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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relative (cousin) of Governor John Taylor Oilman,
who died in this town, October 14, 1803. He died
February 11, 1814. There were seven children
of this marriage, but the dates of their births are
not known. Their names were as follows: Jacob,
Abigail, Susannah, two daughters who joined the
Shakers, names unknown, Jeremiah, and Peter Gil-

(V) Jeremiah, son of Nathaniel and Abigail
(Oilman) Tilton, was born in Stratham, or New-
market, New Hampshire, in 1762, and was brought
to Sanbornton by his parents when a child. At
the age of sixteen he enlisted in the Revolutionary
war and served six months as a teamster, his
widow afterwards drawing a pension as a conse-
quence. He built the original hotel at the Bridge
(now Tilton), and occupied the same, on the site
of the present Dexter House. He also carried on,
in company with Benjamin Smith, a grist mill and
factory, or triphammer shop, where they manufac-
tured iron implements. He was a colonel in the
state militia, a justice of the peace, and in all re-
spects was a leader in founding the village that

now bears his name. He married, February 21, 1786,
Mehitable Hayes, born 1767, daughter o'f William
Hayes (a revolutionary soldier, who died at Ticon-
deroga) and his wife Mary PHmner. He died
April 10, 1822, and his widow January 19, 1842.
Their children were: John, born July 16, 1787;
Samuel, August 20, 1789; Sally, 1791, died Janu-
ary 31, 1818; Jeremiah, Jr., born September 10,
1793; James P., November 4, 1796; Abigail, 1798,
died October 29, 1819; Mahala, born August, 1800,
died June 12, 1820; ]\Iary P., born December 13,
1802, died October 5, 1875 : Alexander H., born De-
cember 24. 1804; Mehitable, August 26, 1807, died
November 12, 1844; and Sophronia, born 1810, died
March 12, 1845.

(VI) Samuel, son of Jeremiah and Mehitable
(Hayes) Tilton, was born in Sanbornton, August
20, 1789, and began life as a blacksmith in his
father's triphammer shop. He subsequently occu-
pied the hotel at the Corner, to which he added
another story. He always lived at the Bridge vil-
lage, which owed much of its prosperity to him.
He was a man of great energy and acumen, and
was a "leading spirit" (with Colonel Charles Lane) .
in the town at large for many years. He served
as representative in the New Hampshire legislature
five times, 1826-29. and 1835. He was justice of the
peace and sheriff of Belknap county. In 1848 he
was chosen one of the presidential electors from his
state, and subsequently filled the office of United
States marshal under President Pierce, 'and in
1852 was a delegate to the Democratic convention
at Baltimore. It has been said of him "As a friend,
he was honest, firm and unwavering, and no false-
hood or pretense whatever had the least influence
in detaching him from those in whom he confided.
The records of the schools, seminary and houses
of religious worship in his native village, will all
bear witness that no man among us gave more
freely or abundantly than he did toward their es-
tablishment. Always conservative and patriotic in
his feelings, a strong friend of the Union, and a
most decided and outspoken opponent of all kinds
of radicalism." He married, (first), January 31,
T815, Myra, daughter of Samuel Ames, of Canter-
bury, born September 28, 1792, and died March 7,
1857 ; reported as a lady of uncommon excellence.
He married (second), March 16, 1858, Mrs. Eliza-
beth (Cushman) Haven, of Portsmouth, born Jan-
uary 17, 1817. He died November 12, 1861. The
children of Samuel and Myra (Ames) Tilton were:
Alfred Edwin, born November 11, 1815, died March
30, 1877. Sarah, born October 23, 1819. De Witt
Clinton, born February 20, 1823, died October 22,
1S24. Caroline Augusta, born October 2, 1825, died
October 16, 1826. Charles Elliott, born September
14, 1827, died September 28, 1901.

