Gorham, and of Androscoggin Lodge, No.
76, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of which
he was secretary ten years. He has been an in-
dustrious citizen, has always taken an active inter-



est in public affairs, and for years has been one
of the most prominent men in his town in politics
and public life.

He married, November, 1868, Louise A. Hillman,
born in New Brunswick, daughter of John T. Hill-

Lewis Peter Collins, one of the most
COLLINS highly valued citizens of Manchester,
New Hampshire, prominent in finan-
cial and industrial circles, owes his present con-
dition and prosperity to his indomitable spirit and
unaided efforts.

Peter Collins, father of Lewis- Peter Collins, was
a native of England and emigrated to this country,
where he engaged in farming. He married Sarah
Sallaway and had nine children.

Lewis Peter, son of Peter and Sarah (Salla-
way) Collins, was born in New Brunswick, June
15, 1S51. He was but three years of age when
his father died, and was educated in the common
schools of the district. He was apprenticed to the
carpenter's trade, and learned that of woodworking
at the- age of sixteen years. He went to Lawrence,
Massachusetts, in 1879, and entered the employ
of the Briggson, Allen Company, manufacturers of
sashes, doors, blinds, etc., remained with them for
thirty-three years, and in that time passed through
aH the grades of this kind of work, from the rank
of plain carpenter to that of superintendent, and
is now interested in this company in Lawrence, Mas-
sachusetts. He removed to Manchester in 1903, and
since that time has been superintendent of the
Derryfield Board and Lumber Company of that city.
He has many additional business interests, being
a director of the Lawrence National Bank, and
trustee of the Brooklyn Savings Bank. While a
resident of Lawrence, Massachusetts, he was a
member of the common council, of the board of
aldermen, board of trade, and the mayor of the
city in 1891-92. He is a member of the Baptist
Church, and connected with the following organiza-
tions ; Calumet Club, Free and Accepted Masons,
Mayors' Club of Massachusetts, New England Water
Works Association. He is a man of sterling quali-
ties and is highly esteemed by his fellow citizens.
He married Lavinia E. Hanze, daughter of Daniel
Hanze, of Belfast, Maine, and has one child:
Frederick Lewis, a resident of the city of New
.York, who is connected with the Review of Re-

In ancient times, before surnames were
GAY fashionable, men were sometimes dis-
tinguished from one another by reference
to their temperament, and in old records men are
designated as the lively, the blithe, or the gay; and
probably the ancestor of this family took his sur-
name from' his disposition to be gay.

(I) John Gay came to America from England
about 1630, and first settled at Watertown, Massa-
chusetts. He was one of the grantees of lands
in the Great Dividends "and in Beaver Brook plow
lands, receiving altogether forty acres. He was
made a freeman May 6, 1635, and was subsequently
one of the founders of the plantation of Dedham.
He was one of the original proprietors of the town,
his name appearing on the petition for incorporation
September 6, 1636. Ht was a selectman of Ded-
ham in 1654, and died in that town March 4, 1688.
His wife Joanna died August 14, 1691. Itis a matter
of family tradition that she was the widow Bale-
wicke when she married John Gay. Flis will appears
in the Suffolk records, being dated December 18,

1686, and was proved December 17, 16S9. His wife
and son John were the executors, and his estate
was valued at ninety-one pounds, five shillings, eight
pence. His children were : Samuel, Hezekiah, Na-
thaniel, Joanna, Eliezer, Abiel, Judith, John, Jona-
than, Hannah and Elizabeth. (Mention of Na-
thaniel and descendants forms a part of this

(K) Samuel, eldest child of John and Joanna
Gay, was born March 10, 1639, in Dedham, and al-
ways resided in that town. By his father's will he
rectived the lands situated near Medfield line
granted to the father by the town. He was select-
man in 1698, and died April 15, 1718. He was
married, November 23, 1661, to Mary, daughter of
Edward Bridge, of Roxbury, Massachusetts. Their
sons were: Samuel, Edward, John, Hezekiah and

