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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teemed Rev. William Jackson, D. D., a graduate
of Dartmouth College in 1790, pastor at Rupert,
Vermont, whose son. Rev. Samuel Jackson, D. D.,.
was _ secretary of the Massachusetts Board of Ed-
ucation, and whose daughter Henrietta (Jackson)
Hamlin, was the efficient missionary at Constanti-
nople. Hannah (Jackson) Fuller died April 5,
1845, aged forty-two. He married (third), Octo-
ber 2, 1845, Mary (Knight) Hager, w^ho was bom

' ^ cCL^<f^



February 14. 1S02. He married (fourth), 1857,
Lovey Kidder, who was born October 6, 1813. The
children of the first wife are all dead. By the
second wife there were eight children: Elvira,
Amasa, Levi A., Erwin J. and four children who
died in infancy. , • , , •, 1

(VII) Levi Aldrich, third son and sixth child
of Amasa and Hannah (Jackson) Fuller, was born
in Troy, May 4, 1836. His education was obtained
in the 'schools of Troy and Marlboro, after leaving
which he was employed for some time in his father's
factory. At the age of twenty he went to Fitz-
william, where he manufactured clothespins for a
number of years. In 1865 he purchased his father's
business at Marlboro, which he has since success-
fully carried on for forty years. He manufactures
lumber, chair stock, pail handles, bale woods, etc.
Aside' from his home manufacturing business he
owns about 1,200 acres of timber land, and em-
ploys from ten to twenty men, he has for the past
ten years been engaged, in company with Chester
L. Lane, in buying timber lands and cutting the
timber into lumber with portable steam mills set
up on the various lots. They own together more
than 1,200 acres at the present time.

For many years Mr. Fuller has been prominent
in public affairs in his town and county. He has
settled a great many estates, and has been guardian
in a large number of cases. In politics he is a Re-
publican, and as such has served many years in
official life. For more than thirty years he has been
a justice of the peace. In 1869 he was made a
member of the board of selectmen, serving four
years in succession, one year as chairman, and has
served at intervals five or six years, and has been
chairman two or three times since. He was in the
legislature of 1873 and 1S74. and w^as a member of
the con«titutional convention of 1876. He served
four years on the board of commissioners for Ches-
hire county, two years as chairman, and in 1903
and 1904 was a senator from the Thirteenth dis-
trict, "while senator he was chairman of the com-
mittee on towns and parishes, and a member of
the committees on revision of laws, agriculture,
claims, and soldiers' homes. For a number of years
he has been a member of the board of education.
He is a member of Marlborough Grange, No. 115,
Patrons of Husbandry, and of Cheshire County
Pomona Grange, No. 6. In 1869 he united with
the Congregational Church of his town and in
1874 became one of its deacons, in which capacity
he has ever since served. It may be truly said that
there is no one in the community who takes a
deeper interest in the welfare of his fellow citizens
than Senator Fuller, or discharges more faithfully
the tasks imposed upon him. He married (first),
February 22, 1S60, Elvira L. Bemis, of Troy, who
was born June 4, 1839, adopted daughter of Joseph
Bemis, of Ashburn. She died November 15, 1865,
and he married (second), October 30, 1866, Emily
L. Adams, daughter of Dr. William Adams, of
Swanzey. The children of the first wife were:
Cora A., died in infancy; and Elmer A., a
resident of .Danvers, Massachusetts, married
Hattie C. L. Wilson, of Sullivan, New Hamp-
shire, and has one son, Julian. The children by
the second wife are : Ida E., Walter T., Arthur L.,
and Cora A. Ida E. is now the wife of Fred Far-
rar, of Troy, a well known merchant. Walter T.
is a clerk for the Holbrook Grocery Company,
Woodsville. He married Charlotte B. Farrar, of
Troy. Arthur L. is a graduate from the mechanical
engineering department, of the New Hampshire
iv — 48

College of Agriculture, a graduate of Cornell, class
of 1905, and is now engaged in business in Boston.
Cora A. is a graduate of the Keene high school,
and a student in Boston Kindergarten.