(VII) Charles Elliott, youngest child of Samuel
and Myra (Ames) Tilton, was born in the village
of Tilton, September 14, 1827. He received his
primary education in the common schools, and at
the age of fifteen entered Sanbornton Academy,
then under the charge of Professor Dyer H. San-
born. Later he attended three years at Norwich
University, a military school. When thfe war with
Mexico arose, General Ransom, president of the
university, was commissioned to raise a regiment,
and induced nearly every student to enlist. Young
Tilton was oflfered the command of a company,
but declined through the influence of his father.
Soon afterward he went to New York City, where
his elder brother, Alfred Edwin, was engaged in
business. He next sailed as the representative of
his brother to the West Indies and South America,



visiting the islands and prospecting the Orinoco
and Amazon. He also journeyed overland to Car-
acas and LaGuayra, thence to Marcaibo, St. Mar-
tin, Carthagena and Chagres. Hearing of the dis-
covery of gold in California, he at once proceeded
to San Francisco via Panama and engaged in mer-
chandising. In 1850 he went to Oregon, and the
following year became a partner with W. S. Ladd
for general mercantile pursuits, and this partner-
ship continued till 1859. Mr. Tilton was interested
in establishing a line of vessels to run between Ore-
gon and China. One of these ships, the "C. E. Til-
ton," made the quickest passage from New York
to Oregon on record to that time. She was after-
ward sold to the Japanese government and by it
converted into a man-or-war, and was finally sunk
in an encounter with the United States ship "Pow-
hattan." In 1859 the banking house of Ladd &
Tilton, of Portland, was organized, in which Mr.
Tilton remained a partner till 1880. He was also
interested in many other enterprises on the coast
and in the interior states. He took a lively interest
in the navigation of those two great waterways, the
Columbia and Willamette rivers. He was one of
the five who controlled what subsequently developed
into the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company,
with a capital of $24,000,000. He also had an in-
terest in the firm of Ladd & Bush, bankers, Salem,
in the First National Bank of Portland, and in the
First National Bank of Walla Walla, Washington
Territory. The business of transportation across
the plains also received much of his attention. He
sent great trains of merchandise from San Bernar-
dino, California, to Utah, and from St. Joseph, Mis-
souri, to Colorado, and from there to Montana,
giving his personal attention to them all, when the
country they traversed was still almost in a state of
nature and full of Indians more or less hostile. Trains
were often attacked in those days, and sometimes
captured and destroyed by the savages. Foreseeing
the advantage of investments in the western country
Mr. Tilton made purchases of land in all the ter-
ritories, which proved advantageous. He also en-
gaged in many other enterprises connected with
the development of the western slope, which with
few exceptions turned out profitably. Mr. Tilton
resided in Tilton after the year 1879, and became
a large owner of the stock of the Concord & Mon-
treal Railroad Company, in which he was a director.
He built a magnificent residence in 1861, on an em-
inence overlooking the valley of the Winnepesaukee
river from the north, which when built was said
to be one of the finest in New England, the drawing
room being unequalled in its appointments in New
England. It is twenty-eight by thirty-eight feet in
area and twenty-two feet high, finely ' finished in
mahogany, and elegantly furnished and decorated,
the carpets, rugs, drapery and furniture, mirrors
and chandeliers having been manufactured for the

Mr. Tilton's love for his native town and its
citizens was manifested in the form of many gifts
to the public. Chief of these in the point of utility
was the town hall, containing a market and town
office, a store and a postofifice, all commodiously
arranged, no expense being spared which would
add to its convenience, the hall proper being com-
pletely furnished, even to a piano. They return a
handsome rental. He also enlarged the island in
the river and adorned it with a pagoda and stat-
uary, fitting 'it as a place for the public to rest and
recreate. He created the park on Main street,
which is an ornament to the city. The first con-
crete pavement in Tilton was laid in front of his