(III) John (2), third son of Samuel and Mary
(Bridge) Gay, was born June 25, 1668, in Ded-
ham, where he resided all his life and was a
selectman in 1721. He was married. May 24, 1692,
to Mary Fisher, who died May 18, 1748. She was
survived more than ten years by her husband, who
died June 17, 1758. Their children were: Mary,
Mercy, John, Samuel, Margaret, Eliphalet and Ebe-

(IV) Eliphalet, third son and sixth child of
John (2) and Mary (Fisher) Gay, was born Sep-
tember 24, 1706, in Dedham, Alassachusetts, and lived
a few years in Newton, Massachusetts, ' where his
two eldest children were born. He was married
in Newton, April 20, 1732, to Dorothy Hall, daugh-
ter of Andrew and Susanna (Capen) Hall, and
passed the latter years of his life in Dedham. His
children were : Ephraim, Susanna, Lydia, Mehitabel,
Ebenezer, Eliphalet and Hepsibah.

(V) Ephraim, eldest child of Eliphalet and
Dorothy *^Hall) Gay, was born September 13, 1734,
in Newton, Massachusetts, and lived for some time
in Attleboro, that state, where ten of his children
were born. Soon after 1780 he removed to New
London, New Hampshire, where he died March,
1817, at the age of eighty-three years. He was
married September 29, 1758, in Dedham, to Lois
Fisher who was born Alarch 3, 1736, in Walpole,
Massachusetts, daughter of William and Elizabeth
Fisher. Their children were : Eliphalet, William,
Fisher, Ephraim, Seth, David, Asa, ^t^phen, Lois,
Lydia and Eunice.

(VI) Fisher, third son and child of Ephraim
and Lois (Fisher) Gay, was born in 1767, and died
September 11, 1853. When he was twenty-one years
old his mother made him a "freedom suit" from
a bed blanket, probably spun and woven by her own
hands. It was colored with hemlock bark, and the
buttons were disks cut out of sole leather. With
this suit for Sunday wear he started out in life
for himself. He went from Springfield to Keene,
New Hampshire, performing the journey on foot.
After w^orking a year at the tanner's trade he went
to Hillsboro, where he was given an acre of land
near the brook that flows not far from the present
Gay homestead. There he built a house, using the
upper portion for a residence and the lower story
for a shop, where he made shoes. This building is
still standing. After a time his brother David as-
sisted him in his work, and for years they had a
very busy place, tanning leather and making shoes,
the shoes being sent to the Boston market. Fisher
Gay married Mehitable Kimball, daughter of Benjp-
min and Hannah (Parker) Kimball (see Kimball,
VI), and they had five children: Gardner, Mehitable,
Benjamin, Betsey and Langdon.



(VII) Benjamin Holton, third child and sec-
ond son of Fisher and [Nlehitable (Kimball) Gay,
was born in Hillsboro, June 24, 1S07, and died Janu-
ary 9, 1880, aged seventy-three. He was a tanner,
and for many years carried on the trade he had
learned from his father. He finally gave up this
occupation and settled on the farm which is still
in the possession of the famil}', and now known as
"Maplewood Farm." It is situated about two and
a half miles from Hillsborough Bridge, near what
is known as the "Centre," and now embraces about
one hundred and sixty acres of land, although a
considerable amount of outlying pasture and wood-
land is owned in connection with it. He married,
September 23, 1834, Ann Duncan Stow, born De-
cember 12, 181 1, who died February 27, 1896. Their
children were: William E., Charles C., Robert D.,
Margaret Ann, and Ellen Maria.