As long as the history of New Hamp-
BELL shire exists Londonderry will be regarded

as a spot in the wilderness of its Colonial
period in which immigrants of Irish nativity, but as
Scotch in all their sentiments and feelings, likes
and dislikes, as if they had been reared in Argyle-
shire, where their forefathers for centuries had their
homes and lived their lives, settled and laid the
foundations of a community whose members have
sustained characters of the highest type. From
those immigrants whom toil had made strong and
persecution and privations had made virtuous and
brave has sprung a progeny, who in the several pro-
fessions and in the various walks of public and
private life have sustained characters of distin-
guished excellence, and filled some of the highest
offices — literary, military, civil, and sacred — in the
country. Of the descendants of those pioneer set-
■ tiers some have held seats in the American con-
gress, some have presided in our higher seminaries
of learning, some have filled places in the state
council and senate, some have signalized themselves
by military achievements, some have sustained the
chief magistracy of the commonwealth, and some
have been distinguished as ministers of the Gospel.
Among all the families of this remarkable colony
none has been more distinguished than the family
of John Bell, which supplied to New Hampshire
its ninth, thirteenth, and forty-first governors.

(I) John Bell, the immigrant ancestor of the
distinguished family of this name in New Hamp-
shire, was born in the vicinitv of Coleraine. prob-
ably in the parish of Ballymony, in county Antrim,
Ireland, in 1678, and died in Londonderry, July 8,
1743, aged sixty-four years. He was not of the
first company of immigrants who settled London-
derry in April, 1716, but must have arrived there
in 1720, as the first mention of his name upon the
records is in the grant of his homestead, a lot of
sixty acres, in Aiken's Range, upon which he spent
the remainder of his life, and where his son John
always lived. This record bears the date of 1720.
Other lands were allotted to him in 1722, and after-
w^ards to the amount of three hundred acres.
After commencing a clearing upon a part of his
lot and building a cabin there, he returned in 1722
to Ireland for his wife and two surviving daugh-
ters, two of his children having died in infancy.
He held a respectable position among his towns-
men, and for several years held various offices in
the town. He married, in Ireland, Elizabeth Todd,
a daughter of John and Rachel (Nelson) Todd,
and sister of Colonel Andrew Todd. She was a
person of much decision and energy of character,
and survived until August 30, 1771, when she died,
aged eightj'-two years. Their children, four of
whom were born in Londonderry, were : Samuel,
Letitia, Naomi, Elizabeth, Mary and John. The
daughters all married men of the name of Duncan.

(II) Hon. John (2), youngest child of John (i)
and Elizabeth (Todd) Bell, was born in London-
derry, August 15, 1730. In early life he had the
advantages of education afforded by the common
schools in a community where almost every adult
person could read and write, and where ignorance
was regarded as a disgrace. He was not a scholar,
but a thinking man, who ■ was through life a dili-
gent reader, especially of the Bible, the familiar



ha'iidbook of that day and age. He lived on his
farm in much the same manner as his neighbors
did, until the breaking out of the Revolution.
When that struggle began he was forty-five years
old and had a family of eight children, "circum-
stances which must have prevented him taking a
very active part, if he had desired it, in the military
movements of the day." But he had arrived at the
time of life when he possessed large experience in
every day affairs and good judgment, and was still
young enough to be active. In the spring of 1775
he was elected town clerk, and a member of the
committee of safety of the town. In the fall of the
same year he was elected a member of the Provin-
cial congress, which met at Exeter, December^ 21,
1775, and which early in 1776 resolved itself into
a house of representatives, and put in operation the
independent government of New Hampshire, under
the temporary constitution. In the autumn of 1776
he was re-elected and attended the seven sessions
of the legislature which were held in 1776 and 1777,
and was again a member from December, 1780, to
1781. In 1776 he was appointed a muster master
of a part of the New Hampshire troops, and in
1780 was appointed colonel of the Eighth regiment
of the militia. From the beginning to the end of
the war he was a firm and decided patriot, and en-
joyed the confidence of the more prominent men
in the state government, who relied on his sound
judgment and steady support of the cause. In 1786,
under the new constitution, he was elected a sen-
ator and held the office by successive elections un-
til June, 1790, and in 1791 he was elected to fill
a vacancy and served at the winter session. He
was one of the committee which effected a com-
promise of the Masonian proprietary clause, a sub-
ject which in its time was the cause of much strife
between the Masonian grantees and settlers who
claimed to hold under other grants, and before the
adoption of the constitution of 1792 he was a
special justice of the court of common pleas. He
held during many years the office of moderator, se-
lectman, or town clerk, and discharged the duties
of those offices with unquestioned integrity and
good judgment. He was a magistrate from an
early period after the Declaration of Independence
until disqualified by age. He was early a member
of the church, and sustained the office of elder
from 1783 until his infirmities required him to with-
draw. He was justly esteemed a pious, devout, and
sincere Christian, and a steady and consistent sup-
porter through a long life of all the institutions of
religion. At the age of seventy he determined to
close his connection with the business of others,
and ceased to act in the capacity of magistrate, and
of administrator and guardian, in which through the
esteem and confidence of his townsmen he had been
extensively engaged. He found occupation as long
as his physical ability continued in the cultivation
of his farm, had all that was necessary for the sat-
isfaction of his wants and never strove to acquire
more. He lived in an age when the man of money
was not placed above the man of honor and integ-
rity, and he would have frowned on the strenuous
struggle for wealth that marks the present day. lie
was a man of large frame, six feet one inch in
height, had a powerful voice, and great personal
strength and activity, having been for twenty years
the champion in the wrestling ring, a favorite
musement at public meetings at that day. He had
naturally a good constitution, which with his tem-
perate habits secured to him, with the exception of
a single attack of rheumatic character in middle
life, almost uninterrupted health till the close of
his ninety-fifth year. He died November 30, 1825,