block and donated to public use by him. In 1882
he placed an iron bridge from Main street to Park
Island at a cost of $r,8oo, and previously gave
$500 toward an iron bridge between Tilton and
Northfield. His donations to churches have been
generous, and toward the remodeling of one he
contributed more than $3,000. The fountain and
statue in the middle of Main street, the fountain
and statue at the depot, and the beautiful bronze
statue of ''Squantum, Chief, 1620," just east of the
depot, were all given by him. It has been said that
up to 1881 Mr. Tilton's gifts for the pleasure and
benefit of his townsmen amounted to $40,000. The
handsome railroad station and convenient grounds
are also due to Mr. Tilton's influence. On the
summit of the steep hill rising from the south bank
of the Winnepesaukee river, in full view of his
residence on the opposite side, and commanding an
extensive view of the surrounding country is Mr.
Tilton's most costly monument, a granite arch fifty-
five high, an exact copy of the arch of Titus, in
Rome, and a sarcophagus which Mr. Tilton in-
tended should contain his bodj^ after his death.
In the keystone of the arch is this inscription:
''Memorial Arch of Tilton, 1S82 ;" and upon the sar-
cophagus are the words : "Tilton, 1883." This mon-
ument, which cost $50,000. is one of the most im-
posing and enduring in New England. It has been said
of Mr. Tilton: "While he was not responsible for
all the improvements the town of Tilton possesses,
yet without his public spirit there would not have
been the bridges crossing the Winnepesaukee, the
islands, a recreation place, roads that would be an
example for many a large city, a handsome library
building and a well selected library, a park com-
plete in every detail, and railway accommodation
that make the town accessible. All these things
that mark the town are but a small portion of what
he did for the state. There is the State Farm and
a Soldiers' Home, for which ]Mr. Tilton was re-

He was peculiarly successful in business, but
had no taste for politics, and never held a public
office. His strict integrity and honesty were as
proverbial as his public-spirited generosity. In his
intercourse with his neighbors and acquaintances
he was cordial and pleasant. In many matters he
was very^ democratic, and it was no unusual thing
for him to invite one of his laborers to a seat in
his carriage and give him a ride. His friendship
was as decided and marked as was his business ca-
pacity and generosity. His friends had no cause
to complain of his loyalty. He is said to have once
exhibited a note for $150,000, which a friend had
made to him, but which was then rendered worth-
less by the insolvency of the maker. But Mr. Til-
ton only smiled and said : "Bill was a good fellow."
The debtor's good fellowship outweighed his debt.

Mr. Tilton married (ficst), January 11, 1856,
his cousin. Louisa P. Tilton, born April 30, 1827,
daughter of Jeremiah, Jr., and Nancy (Carter)
Tilton. She was a cultivated and excellent woman,
but for years her health was feeble. She died un-
expectedly, August 15, 1877. Three children were
born of this marriage : Mvra Ames, February 18,
1858. Alfred Edwin, June '15, 1861. William Ladd,
January 9, 1865, died July 2, 1865. Mr. Tilton mar-
ried (second) December 29, 1881, Geneveive East-
man, of Littleton, daughter of J. Frank Eastman,
by whom he had one son, Charles E., born May
4, 1887, now a student in Harvard College.

(VIII) Alfred Edwin, eldest son of Charles E.
and Louisa P. (Tilton) Tilton, was born in Til-
ton, June 15, 1861, and educated at the Tilton Sem-