(VIII) William Edwin, eldest child of Benjamin
FI. and Ann D. (Stow) Gay, was born July 18,
1835, and resided all his life on the farm where
he was born, except two years which he spent as
a clerk in Boston. He gave to the cultivation and
improvement of his farm the energy and devotion
of a tireless, purposeful life, seeking the best re-
sults through the application of the most approved
methods, dairying and fruit culture being his lead-
ing specialties for many years. He kept from
twenty to thirty cows, largely Jerseys, and produced
for a time upwards of four thousasd pounds of
butter per annum, which commanded the highest
market price, on account of its superior quality.
Some two or three years previous to his decease
he changed from butter to milk production, finding
his market in a milk route at Hillsborough Bridge.
Upon making this change he gradually disposed of
his Jerseys, substituting Ayrshires in their place,
as the most desirable cows for milk alone. Of
fruit in the culture of which he took special delight,
he raised all kinds in abundance, and numerous
varities. Apples, pears, plums, peaches, apricots and
grapes were grown in profusion, over thirty varieties
of grapes being included among his bearing vines. His
peaches were of special excellence, and in one season
he sold upwards of one hundred dollars 'worth of
them alone. He exercised great care not only in the
cultivation but in the harvesting, storing, and mar-
keting of his fruits, and was particularly successful
in preserving apples in perfect condition for the
late winter and spring markets. The annual hay
crop on this farm amounts to some seventy-five
tons, and this has been supplemented with corn, of
which several hundred bushels have been raised
annually. Potatoes are raised in considerable
quantities, and were at one time quite a specialty.
In some years from fifty to sixty head of cattle and
horses have been kept on the farm, the latter kind
of stock usually including some good animals, which
is the case at the present time. The location and
surroundings of "Maplewood" are most attractive
for summer boarders, and for more than forty years
a number of these have been accommodated there.
So popular had the place become as a home for
those seeking the genuine comforts of country life
during the heated term, that in 1892 a separate
house, with rooms for the accommodation of thirty
or forty people, was erected near the farm house,
and has been filled every succeeding season.

Mr. Gay was a Republican in politics, taking
much interest in public affairs, but never seeking
office, though he was three years a member of the
board of selectmen. In religion he was a Methodist,
and the family are connected with the jMethodist
society at the Centre. Mr. Gay was a charter mem-

ber of Valley Grange, of Hillsborough, taking a
deep interest in the welfare of the organization
from the first, holding many of its offices, including
that of lecturer, to which he gave his best efforts
for several years, and manifesting his devotion to
the principles of the order in all fitting ways up to
the time of his death. He was a man of strong
moral convictions, careful, methodical, and un-
usually energetic and a model farmer. Perhaps
no man in the entire history of the town did
more for agriculture than he. William E. Gay
married, in Hillsborough, March 17, 1861, Mary J.
Blanchard, born in Washington, (October 27, 1836,
daughter of Elijah and Mary (Friend) Blanchard,
of W'ashington. Si.x children were born to them :
I. Nellie M., born June 18, 1862, married, November
26, 1881, Charles Morgan, a farmer of Hillsborough,
residing near "Maplewood Farm," and has seven
children : Frank H., Mary, Marieta A., Annabel,
Edith M. and Helen (twins), and Walter E. 2.
Frank D., born July 27, 1865, married. May 21,
1896, Mabel Wyman. He remained on the home-
stead farm until his marriage, and then removed to
the "Bridge" village, where he is engaged in the
milk business and is also deputy sheriff'. 3. Walter
E., mentioned below. 4. Julia M., born December
3, 1868, a graduate of Colby Academy, who con-
tinued her studies in special lines in Boston and
Chicago universities for two years, is now superin-
tendent of schools at the village of Dundee, Illinois.

Lisabel, born March i, 1877, a graduate of the
Dundee school, and the Plymouth State Normal
School, and is a teacher at Rock Springs, Wyoming.
6. Ethel A., born April 6, 1880, at home.