aged ninety-five years, three months and fifteen days.
He married, December 21, 1758, Mary Ann Gil-
more, a daughter of James and Jean (Baptiste)
Gilmore. and a granddaughter of Robert and Mary
(Kennedy) Gilmore, who were early settlers of Lon-
donderry. She was thouglit to possess much per-
sonal beauty in early life, was a woman of great
prudence and good sense, and of a kind and affec-
tionate temperament. She died April 21, 1822, aged
eighty-five years. He had twelve children, three
of whom died early. The other nine were : James
(died young), Ebenezer (died young), Jonathan,
John, Samuel, Elizabeth, Susannah, Mary and
Mary Ann. (Samuel and descendants receive men-
tion in this article).

(Ill) Governor John (3), thirteenth governor
of New Hampshire, fourth son and child of John
(2) and Mary Ann (Gilmore) Bell, and younger
brother of Samuel Bell, ninth governor of New
Hampshire, was born in Londonderry, July 20, 1765,
and died in Chester, March 22, 1836, in the seventy-
first year of his age. His early scholastic train-
ing was received in Londonderry. On attaining his
majority, being of an enterprising disposition, he
became a merchant dealing in the products of Can-
ada. His business required him to make repeated
journeys to Montreal over the rough roads and
trails of _ Northern New Hampshire and lower Can-
ada, which in those days ran through almost con-
tinuous forests, broken occasionally by the farm of
a settler or by a small village. These journeys
were no holiday excursions, but toilsome and not
without danger. About the beginning of the nine-
teenth century he established himself at Chester,
where he resided during the remainder of his life.
He was fortunate in the acquisition of property,
retiring from business some years before his de-
cease, and left at his death a handsome estate. He
inherited those valuable qualities for which the
Scotch-Irish settlers of New Hampshire were emi-
nently distinguished. He was a born trader, was a
close buyer and a swift seller, and could make
money and make it honestly. His ability, probity
and sound judgment, combined with a pleasing per-
sonality, rapidly won the confidence and respect of
his fellow citizens and placed him in public office
where the able discharge of his duties was rewarded
by_ promotions to higher and more responsible po-
sitions until finally he was made chief magistrate
of the state. In 1799-1800 he represented the town
of Londonderry in the legislature. In 1803 he was
elected senator for the Third district and served one
term, and at the end of his term retired to private
life. In 1817 he was elected a member of the exec-
utive council, and was annually re-elected for five
successive years. In 1823 he was appointed sheriff
of Rockingham county, and held that office until
1828. In the latter year he was elected governor
as a supporter of John Quincy Adams and served
one_ term. "In the discharge of these various public
duties he uniformly exhibited the same traits of sa-
gacity, diligence, justice and conscientiousness
which achieved success for him in his business en-

_ He married, December 25, 1803, Persis Thorn,
third child and eldest daughter of Isaac and Persis
(Sargent) Thorn, of Londonderry. She was de-
scended on the paternal side from William Thorn,
of Windham, New Hampshire, and on the maternal
side from Rev. Nathaniel P. Sargent, of Methuen,
Massachusetts. She was a woman of strong mind
and character. She survived her husband a quar-
ter of a century, dj'ing in November, 1862, at the
age of eighty-four years, beloved and deeply la-
mented. The ten children of this union were :



:\Iarv Anne Persis, Eliza Thorne, John, Susan Jane,
Harriette Adelia, Jane Gibson, Caroline, Christo-
pher Sargent, James Isaac and Charles Henry.