inary. At sixteen years of age he went to work
in a printing office, and soon afterward became a
fireman on the Concord railroad between Concord
and Nashua, filling this place thirteen years. He
then had a similar position on the Boston, Concord
& Montreal road for one summer, on what was
known as the White Mountain train. In 1887 he
was promoted to engineer, working in the
yards at Lakeport a short time, and then
was made the first engineer on the Belmont road,
filling this place threi years. In 1893 he quit rail-
road business and took a trip south with his wife,
visiting points of interest in the southern states
and in the Bermudas. Returning to his home he
rebuilt the old Piper residence, which he has since
occupied. In politics he is a Democrat. He is
a member of Doric Lodge, No. 78, Ancient Free
and Accepted Masons, of Tilton, and of St. Omar
Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, of Franklin. He is
also a member of Peabody Chapter, No. 35, Eastern
Star. He is not engaged in business other than
taking care of his real estate. He married, June
25. 1890, Ella Augusta Freese, daughter of William
W. and Carrie G. (Cooke) Freese. Mrs. Tilton's
parents were natives of Moultonborough. She was
educated in the schools of Concord, graduating
from the high school, and from Deane Academy
in Franklin, Massachusetts, and from the normal
school at Plymouth, New Hampshire. Afterward
she taught several years, three years of the time
being in the graded schools of her native town.
She is a member of Peabody Chapter of the Eastern

(II) Daniel, youngest son of William and Sus-
anna Tilton, was born 1646, in Lynn, Massachusetts,
and settled in New Hampshire. Hampton being in
need of a blacksmith, he learned the trade and was
given by the town a tract of land, four acres, on
the Falls Hill in the center of what is now the
town of Hampton, about 1665. He married, De-
cember 23, 1669, Mehetable Sanborn, a daughter of
William and Mary Sanborn, and from this union
originate very nearly all the Tiltons of New Hamp-
shire and many of Maine and Vermont. Daniel
Tilton was a strong man in town matters and gov-
ernment. As his family grew large he settled on
land between Hampton and Exeter, building a
block house which protected his family jfnd other
settlers from Indian attacks. History says that,
having a large family of stalwart sons, they always
successfully defended themselves when necessary
to do so. He was known as Ensign in early his-
tory, and represented Hampton in general court
from 1690 to 1713, during some of which time he
served as speaker. Fnally, being very infirm, he
asked and was excused by the court from further
duty. He died February 10, 1716. in Hampton.
His sons settled in Hampton and adjoining towns.
Their descendants, moving to towns further out,
spreading through New Flampshire to Vermont and
Maine, were among the earliest settlers. We find
them in the great west and on the Pacific coast,
always among the pioneers, and many of them
making honorable records in the new sections.
The family has had many professional men, cler-
gymen and doctors (but very few lawyers), and
many military men who were distinguished in their
services in all the colonial wars and the later wars
of the republic. Daniel Tilton's children were:
Abigail, Mary (died young), Samuel, Joseph, Mary,
Daniel, David, Jcthro, Mehetable, Hannah and Jo-

(III) Captain Joscpli, second son of Daniel and
Mehetable (Sanborn) Tilton, born March 19, 1677,

resided in Hampton, where he was a farmer, and
died October 24, 1777, in Kensington. He was a
prominent citizen, captain of colonial troops, first
town clerk of Hampton Falls, representative to the
general court and many years a selectman. He was
an original proprietor of Chester, and many years
proprietors' clerk. He married (first), December
26. 1698, Margaret, daughter of Samuel Sherburne ;
she died July i, 1717, aged thirty-nine years, and
he married (second), December 5, 1717, Mrs. Eliza-
beth Shaw, daughter of Timothy Hilliard ; she
died April 19, 1724, aged forty-five years, and he
married (third), June 17, 1725, Mrs. Elizabeth Hil-
liard, daughter of Joseph Chase. She lived to be
eighty years old, dying August 14, 1765. His chil-
dren w-ere, by first wife : Sherburne, John, Mary.
Sarah, Jonathan, Joseph, by second wife : Daniel
and Timothy (twins, Daniel died young), Joanna
and Margaret.