(IX) Walter Ellis, third child and second son
of William E. and ]\Iary J. (Blanchard) Gay, was
born on the ancestral homestead, February 9, 1867.
He was educated in the common schools of Hills-
borough. For ten years he was engaged in busi-
ness in Manchester with his uncle, Robert D. Gay,
in the upholstering business, but returned home
upon his father's decease and his brother's removal,
and has since that time managed the farm. In ad-
dition to that he deals extensively in live stock,
and during the warm season has the comfort of
a throng of boarders to look after. He is an
energetic man of progress and influence in his town,
and shows by his actions that he has an object in
life. He is a Republican in politics, and attends
the Methodist Church. He is a member of the
Ridgely Lodge, No. 74, Independent Order of Odd
Fellows, of Manchester. He married, October 5,
1903, Wilhelmina Pundt, born in Dundee, Illinois,
December 25, 1875, daughter of John and Mary
(Matz) Pundt, of Carpentersville, Illinois.

(II) Nathaniel, third son and child of John
and Joanna (Baldewicke) Gay, was born in Dedham,
January II, 1643. From his father he received a
gift of a tract of land lying near the present town
of Medfield, and another in Pocumtock "alies Dere-
field in Hamshier." He was made a freeman INIay 23,
1677, served as a selectman in 1704 and other years,
and died February 20, 1712. He married Lydia,
daughter of ]Major Eleazer Lusher, a prominent
town official and representative to the general court.
Major Lusher appears to have been as popular as
he was prominent, and for manj^ j^ears after his
death the people of Dedham were in the habit, when-
ever his name was mentioned, of repeating the fol-
lowing couplet :

"When Lusher was in office, all things went well:
But how they go since it shames us to tell."

Lydia died August 6, 1744, aged ninety-two years



having had a family of ten children, namely: Benja-
min and Nathaniel, both of whom died young ; INIary,
Lydia, Nathaniel, Lusher, Joanna, Benjamin, Abigail
and Ebenezer. The will of Nathaniel Gay was made
February 16, 1712, and probated jNIarch 20, same
year. His property was inventoried at two hun-
dred and twenty-seven pounds, nineteen shiUings,
six pence, and after naming as executors, his wife
and his sons Nathaniel and Lusher, he made the fol-
lowing provision, viz. : "Whereas I have been att
considerable expense in bringing up my son Ebe-
nezer Gay" (referred to in the opening paragraph
of this article), "fitt for, and in placing, him att
Harvard College, where he now remains, I do ap-
point that ye charge of his further continuing there
until the taking of his first degree shall be payd and
discharged out of my estate, which shall be reckoned
and accounted with him as his full share of my

(III) Lusher, fourth son and sixth child of Na-
thaniel and Lydia (Lusher) Gay, was born in Ded-
ham, September 21, 1685. His portion of his father s
estate consisted of a farm located in that part
of Dedham known as the Clapboard Trees, and he
occupied that propertv until his death, which oc-
curred October 18, 1769. In 1746 he was a member
of the board of selectmen. His wife was before
marriage Mary Ehis, daughter of Joseph and JNIary
(Graves) Ellis, and she died October 7, 1780, aged
ninety years. They were the parents of nine chil-
dren, namely: Lusher, Ebenezer, Richard, Jabez,
Ichabod. JNIary, Lydia, Joseph and Bunker. Bunker
Gay was graduated from Harvard College in 1760.

(IV) Lusher (2), eldest son and child of
Lusher (i) and Mary (EUis) Gay, was born in
Dedham, December 15, 1716. In 1738 he received
from his father the title to a tract of land with
buildings and fruit trees thereon in Thompson
Parish, Killingly, Connecticut, whither he removed
the following year, and in 1747 he was chosen a dea-
con of the church in Thompson. His death oc-
curred in Killingly, February 19, 1803. On April
'11, i739> be married JNIary Colburn, daughter of
Joseph and Mehitabel (Whiting) Colburn, of Ded-
ham. She died in Thompson, June 13, 1746, and on
June 22, 1748, he married for his second wife Han-
nah Cady, daughter of David and Hannah (Whit-
more) Cady. She died October 21, 1810. His chil-
dren were: Lusher, Lydia, Mary, Calvin, Ebenezer,
David (died young), Joseph (also died young),
David, Joseph, Theodore, Sophia, Martin and Han-
nah, all of whom were born in Thompson (Kill-

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 105 of 149)