(IV) Mary Anne Persis Bell, eldest child of
Governor John (3) and Persis (Thorn) Bell, and
sister of Governor Charles Henry Bell, was born
September 2, 1804. She married Rev. Nathaniel
Bouton, D. D., of Concord, where she died Feb-
ruary 15, 1839. (See Bouton, VI).

(Ill) Hon. Samuel Bell, LL. D., youngest son
of John (2) and Mary Ann (Gilmore) Bell, was
born in Londonderry, February 9, 1770. At the
age of eighteen he began the study of Latin, was
subsequentlv a pupil at the New Ipswich Academy
under the celebrated John Hubbard, and entering
Dartmouth College as a sophomore was graduated
in 1793. He immediately began the study of law
under the preceptorsbip of Judge Samuel Dana, of
Amherst, and after his admission to the bar in 1796
he began the practice of his profession in Frances-
town, but in 1S06 located in Amherst and some
five years later removed to Chester, where he re-
sided for the rest of his life. Although Mr. Bell's
legal ability was of a character well calculated to
insure the speedy accumulation of wealth had_ he
chosen to apply himself strictly to his profession,
it can be truthfully said that he sacrificed his finan-
cial prospects to the service of the state and nation,
devoting the most vigorous period of his life to
public affairs, and receiving the substantial stipport
of a numerous constituency which saw the wisdom
of electing him to ofiice as long as his health would
permit. Beginning his political career in 1804 as
a member of the legislature from Francestown, he
was speaker of the house for the years 1805 and
1806, and declined the office of attorney-general in
order to enter the state senate, of which he was
president in 1807 and '08. In 1813 he was a member
of the executive council ; was in 1816 appointed an
associate justice of the New Hampshire superior
court, serving in that capacity for three years until
elected governor in 1819, and he was three times re-
elected to that office. In 1823 he relinquished the
gubernatorial chair to enter the United States senate,
in which body he served with marked ability for two
full terms, or a period of twelve years, and in 1835
lie retired permanently from both public and profes-
sional life. The succeeding fifteen years were spent
in the peaceful seclusion in his home in Chester,
and his death occurred December 23, 1850. The
fact that Governor Bell was neither a popularity
seeker nor a political ^manager is conclusive evi-
dence that his retention in high office for so many
years was due solely to his superior ability and
invulnerable integrity. Possessed of an unusually
well developed mental capacity which was carefully
cultured and perfectly discliplined, he^was therefore
a profound student of the law, a wise counsellor,
an exceptionally able jurist and a_ thoroughly
equipped statesman, entirely void .of intrigue and
conscientiously attentive to public business. In refer-
ence to his record as a jurist a contemporary states
that "his published judicial opinions in the early
volumes of the State Reports, bear testimony to his
habits of thorough and careful research, his com-
plete understanding of the rules and reasons of the
law. and his clear, logical habits of investigation
and statement." Bowdoin conferred upon him the '
honorary degree of Doctor of Laws in 182 t. Gov-
ernor Bell married for his first wife Mehitable
Bowen Dana, daughter of Judge Dana of Amherst,
previously referred to. The children of this union
were: Samuel Dana, LL. D. : John (died 1830):
Mary Ann; James; Luther V., M. D., LL. D. ;
and another child w-hose name is not at hand. July

4, 1828, he married, for his second wife, Lucy-
Smith, daughter of Jonathan Smith, of Amherst,
and she bore him four children : George, John,
Charles and Louis. Four of his sons, Samuel D.,
James, George and Louis, became lawyers of ability.