(IV) Timoth}', second son of Joseph and Eliza-
beth (Hilliard) Tilton, was born October 4, 1718,
in Hampton Falls, and settled about 1770 in Lou-
don, New Hampshire, where he died December i,
1785. The first town meeting in Loudon was held
in his house, and he took a prominent part in
tow-n affairs during the Revolution. He was
married, December 25, 1746, to ^Martha Boyn-
ton, of Kingston, who was born, 1726, and
died November 25, 1822. They had a family of four
sons and two daughters, namely : Joseph, Joanna,
William, Nathan. Elizabeth, (probably John), and
David. His eldest son. Colonel Joseph, was a
prominent man in Loudon, whence he removed to
Danville, Vermont. There the youngest son, David,
joined him. William, the second, succeeded his
father on the Loudon homestead.

(V) Nathan, third son of Timothy and IMartha
CBoynton) Tilton, was born February 3, 1757, in
East Kingston, and established himself in Loudon
as a farmer and miller. He died there December
28, 1814, near the close of his fifty-eighth year. He
was married October 19, 17S0, to Susanna Gail, who
was born March 8, 1761, in Exeter, and died March
8, 1840, in Gilmanton. His children were : Bet-
sey. Timothy, Susanna, Daniel, Nathan, Stephen,
Newell, David, Joseph and Olive.

(VI) Stephen, fourth son of Nathan Tilton,
was born September 29, 1793, in Loudon, and died
December 17, 1867. After a few years residence in
Northfield he removed to Meredith, and thence in
1845 to Manchester, New Hampshire. In 1858 he
moved to California, where several of his children
had preceded him. He was married, January 10,
1816, to Julia Batchelder. who was born March 31,
1799, in Northfield, and died March 23, 1881. Both
died, and are buried in San Mateo, California,
^lany of their descendants are living in California
today. Their children were : Joseph Sullivan,
Olive, Susan, Stephen S., Julia M., John Q. A.,
Sarah J., Mary C. (died young). Mary C, Henri-
etta, Georgietta, Georgiana and Charles H.

(VII) Joseph Sullivan, eldest child of Stephen
and Julia (Batchelder) Tilton. was born June 13,
1818, in Northfield, New Hampshire, and was only
two years old when his parents moved to Meredith.
He grew to manhood in Meredith, and shortly af-
terward settled in Dorchester, New Hampshire,
whence he moved to Manchester, 'New Hampshire,
about 1848. In 1852 he, with two of his brothers,
moved to California, where his family joined him a
year later. He came back with his family to New
Hampshire in 1857, and was one of the pioneers
in the manufacture of hosiery in Laconia. He was
a leading citizen of that city until his death. He

yC'^^ ^/y^'^^-L^arz^




was active in raising the Twelfth Regiment, New
Hampshire Vohmteers, for the Civil war, and
served as an ofHcer in the same, commanding the
Laconia company at Fredericksburg and Chancel -
lorsville. He was permanently disabled bjf a wound
in the last named battle, and died October 6, 1879.
He was married in 1S41, in Dorchester, to Betsey
Ham. who was born June 20, 1S20, in Straft'ord,
New Hampshire, and died March 25, 1907. Their
children were : Nancy A., George H., Emma Susai?
and Frank Sullivan.

(Vni) George Henry, elder son of Joseph S.
and Betsey (Ham) Tilton, was born Way 13, 1845,
in Dorchester, and lived with his parents until the
outbreak of the Civil war. He joined the Fourth
Regiment New Hampshire Volunteers, September
14. 1861, and served three years. After his return
to civil life he was trained by his father in his busi-
ness, and became a partner in 1870. He has con-
tinued the business since his father's death, and has
mills in the South, beside those at Tilton and La-
conia, in which latter place he resides. He has
represented his city in the legislature, and is an es-
teemed and respected citizen. He was married
(first), June 19. 1866, to Marietta Randlett, who
was born August 12, 1844, in Gilmanton, and died
August 15, 1874. Mr. Tilton was married (second),
April II, 1883, to Calista E. Brown, of Meredith,
who was born November 11, 1862, and died Octo-
ber 9, 1901. He married (third). September 20.
1902, his cousin, Julia Caroline Green, of San
Mateo, California, who was born ^Nlarch 30, 1862, in
San Bruno, same state.

(IX) Elmer Stephen, only son of George Henry
and Marietta (Randlett) Tilton, was born October
II, 1869, in Laconia, New Hampshire, and was edu-
cated in the public schools of that city. After grad-
uating from school he took a place with his father,
learning the business, in which he has been for a
long time a partner. He has represented his city
several times in the house of representatives, and
his district in the state senate. He is an active
member of the Masonic fraternit}', and a very well
known man of his native state. He was married,
January 26, 1892, to Lillian Gertrude Harrington,
who was born August 21, 1868, in Laconia. Their
children are : Charles Henry, born February 7,
1S93 '• Elnier Harrington, September 14, 1895 ; and
Kenneth Joseph, June 15, 1900, all in Laconia.

(V) John, possibly a son of Timothy and Eliza-
beth Tilton, was born about 1702, and died in 1784,
in Kensington, aged eighty-two years. He was mar-
ried. December 2;^. 1779, to Molly Cram, and their
children on recoi'd in the archives of New Hamp-
shire were: Nehemiah, John Sherburn, Betsey and

(VI) Nehemiah, eldest son of John and Molly
(Cram) Tilton, was born July 9, 1782, and resided
in Barnstead, New Hampshire. He was married,
September 10, 1804. to Hannah Philbrick, and they
had thirteen children, namely: Molly (died
young), John. Ruth. Daniel (died young), Daniel,
Molly, Betsey, Benjamin, David, Lovicj', Eunice,
Margaret and Hannah Cram. The youngest, who
is the only survivor of the family, became the wife
of David L. Green (see Green VII).

This is the earlier form of a name
HODSDON which is now more generally Writ-
ten Hodgdon, though some of the
Maine families in York county, where the line is
quite nurnerous, prefer the early English spelling
of Hodsdon. The branch in Barnstead, this state,
iv — ^46

spell the patronymic Hodgdon. Members of this
family were pioneer settlers in Massachusetts and
New Hampshire. The Hodgdons (Hodsdons) in
early and recent times have earned a reputation
for industry, loyalty and obedience to the law,
which reflects credit on them as a race.

The Hodsdon English coat of arms is of quite
unusual design. It has a field, argent, crossed by a
wavy band, gules, between two horse-shoes, asure ;:
crest, a man's head couped at the shoulders, vested
argciit, on the head of a cap, or. The motto is-
"Animo et fide."

(I) Nicholas Hodgdon was one of the immigrant
settlers of Hingham, Massachusetts, where he was
made a freeman March 9, 1636, and was granted a
house lot the same year, in the center of the town,
and later two meadows were granted him. About
1650, in company with others, he purchased a large
tract of land at Cambridge Hill, now Newton.
October 15, 1656, he received a grant of land from
the town of Kittery, Maine, and soon removed to
that place. December 13, 1669, he received another
grant of land from the town of Kittery, both of the
grants being bounded by or situated near Birchlea
Point brook. He also purchased several other lots
in the vicinity of the same brook. The farm oc-
cupied by him in the latter part of his life was pur-
chased in 1674 of John Wincoll, and is situated on
the east side of the Piscataqua river, and is bounded
on the south by Thompson brook, \vhich divides the
town of Elliott and South Berwick. Maine. His
farm descended to heirs of Nicholas regularly until
1828. _

Nicholas Hodgdon married, about 1639, Esther
Wines, who died in Hingham, Massachusetts, No-
vember 29, 1647. He married (second), Elizabeth,
widow of John Needham. She was living in 1686.
The children of the first wife, baptized in Hing-
ham, were : Esther, Mehitable, Jeremiah, Israel
and Elizabeth. The children of the second wife
were : Benoni. Sarah, Timothy, John, Joseph and
Lucy. (Benoni and descendants receive mention in
this article).

(II) Jeremiah, eldest son and third child of

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 124 of 149)