(IV) Hon. James Bell, third son and fourth
child of Hon. Samuel and Mehitable B. (Dana)
Bell, was born in Francestown. November 13, 1804.
He pursued his preparatory course at Phillips
Academy, Andover, Massachusetts, and was grad-
uated from Bowdoin College in 1822. His legal
studies, began in the office of his brother, Samuel
Dana Bell, were completed at the Litchfield, Con-
necticut Lav School in 1825, and he was admittei^
to the bar the same year. From the latter yea^
until 183 1 he practiced in Gilmanton. this state,
from whence he removed to Exeter and became as-
sociated in practice with his former student, Hon.
Amos Tuck, afterward a member of congress from
New Hampshire. For many years this firm con'
ducted a large and exceedingly profitable law bus-
iness, being detained in most of the important lit-
igations in Rockingham and Stafford counties dur-
ing its existence, and Mr. Bell was almost con-
stantly occupied in arguing before the court and jury.
Severing his association with Mr. Tuck in 1847 he
became counsel and legal agent of the Winnepe-
saukee Land and Water Power Company, and re-
moving to Gilford, now Laconia, he entered with
spirit upon the preliminary and most difficult part
of the undertaking, that of securing the land and
rights of flowage around Winnepesaukee Lake for
a reservoir to supply the necessary water-power for
the great manufacturing establishments on the Mer-
rimac river. The remainder of his life was devoted
exclusively to this work, and he died in Gilford.
May_ 26, 1857. Mr. Bell w^as never an aspirant for
political honors, but like his father was forced into
civic affairs simply because he was superabundantly
qualified to hold public office, and he performed his
official duties with the same degree of ability and
earnestness as that which characterized his dis-
tinguished predecessor. In 1846 he represented
Exeter in the lower house of the state legislature,
%yas a delegate from Gilford to the state constitu-
tional convention in 1850, was twice a candidate
for governor, and in 1855 was chosen United Sta.tes
senator, serving through the thirty-fourth congress
and m the extra session of 1857. It has been said
of hini that no lawyer in the state was capable of
rendering a wiser or more weighty opinion on a
naked question of law than was he, and his under
standing of the principles, intent and purposes of
laws was both varied and profound. In his manner
he was modest and unobtrusive, his professional de-
portment was a model for excellence and his life
was stainless. In 1831 Mr. Bell married Judith A.
Upham. daughter of Nathaniel and Judith (Cogs-
well) Upham, of Rochester. New Hampshire, a sis-
ter of Hon. Nathaniel Gookin, LL. D., once a jus-
tice of the New Hampshire superior court, and a
grand-daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas
Cogswell of Haverhill, Massachusetts, who served
as an officer in the battle of Bunker Hill. She be-
came the mother of five children : Mary A. Bell,
wife of Nathaniel G. White, who was president of
the Boston & Maine railroad, Eliza U. Bell, Lucy
Bell, James Dana Bell, Charles Upham Bell.

(V) Hon. Charles Upham Bell, A. M.. LL. D..
son of Hon. James and Judith A. (Upham) Bell^
was born in Exeter, February 26, 1843. He com-
pleted the regular preparatory course at Phillips
Exeter Academy, and after studying an extra year
at that institution he entered Bowdoin College, tak-
ing his bachelor's degree in 1863 and receiving that



of Master of Arts in course (1866). At commence-
ment he pronounced the English oration and was
chosen a member in the Psi Upsilon and the Phi
Beta Kappa societies. He was a law student in th»
office of his cousin, the late Charles H. Bell, LL
D., of Exeter, author of "Bench and Bar of New
Hampshire," and having completed his legal prepar-
ations at the Harvard Law School was admitted
to the Rockingham county bar at Exeter in Feb-
ruary, 1866. Inaugurating his practice in Exeter
he was associated at intervals with his cousins,
Charles H. and John J. Bell, but in 1871 he removed
from his native state and located in Lawrence, Mas.-
sachusetts. Forming a law partnership with his
brother-in-law, Nathaniel Gilman White, the firm
of White and Bell conducted a successful general
law business until 1878, when Mr. Bell withdrew
and entered into partnership with Edgar J. Sher-
man, under the firm name of Sherman and Bell.
In 1887 Mr. Sherman was appointed a justice of the
Massachusetts superior court, and Mr. Bell contin-
ued in practice alone for the succeeding ten years
or until 1897, in which year the firm of Bell and
Eaton was established. The latter partnership was,
however, of short duration, as on September 16,
1898, he w^as selected by Governor Wolcott to suc-
ceed as associate justice of the superior court the
Hon. John W. Hammond, who had been recently
elevated to the supreme bench. Although his prac-
tice was not confined exclusively to any one branch
of the law. he nevertheless specialized to a consid-
erable extent in real estate and probate matters,
in which he became exceedingly well versed, and for
many years he was universally recognized as one
of the foremost members of the Essex county bar.
In politics Judge Bell is a Republican, and in
matters relative to civic affairs he has emulated the
sound political doctrine advocated and scrupulously
followed by his father and grandfather, _ namely,
that it is the duty of every intelligent citizen to
render his share of public service solely for the
benefit of the community, and not for pecuniary

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 134 of 149)